Lenore Moritz: Sometimes my well-being rests in the hands of a 20-year-old college student. Crazy, right? I didn't even want my well-being resting in the hands of a 20-year-old college student when I was a 20-year-old college student!
But this is how it is when you have kids: The least-expensive route to having those much-needed dates with your partner is to hire a college student. And why not? My husband and I almost always go out after the kids are in bed, so essentially the sitter's main job is to watch television -- which, in all likelihood, she's pretty practiced at. It's the easiest beer money she can ever earn.
Apparently, though, getting paid to sit on the sofa and flip through magazines was not enticing enough last week, because our sitter stood us up. Maybe a better offer came along ... somebody offered her diamonds to eat chocolate cake, perhaps?
Part of the problem is that, when you're a 20-year-old college student, you cannot relate to the plight of parents. You have no concept about how eagerly parents look forward to a dinner that doesn't involve noodles in hair. At 20, you don't care about the importance (dare I say, the transformative nature!) of spending hours away from the house -- hours wherein you'll have exactly zero debates over how much longer the kids can play before bath time.
But what should I expect? When I was a 20-year-old coed, the only thing I wanted to commit to showing up for was happy hour. But then, I knew that about myself, so I spared parents the disappointment of a missed date due to my carefree whims.
On the night we were stood up, the most pathetic sight was that of my recently applied eye makeup becoming a dark, smeared mess-of-a-cotton-round that perched sadly atop the other garbage in the wastebasket. Oh, the potential that eye makeup could have had! It'll have to be another night for you, sexy glances and flirty eyes.
To cap it all off, the no-show actually led to an argument between me and my husband. Something about how mad I got when she didn't show up and the kind of choice words that spewed out of my mouth as a result. My husband found it juvenile or something, like I was fighting 20-year-old behavior with 20-year-old behavior. Whatevs ... I chalk it up to me just reacting passionately to the fact that a college student had the ability to ruin my night.
But, as we all know, parents are resourceful. That night, we made the best of it with takeout Chinese and a movie. As for Miss Irresponsible Coed, I suggest that she study up on the concept of karma.