Dorm Rooms are Not for Sixty Year Olds

Friday, June 03, 2011

Dorm Rooms are Not for Sixty Year Olds
Being the cooperative good spouse that I am, I agree to attend the 100th Anniversary of the St. Olaf Choir with my husband, John. He was president of this choir of all choirs while attending St. Olaf and it may have saved his life because it kept him in school instead of Vietnam.

St. Olaf is a lovely campus in Northfield, Minnesota in the eastern part of the state. John was born here and saw a t-shirt last night that he now must have---Northfield Townie. There are few townies among the alums so it would be a novelty for him and a big laugh for his mother who gave birth to him while she and his dad were students here also.

Minnesota weather can be capricious at this time of year. I debated about bringing my full length fur coat because I’m terrified of being cold every time we come north. The joke’s on me. The thermometer is supposed to top out at 90 degrees today and this ancient dorm we’re staying in has no air-conditioning!

When we picked up our registration packets yesterday, the lovely lady with a Minnesota Nice smile handed us the envelope and said, “You will be staying in Melby”---like it was an honor bestowed on few. “Your sheets, towels and blankets are provided along with a few toiletries.”

I’m thinking, “Way to go, Alumni Office. This sounds like the Westin.”

Then John asks, “Is Melby air-conditioned?”

Her smile (Minnesota Nice is not a myth.) never wavers as she replies, “Oh, no, sir. Did you bring a fan?”

Possessing more Southern Sass than Minnesota Nice, I wanted to reply, “Lady, we flew Delta. They barely permit luggage, never mind a fan.”

The now very irritating smile replies, “Have a nice weekend.” I finally understand after marrying in to this state that Minnesota Nice really means, “Sucks for you that you didn’t bring a fan.”

We find the ancient castle that is to be our home for the weekend and discover that our room is on the third floor. John quickly remembers that this dorm was here when he was and that there are no elevators. We never travel light for three reasons, #1 we bring as much technology as clothing, #2 the size of John’s shoes and #3 the number of shoes I find it necessary to bring. Fortunately, after the first load up the stairs two current Ole girls carry the heaviest bags and John’s ego manages to bear it.

It’s a dorm room. A dorm room is a dorm room. It looks astonishingly like my room at Georgetown College in the Sixties. Two twin beds, two desks, two closets. Seems doable for a weekend. I can bear to sleep without John for three nights.
To say that I’m idiosyncratic about my sleeping habits is like saying Charlie Sheen is a wee bit unstable. I’m deliriously quirky. What I can’t bare to sleep without is my 600 thread count sheets, my second pillow and my king-size Tempur-pedic bed. The sheets feel like medium grade sandpaper but very, very thin and loosely stretched over a plastic mattress. The pillows are also plastic covered so we can have the delightful experience of sleeping with the sounds of a rain coat. And just in case, we experience the “other” Minnesota---the one with freezing temperatures in July--- there is a wool blanket. I’m allergic to wool! I don’t want it near my bed or touching my sandpaper sheets.

Ok, Princess, you can do this for one weekend.

Then I grab the washcloth and towel and head to the bathroom down the hall. I now know why northern women have such beautiful skin. All these years I thought it was because they get so little sun damage. No, it’s the towels that feel like a cheese grater scraping across your face! Calling these linens a loofah would be far too generous a description of their exfoliating power. These towels could sand your deck, grate your cheese and then exfoliate your face. Is fabric softener against the law up North?

As we finally snuggle down in our plastic twin beds, I drape my spring coat over my legs, my cotton hoodie over my shoulders and take extra Benadryl in hopes I can make it through the night.

Dorm rooms are not for sixty year olds!  

updated: 6 years ago

TAGS: reunions : college : choir : dorm rooms : :


Brandi Monday, June 6th 2011 5:52AM

You are, indeed, a much better woman than I, because at the first sound of "raincoat bed" I would've kissed the hubby goodbye and ran off to the closest "luxury" hotel I could find. To say that I'm a wee bit particular about my sleep surroundings would also be like saying that Charlie Sheen is a bit unstable. LOL!

Thanks, Brandi. It's so nice to know there are others out there who understand the lifestyle of a princess!

ShirleySunday, June 5th 2011 7:29PM

This is hilarious, Brenda. You had me from the first sentence. Great comedic gift. Thanks for a good laugh on a Sunday evening.

Thanks, Shirley. I'm sure you understand some of the idiosyncrasies of a specific religious or ethnic group. Stay tuned for today's post!