Going Back to College

What I can actually remember of my college partying days was pretty awesome. So when my 19-year-old niece invited me to accompany her mother, a mutual friend and her teen daughter to her sorority’s Mom’s Weekend at Indiana University, I was all like, Yaaasss! (Because that's what the sorority girls say now, don’t they? Pretty sure I read that on the Chapsnat.)

We three mamas were all born several decades before this century—don’t try to do the math, not enough fingers and toes—and thus, eager to see what college life is like in this millennialsphere. So was our one friend’s daughter, a high school junior who was coming along to see whether Indiana U might be a place where she would like to party her pants off matriculate.

All my other mom friends were super jellie (you know, jealous? I totally heard that one on Instatwit) and couldn’t wait for me to bring back stories about doing jello shots and beer bongs and streaking across the quad in my skivvies.

My own mom was like, “Please Be Careful.” And I was all like, Mother, please! I am a professional. I know how base up my belly for boozing, and what to drink to not wake up hungover. I’m a grown dang woman. I’VE GOT THIS.

Ronzo and Susie Q were totally on top of all the big stuff like getting us to the airport and coordinating our itinerary, so the only role left I could volunteer for was the Friend Who Holds Your Hair Back When You’re Bent Over a Toilet. Forget designated driver. I’d be the designated ponytailer. Everybody loves that friend.

As life would have it, those services would not be nearly as necessary as Helping the Other Moms Not Lose Their Sh*t. No, not like that. I mean it quite literally.

It all started before our flight even left, when Susie Q forgot her sweatshirt at the boarding gate and I recognized and rescued it from the stewardess. Then Ronzo left her eyeglasses on the plane, never to be seen again (pun intended). Yup, Mom’s Weekend at IU was starting off more like Seniors Night at AMC theatre.

Then there was the task of navigating the big ass SUV we rented (‘cause 3 moms plus 1 teen on a 4-day weekend equals 8 suitcases). Poor Ronzo could barely drive out of the airport without smacking up a couple jetliners. Things didn’t get any better when we added alcohol. Bloomington is arguably the #1 college town on the planet, and we stopped off at one of my niece’s fave hangouts, Quaff On!, which was overflowing with undergrads and their mamas liquid lunching at two p.m. on a Friday. So when in Rome Indiana... 

Susie Q and Ronzo did mason jar margaritas (only one round for the designated driver, Mom, I swear), and I had some unpronounceable concoction that was basically the inebriated love child of a vodka tonic and a mojito.

And after that—with a base of pork nachos because we are pros—my poor sister-in-law could not find our rental car. You might give her a pass on account of not having her glasses, even though the vehicle was bigger than a stretch Hummer. Buuut, punchline, we were actually in the wrong garage. Can you stand it? It’s one thing to forget where you parked your car, but another thing entirely to forget where your parking lot is.

We did, however find the liquor store parking lot, And it only took three laps around the IU campus. “Hey look kids, there’s Big Red Liquors, and there’s Parliament.” The Big Red clerk made us feel less AARP-card-ish when he asked if we moms were all at least 41. Maybe all our expensive wrinkle cream had been paying off. Then my niece explained that’s an actual thing: they have to proof everyone unless they look 41 or older. So, yeah, totally card-carrying AARPsters in his eyes.

But with age comes wisdom, so we smartly stocked up on stuff to sneak into that night’s frat party. And those flasks of Fireball and water bottle full of tequila were genius because we never saw a lick of liquor in that dark, sticky basement, not even so much as a kegger of Keystone. Maybe they had it somewhere under lock and key and you had to know the password or the secret fraternity handshake or whatever. And maybe the frat boys were whispering to the cute young hotties, “Hey, wanna drink, the kegs over here.” Which would totally explain why the moms got none. But Susie Q’s daughter is super cute and super young, yet nobody gave her the high sign either. And isn’t that what college is all about? Underage drinking? Maybe everyone was on Molly instead, you’d have to be to dance to that EDM blaring over the sound system (by the way young’uns, you did not invent electro drug music. I just liked it better when it was called techno or house, probably because back then I could enjoy a good rave without having to wake up the next day to pack lunches.)

We Ubered to the frat party, because that’s also what the college kids do these days. Also genius! For two bucks and the tap of an app, our daughters will never have to know the walk-of-shame. Heels in hand, mascara down cheeks, stumbling across the quad as the sun comes up... uhm...so I've heard. Anyhoo, the Uber meant we were free to drink and dance and take selfies like we were eighteen again, so we did. And, as you can see, it really was a blast.

That is, until, wait for it…Ronzo lost her phone. And it is one thing to shuffle across an icky frat house floor, your shoes sticking with every step, but just imagine crawling around on it on your hands and knees. Yes, ewwww… Even with all that gooey traction, the phone seemed to grow legs of its own and could not be located. Ronzo was a good sport about the whole thing, laughing it off (I believe they call that The Fireball Effect) but the morning after, we got the biggest laugh of all when we came to learn that the phone had actually been in her daughter’s purse the whole time. Right there next to us on that sticky dance floor. Most likely confiscated with an eye roll for over-Insta-Snapping.

All signs were screaming that we mamas were no longer college material.

We then journeyed to Indianapolis to spend our last night, where my niece bid us goodbye before driving back to campus. And there, in our hotel room, fifty miles away from the limestone-lined sorority and fraternity houses that are her home away from home, we got another sign, but, like, totally the opposite. My niece, my beautiful, wordly, college-savvy niece had forgotten that purse of hers in our hotel room. Schwiiiing! So much for old age being the culprit of all our calamities.

Maybe it’s not us but our world that has gotten too advanced. So many distractions, so much to keep track of, that it’s hard for anyone to keep up.

College was a nice place to revisit, but I can’t help thinking it was all so much simpler my first go-around, when all we had to worry about was where we left our underwear textbooks.

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  1. Hilarious. I hope you are sharing it on the twatter.

  2. THIS is why you are so much more than 'just' a Copy Girl ;-)

    1. Awww thanks Jamie, you just made my day (possibly my week!)


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