Comedy Stories

Bulldozer & Pushover

I just don’t understand what went wrong.

This is his second apartment, not including his freshman college dorm. Remember when I told you how the college demanded he vacate the dorm’s premises in 24 hours? It was only his second month of college!

You would think they would understand 19-year-old boys better.

It’s ridiculous.

Oh, the usual things. The alcohol wasn’t even his. And it was his roommate’s stash. How would my son even know where to buy drug paraphernalia?

I know, right? He doesn’t even vape! Everyone vapes, but my son knows how toxic that is. He was even telling me today some of the crazy e-liquid flavors other students use, like Worcestershire Sauce and Peanut Butter and Stoned Smurf. Stoned Smurf!

That’s hilarious.

I tried to explain to Housing that my son was just a victim of circumstances.

But did they listen? No.

How was he supposed to remember all those ridiculous dorm rules? And they kept the security deposit!

Yes, I know. I know. Everyone is just out for money. I keep telling my son that.

And apparently I cannot call Meal Services on campus anymore. How can I help him with a balanced diet if I don’t know what the food offerings are? You know these boys. They’ll just eat carbs all day, and he doesn’t need to add anymore pounds to his freshman fifteen. I just wanted to know what was available on the salad bar. He will eat carrots, if they are cut a certain way.

When I saw him at Parent’s Weekend, he looked stuffed to the gills. All those late night pizzas. Bloated. Groggy. Red-eyed. He’s staying up far too late.

It’s the peer pressure, really. At home, I’d just bring his dinner to his room. He’d set the dishes just outside, just so I could get them more easily without disturbing him.

When he was little, I would cut his carrots and grapes and hot dogs into little cubes so he wouldn’t choke. He still likes it that way. Along with his plain pasta. He never liked sauce on anything, and he never wanted any of his food to touch. He was so cute, throwing a tantrum if I tried to get him to try anything new. I used three or four plates on his every meal. And I basically cooked him the same three meals all through high school: pasta, chicken tenders, pizza. He doesn’t like vegetables, but pizza sauce is basically tomatoes, right?

Of course, I did. What mother wouldn’t go to all that trouble?

His trouble is no trouble.

Oh, we’ve missed him while he’s been away at college. I remember picking him up at preschool when he was little. He was so adorable! I brought him a wrapped gift every day, just so he knew how much we loved him.

Yes, we are here with him now.

Well, we had to find another apartment after the incident at his first apartment—a little fire—but everyone got out of the building safely. His roommates were so impossible. They just complained endlessly about every little thing he did. He didn’t wash his dishes. He didn’t take out the trash. He didn’t change his clothes. They drove him crazy! Especially his second semester.

No, his second semester during freshman year. When he was put on academic probation.

Technically he is still a freshman because of the ridiculous amount of work his professors assigned. For the first year? He worked so hard, but failed nearly every class. The buildings are so far apart on this campus. How can they expect students to make it to every single class? And the writing lab didn’t help him at all in writing his papers. I told him to see his professors during their office hours, but they are very inconvenient. It’s like they make more money if they fail the students. It’s not his fault.


We’ve made an appointment to talk to the Dean of Student Affairs. And if we don’t get anywhere with that stuffed shirt, I’m going to walk right in and talk to the Provost. We can spend our money at other colleges. He could transfer.


So we did manage to find a one-bedroom apartment near campus. He seems to like living alone. Apparently after the football game, he and his friends took their tailgating indoors. And now he’s out somewhere.

I don’t know.

There was a problem checking out of his last apartment. Something about smoke damage.


Cigarette smoke, I think. You know how these boys are. He did say some of his friends smoked weed. He doesn’t, I’m sure of it. Maybe they should pay for the security deposit instead of sticking it on my son.

It’s just not fair.

What? Yes, like I said. His apartment was completely wrecked. I just came from cleaning it up. Overflowing ashtrays. Pizza boxes. Smashed beer bottles. I don’t even want to think about some of the things I saw.

The whole place! I don’t know where he meets those friends of his.

But, it’s college, you know?

They need to spread their wings.

When he was little, I always made sure that he had the nicest of friends. If I heard him fighting over a toy or what-have-you, I would end the playdate immediately and send the other child directly home. I even called the high school a few times when some bully would ignore him or not invite him over to a party. It’s just not right to exclude people.

Of course he would get angry and post things on social media, but can you blame him? That’s just how this generation communicates. People take things too seriously. They aren’t really threats.

No, I don’t know where he is right now, but he’ll surface. He always does.

You should have seen the place! All the dishes and linens I had purchased for him—broken and ruined. The furniture I ordered specially for him, including the $3700 Beautyrest mattress? Trashed. It’s the culture these days. None of his friends really value anything.

We also met with some life coaches who work on campus. They work with students who need a little more help in learning organizational skills. This one we like makes his clients take a picture of toothbrushing and going to class, just to keep them motivated and progressing forward. It’s really a valuable tool as these kids learn adulting.

He’s just like the other students on campus. Maybe a couple of bumps here and there, but we’re ready to help him out whenever he needs it. It’s just lately he’s been a target for trouble.

And I just don’t understand what went wrong.

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