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Clean College Sheets

Much Ado About Nothing September 28, 2017

Jean Ciampi - Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing by Jan Ciampi

After nearly two months of living in his college dorm room, my youngest son proudly sent me a text message (because you know college kids can’t actually dial a phone and talk on it, they text), and he proudly declared that he had actually washed his sheets … for the first time. As a mother with at least a marginal sense of parental responsibility, I wasn’t sure if I should be overwhelmed with a sense of “Where oh where did I go wrong” or actually proud that I got this text in September and not March.

I try to place it on a scale of what are normal ranges for college freshman. On one end of the spectrum, I know his roommate is still living out of the suitcase he showed up with. At least my kid has his clothes on hangars. Okay, they were on hangars when I left him at the beginning of the semester, so in my mind, they’re on hangars. Just give me this delusion, will you? On the other end, there are the dorm dwellers with beds that would make a military drill sergeant misty-eyed. Of course, those are the kids who also have mothers driving to campus regularly to pick up laundry and drop off lunch. (I can’t even type that idea without cringing.) I guess that makes him pretty normal.

I’m reasonably certain that he has done laundry since he’s been gone despite the failure to include the bed sheets… reasonably certain, but not wholly positive. Which is why, a few weeks in, I sent a care package with socks and underwear, just in case. He’s probably too old for CPS to take him into custody for parental neglect, but, at the same time, I try to keep up appearances of being a good mother.

So I sent a reply to his text asking if he’d also gotten the sheets back onto the bed. And he had. I mean, to clarify, they were piled up on the bed with the rest of the laundry, so that sort of counts. I’m not sure if the bed was ever actually made again, and, honestly, I didn’t pursue it past there. As a parent, you have to chalk the wins when you can and let go of the rest. He has clean sheets – I’m a happy mom.

Buster and Tom

Much Ado About Nothing April 20, 2017

Buster Ciampi - Jean's Ultra Sweet DogMuch Ado About Nothing by Jan Ciampi

Jean Ciampi is on vacation. This week’s guest columnist is her dog, Buster. As a proud alumni of the Brazoria County SPCA, Buster is currently an advocate for animal rights (with the exclusion of squirrels which he believes get what they deserve).

Yes, she’s on vacation in France, probably eating French fries and French toast. Not that I give one wag. Because, after nearly 14 years, I thought I could be confident that my people would have my best interest at heart. Looking back, I don’t know where that misplaced trust comes from as these are the same people that shipped me off to live in Saudi Arabia for three years, a place known for their disdain of dogs and a sick fondness for cats. But here they are proving again what a disappointment they are.

Although I’m not sure how, as I find no spot where they could have dug under the fence, my people have slipped their leashes and run off, leaving me at home — with the teenage boy. Don’t they realize that SPCA and CPS have a lot of the same letters for a reason?! Who thought this was a good idea? Not me!

The one who is now responsible for feeding me is the one who would probably eat out of a trash can. Seriously, some of the garbage I’ve seen that kid eat! Makes a dog pray that there are no table scraps. And that’s who they left as the keeper of the kibble? I’m going to starve!

I guess I can forget my walks for a while, too, unless there’s a video game for dog walking. Maybe if we get the Wi-Fi password for every house in the neighborhood, he could bring his computer with us and still stay connected. He acts like he’s the only one with business to take care of! Hasn’t he thought that maybe I need to go check my pee-mail, send and receive a few messages from my dog friends?

I suppose it could be worse: I could be at the kennel, that horrible place where I’d get brushed and bathed, three squares, regular romp time, doggy social hour, and my ears scratched. Yeah, good thing they didn’t send me there. So have fun in France, people. The kid and I will be here throwing wild house parties.

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