Saturday afternoon in midst of a Netflix binge, my husband suggested we put a sheet over our living room window to get rid of the glare. My immediate thought was, “Maybe.” Before COVID-19, we talked about fancy remote control-operated blackout shades. Now, we just consider dark sheets.
This was the moment I knew with absolute certainty that quarantine had turned my home into a frat house.
There’s no schedule. We simply have what I would call “sleep shifts” where we pass each other at random times with no indication whether the other is just now waking up or on their way to bed. Our appearance offers no insights since my 15-year-old son is currently rocking the Lyle Lovett look circa the late ’80s and my 17-year-old daughter and I are pretending unkempt tresses equals trendy beach waves.
Technically, there are people in charge. I suppose my husband and I are on the Fraternity Executive Board or Alumni Leaders, but much like fraternity life, we only offer loose guidance like, “Just make sure you get a passing grade,” and, “Don’t fight with your housemates.” If anything real hits the fan, we’re throwing these pledges all the way up under the bus.
No one knows who’s on point for what, so dishes start to pile around 7:35 a.m. each day. There’s always that one responsible guy whose mama raised him right and finally gives in and cleans. Spoiler Alert: It’s my husband. Also, Spoiler Alert: I clearly have not raised my son right.
Someone is always eating cereal.
People are pulling all-nighters and caffeine is in charge. My daughter orders Dunkin Donuts online every day for pickup, and my son asked me today if I would make him a special coffee drink. Don’t @ me about their caffeine consumption. They’re teenagers, so it’s only slightly stunting their growth.
Someone is always drunk.
Okay, not really, but someone who will remain nameless is currently assessing the number of mild wine hangovers she’s had this week and contemplating certain lifestyle changes.
There’s a lack of responsibility. Takeout three times this week? Sure. Taco Bell delivery for lunch on a Tuesday? Why not. Screen time limits? How lame. Catching the dog drinking some of my husband’s beer? What a great frat house dog we’ve raised. Just live in the now, brah!
Finally, procrastination is like a full-time job. For example, I committed to having this blog done two weeks ago, but to be fair, I’ve been running around from place to place and my April calendar was packed… Oh, wait. I have no excuse except I decided to spend the weekend sitting by my pool instead of finishing my assignment. Isn’t college great!
in the end, the real question I keep asking myself is, “What happens when the excuse for running a frat house goes away? Do I instantly have to start washing my hair more and saying responsible parental things like, ‘Get on a good sleep schedule?'” Yes, I do long for a little more structure, but if I’m being honest, a little relaxed parenting hasn’t sucked either. I hope that post-COVID-19, we can strike a healthy balance somewhere between overly-planned schedule and frat house anarchy. In the meantime, anyone know the regulation size of a beer pong table? Asking for a friend.