Hide your booze. Hide your bowls. Put on your best puppy dog eyes, and wait for campus to fill with tuition-payers and child-rearers. It’s parents weekend.
It comes just in time: As we all run out of the last of our laundry detergent, the final morsels of food in our refrigerators and our GWorld money, parents swoop in to the rescue with generous intentions of real meals and Georgetown shopping trips.
This weekend, though, also marks our parents’ introduction into a world that exists almost entirely in their absence – a world in which Thursday nights no longer mean ballet class or soccer practice, but a stint on U Street followed by a hungover Friday history recitation. An existence filled with walks of shame.
This weekend, awkward encounters are amplified. Suddenly your father is shaking the hand of the kid from Room 213, where you woke up just a few hours before. Or for some reason, your mother is hugging the girl that all your roommates have brought home at least once. Incredulously, you look on as your parents meet the parents of the boy who took you on a “date” last week.
If that’s not horrible enough, the questions that follow exacerbate the discomfort. “How do you know each other?”
Try to avoid it: Suddenly show a lot of interest in your mom’s week-old haircut she keeps mentioning, even if it still looks exactly as it has since you were in second grade.
Try to lie about it: Telling your parents that you met in an economics lecture may be better than telling them that you met him outside the weird bathrooms at Cafe Asia.
Or accept it, and watch in horror as parents slip right through the barriers of distant phone calls and straight into the debauchery that has come to define your college life. Attribute the awkwardness to unfortunate circumstances, and acknowledge that Colonials Weekend brings so much more than picked-up checks at Bourbon Steak.
Suddenly, all the new clothes and free food seem irrelevant. Your only response to any question becomes, “Funny you should ask, Mom.”