Hey, its Fall time and you know what that means? It means the general decay of nature, lots of taupe and burnt orange and, most importantly of all, millions of college students pilgrimage back to their respective places of education. And because of that, Felix Exi is taking some time to remind you what to do when your parents come by homecoming weekend to check out your new sick dorm room.
So Your Parents Are Visiting Your College Dorm.
You did remember to clean up a bit, right?
You didn’t, did you? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
I’m guessing that you either A) closed down the bar last night, or B) simply forgot about this visit entirely. On average, an American college student only has 90 minutes to prepare for a parental visit and those 90 minutes are most often hungover and spent watching reruns of Law and Order. Don’t panic; it’s going okay. Since I, too, am immature, irresponsible, and a heavy drinker, I can guide you through this. Just follow these steps.
1. Take a look around the place that you live.
This is integrally important. You remember that scene in Black Hawk Down when Owen Wilson crash lands in the hell pits of Eastern Europe? That’s basically where you’re at right now.
2. Filter what you just saw through that fact that your mother and/or father are going to be there in an hour and a half.
Even though you don’t mind that the bread underneath your bed is growing new and exotic fungi, Dearest Mummy may. Pretend, for a moment, that you’re capable of being a functioning member of society.
Got ya, JK., JK. Don’t panic. Don’t ever panic. You remember what Owen Wilson did? He had to hide in a pile of rotting corpses just to avoid those post-Soviet bloc lunatics. He didn’t panic and neither can you.
4. Remove evidence of substance abuse.
A. Are you the kind of person who displays all of their empty liquor bottles? You are? Coooooool. I bet your bros love it. Stop doing that. I don’t care if you just finished collecting every flavor of Burnett’s, you need to throw that shit away. Right. The Hell. Now. Unless you’ve got a shelf full of Johnnie Walker Blue, no one cares about the brand or abundance of your alcohol consumption. (If you do have a shelf full of Johnnie Walker Blue, then you clearly have some sort of in with the distiller, and I need you to email me immediately).
B. Empty out your ashtray. Wait a second, do you actually have an ashtray?! What is wrong with you?
No matter what you’re using an ashtray for, you should absolutely not being doing it in your dorm room. You’re pretty much guaranteeing that the smell of whatever your smoking is going to linger, meaning that you’ve just accepted that you’re going to be cited by the hall staff every time they walk down the hall. (Note: in a couple of years, when The Blue Fairy turns you into a real boy and you get an apartment, your landlord is going to laugh in your face as they pocket your security deposit.)
C. While I would never promote the use of drugs, I recognize that there is a segment of the population that feels otherwise. So, in no particular order;
Make sure that all mirrors have been dusted and hung back up on the wall
Develop diabetes severe enough to require daily insulin injections via syringe
Learn how to fold rolling papers into swans
Dispose of any duplicate copies of Requiem for a Dream or Pink Floyd’s The Wall you might have accumulated
The reason that “clean” is in quotation marks is that you simply do not have the time to actually clean your place. This will be just one of many times in your adult life when you need to readjust your goals to match reality. The best you can hope for in the time remaining to you is convince them that you are living in a pigsty, rather than the den of immorality in which you’ve been fermenting for the last few months. You need to come to terms with the fact that your parents are going to be disappointed in your living space, and by extension, you. It’s not the end of the world.
What you need to do is go over every inch of space and ask the following question; “Why is this that color?” If you have an answer to that question that you feel comfortable giving to your parents, then you need to leave it as it is. You need to focus on the messes that have no reasonable explanation, or worse yet, messes that do have explanations, but that you can’t give while you look into the eyes of the people who changed your diapers. Footprints near the door? Leave it. Footprints on the ceiling? Those need to be taken care of.
(Note: Substitute “Why does this smell that way?” where appropriate).
6. Turn yourself into a temporary pariah.
One of the nicest things about living in a dorm is that you live with several hundred of your friends and peers, which means that Fun will often just knock on your door. But, if you haven’t caught on yet, this list is all about hiding all of the fun you’ve been having. The last thing you want in the middle of this deception is a stream of friends and jilted lovers (Don’t say I never gave you the benefit of the doubt).
Now, I don’t know about your friends, but if I had told my friends from the dorms not to embarrass me, they would have cut 6 classes just to think of ways to embarrass me to literal death. Your best strategy is to give them a selfish reason to stay away; tell them you have a mild case of the flu. This will keep most people away for fear of becoming ill themselves, while not being severe enough for people who genuinely care about you (laaaamme) from coming to nurse you back to health. Of course, everyone’s college experience is different. If you go to a liberal arts school, spreading the word that you have crabs will probably get an equivalent response.
Good luck, and happy lying to people who love you!