My son isn’t coming home from college for the summer so we decided to take a trip to see him and bring home anything he wouldn’t need for the next few months. He lives in an apartment on campus and will have to move out in a few weeks once the spring quarter is over. Since he has a car this year, we didn’t move him in like we did when he was a freshman and lived in the dorms. This was our first time seeing his apartment. The building is pretty new and looks like any other apartment complex except there are signs in the elevator teaching them how to deal with a pesky roommate, signs in the hallway about what to do if your friend is super drunk, and a billboard outside the laundry room reminding them about the dangers of chlamydia. My son is kind of messy but I hadn’t really worried about him this year because the apartment was expensive but worth it. The laundry is free and they have a housekeeper come in regularly. How bad could it be? I walked into his 4th floor apartment that he shares with 3 other guys and stopped in my tracks. The units are set up like this. There are 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms with a small kitchen and living area. The front door leads right into the kitchen. At this point I had only seen the kitchen, which left me stunned in disbelief. I thought for sure I would get pink eye. At the very least I had the creeps. The place was gross. Period. I had a look of horror on my face that I was afraid might become permanent if I stayed in there too long. I turned to look at my husband with my eyes wide and my mouth dropped open. I was speechless. He just shook his head. The sink was full of dirty dishes. The counters permeated with dried food and unidentifiable stains. The dish towel was stained and crusty and the dish sponge looked like a petri dish, black and torn in half. I didn’t even open the fridge since I can’t remember when my last tetanus shot was. There were 3 trash cans and a cardboard box making a wall between the kitchen and hallway overflowing with trash. No trash bags. No paper towels, napkins, hand soap or common knowledge about virus prevention. It was disgusting. We climbed over Mt. Trashmore to get to the bedrooms. I stopped at the bathroom because I had to go. I quickly decided that I could hold it, possibly forever, thankful that I had c-sections. The bathroom was worse than the kitchen. Once again there was an overflowing trash can . There was also a black grocery store hand basket in there full of trash. What? Every bottle of shampoo, lotion, toothpaste, shaving cream, Pringles tin used in the last 9 months was still there, empty. The bar of soap was dry with cracks in it. There were several balled up towels, a few single socks, a wet suit, a belt, 1 shoe, a pencil, a pair of spurs, and 7 rolls of toilet paper on the floor along with so much hair I thought it was a sleeping poodle. Typical for 2 Italian boys sharing a bathroom. Ew. Wait, how often does the housekeeper come? Every few nevers? My son told me that it was a man and he came in to clean every two weeks. Oh that makes sense. Have you seen him lately? Did he get lost and die in here? I could totally see that happening and it would explain the smell. Where is the case of Clorox wipes I sent to you? From there I turned around and climbed into his bedroom. At this point relieved that I could at least see the furniture. His bed was piled high with unfolded laundry that he said not to touch because he knows what is clean and what is dirty. Whatever. The floor was filled with papers, sunflower seeds that spilled, and other random things like a giant spatula, 8’ PVC pipes-6 of them, that when I accidentally stepped on them rolled me forward like a conveyor belt, and a broken pool umbrella. He had a black trash bag full of snacks under his bed that he pulled out and told his sisters to close their eyes and reach inside and grab something. Only my Little was brave enough to do it since she thinks her brother hung the moon and the stars. She reached in and pulled out a smashed package of Little Debbie’s Christmas tree cakes. I smacked it out of her hands since it was the end of May and I didn’t want her eating them. He called it his surprise snack bag since you never know what you will get out of it. Food poisoning. That is what you’ll get. I threw the entire bag out into the hallway. It’s last stop before the dumpster. The only clean thing I saw in that whole apartment was the vacuum. I turned it over to check the rollers fearing they had sucked up who knows what in it when I discovered that it was brand new and never been used. Figures. After four loads of laundry, washing both clean and dirty stuff because let’s face it, it all stunk, 2 giant bags of trash from his room and a lot of complaining by me, we were done. Our car was loaded with all of the stuff he wouldn’t need and honestly would never see again once I took it. He’ll forget about it. This isn’t my first rodeo, I’m a mom so I’m good at making stuff disappear and denying it later. We said our goodbyes and headed back down the coast for the dreaded drive back to SoCal. I needed a mani/pedi and therapy. It’s been 2 weeks since our trip to see him. Surely by now his room is a pit again.
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