"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." ~ Gilda Radner

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


If you MUST say goodbye to your son on college move-in day, make sure your husband whisks you away on a speeding Cambus after a hurried hug, leaving you but a nano second to catch a fleeting glimpse of but a lock of your one-and-only Sonny Boy's blond hair as he disappears into a sea of strangers...

And for added emotional impact, make sure your husband throws you onto the WRONG Cambus for the parking lot to which you should be going, and go for a 20-minute bus tour of the campus only to end up right back to the spot where you barely had time to bid your one-and only Sonny Boy goodbye...

Then, sit there and have a few, um, words, with said husband while waiting another 15 minutes for the right Cambus to come alomg, which then takes you on another 20 minute jaunt, past  Hillcrest, Sonny Boy's dorm, where YOU wanted to go one more time before bidding Sonny Boy goodbye.

The up side is, you will be so upset with your husband, so busy seething and ready to throttle him, that you hardly notice the pain from the delicate mother-son emotional umbilical cord being sliced in half as the Cambus door slams shuts behind you. And it is at that moment that the thought strikes you...

How ya gonna get him to ever come back to Coon Rapids after he's seen Iowa City? 

Yet you are so damn proud of your son, and so happy for him...and so you decide on the very long ride home to MAYBE forgive your husband for giving you the bum's rush on this very special day because, truth be told, saying goodbye to your one-and only Sonny Boy at the bus stop really was easier for everybody than bidding each other farewell at his dorm.

And then, just because you can, text your son a quick "I Love You", and when he immediately texts back "I Love You 2 :), you will burst into tears. But they will be tears of joy, not heartbreak, because that little smiley face assures you not only that the bond between you and your son was not broken as he disappeared into that sea of strangers at the campus bus stop, but that he is truly happy and comfortable in his new surroundings.

And that is more than any mom can ask for on college move-in day.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011


...after the bars close?
It's what every Ohio University alumnus with a college-bound son loves to have said son read in the daily headlines:

Ohio University Reigns As The Nation's Top Party School

Likewise, it's what every University of Iowa-bound freshman with a worried, overprotective mother loves to have said mother read in the same news story:

No. 4 University of Iowa.


But what the heck. Why not let all the naughty Bobcats and Hawkeyes out of the bag!

Ohio University -- aka, back in the day, "Harvard on the Hocking" --  has made the Princeton Review's Top Party Schools list like a dozen times since 1997.  Of course, that was, ahem, just a few moons after I graduated from OU in 1979 (with honors, thank you) .

Which is not to say Bobcats weren't legendary for their partying prowess prior to the late 90s.

In fact, both OU and Iowa made Playboy's 1987 list of top partying schools.  Iowa ranked 31st, and Ohio, 34th, that year.  I'd been gone from campus since June '79, which may explain Ohio's lower ratings...ba-da-bump.

Nevertheless, it is true that OU only made Playboy's "honorable mention" list in 2006...

Go figure.


Iowa also ranked the following in this year's Princeton Review: Best Midwestern Colleges; Students study the least, 7; Lots of hard liquor, 8; Major frat and sorority scene, 13; Lots of beer, 14; Students pack the stadiums, 14; and Professors get low marks, 19.

Oh. Yay. Glad to know Daniel's student loans are going toward an education at an institution ranked in the Top 20 for students who study the least, where the beer and hard liquor flow, and professors get low marks.

As for my alma mater...equally impressive.  OU also lands in the top 20 in the lots of beer and lots of hard liquor categories, as well as best athletic facilities, most beautiful campus and major fraternity and sorority scene.

My son found the news to be a bit of a hoot.  

"Party girl, eh?" 

Me and my Roomie...freshman year
"Never." I replied. "Though I was at one of the first now-infamous Halloween Street parties that got out of hand after the bars closed. Back in '76 I think it was..."

Daniel's ears perked up.


He was probably having a hard time picturing his mother staying up past 8 p.m. let alone attending a rowdy street party outside a bunch of bars.

"Just an innocent bystander in a costume, of course," I quickly interjected. "But my friend, Holly?  She was in the thick of it and got hit in the leg with a knee knocker -- a wooden bullet -- when they called in the cops."

"Whoa.  That's possible Facebook status material," he said.

Ah! Youth! Ah! Ohio University!

Alma Mater, Ohio
When we read thy story o'er,
We revere thee and cheer thee
As we sing thy praise once more.