Sunday, September 5, 2010

More adventures in DC

Last weekend I stayed at No. 1 son's apartment during a whirlwind "Mom this really would be the most convenient weekend for you to come down and help me set up my apartment" trip to Washington, DC, on behalf of the College Junior -- also known as No. 2 son.

Needless to say, my credit card was well-used, I was grateful No. 1 was available to help with the unloading (this photo was taken after the job was completed) and I was only moderately concerned about being decapitated by a loose baking pan if forced to stop suddenly while piloting the packed Taurus some 500 miles down traffic-jammed I-95.

I was slightly more apprehensive about my first experience lodging with one of my children in his own domain, but hoped it would offer the rare opportunity for Mother-Son bonding without the use of a credit card. (Husband No. 1 managed to avoid the dreaded DC trek because there wasn't any room for him in the car.)

I must say that spotting the handcuffs in No. 1 son's bedroom didn't shock me as much as it might have if he weren't a police officer. The gun safes didn't bother me much, either. (As noted previously, I spend a lot of time in the Land of Denial). But it's been a long time since I've slept on a mattress on the floor -- and this trip reminded me why. It also took a great deal of restraint to not do any straightening of his bedroom. (Unfortunately he seems to have inherited -- and exceeded -- his mother's belief that neatness is for people too lazy to look for things).

Although I knew enough to pack my own towel and facecloth, it didn't occur to me that neither my son nor his cop roommate -- both of whom have closely shaved heads -- might not possess a hairdryer. As a result, I spent the weekend apologizing to friends and strangers about my hair. For a while, I also was concerned I might have to apologize for my scent because guys who use that manly smelling body wash stuff apparently see no need to own bar soap. When I mentioned this, No. 1 son's response was: "You expected me to go out and buy soap for you?"

Hmmm. I considered whether to remind him of all the things I've gone out and bought for HIM over the years -- or even the occasions I battled other crazy parents in Toys R Us to obtain a coveted action figure. But since he was cranky after just five hours of sleep in 48 hours, I opted instead to use the sink-side "Shea butter" pump soap (and can now report they could advertise it as offering a less masculine odor than Axe body wash).

Apparently No. 1 also saw no need to go out and buy coffee, despite his mother's well-known habits in that area, nor anything that could masquerade as breakfast. It seems that guys who work until midnight or 4 a.m. don't eat regular breakfast food at the end of their sleep cycles.

Their schedules also made for interesting logistics. The plan seemed so logical beforehand: No. 1 would leave for work at 7:30 p.m., I would sleep in his bed and be up by the time he returned from work the next morning so I could let him in (the keys couldn't be duplicated) to get his rest. The roommate would still be asleep, having returned after midnight. The flaw in the plan was I didn't realize that my son actually gets off work at 4 a.m. When he saw the shock on my face, he graciously agreed to go to the gym or finish his paperwork so he would not return until my normal 6 a.m. waking time. When he hadn't showed by 6:30 a.m., I called his cell phone and was advised he didn't know when he'd be returning as they'd arrested some guys with guns and would be going to court soon. This is the kind of reality that makes it difficult to fall back to sleep, I assure you.

Also difficult was ignoring the chaos in an apartment shared by two men who obviously don't spend a lot of time thinking about housekeeping judging by the fact that some of the items that hadn't been put away when I first saw the apartment in May were still laying out three months later. I couldn't help noting, however, that nothing blocked the view of the big screen TV.

I've decided I probably ought to rethink my lodging arrangements for future solo trips to DC. Given that No. 2 son's place also has beds on the floor -- combined with the slightly seedy feel of a college apartment (plus two roommates) -- his new home isn't such a good option, either.

Perhaps future mother-son bonding should occur at someplace like the Hilton -- where I hear they offer soap, hair dryers, coffee, and even beds on box springs.


Paula Butturini said...

Can I tell you how glad I am that One-And-Only Daughter is still only in the equivalent of 7th grade, and I don't have to worry about this stuff for at least FIVE, count 'em, FIVE more years??????????????????????

Pat Remick said...

Train her now -- Obviously, I have been deficient in training my children to host their mother! Learn from my mistakes.

MaxWriter said...

I can foresee sleeping at my #2 son's place this year - it's a nice large coop house in Brookline, and he would give me his tidy bed and take one of the many couches. But in the previous apartment - no way! You're courageous, Pat.


Karen Kullgren said...

Definitely will put you up here next time! Just holler...

Sheila P. said...

Sounds as though you stayed at "The Classically Clueless Man Hotel"
Sorry but I laughed out loud when I read it. I'm all for hotels - love the kids but nice to have your own space.

Miss Buffie said...

There's even more room now at the Hartchak's NoTelMoTel now that your godson is matriculating at an institution of higher learning in far-off Fredericksburg.

ESP said...

Next time, stay with MEEEEEE!!! We have real beds, semi-clean baths (I do have two teenage boys in the house....) and a room to yourself. esp

Candy said...

I think when they unraveled the human genome they overlooked some housekeeping chromosome that appears to be gender-related. The difference between my son's apt. fridge contents (scary takeout container of indeterminate age, bottled water, beer) and my daughter's (milk, cheese, eggs, bread, ice cream) is proof.