In case you haven’t noticed, social media every August gets filled with one thing and one thing only.
Countless pics of all the kids going back to college and for the incoming freshmen, mom and dad moving them into their dorm rooms.
Or should I say their “4-star Ritz-Carlton” dorm rooms.
Have you seen these pictures? I might be slow in my assessment of the rooms because if there is a higher level than 4-star, these kids have it.
Huge and expansive beds. Dressers that have 18 drawers in them. Wi-Fi that is faster than a Japanese bullet train. Carpet. Carpet! And what stands out the most, the rooms are clean. Spotless. It is amazing.
Now, take a little trip with me, will you, back to August of 1986 when I moved into junior college to play football.
My room was next to the bathroom and the only thing separated us was a wall so thin it should have been a model.
“Excuse me, where is the closet?” Yes, I asked that to the coach who was moving us in and with greatest shrug of shoulders, mumbled, “Hmm.” There was no closet. “I guess you can just pile everything on top of your foot locker.” Lord, I wish my mother would have heard him say that since she had spent the previous 17 years trying to get me to not to do that.
After a home game, mom came to my room and almost had a heart attack. She immediately started trying to clean up the room before I told her I was unsure what was exactly under all the clothes. The next home game, she came by and dropped off cans, yes, cans, of Lysol.
Oh, the room? Thanks for asking. It was smaller than you could have possibly imagined. The astronauts from Apollo 13 had a bigger area to float around in. We had bunk beds that I swear came over on the Mayflower. Our desk where we did our homework was so small that when we put our chairs together, we pretended that we were on a Southwest flight because we sat that close to each other.
“Well Joe, at least you had air conditioning.” Hahaha! Oh man, let me tell you about our AC. We didn’t have it. I would walk in from practice and knew exactly how an overcooked hot pocket felt coming out of the microwave. I had my awesome box fan but even on the highest setting, Concorde, it provided little comfort.
Here is the thing, though. I miss that little cramped awful smelly room. I miss my roommate, miss that small desk, miss my 13-inch black and white TV that picked up only two channels coming out of Knoxville. I miss that pile of humanity on top of the foot locker.
I do not miss the closet though, because you can’t miss what you didn’t have. Ha!
Joe “Big Joe on the Go” Dubin is a Nashville native and a columnist for Main Street Media.