June 26, 2019

free buttons in a sea of strangers, who are sometimes strange

At Eddie's orientation recently, parents were given a name-tag to fill out with their name and where they live.  Most of the people hail from the state where the college is located - not Illinois.  I found myself searching for another Illinoisan like it was one of those long-drive games you play with the kids on road trips to pass the time.  Before long, we had enough fliers and booklets to keep us busy so they stripped us of our college students and herded us towards an auditorium.

Translation:  I was left to attend various lectures and one meal on my own before being reunited with my kid.  Ed doesn't give me attitude.  He is pleasant company.  We share a similar sense of humor.  He is excited about college.  I am not about to insist he live in a certain dorm, or bully him into signing up for specific classes, but I get that some folks might have a different agenda.  I knew we would be separated.

I did snag a button later as a Dad's
 day gift to Coach, and because I knew
 this would be an upcoming post.
  I had to get my hands on this hot item.
Just before dinner when we were about to be reunited with our rising freshman (just had to work that catch-phrase in), an announcement was made: there were 'insert college name mom/dad' buttons available in the back of the auditorium.  Apparently, the buttons were being dispersed in the right isle and I was exiting from the left isle.  I am not really the 'such and such college mom' button wearing type, so I was not fretting about getting a button.

Low and behold, a mom wedged between myself and her husband in the isle where I half expected to see John Candy pop up and deliver the news:  'Sorry forks, Moose shoulda told ya out front:  no buttons being dispersed here.' 

The woman WAS dead set on scoring a button.  She whacked her husband - insisting he had misled them, fearing that she would not be awarded a mom badge of honor.  The husband blamed her exit strategy- even though the button disbursement hadn't been announced until we were already dismissed.  I tried to work my way around their parental meltdown, but if you have EVER exited a theater in a crowd - then you know. 

I observed a mom just ahead of us trying to conceal her chuckle at the scene  When she rotated around to check out the goofy button-lackers, I nodded at her from my trapped position as if to say:  'Yep - that just happened!'  She smiled at me, with a 'Seriously?!'  Did you know:  smiles and nods speak volumes?

I wished I could see what the kid behaved like - the one raised by this 'I want a free-bee button' couple.


Kari said...

You have no idea how happy it makes me that you slipped a John Hughes movie quote in your post.
Of course that is all I took away from this post.

Ernie said...

How lucky were we to be teens when John was supplying us with perfect movies to grow up with? Here is a favorite movie quote of mine that is NOT Hughes'. Let me know if you know what movie it's from: 'I'm not gonna judge you, because I think you're an innovator.' That line kills me every time.