Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Getting Younger Daughter back into the dorm

Younger Daughter had been lobbying for a couple of days to begin bringing her stuff down from her bedroom into the living room in anticipation of loading the van for her return to college this weekend. We resisted until Sunday, the day she left.

I wrote last year about the mounds of stuff (including a set of dishes!) that Younger Daughter took with her for her freshman year. All of these were to be returned to the dorm this fall -- along with a whole new pile of soft goods and appliances including, among the latter, a small refrigerator inherited from her aunt.

I kept harrumphing about the enormity of the growing pile, the needless volume of stuff, how -- in my day -- I'd packed my clothes in a World War II-surplus duffel and took that and my portable typewriter on the train and the bus back to campus. "Two shopping bags of stuff should be all you need," I told her (repeatedly -- and to no avail). "Get this down to two shopping bags and we can put you on the Harlem bus." Younger Daughter merely laughed at me.

By Sunday afternoon, neither Long Suffering Spouse nor Younger Daughter were laughing any longer. They had assembled the pile with a little assistance from Middle Son -- and none from me. Long Suffering Spouse's withering stare said eloquently, "He who would kvetch must also carry."

Thus, I volunteered to accompany them back to school.

Younger Daughter folded the middle seats of the family van into floor and we began stuffing the vehicle beyond capacity. Beyond reason itself. At some point, Younger Daughter said she'd have to get inside. I could pile groceries on top of her.

I was worried that the driveway would collapse beneath us before we could get underway, but we made it to school without incident.

Unfortunately, we arrived at the same time as many others and were obliged to park about a block away. Younger Daughter will be living this fall in a partially converted monastery. I say "partially" because a religious community is still functioning in part of the building; the chapel inside is breath-takingly beautiful.

The elevator, however, left something to be desired.

Such as size.

And have I mentioned that Younger Daughter was assigned a room on the third floor?

My wife had brought along a dolly to tote some of the heavier bags and boxes, including the previously referenced refrigerator, but she had forgotten to bring the bungee cords necessary to secure the loads. So the dolly was used once, for the refrigerator.

I got the infernal device into the elevator and Long Suffering Spouse jumped in behind me with an armload of stuff. Fortunately we did not use up all of the limited oxygen on the two flight trip up. A line of people was waiting for the elevator's return -- but I did not have room to maneuver the dolly off the elevator. In frustration, I picked up the 'frig' and began walking it down to Younger Daughter's room -- down three stairs and about as far away from the elevator as possible while still being in the same building.

Apparently my face turned such a bright shade of crimson in the course of this exertion that a man whom I took to be much older than myself ran -- sprinted -- down the hallway to offer me assistance. I grunted that I could do it myself. And I did.

Thereafter, though, I used the stairs. I made multiple trips up and down those three flights of stairs toting bag and box after bag and box. In my somewhat sedentary condition, just getting up these stairs totally unencumbered would be something of an achievement. (You may recall my March 2009 post about walking down the stairs here at the Undisclosed Location in an effort to improve my conditioning.)

Through my exertions, I redeemed my right to crab.

We haven't yet heard from Younger Daughter since we left her Sunday. Long Suffering Spouse attributes this to her being busy -- buying her books, starting her classes, renewing her acquaintances from last year. But I imagine her being trapped in her dorm room, piled high atop a heap of stuff, unable to reach the door. Like this scene from A Night at the Opera -- without the Marx Brothers and the engineer, and the assistant engineer, and the manicurist, and the maid....


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

aren't those dorm rooms REALLY small? really really small? maybe not.

anyway that video was so funny, i had not seen it before.

smiles, bee

sari said...

Ok I know it was a nightmare, but it made me laugh. Especially the part about how much oxygen was in the elevator!

The Curmudgeon said...

Bee -- you've never seen "A Night at the Opera?" I've been a Marx Brothers fan since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Although that's hard to measure.

Sari -- laughter was a hoped-for response.