August 15, 2010

Then...and Now

Almost exactly 32 years ago, when I was barely seventeen, my parents and I flew from LAX to DFW and moved me into my second floor dorm room in one of the all-girl freshman dorms at SMU. They've since been renovated, but at the time the rooms were spare and small, to say the least. Ours, like the others, was long and narrow, with perhaps two feet in-between the beds, and, IIRC, the lay-out you see to the right is pretty close to how it looked. The only "addition" we made was a long wooden board we bought and set from top desk shelf to top desk shelf upon which we set up my stereo's turntable. That's TV, no microwave (they didn't exist), and certainly no refrigerator. There were two communal bathrooms on our floor and a TV in the lounge on the first floor, on which I can recall watching Rescue from Gilligan's Island with a large group of people.

After Charity, my roommate, whom I'd never met nor spoken to before we moved in, and I got settled and we'd kicked out our parents, she and I went to a discount linen store - well before the days of Linens 'N' Things or Bed, Bath, & Beyond - and bought loud floral matching bedspreads. I kept mine until about four years ago when it was destroyed during a concert picnic.

Last night Rachael finished reading The Trial of Socrates and answered the assigned essay question due tonight as part of a two-day pre-orientation program she's attending. She was disciplined and focused and though she didn't do it on my schedule, she got it done with time to spare. In other words, she didn't do it as I did, but she "did good."

Earlier today my husband and I moved Rachael into her dorm room at Hendrix College. She and I had seen the dorm during her interview/visit in January, and we'd downloaded the floorplan last month, but it's huge! You could easily fit my dorm room into hers two times over. It was tense for perhaps a few moments, but as soon as I found something she needed in one of her boxes, it was Chillsville. A markedly different experience from the one I had with my parents back in 1978. Thank god.

She and her roommate have spoken several times in the last six weeks or so; they didn't do matching linens (I don't know why) but shared color schemes. Harley's bringing the area rug and refrigerator. Rachael brought the TV and a large bookcase my husband set up for her before we left. The room has a sink, and can be configured in a variety of ways. As it's set up now, bunks are set over desk/computer terminal spaces, but I imagine that will change in future weeks.

Harold had to drive back to Dallas in the rented Suburban we needed for All The Stuff, so we rented a car for me before he left as I'm staying for parent orientation. He's just stopped on the road for a bite to eat and I'm going out to get one myself. Oops...I just got a text message from Rachael asking me for the mattress pad I suggested we buy last week. I guess I'll be picking one up at the Target down the street before seeing her on Tuesday.

When I get home Wednesday night, I plan to open a bottle of wine and share a toast of this wonderful milestone. It's been a long time coming.



Anne MacFarlane said...

What a great moment for you and your daughter. My oldest is moving into her third year of university so I know the mixed emotions that go with it.

Laurie Gold said...

Anne, I hope your daughter is as healthy and happy as she can be.

Blythe said...

Laurie, we so had the same dorm room. I think mine might have been even smaller though, because our beds were only out when we slept; during the day you'd fold them back halfway into the wall (they looked vaguely couch-like). No wonder all I did in there was sleep.

Laurie Gold said...

It's hard to imagine anything smaller, but yours certainly sounds that way.