Tuesday, September 26, 2017

It's impossible not to notice that America is split in two these days. Usually the New York Times just adds fuel to the fire, but every once in a while they print an article that brings Republicans and Democrats together to agree in one voice, "What kind of shit is this?"

Dorm Essentials You Shouldn’t Forget (and Some You Should Skip)

Everyone in your life will have advice on what you absolutely need to take to college. Multicolored sticky notes? Crucial. A rug by your bed? You’ll die without one!

HAILEY: Grandma, I'm going away to college tomorrow. I'll be back in a few months but I just wanted you to know I love you and I'll miss you.

GRANDMA: Is that you, Hailey? Remember to put a rug by your bed or YOU'LL DIE.

Needless to say, when I left for college it was somewhat different:

ROMAN: Hey, folks! I'm going away to college tomorrow. I'll miss you all but I'll see you in a year or two.

DAD: Okay, have a good time. [PAUSE] And Roman, if you ever need anything, remember this: LOTS OF PEOPLE NEED SHIT.

But from my experience dorming for the past four years, I’ve learned that smaller, sometimes forgotten items can sometimes have the biggest impact.

Sure, I was grateful I had a hanging shoe organizer...

ROMAN: Holy shit, that was a fucked-up day! I spent six hours in line to get my financial aid forms, three hours in line to sign up for classes, and ate nothing but a Cup O´ Noodles for lunch because I only had eighty cents.

HAILEY: I nearly couldn't find my yellow pumps. I pity the poor kids who aren't organized and have to wear, like, espadrilles. [SHE GLANCES OVER AT MY FEET, THEN SAYS TO HERSELF:] Look first, then talk, Hailey. Look first then talk.

...but it’s little things like pot holders or specialized kitchenware that made my dorm life a little more comfortable.

HAILEY: Goddammit Mom, how many times do I have to tell you? COLLEGE. STUDENTS. LIKE. CREPES.

Everyone knows to bring a good pair of noise-reducing headphones and a bathroom caddy for dorm living...

DAD: Roman, what do you mean, "What are testicles?" You're shitting me. One of your friends must have told you, right? You gotta be shitting me. [PAUSE] Anyway, I'm glad we had this talk. Remind me to tell you tomorrow about bathroom caddies.

...so here are a few items that will lighten your load in small but frequent ways....

Not saying anything here other than maybe Hailey was buying potholders while I was learning English.

...plus a few things you’re better off leaving at home.

What You’ll Want to Have


There are plenty of ways to put them to use: Hang it on the door to leave messages and doodles for roommates and use it as a conversation starter for making friends on the hall.


Better yet, use it to draft texts to the cute member of your writing seminar who gave you a phone number without worrying about hitting “send” before you’re ready.

Hey Brad. I met you today and just wanted to say hi. Hi. ;) Wait, no -- :) No, that looks stupid. ;> OH GOD THAT IS THE WORST ONE YET WHY NOT JUST TYPE "MY NAME'S HAILEY AND I'M AN IDIOT!"? Well, at least I didn't accidentally send it, but WHY THE FUCK IS THIS ON MY DOOR?


Staplers are useful! Breaking news, I know. Staplers in printing centers are often either woefully absent or empty. (Alternately, use it to make it that much harder for your roommates to eat your leftovers.)

ON WHITEBOARD IN DIFFERENT HANDWRITING: Is anybody's mom or dad a therapist? I don't wanna point fingers but somebody's stapling her food shut now.

Portable phone charger

Inevitably, there will be free food being given out somewhere on campus. Don’t be the person who misses out just because your phone is dead.

HAILEY: Are those sandwiches? Hi, my name's Hailey. What is this "Scientology" anyway?

Beach towel

Grab this watermelon print towel from Target during one of those last-minute supply runs — it’s nice and big for extra space (or throwing impact for those disagreements with your roommate).

HAILEY: I'm sorry, Raddison, really sorry. I won't do it again if you promise not to report me. [PAUSE] Really, it can still be assault if the towel has watermelons on it?

What You’re Better Off Without

Rugs sound like a good idea. They keep your feet from hitting the cold linoleum floor in the morning, add some color to your room and make your tiny box look a little less institutional. But the harsh truth is this: Rugs are a bad idea.

No. NO. NOOOOOOOOOOOO! Wait: you mean in a dorm room or in the world as it stands today?

In all my years of dorm life, I never met someone who vacuumed or washed a rug regularly enough that it wasn’t just a patch of dirt and germs.

I can top that: in all my years of dorm life, I NEVER MET ANYONE WHO OWNED A RUG. Here's a question that never came up:

ROMAN: Should we make a midnight run to Jack In The Box, buy an ounce of sinsemilla from the Hawaiian guy down the hall, or get a kicky little cotton throw that will brighten up our dreary surroundings?

That (decorative) glass decanter? It will be broken.

HAILEY: Ohmigosh, it's a text from Brad! What's this? He doesn't see a future between us? He doesn't like my whiteboard doodles and either sweet or savory crepes. [THROWS DECANTER AT GROUND, WHERE IT SHATTERS INTO A MILLION PIECES] Shit. That's why grandma said, "Bring a rug."

That limited-edition Lana Del Rey vinyl that you never play because you paid so much money and elbowed so many other hipsters to get? Snapped in half, or at the very least scratched.

Hailey, you have a shoe organizer and watermelon-patterned beach towels. Those weren't "other" hipsters.

That stuff can wait until you have a trustworthy group of friends or your own apartment (or until dorm parties in your room are a thing of the past).

Got all that? Good. Now I've got to go draw a unicorn on my whiteboard, and these crepes aren't going to eat themselves.


Yet Another Steve said...

The horrors of dorm life are nearly fifty years behind me now, and I'd almost forgotten them. Thanks for re-abrading that old roa rash, Roman!

RomanHans said...

That's why this article pissed me off so much. At my school I saw kids whose parents rented trucks so they could bring chairs and couches and air conditioners and winter wardrobes. I had to buy cement blocks for a quarter each to make a bookcase.