Wednesday, October 19, 2011

To the parents of.........

I have received several very official-looking letters from my daughter's university. I always open them, because, after all, they are addressed "To The Parents Of...." and I'm the parent so.....

Anyway. The first one I received, shortly after she was accepted, was very important-looking. But inside? It was a big ole advertisement warning parents that REGULAR SHEETS WILL NOT FIT ON OUR BEDS and that we must, immediately, purchase extra-long twin sheets from a specific company. Except that I'm not stupid and I know Target and just about every other store sell extra-long sheets in droves right around back-to-school time. Duh. Nice try, college!

The second ominous-looking letter I received was advertising insurance for my student. Except she already has insurance. So, yeah, thanks anyway.

Then, yesterday, I received another very official-looking letter. Inside was the most ridiculous thing I've received so far. This one really takes the cake. Here's what it says:

To: Parents of Students Scheduled to Take Exams
Subject: Send A Care Package To Help Your Student Through Finals (I love how it was all capitalized. For emphasis. LOL)
Two students showed up to get their Care Packages. One beamed when she received her package. The other, whose family had not reserved a package, immediately used her cell phone and called Mom with a plaintive "You didn't send me a Care Package?"

Because so many students receive Care Packages during exam time, in can hurt if a student is left out. This year, we have a solution to make sure every student feels supported at this critical time. (Sheesh, you'd think they were getting a limb amputated or something. It's a college exam for cryin' out loud!)

The enclosed free gift card is our way to help. Please send it even if you don't plan to reserve a Care Package. Of course, it will be more appreciated if it comes with food. Isn't everything?

A Care Package is tangible proof that the people students count on are thinking of them at exam time (I don't even know WHEN exams are. I already did college). It makes them feel supported, not alone. It's also fun. 

Then, the letter goes on to explain the various Care Packages - The Wildcat Spirit, listed at "the favorite" likely because it's the most expensive, the Support Basket which features "fun snacks" such as granola bars, Wheat Thins and Pop Tarts, The Exam Survival Kit that offers "over 20 success snacks for a burst of energy such as Chips Ahoy cookies, Mike&Ike's, etc. (success snack = college lingo for "candy"), the Cup of Inspiration which serves up comforting hot beverages. All of these can be yours for the low, low price of $20-$55.

Please respond today. There are always parents who plan to send a package but get too busy until it's too late. The result: no package for their student. The horrors! How will my daughter ever get an A if I don't send her overpriced Pop Tarts in a basket?

We're proud that university students can count on backing by their parents. Yes, yes, they can. Not necessarily with food gift baskets, though.

P.S. Last year parents chose the Spirit Pack as the best way to support their students through the rigors of finals. Of course they did. It also happens to be the $55 package. And rigors? Rigors? One might suffer the rigors of war. Or poverty. But rigors of finals? Please.

After laughing (and saving the letter for this blog post) I had to wonder about these ridiculous mailings. Aren't they already getting my money for tuition and room and board? Certainly I do not need my daughter's institute of higher learning schooling me on where to buy extra-long sheets, that I might want medical insurance for my child, or that I need to send a care package full of "success snacks" in order for finals week to go smoothly.

Remember finals week? When you stayed up all night cramming because you failed to take proper notes all quarter? Maybe you had to pop a couple of No-Doz because it was the dinosaur ages and we didn't have Red Bull or 5 Hour Energy shots? And you dragged your ass into class the next day, eyes red-rimmed, unwashed, frumpy and rumpled and managed to scrawl a semi-acceptable answer on each question and still passed the class with a B- by the skin of your teeth? Rigors of finals, indeed.

Oh, and lest you think I'm so hard-hearted as to scoff at a care package, I'll point out that I've already sent a couple of them, and I'd certainly include something more exciting than Wheat Thins. Like a rubber chicken. Or crude bumper stickers. Or homemade cookies. Because I Care About My Student During Finals Week. Capitalized for emphasis.

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