Moving the Ball Down the Field

September 7, 2016

Inching closer and closer to readying the boy for college.  Today…


What a racket. You go into the store and head for the college section. There, you find print outs of the dorm room needs for dozens of colleges and universities across the country. They’ve got this down and seem to provide absolutely everything a kid could need… one-stop-shopping. This late in the season, however, you’re dealing with the dregs in terms of inventory (we’re at the tail end of the college dorm season because most of the UCs start so late in September). Still… enough to choose from.

We filled our cart… about $500 in sheets (I’m not sure you can find twin X-long anywhere else), mattress cover, towels, laundry bag, shower caddy, charging station, desk lamp, etc., etc., etc.  Peter’s not a particularly enthusiastic shopper and will be an even less enthusiastic room setter upper.. but he’s equipped.

Me: (All eager) Here’s a cool rug.

Him: No (which was more like a grunt).

Me: (Still eager) How about a back rest for your bed? 

Him: (Distracted, looking at something on his phone) No.

Me: (Less eager) Do you think you’ll want some pictures or posters on your wall?

Him: (Sideways glance) No.

Me: (Resigned) Well, we can take your guitar mount and see if there’s a good wall to hang it on.

Him: (Annoyed) I’m not taking my guitar. Can we be done? 

I’m sure if he were my daughter instead, we’d be framing special photos of friends to hang above her bed, and we’d decorate with twinkly lights and rugs and we might hang Indian tapestries from the ceiling. It’s a given we’d have color coordinated bedding and monogrammed towels. Of course, thought would go into desk organization and lighting, and calls would certainly be made to the future roommate about coordinating the mini fridge, coffee maker and microwave.

I don’t remember much about outfitting and decorating my own dorm room, but I do remember a stereo, albums and posters. At eighteen, I was still in my cute phase and didn’t consider it the slightest bit embarrassing to bring stuffed animals.  (Now that mortifies me, but then it didn’t.)


Peter is not me, not a young woman, not sentimental and, above all, does not want to stand out (or commit any faux pas). He did fine.

He’ll figure out how all this dorm stuff works after a few weeks. If needed, he can embellish as he goes along.

And truly, his lack of enthusiasm was likely a combination of his genuine disinterest in shopping, plus a bit of anxiety. I shall consider it a successful outing and another item off the list.


Also in the category of moving the ball down the field: Jim and I attended Kaiser’s hip replacement class today.

Here is one of three presenters….


In ninety minutes, we heard all about how to prepare, what to expect on surgery day, and what to do to ensure a successful recovery. We also learned that Kaiser is an industry leader, setting the trend in modern joint replacements with a program called ERAS… Enhanced Recovery After Surgery. Essentially, it’s all aimed at getting you home. That’s why all the effort to so thoroughly prepare you on all aspects of the process, including lining up your caregivers and preparing your home environment. Half the people getting total joint replacements will go home the same day. The other half will stay one night, and one night only. Everyone will be up and walking shortly after the surgery. We all go home with walkers. We all get oxycodone and dilaudid.

I’m tellin’ ya.




8 Responses to “Moving the Ball Down the Field”

  1. Adam Rivard Says:

    “Can we be done?”

    If I had a nickel….

    I haven’t shared at all about my son’s move to college; too much emotion, too much longing, too much anxiety, and that’s all just from me. But reading that quote, a quote I’ve heard so many times over these last weeks of preparation and begrudging participation; well, just let me say thank you for putting words to this new and uncomfortable reality.

    • Kari Says:

      Aw.. Adam. For sure it’s going to be a huge transition for all of us. Thanks for weighing in.

      Where’d Dante head off to?

  2. Elliot Margolies Says:

    In my bookgroup we have one Kaiser hip replacement and hers went great; I did a storytelling workshop 2 weeks ago at the company (Stryker) that probably will have manufactured your new hip.
    As for the shopping excursion…..brutal. I think I had a poster or two from the Art Institute but after I was there for awhile. As we hauled in Alex’s stuff to his new room, the campus police were leading a kid out who had unpacked his bong and put it out on his desk. So be appreciative of small favors.
    On Saturday, I’ll see my friend Cooper Beaman who is also leaving for freshman year at UCSD. They have athletics (he swims) and love of science in common, but probably would say “no” to us putting them together.

    • Kari Says:

      Do you know which college? Peter’s at Revelle. Yeah, Cooper and Peter could be soulmates, but I’ve learned that trying to set him up is a sure way to ensure failure. Hope their paths cross. Peter’s taking chemistry, two math classes and a linguistics class…

  3. Elliot Margolies Says:

    Cooper is also registered for math and chem.

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