Weekend Respite

We’re back! We left at 8:00 this morning for a meeting with our financial planner in Tysons Corner. When that was over we jumped back in the car and drove from there a couple hours to our son’s university, to meet him at his dorm and bring him home for the weekend. This involved stopping at the parking office for a parent’s parking pass, and then meeting him at his room and handing over his concert dress clothes, which we’d brought with us from home. That’s when he told us he did not have his room key, because he was pretty sure he left it in Psych class last night. That sounded like it could become a problem. But we were in the room already, so it wasn’t an immediate one.

We weren’t sure what to expect of his dorm room, after a month of its being inhabited by two 19-year-olds. Well, the first thing we noticed was the many plastic bags full of trash that were piled up inside the door, near the kitchen. (His dorm building is set up like self-contained apartments.) Instead of just taking it down to the trash room every time they filled one, they’d left them sitting there to dispose of at some unspecified later time. Because we had no room key, my husband and son took the trash down while I stayed in the apartment to let them in when they came back up. We suggested he email the professor, in case she’d found the key, so he did that.

Once they’d carried away the trash bags and I’d dumped down the sink the really disgusting half-gallon of extremely old milk in the refrigerator, the place wasn’t that bad. Of course it was cluttered. But the bathroom and kitchen didn’t seem dirty — I think they must have cleaned both at some point. The whole place could use some straightening up. And he may have to clean off the stove top; he said his roommate set it on fire last week while cooking spaghetti! The burner was pretty dirty; I expect that whatever was spilled on the burner is what actually caught fire. And no, I did not offer to clean it for him. Dumping the lumpy, separated milk was as far as I was willing to venture into the realm of cleaning the place for him.

We took him and his girlfriend to lunch at his favorite Italian restaurant in the area, which has a spacious outdoor patio. Then we returned to the dorm, despite knowing we could not get into his room without that missing key.

He was expecting his roommate home soon, but he wasn’t sure how soon. Then his girlfriend said, “I can ask my roommate to let you in. She won’t write you up for it.” Aha! A secret weapon in the fight against lost keys: a girlfriend whose roommate is an R.A.! She had a key, and let him into his room. Then we started packing up his laundry to take home. Before we finished, his girlfriend came back again — with his room key! Her roommate had checked the resident staff office in the building and found that someone had turned in the key there. His key is on a distinctive lanyard that made it easy to identify.

His own roommate — the other Jonathan — did arrive then, so we were at least able to say hi. Then we finished packing up his laundry and an overnight bag, and made the drive home.

And now he’s here until Sunday. It’s a quick trip, but he said it feels good to get away. And it’s good to have him here.

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