Doesn’t it seem like it was just last month I was espousing brilliant nuggets of worldly advice to my college graduate daughter?
That’s because it was just last month.
Well, now it’s time to dig deeper in order to come up with some equally thought-provoking gems with which to pepper my newly-matriculated male offspring, Nicholas. Apparently my wisdom is not one-size-fits-all, like my summer caftans.
Upon reflection, I decided the same syllables thrown at my daughter simply cannot be duplicated for my son. He is 18 years old and rules the world - or at least his smelly, testosterone-fueled corner of it. I have to use Nick-speak in order for him to absorb at least 1/8 of what I chant.
So before he flies away - and he has one wing out the window as I write this, I am going to burrow into the male-oriented section of my left brain and see what I can come up with to sprinkle upon him as he flutters away, en route to higher education, or, in his mind, a higher form of partying.
Here are my pearls of insight and reflection for Nicholas, who will have to wake-up before 3:00 to read them, and that’s being conservative.
1. Pick up your dirty underwear and socks. After four days, crickets start living in there and that smell, my friend, is catastrophic. A dorm room can only contain so much rotting stench.
2. Call your mother. Remember, she almost died spitting you out. You are the reason she tinkles every 13 minutes and has a C-section scar you can drive a Hummer through.
3. If someone says, ”Follow me,” don’t.
4. Do not be tempted to join a fraternity. If you want to drink and act like a buffoon with a large group of boys, just come home and visit your uncles.
5. Don’t take 8 a.m. classes. It’s just not how we’re wired. Our people need sleep. Trust me when I swear to you it’s a recipe for disaster.
6. Call your mother. And apologize for deepening her frown line every single day of your senior year.
7. Don’t drink cheap beer and don’t mix the cheap beer with cheap scotch. You know who taught me that.
8. Don’t trust the first girl who tells you that you look cute in a singlet. Your father did and look how that turned out. In my defense, I didn’t think he could hear me under his headgear and cauliflower ear.
9. Take advantage of your cafeteria meal plan. You’ll be so surprised at all the choices. Despite what I’ve taught you, ketchup is not a vegetable, ice cream is not a substitute for milk, Skittles don’t contain any part of a real fruit and no, a loaded Gordita Supreme from Taco Bell is not a well-balanced meal. I may have led you astray on proper nutrition. That food pyramid was always shaped more like a Frisbee to me.
10. Call your mother.
11. When your father bestowed upon you these words, “Live it up in college, Nick. I hope you do everything I did,” he didn’t mean what you think he meant.
Oh, crap. Of course he did. Ignore him. Ignore him to the third power.
12. Make friends. Make friends that you will have for your entire life. You will know they will be this sort of friend by the way they protect you, shield you from harm and clean up your vomit. Sort of like a mother.
13. Continue to guide your brother during wrestling season. Besides coach, you are his rock during this rather…ummm….strenuous time of year. You’re the only person he will listen to when he’s so exhausted he can’t pick his own nose and so famished that an ice cube is haute cuisine. Also, tell him not to yell at his mother for crying in the face of his starvation.
14. Do not wait until four minutes before class to do your homework. That worked for you in high school (I still don’t know how) but it won’t fly in the big leagues, son.
15. The following excuses will not compute in college:
- My mother put her gum in my Shakespeare report and threw it away.
- My printer broke right in the middle of my Power Point presentation. But it miraculously started working again so my father could print out this excuse to get me out of school at 12:30 for a “doctor’s appointment.”
- My notebook fell in the tub.
- My chem lab fell in the tub.
- My phone fell in the tub so I couldn’t call Carm for the answers to the chem lab.
- I had a glaucoma test this morning and can’t see this exam.
- My blood pressure is very high and any more stress can make me blow up so I am sitting this one out.
16. Eat. Pray. Love
17. Brush. Floss. Wipe. Not on the same body part and not at the same time.
18. Eat. Drink. Be Merry.
19. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
20. Shoot. Score. Shoot.
21. Live. Love. Laugh.
22. Be safe. Be smart. Be happy.
23. Call. Your. Mother.
24. I. Love. You.
Maria Heck’s column appears every other week in the Sunday Dispatch.