Brie arrives at RPI, or "Gossip Girl meets Geeks and Freaks"

Which isn't at all what you're thinking.  In fact, Brie, while the star of our show, is not the Gossip Girl, and took a side line to the drama and theatrics of the arrival of roommate Rebecca and parents.  But rather than get ahead of ourselves...

     Thor (the Toyota Sequoia) packed and ready to go.....                         Outside Barton Hall...

                   Brie picks her spot                                         Measuring for optimal space utilization


                          Unpacking commences....                                     Close to finished....


Enter stage left someone we shall refer to as "John Doe."  Father of Rebecca Doe, roommate of Brie, his arrival was foreshadowed by a call to Brie's cell phone, asking directions to the dorm.  He arrived ahead of Rebecca and her mom, "Jane Doe," driving up from Pittsburg, where John Doe's mother, possibly Rebecca's Grand Mother (it was all a bit convoluted) was about to be released from the hospital by virtue of them having no idea what was wrong with her.  Rebecca and Mom were flying in from Florida.  After giving John directions ("my dad knows all about this place" said Brie), I told him I'd meet him in the parking lot because Rebecca (hereforthto to be referred by her nickname, "Becca") had some "water" for the room that, for reasons unclear, was in John Doe's possession.  

John was an older, portly guy, waist size about equal to his height, with a shock of unkempt gray hair and a grungy orange tee-shirt that said "Durma - Best Food in Tibet" on the front and "The Dalai Lama eats here" on the back, carrying a few Avian six packs in white plastic bags like the ones you get in a supermarket.  He handed them off while mentioning that he needed to pick up boxes that Becca had shipped from Florida.  Kate and Brie took the water, I guided John to the Post Office.  We were just past the "Hi, I'm Dave" and "Hi, I'm John" stage.

"Thanks for helping out" said John.  "Did I mention that I'm a lawyer?" 

"Ummmm... no, given that we've just met" I responded.

"Mostly class action suites, but I did represent O.J. Simpson." 

"Really.  Wow.  Impressive."

"Yes.  He didn't pass the smile test." 

"Hmmmmm.  Not much to smile about, I guess"

"We just got back from a cruise from Rome to London.  I have a tuxedo if I wanted to wear something like that."

"Ahhhh... OK."

"Did I tell you about the dinner I went to with Bill Clinton?  It was hosted by the owner of Guinness Stout but I didn't know and I ordered a Murhpy's stout.  Quiet the faux pas!

"I can imagine.  Good thing you didn't ask Bill to play the Clarinet. He's a sax guy."

That at least got John to pause long enough to blink a couple of times.  Then "Have you ever hiked in Nepal?  I have."

I'm getting a little confused with the shifting topics but still am game.  "Nepal?" I reply.  "Nope.  Don't even think I could find it on a map."

"Incredible hike, just incredible.  Not like the time on the Iceberg in the Magellan straights.  I was surrounded by 5000 penguins.  Funny little things.  You a glacier guy?"

"Glacier guy?. No, no, not a glacier guy.  More like the Bahamas, Belize, more tropical, I'm afraid."

"Tropical?  Did I tell you about the time I was hiking in Burma?  Crossing bridges, thousands of feet in the air, wood slates held together with rope that was like twine?"

"Well, no, you haven't told me about it, given that we just met and all."

"Incredible hike, just incredible.  I sued General Motors by the way, a big class action suite, in Detroit.  I couldn't leave the hotel, the porter said it wasn't safe."

"Well, ahhhh... really, Detroit, no wonder."


Now, you're thinking, "Dave's exaggerating again," and, while I will admit to a certain amount of conversational condensation, and maybe my comeback on Bill Clinton wasn't quite that witty, but the above is pretty accurate.  And I tend to believe that he really did all that stuff at one point of his life, like twenty, thirty years ago.  But, frankly, the guy was so overwhelming in his need to impress me it was way the wrong side of obnoxious.  And then... the mom arrived.  OMG.

But I'm getting ahead of myself again.  We were retrieving the boxes.


"The boxes are in Barton!" said John Doe.

"Great.  In the dorm building already! I'll help you move them to the room!" I replied.

"We'll need a dolly."

Me, confused.  "They're in the same building.  Barton.  Barton Hall.  Didn't you just say that?"


"And we need a dolly.... because?"

"They're BIG" said John Doe.

"Errrr... OK, step one, find a dolly."  Which we did.  I did actually.  But it's signed out in Brie's name, so it's OK.

Someone from Residential Life ("Like living in the real world, only better!") took us over to one of the conference/meeting rooms in Barton Hall ("Home of the dance-dance revolution contest" said the poster on the door).  "Hey, look" I said, "lots of boxes.  They must be storing everyone's stuff here.  Amazing how EVERYONE is using "Home Depot" boxes.  And how they are all labeled "Rebecca Doe." 

Awkward pause. 

"Errrrr... all these boxes have your daughter's name on them" I noted.

"Now you know why we needed a dolly."

"They're HUGE.  Like, the size of small refrigerator."

"Now you know why we needed a dolly."

"There are 10 of them."

"Now you know why we needed a dolly."

"They won't fit in the room."

"Now you know why we needed a crowbar."

And then....the mom arrived.  OMG.  And, I'm not getting ahead of myself here.  Too much.


So, the boxes ("Dolly needed") were in the room, literally stacked to the ceiling and/or jammed under two of the beds, and Brie gets a call. 

"Becca and her mom are here!  I'll go let her in" Brie says with excitement.

Kate and I are looking from the building, four stories over the street.  "That must... be... what is THAT she's dragging behind her?"  Kate is in the "even the crowbar is not going to make this stuff fit in this room" denial space I passed a while ago.

"Maybe... maybe a coffin with roller wheels?" I guess.  Incorrectly.

"It's duffel bags.  Two of them.  They have to be four feet long."

"Maybe soft sided coffins?" I hazard.

"Maybe it's not them.  Someone else.  I mean, that's enough stuff by itself for a single student..." trails off Kate.

"Hey... it's the dad in the grungy tee shirt!" I add.  "And look... two more duffel bags!"

"Are we on candid camera?" asked Kate.


Later, in the room.  Becca unpacks (and I swear I am not making this up)

  • A gross (144) pencils.
  • 168 pens
  • A four foot tall "Polar" teddy bear
  • 4 inch stiletto heal shoes, perfect for the world-famous RPI disco club that doesn't exist
  • a half dozen winter jackets, identical except for the color

From the first box.  The top of the first box.  Then she just starts dumping the other boxes out.  By the time she is finished... before she gets to the duffel bags... more than half the room is buried under four feet of stuff.  Jane Doe, the Mom, keeps saying "John Doe, help her.  I'm asking you to help your daughter.  Get over there and help her!"  And John keeps answering back (again, I swear I'm not making this up) "I can't.  There's a mountain of stuff... I can't get past it."

Kate and I are whispering to each other about getting Brie a flamethrower to protect her corner of the room.

The third roommate, who's arriving tomorrow... well there's this little acronym, "SOL."  Seems appropriate.


So, the OMG Mom.

"We just got back from a cruise from Rome to London."

"Yes, your husband mentioned..."

"Look at this dress from Tuscany.  A steal, only $300."

"Sounds like quite a...."

"I was educated overseas, you know."

"Funny, you have a Bronx accent. I'd think..."

"Did I mention we were on a cruise from Rome to London?"


"And Becca has a Mercedes Benz in the garage at home?"


"Look at the big diamond rings I have" (that was non-verbal, but you got the hint by the way she kept waving her hands in your face).


I think Becca is in for a rude surprise.