Eau de College

“What’s that smell?” I asked my son, wrinkling my nose as I hugged him hello. He had just walked in the door on break from college and my joy in seeing him was disrupted by something that didn’t exactly smell like roses.

“What smell?” he replied.

I pulled him in for another hug and inhaled.

Sign Up for E-News

“Ugh,” I exclaimed. “It’s your jacket. When was the last time you washed this thing?”

“You’re supposed to wash them?” he wondered.

I shuddered. Apparently there had been a gap in his domestic training. While he got the memo on washing his clothes, he missed the part about cleaning his outerwear. And since there wasn’t any visible dirt and he had clearly gone nose blind to the smell, he never had any reason to think the jacket would need to be cleaned. I was only surprised the jacket wasn’t so disgusted with itself it hadn’t tapped him on the shoulder and begged to be washed.

“Please tell me you wash your sheets and towels?” I pleaded.

“Of course,” he replied. “I washed them when I moved in and I brought them home to wash them again.”

“THAT’S THREE MONTHS!” I exclaimed.

“I don’t see the big deal,” he said. “I’m clean when I use the towels to dry off after I shower, and I shower before bed so I’m clean when I sleep.”

“It doesn’t work that way cowboy,” I told him. “Towels get mildew and sheets get stinky.” I was stunned that someone who sometimes took two showers a day wouldn’t think to wash his jackets and linens. I was also kind of shocked none of his college friends had come to his apartment, noticed the smell, and said something. But then I realized they probably all lived the same way so who would know the difference.

I decided I needed to see just how pervasive the problem was.

“Let me ask you something?” I said. “Do you empty the trash?”


“Do you clean out the fridge?”


“Do you clean the bathroom?” I wondered.


“Okay, well two out of three isn’t bad,” I commented. “I think if we can just get a couple of things sorted out, you will be fit to live on your own without having the city condemn your apartment or the CDC quarantine your clothes.”

He rolled his eyes at me.

“Listen, wash sheets and towels once a week before they get up and walk away on their own. Clean your jacket once a month unless you spill something on it and then wash it right away so you don’t attract bears. Clean the bathroom before it starts to look like there’s a rug growing on your floor. Clean out the fridge before the food becomes a science experiment. And here’s the most radical concept: Empty the trash when it’s full. Got all that?”

He nodded.

“Oh,” he piped up. “One more thing.”

“What’s that?”

“When do I wash these?” he asked, holding up a pair of ratty, foul-smelling sneakers.

“You don’t.” I replied.

“I don’t?”

“No,” I said pinching my nose and taking the sneakers from him. “You throw them out.”

Become a fan of Lost in Suburbia on Facebook at facebook.com/LostinSuburbiaFanPage.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Facebook, Fools, Friends and Rock ‘n’ Roll

Since its inception, Facebook has been a regular target of mockery and criticism—everything from, “Do I really need to see a picture of the pastrami sandwich you had for lunch?” to “Why did you help the Russians get Donald Trump elected?”

No one likes to mock and criticize more than I do—just ask all of my former friends. And while I agree that Facebook can ...

It Was the Economy That Got Trump Elected

I am not easily shocked by much anymore. Yet, I was by last week’s column by fellow columnist Bernie Kosberg. Kosberg, whose column runs regularly in Mahopac News and sometimes in Yorktown News, said in the first paragraph: “Several readers decried my conclusion that the overwhelming support of Putnam County voters for Trump was not due to economic anxiety or the unavailability of ...

God Is Just! Schneiderman Is Out!

Whenever you doubt that God is just, remember last Monday. That is the day New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned.

As you know, I have had him in my sights for a long time. He has squandered our tax dollars with more than 100 lawsuits against the Trump administration. Plus, his lawsuits against Big Oil and trying to nullify our double jeopardy laws. Most will go nowhere as ...

It Wasn’t About the Economy or Jobs

Soon after President Trump was “crowned” by the Electoral College in November 2016, I wrote a column about Putnam County voters that garnered some attention—both good and bad. Several readers decried my conclusion that the overwhelming support of Putnam County voters for Trump was not due to economic anxiety or the unavailability of suitable jobs, but to the overarching fear ...

BOCES… What’s in a Name?

Do you ever wonder what BOCES stands for? We associate the name with a center of learning that supplements the general curriculum of local high schools by teaching students specialized trades. Beyond that, does everyone in the non-BOCES population, those who have no direct connection to the programs, fully appreciate the priceless value it brings to our communities’ young adults and their ...

Bias in Media, in Me, in You

While listening to an interview with a voter on my car radio, I thought I had excess ear wax that obstructed my hearing. The voter (whose name is Bruce) said this about one of the qualifications that a Senate or House candidate must have to earn his vote: “I don’t want anyone with ideas. We have enough of those already.”

I’m a journalist and have been one my entire ...

Dog Allergies, Part Deux

“I have some good news and I have some bad news,” I told my husband.

“Give me the good news first.”

“OK. The vet doesn’t think the dog’s ear infections are from a food allergy after all, so we don’t have to keep feeding him that hypo-allergenic food,” I said.

“Hallelujah,” shouted my husband. He was understandably ...

Cross My Legs and Hope to Die

One morning, I had a big cup of coffee as I usually do, and then I got in the car and drove 40 minutes to a clothing store I had been curious to check out. I don’t normally drive 40 minutes to go shopping, but since I am a stay-at-home mom and everyone knows we stay-at-home moms just spend our time shopping and eating bonbons, I figured, “What the hey.”

Having had the ...

CD Release Concert - New Middle Class at Putnam Arts Council

May 23, 2018

Press Release

Contact: Mike Borok  info@newmiddleclass.com

Phone: (914) 962-0120


May 19, 2018

Putnam Arts Council Hosts CD Release Concert featuring New Middle Class, with Dan Pelletier & Wendy Cody

MAHOPAC, ny: On Saturday evening, June 16, 2018, the Putnam Arts Council will host a concert ...