Thursday, July 14, 2011

the mind of an 18-year old boy (lyn)

Try as I do, it is difficult to understand how an 18-year old boy thinks.  My son is smart, yet he does the stupidest things.  Take today, for example.

Incident #1
I was supposed to receive the bill from Cornell on July 8th.  I still haven’t received it, and today is July 14th.  I call.  “We did post them on July 18th.  Your son should have received an email from us telling him that.  He needs to authorize you as an alternate payer on his account, and then you’ll be able to see the bill.”

This is all new to me.  My son receives the college mail?  Not me?   Do I confess to the school, “But my son doesn’t check his email?”  No, of course not.  So I call Alexander at work, and tell him to log in to his Cornell account, add me as a payee, and do it now, please.

I then get an email. 

I need the payee bank number, routing number, account number, and payee bank branch location.

Huh?  I call the school.  “No, ma’am.  We only need that if you are getting a credit and want it directly deposited.”

So now I’ve gotten Alexander to read his email.  At least for today.  If only he’d read the forms too.

Incident #2
I see a quilt that I am thinking of getting for Alexander’s bed at school.  Since he’ll be living with this for the next four years (assuming it doesn’t get ruined or lost), I ask him to stop by PB Teen to take a look at it.  He says he will.  He passes directly by the store (about 10 blocks from our home) on his way home from work.  I call him around 6.  "I am almost there.”  Great, I think.

I get home from my BAFTA meeting late. “So, what did you think of the quilt?” I ask him.  “I didn’t see it.  By the time I got to the store, it was closed?”  “What do you mean closed?  When I spoke to you at 6, you were right near the store.”  “Well, I was near the store, but didn’t go in.”  “What do you mean you didn’t go in?”  “I decided to come home first.  And then I got involved in other things, and when I went back to the store around 7, it was closed.” 

I can’t begin to process this.

1.    He passes the store that is10 blocks from our home and decides to not stop in then, but will come back in an hour?
2.    Does he just assume the store will be open all night?

Incident #3
My BAFTA Screening meeting drags on and on, finally ending around 9.  A few of us decide to walk the 2.5 miles home (and in challenging shoes, yet).  On the way, I call.  Alexander is at his friend Sam’s house (Shari’s son).  “Hi, I’m just leaving Sam’s,” he says.  “Have you eaten yet?”  Well, no, I haven’t, but I reasonably assume he has.  “Great, we can eat together.  I’ll pick up some Chinese food."

Not only has Alexander not eaten yet, he’s been offered dinner.  Shari is an amazing cook, and has offered Alexander numerous options.  He politely declines, preferring instead to buy chicken and broccoli to eat at 10:30!

In the end, Alexander and I have dinner together.  I re-heat the very small portion of creamed spinach, mashed potatoes, and steak from the other night.  Alexander has his Chinese food.  We watch some recorded Modern Family.

How will he survive without me there to remind him to do all the things he is supposed to do? 

He’ll probably be like the millions of other 18-year old boys going to college.  He’ll do just fine.

And if he forgets to do something he is supposed to do?  Well, I won’t even know.

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