Dealing with parents: The morning before

It’s pretty safe to say that visits from your parents are (usually) nothing short of awesome. They’re a welcome break from school-related tedium, you can enjoy the company of loved ones, and, if you’re like me, you also receive an enormous delivery of snacks. And yet there’s one consequence of parental visits I invariably dread: the morning before.

There will undoubtedly be at least a few times in your college career when you wake up at noon on a Saturday, completely hungover and utterly panicking because your parents are scheduled to arrive in half an hour and your room is still littered with beer cans, empty handles, and God-knows-what from the previous evening. You’re even worse, your head pounding and your once-white garments soiled with the stains of debauchery. There’s no hope… or is there?

Behold: a fail-proof strategy for dealing with these crises! Stay calm, get out of bed, and prioritize…

1. Hide the drugs

…and/or the alcohol. Your parents know what college students get up to in their spare time — many of them have gone through it themselves, the hypocrites — and so they’re probably not blind to the fact that their pink-cheeked little cherub vomited all over a beer pong table last Saturday night. But that knowledge only remains unspoken for just only long as they aren’t confronted with physical evidence that you regularly enjoy a fine selection of Natural Ice and Caldwell’s in the evenings. Hide the drugs, hide the papers, hide the vodka, hide the beer, hell, even hide the red cups; they’re nothing if not suggestive.

2. You’re celibate, you always have been, and you always will be

…for the same reasons as above. No condoms, condom wrappers, condom boxes, or anything vaguely condom-y where your parents might look. Seriously. Even if your parents are open about sexuality and whatnot, it’ll be awkward at best when they find the open 12-pack of Trojans you’ve stashed in your drawer (it’ll be awkward in a different way if the box is unopened).

3. Febreze is your new best friend

Smoke is smelly. Beer is smelly. Sweaty people packed into your dorm room are collectively rather smelly. Your visiting parents are going to be scenting the air like hungry bloodhounds, and the slightest whiff of something illegal is going to send them into a frenzy. The solution: Febreze the ever-loving shit out of your room before they arrive. So what if it suggests you have something to hide? They won’t be able to prove a thing.

4. Clean yourself up, for God’s sake

You have a pounding headache. You’re dehydrated. You’ve gotten two hours of sleep, and you’re still slightly high from the night before. Your parents are arriving in 15 minutes, and there’s a 70% chance they will disown and/or kill you if they find you in this state. The solution? Smarten up, and quickly. Bump a little music — not too loud — and toss a pail of water over your roommate if he refuses to stir. Shower, comb your hair, brush your teeth—the whole hygienic shebang. If you’re still high and in the mood to give your parents the ol’ mindfuck, toss on a suit while you’re at it. The suit will raise some suspicions, but so what? They won’t be able to prove a thing.

5. Make your bed

Your mother may or may not be angry if you don’t. Why risk it?

And, most importantly, for all of these steps: be thorough. Or you’ll end up like my poor sap of a roommate, who somehow missed the empty can of Natty under his desk, the half-filled bowl in his closet, and the used sploof beside his bed, and had to distract his mother while he surreptitiously moved the items to our room. Don’t be that guy. Don’t be my roommate. Do a clean sweep.

Godspeed.

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