Cape Gazette
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Around Town

Getting a teenager moved into college pays off in the end

By Nancy Katz | Aug 20, 2013

This is your day. You’ve been counting down the hours. Pretty soon, you will be dropping off that child you’ve nurtured and cared for through the years to college. OK, I got that off the front of a brochure at the vet’s on raising Dalmatians, but I think it sounds great when talking to other people at social events, not that you’ve been to any lately, since you are working three jobs to pay for the upcoming tuition, but you never know.

If it’s a teenage boy you are delivering to college, remember you actually haven’t seen him the last two years of high school, so make sure he shows some identification before you make that long drive.

Oh, you know he lives in the house by the heavy metal music of 10,000 Maniacs blasting from his room, which has a door that apparently is nailed shut. There is no longer any wallboard or paint on the hallway outside his room, but the good news is that you were lucky enough to get an appointment at the Mayo Clinic for a possible cochlear ear implant.

Now, if you are dropping off a teenage girl to college, you will need at the very least a U-Haul truck. Make sure you get one big enough to house something the size of a nuclear reactor.

She has a lot of stuff that she cannot part with, most of which will be tossed out after the first week when she discovers that her dormitory is coed and minimalism is what boys respect. You won’t have to go to this expense with a boy, though, since most of his décor will be furniture made out of beer cans and cardboard pizza boxes.

But believe me, you will have a spring in your step, even though there will be quite an effort to get this done. Normally it takes quite a while to get your body going in the morning. That can of STP Oil will flow into your artificial replacement parts now.

The antacid stock next to your bedside table will be greatly reduced, since you no longer have to keep the porch light on anymore for your children to find their home after a night at something called a rave concert. I doubt if the pachysandra will grow back on the front lawn, but you may be able to turn those indentations from their parked cars into planters. And best of all, you may dispose of any medications like Preparation H, Metamucil, Miralax and other products that have a picture of an intestine or stomach on the front.

The local boyfriends dressed in Goth black lipstick with a dozen pierced rings will have to move on down the road.

So this is a new day, medically and financially. With a little bit of luck, you will be able to replace those shoes with the cardboard cutouts on the bottom to fill the holes and held on by duct tape with, dare I say it, a new pair, but don’t get your hopes up just yet.

Now, before you head out on that trip, be sure you have all the documents and schedules you need once you arrive at that ivy-covered institution shown on the brochures, most of the ivy having died out long ago from sheer disgust.

Colleges usually have all kinds of orientations, meetings and receptions for all the new attendees. You will be attending alone, since no college kid wants to be seen with his or her parents.

Many of them leave the space blank when filling out any material that requires names of parents. They will attend the important introductions, like the all-you-can-eat fraternity party keg and Cheetos reception.

So fill up that car with gas, program the GPS and be prepared to hit the boulevard of broken dreams. Amen to that.

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