Let’s just get it out now. I know you are intelligent people. Make no mistake, I respect your ability to wrangle four classes and a damning Hulu addiction. They said no one would ever punch an administrator in the face and stay in school--until they came to CMC. You, my friends, are resilient. You are taser-proof students with an agenda of future success. I believe this statement whole-heartedly. Yet, as the years have passed here at CMC, I have noticed a few inconsistencies in the transfer of academic skills to those of every-day life. I don’t mean your personality; I can tell you are nice, good people – at least charming enough to convince employers to pay you. No, I am referring to basic living skills: parking, laundry, and sanitation practices. Really, I shouldn’t be aiming this post at you. My beef is with your neglectful parents.
I can hear you thinking to yourself, “My parents were always there for me, neglectful is the opposite word I would use to describe them!” I realize this. I am sure your parents have always been there for you, demanding good grades and behavior. What they didn’t do was teach you how to empty the lint catcher in the dryer or park at an angle that doesn’t make me want to bomb an animal shelter. “A Mitch, what about the kittens?” It’s time to let go.
Maybe I am overreacting. Okay, I am. I cannot always separate myself from these vices. But see, as a community, we need to know the difference between bleach and detergent. Do you feel me? Not my body, like, conceptually? Can we help each other not sit on piss-coated toilet seats? Cool.
If no one ever taught you how to pick up after yourself, it’s okay; I’m an excellent teacher. I swear it is super easy. Ready? Instead of leaving your things sprawled across shared space, put them back where they belong (or at least on your half of the room). If you have late night pizza, go ahead and toss the box in a recycling bin! Actually don't, because you can't recycle something with grease stains. But throw it away. Bathroom situation: You shave your pubes. Clean it up. Walking through a minefield of squiggly curls is sick (not like “your origami swans are sick,” like “I’m going to puke in your cubbie if even one of these hairs floats across my foot”). Be conscientious. Especially to your cleaning ladies, who, despite their being hired with the money your parents pay, would rather not clean up all the shit you are extremely capable of dealing with yourself.
What about parking? Not everyone needs to learn how to park. I, however, feel like there always seems to be one person screwing the lot of us (parking pun!). You know who you are, sideways parker. We can’t just pull up to the sidewalk, not even my Faculty pass prevents $35 City of Claremont tickets.
Luckily, you don’t need to practice parking to change this habit. Just look down at the dividing lines when you get out of the car. If you’re crossing two of them, maybe straighten up a bit. If you have to crawl out of the passenger window because the driver door is inches from a green Passat, try again. My doors are a few dings away from slashing everyone’s tires. So for the love of Thursday pick-ups, park better.
Do we even need to talk about laundry? Yes. If you think the dryers are broken because your things are still damp when the cycle is complete, I am talking to you. Let’s work on it qualitatively: three weeks of laundry > one load. Bang, math reference. Do you steal laundry soap? Shame on you – oh, never mind, you steal it because everyone used up your first Tide jug of "Morning Breeze"? I think Gandhi put it eloquently: “some soap for some soap makes the whole world foamy.” And we are more than foam, people.
Which brings me to my last point. Be good roommates, suitemates, and apartment-mates. Channel your inner Lysol commercial and keep the place smelling like toxic lemon. Don’t be the one people think about when they read this article.
Photo credit: Andrew Jordan and Michael Chiu