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Monday, Mar 4, 2024

Reflections on Family Weekend

Author: [no author name found]

Hide the beer! Stuff those stolen dishes under the bed! Put on that shirt grandma made you! No, no! Faster, you idiot! They'll be here any minute! But, oh no! It's too late. (Cue horror music) The door opens, and —gasp — it's your parents!
And they brought cake. Thanks, Mom, it looks great. No, no, I've been eating healthy. I haven't been eating pizza three meals a day. Classes you ask? Oh, I'm doing fine, been studying a lot. Yeah, you know me: study first, social life second. Oh you saw the sign on my door? Oh, see they call me "dogman" because...
It is at this moment you think: I'll never make it till Sunday.
It's Parents Weekend. For some of you, this weekend will be one of the best performances of your lifetime. I've witnessed some great performances so far, some worthy of Oscars. One kid convinced his parents that he needed a car so that he could go to all the libraries of other colleges. His research demanded it, after all.
For me, this is sheer joy. My parents don't come this weekend, so I can just watch and laugh at the drama that unfolds. I've broken this entire process down into several quick phases.
The first stage is the cleaning stage. You put on that ugly sweater granny made you (the one with the pink bunny on it). You comb your hair. You do the laundry, for the first time. Ever. You're about as befuddled as President Bush with a jigsaw puzzle. You're so hopeless at it that all of your clothes come out green. You don't know how, but they are all green. Now you will always look like a big goofy leprechaun. But the luck of the Irish obviously wasn't with you there, dude. The only thing that isn't green is the one pair of khakis you own. They are two sizes too small, they make you look like Steve Urkel, but oh, how your mother loves them!
Second is the panic stage. This is best illustrated in the beginning of this article; you're in shock, disbelief and couldn't be moving faster if they had blasted an air raid siren. And they probably should. I'd love to hear some sirens and a loud speaker announcing the approach of parental figures. Or better yet, get a pony express person, Paul Revere-style, yelling, "The parents are coming! The parents are coming! Hide the booooze!" And this brave forerunner can ride around campus accordingly. Now there's a true patriot.
The third stage is the dinner experience. You've met the parents, and now you've strategically maneuvered them so they miss meeting all of your moron friends. So you take them to someplace nice. You think, "Hell, I'm home free. I'm off campus, who could possibly identify me during this thoroughly humiliating process?" Me. I'm going around with a group of the giggliest and most attractive girls on campus to every restaurant within a 30-mile radius. Fear, for I will find you. While you're being utterly embarrassed by the giggling girls, I'll make a pass at your mother. To make matters worse, you'll trip over yourself and somehow get food on those khakis. And your kid sister will say something cute like "Looks like [your name here] had an accident!"
So, sit back, enjoy Parents Weekend. It's a force of nature, something like rain or hail or the Jets losing. Me, I'll be here, with the giggling girls, and the tape of it all. Enjoy.

Chris Holt is a first-year from New Jersey.


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