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#7 - A Baby Boomer Real Story Series about Helicopter Parents --------- by Nancy Geiger

May 10th, 2008
The College Boyfriend. Baby Boomers are seeing the college dating scene through parental eyes.

The College Boyfriend.
Baby Boomers are seeing the college dating scene through parental eyes.

Brittany went to her first fraternity formal last December. That really brought back memories for me and it was fun to see how they haven’t really changed. I wanted all the details, which Brittany, as usual, was more then happy to share.

Her dad, however, didn’t quite get it. He went to West Point and the dances there were very different. Fraternities often hold their formals in another town at a hotel. West Pointers have theirs on post at Ike Hall and there are student “guards” who walk around to make sure the couples aren’t dancing too close!

So, after each thing Brittany would tell us, I had to tell John, “It’s ok, we used to do that too.”

We started almost immediately after that to hear about the guy who took her to the dance. I’ll be like the people who write into Dear Abby here when they say, “my husband…let’s call him…Stanley” and I’ll just call the college boyfriend CB from now on. Brittany would call us after almost every time she talked to him. Her favorite word to describe people is precious, so that became our vision of him. We knew beyond a shadow of a doubt he was precious! She also said he was “frat chic”. (Don’t ask.)

Over the Christmas break she sat down at the kitchen table with me, looked me in the eye and said, “You know how you always hear that when a girl is really close to her dad she looks for a guy just like him?”  I was thinking, “Oh, John is going to love this!” Then she went on, “Well, CB and dad have exactly the same cell phone!” (Yea! She’s ready for a serious relationship!)

They went shopping in Asheville for new clothes for him right before spring break. She sent a picture on her camera phone of the still folded shirt and tie to her dad’s phone. He sent one back of the inside of our empty refrigerator and said “buy food before you come home!”

Over break she and CB probably averaged a couple hundred text messages a day. When they weren’t doing that they were on the phone or sending messages through the computer. She spent the last weekend visiting his family in Charlotte and then they came here that Sunday for lunch before driving back to school.

It was fun to meet him and cute to watch them. In high school when she was on a date we wouldn’t see much of them. They sort of went through our house on their way somewhere else. But, this time they came to visit us!  For the first time, my daughter felt like a guest in our house! But, it was fun and just like spending time with another adult set of friends.

The next weekend they went back to his house in Charlotte to take something to his parent’s house and left there around 10:30 p.m. Saturday night to drive back to school.
As they got in the car CB said to Brittany, “Do you want to stop by your parents to say hi?” (A positive sign I guess. I think he likes us too!) So they arrived at 11:30 and stayed until a little after 1 a.m. I tried to get them to spend the night, but they assured me they would much rather stay up late to drive back then get up early to do it! It felt just a tiny bit funny to have him say as they left, “We’ll come back soon for a weekend.” Almost like our lives had changed overnight.

But, I think I’m liking this…

Nancy Geiger
and her husband are empty nesters with their daughter Brittany (their only child) now a junior at college. When she left home Nancy started writing a monthly column for their local weekly paper about parenting a college student long distance. After 17 years as a travel agent for American Express, Nancy decided to commit herself to freelance writing and starting an online store, 2 blogs, a website and LOTS of volunteering! She even just published a cookbook called A Brides Cookbook or surviving the First Year.

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Nancy Geiger

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