Thursday, August 07, 2008

Furnishing Younger Daughter's dorm room

Younger Daughter will be leaving for college in a couple of weeks. I played hooky from work a couple of days ago and wound up accompanying Younger Daughter and Long Suffering Spouse to the local mall on a procurement expedition. Now I know what the modern girl absolutely needs for the dorm.

You already know, I suppose, about the extra long sheets. Some day I would like to meet the wretch that sold every college in the country on the idea that all dorm beds must be "extra long twin."

This -- for the few of you who don't know -- is a size that exists nowhere else. That means we dumb parents must buy new sheets every time we send a kid off to school -- because nothing in the linen closet at home will fit.

Yes, I would really like to know how much money this Bedsheet Barnum laid out to get all the colleges to buy into this travesty. Of this much I am certain: If this person also sells sheets (and of course he or she must), he or she never had to trifle with FAFSA forms or other college loans.

But new bedsheets aren't enough for the modern girl contemplating college dorm life. One must surely have a comforter -- a big, bulky cross between a blanket and a down coat.

There is one small problem: The typical dorm room is large enough for Student A and Student B, two extra long twin beds, two desks, maybe two dressers or maybe two closets. Seldom is a room large enough to have both dressers and closets. There is a community bathroom somewhere down the hall. If you're lucky, it's restricted to members of a single gender, at least after visiting hours.

Dorm room beds are frequently bunked because, otherwise, Student A might have to crawl over Student B to obtain access to the room's door... and escape to the bathroom.

In the middle of the night, this can be quite disconcerting.

With the beds bunked, Student A and Student B can sit at their desks, facing away from each other, the backs of their chairs just touching. If they raise their respective arms, both scholars can touch both the bunk beds and front wall of the room.

If either of them wants to pull out a comforter, the other better plan on going to the library. Or home for the weekend. There just isn't room for all of them.

I tried to explain all this the other day to Younger Daughter. I tried. And I was ignored. And Long Suffering Spouse overruled me: We therefore acquired a hideous, loudly striped comforter, the dominant color of which is a garish neon pink. Extra long twin, of course.

But we had only just begun.

Younger Daughter is lobbying for a television in her room. I say if she wants to watch television at night she can just stay home and look for a job.

I've won this battle. Temporarily.

But it turns out that this seeming victory was really a tactical defeat: While I was fulminating against a TV, Younger Daughter had intrigued Long Suffering Spouse on the idea of a microwave.

Younger Daughter sneakily appealed to Long Suffering Spouse's problem-solving abilities. The dorm, apparently, has restrictions on the size and power consumption of microwave ovens. Once Long Suffering Spouse accepted the challenge of finding a device meeting these specifications she would no longer consider whether a microwave was necessary.

Fathers of the world, hear me! We are paying for dorm food. Three meals a day, even on weekends. There is no need at all for a microwave -- but Younger Daughter now has one of these, too.

But the real capper came when Long Suffering Spouse and Younger Daughter picked out a set of dishes.

"A set of dishes?" I bellowed. "Will you be hosting dinner parties in your room?"

I went on in this vein for some time, quite persuasively, I thought.

But I persuaded only myself: We bought the dishes, too, and I was taken home, so that Younger Daughter and Long Suffering Spouse could continue their quest to acquire more stuff for the dorm without any further interruption.


Jean-Luc Picard said...

Financing for YD's college looks like it will be tough...for you!

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

a set of dishes? really? good grief!

smiles, bee

Fran said...

Trust are in good company! My husband was banned from any further shopping trips with us. And that makes him very happy...not to mention us too.


Toni Lea Andrews said...

Where were the "extra long twin" beds when I was in college? My toes hung over the edge for several semesters...

Cristina said...

I will be doing this shopping next week with my son. Dishes! Good grief! I will interested to see how my shopping adventure compares to yours. He is going to have this fridge/microwave combo thing in his room that we natuarlly are renting because I guess they may run out of food on campus or god forbid he would have to walk to a cafeteria to get food when hungry.

Kacey said...

This same stuff will be coming back home in a few weeks, when YD finds she has no place to put it. As to extra long hubby and I have them pushed together on one king headboard. They are the gatching, vibrating things and I make the bottom as two units and the top as one we can each go up or down and jiggle independently. Tell LSS that the jersey (tee shirt kint) sheets from "The Company Store" in Wisconsin are the best! You can find them online in The Kids section of that store.

Anonymous said...

Stop thinking like a man when it comes to dorm décor. You’ll be a lot happier when you do.

Btw, I now have a new website. It’s Would you mind changing the link in your blogroll?

Good luck with that whole dorm thing. Just remember that you don’t have a chance in hell against the women in your life.