The Texts From Stateside

Boyleing Points

The son who will remain nameless is back in The States after a semester in Ireland, a semester in which he learned the Irish curse as often as they blink.  Fact you probably don’t need: the average human blinks 15-20 times per minute. That seems a little excessive. Then again, I’d rather talk to a blinkity-blinker than someone who never blinks. Ok, wait, I can’t continue the column while you’re thinking about how often you blink. Come back, come back to me.  

The above not named son is now at a spa, uh, college in North Carolina. So far the biggest complaint is there’s nothing to complain about. But that doesn’t mean things are hunky dory. He’s got to study and force himself to cut down on naps. It’s rough and stress-filled.

I don’t mean to downplay stress. I don’t want any letters to the editor saying I’m heartless. I should say I don’t want any more letters saying that. Anyway, I’m fully onboard and know stress is a killer and can sneak up on you. I’m on record as saying every ailment is all in your head. Which leads me to this exchange with the nameless son.

I’ve been having persistent headaches.  Really bad for about two weeks.

I tell him to go the infirmary in the morning. Don’t put it off.

He’s a little taken aback by my directive. Which admittedly, was more serious than take an aspirin.


Yes, I tell him, if a headache lasts that long, go to the doctor. And then I add it’s probably stress-related.  Being in a new place, new everything – even if it’s good on the surface – can be stressful.  Just be aware that you can’t let stress turn into physical ailments.

His response?  LOL!

I don’t get the laugh so I add:  Recognizing stress keeps it at a minimum.

Apparently, he’s well aware:  I’ve had the existential stress of a newly divorced 52-year-old man in his studio apartment since age 12.

What the?

I ask him if he stole that from his psychology professor. Nope, it’s mine. And stop accusing me.

Speaking of accusing, he segues. I was at a party where college kids were doing what college kids do.

The nameless one does not drink, though I believe he made some Guinness exceptions while in the land that brews it. In any case, before I can ask, he says the cops came. I was outside when the cops rounded everybody up.  The cops were just gonna chase everyone but then somebody acted like a jerk and they lined us up to take a breathalyzer.

And then he stops texting for a minute, long enough for me to wonder.

I scored a zero.  The cop gave me a look and said, “Impressive.” Then he said, try it again and it was still a zero and he said, “Very impressive.” Then he asks me what grade I am and I tell him, freshman. He says, “You’re kidding.”

It’s like the cop met a unicorn, a sober freshman past midnight.  He stared, unblinking, and then sent the unnamed freshman away.

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