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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Third Year of Being an Empty Nester is Different, Yet Still Hard

I have just recently returned from dropping off my youngest child at her college campus.  She is beginning her Junior year and is living in her sorority house, located on, guessed it....the third floor.  She has two roommates, one who I know well (I'd welcome her into our family in a heartbeat; she's that adorable) and a new girl who's beautiful and seems really nice, too.   Their room has the feeling that it stepped right out of a fairy tale story, with little nooks and arched doorways and worn wood floors.

It took two SUVs that belong to my sister's family and a crew of three to bring up all the clothes, shoes, bedding  and miscellaneous junk that makes up my daughter's college room.  (Thanks, Richie, for carrying all the heavy boxes up three floors of winding staircases!)

The day before we headed to school, we stopped at a CVS and bought enough toiletries to last a year.  We were their best sale of the day, for sure.  But I felt like doing it for made me feel as if she was set up properly.  My role now is provider of shampoo and Q-tips.  It helps when she is so appreciative, too.

Now, I know it can be very different with boys and some girls, but Laura doesn't mind me offering decorating tips and suggestions.  In fact, she wants me to tell her where the bed is best suited.  I am thrilled, because the last thing I wanted to do, was say goodbye until Thanksgiving or Christmas.  So we decorate and make the bed and hang up 4000 small spaghetti-strapped shirts and dresses until the closet pole almost collapses.....and it's fun.  Seriously.

One of the roommates' Mom is also diligently setting her daughter's room up at the same time.  I cannot help but think she doesn't want to leave either.  She is taping hundreds of pictures up on the wall when I step over to introduce myself.  I think Mom's all over the country suddenly become interested in dorm decorating, whether they have any interest in this sort of thing in their own homes.  We are treasuring those precious moments when you can do something for your daughter and with not too much cost involved.

The emotions can sometimes get in the way and one should be particularly careful when you step into a Target store, for example!  I walked out with a small flat-screened TV for their room that I thought would look adorable between two of the small fairy tale niches in the center of the room.  I cannot even bring myself to tell Bill (my husband) about this purchase.  I just did it and watched how excited the girls were.  Impulse, emotional purchases are very, beware to all the empty nest parents dropping their children off to school.

I say parents instead of just Moms because recently I ran into a family that will become empty nest parents when their youngest heads out for college.  They are a very close-knit family.  Both the Mom and the Dad had tears well up as we discussed the big day coming soon. (I bet their son's room will be well decorated).......................................

Well, my advise is to save a little extra money so that you can do whatever it is that will make your child a little more comfortable in their new home away from home and make you a little more comfortable about the split.  Enjoy the few moments when they still want your help...before they are texted to meet the boys down the street for lunch.  And, it allows you to walk away with a smile on both of your faces, too.   Good luck!
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Monday, August 2, 2010

It's Easy Being Elegant With $2.5 M to Spend

I find amusing how the media has spun the whole Chelsea Clinton wedding to the public.  I'll admit that other than one article in the AZ Republic and a few stories online, I haven't spent much time learning the intricate details of this event.  Still, I have seen and heard enough to know that when the media wants to spin a story one way or the other, they have the power to do so.

I am imagining how the story would read if this was some conservative/Republican family who's daughter got married in 'Chelsea Clinton' fashion:
              Ostentatious affair, with no care for the poor folks around them.....
              Gaudy amount of money spent for personal reasons......

No, instead, we read and hear.....elegant wedding........lovely family affair.......Clinton's stimulating the economy (my favorite!)....and.....America's dynasty family and their elegant affair!  Please don't tell me that this is the best America can do to produce elegance and style and something we should try to achieve!

It did look like a beautiful affair.  The area and home used are amazing, Vera Wang dresses are always stunning, etc.  But (you know exactly what I am going to say here, don't you?!), with that amount of money, a lot of, most of us could produce a lovely wedding event.  Frankly, I am personally outraged at that amount of money being spent.  Has this world really gotten this crazy? And why couldn't this couple from Arkansas hold their daughter's Arkansas?  Why have they disowned this state?

As far as setting examples for others as the newspaper suggested, I say a big THANKS A LOT, Clintons' for making it impossible to emulate such an expensive event and setting such an example for our kids!  Imagine all the GOOD you could have done by hosting a simple daytime wedding ceremony followed by a lovely luncheon.  Because the future wedding couples will try to follow your lead. Unfortunately for all of us regular folks are busy working our butts off to pay our taxes to support all your parties' spending programs, now have to disappoint our children with less extravagant weddings.  You (The Clinton family) will just continue to do whatever the heck you want to without any regard for those around you, for decency in how you personally conduct yourselves and continue to set bad examples around you.  I've come to expect nothing less.

I would hope that the media would treat all folks with the same respect, so please guys...when our next President Paul Ryan's children get married....please spin the story in the same fashion....and prove me wrong!           
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