Early on, when I still cared about whether my son’s dorm fridge remained in the middle of his dorm room, I would ask him about it when we talked. Again, early on. When we still talked.
I asked him for three straight days if the fridge was still in the middle of the room and each day the answer was yes. So I stopped asking.
I'd try to get some business done with him through text messages but it wasn't nearly as efficient as when I used to have him captive in my kitchen during breakfast.
Is the meal plan working out?
Did you get the birthday card from Grandma?
I had a dream about you last night: you had a big rubbery nose.
Sometimes I'd get an LOL; most of the time, nothing.
I didn’t hear from him for a long while and then I got a text: I’m at the mall and I’m about to buy some jeans and shoes. Can I put it on the credit card?
I said of course. After all, he’d texted me. Unprompted.
Later I sent a message asking if I could see a picture of the shoes. This went unanswered, so I sent it again the next day. Eventually he texted me a picture of his new shoes. They were sitting on top of his desk next to a bottle of Advil. You could see the wastebasket next to the desk – its contents piled almost six inches beyond capacity.
Get those shoes off the table. Someone is going to die!
Jesus, empty the garbage.
Why is the Advil out? Are you not feeling well?
Of course I didn’t write any of those things. But it took all my willpower. All of it.
Nice shoes! I wrote.