Monday, April 07, 2008

Hey Mom, Can I Have Some Beer Money/Capital Improvement Funds?

A little maturity might be in order here. Namely, I should probably be figuring out who I am, what I want, and most particularly whether or not I want children. So I’ve been coming up with all sorts of test drives. Can I deal with the screeching toddlers at the Museum of Natural History? Does hanging out with my pregnant girlfriend give me pangs of envy, or am I grateful to not have to carry a carbonated bowling ball around in my stomach?

But I’ve been focusing too much on the early stages of parenthood. I think a full life-cycle experience is in order here. That's why I joined my alma mater’s alumni association.

I wanted to test drive the experience of having a college kid call and hit me up for money. Sure, they say they’re from a phone bank, and they need donations, but a broke college kid is a broke college kid. First they ask me to update my information for a mythical “alumni directory.” Then, once I've been buttered up a little, they want my money.

I’ve been trying out that whole world-weary, sitcom parent vibe for every call. I especially enjoy pointing out that they never call, they never write, and I only hear from them when they’re low on cash. It’s really fun, and so far the college students haven’t minded. Usually they just start cackling about halfway through, hush abruptly whenever their supervisor is nearby, and then try to convince me to contribute to a “capital campaign.” I ask if they think I’m made of money, or if money grows on trees, and the cackling starts all over again. Then I suggest they fund their library improvements with a paper route or some babysitting.

At this point, the student is usually just grateful that they’re paid by the hour (yes, I confirm that first) and willingly puts me on a list to receive a follow-up call in three months so I can get in some more parental practice.

Now, if I could just get one of these kids to show up at my home with a mountain of laundry, a cheesy tribal tattoo, and goofy political beliefs, I’ll be all set.


Tina said...

Shannon - you skipped the best part of child rearing, the age where they begin to be intersted in the opposit sex, closely (or not so closely depending on how precocious your kid is) by the age where they actually start dating.

For real fun give that one a try.

Shannon said...

Hrm, maybe I should volunteer to chaperone a middle school dance...