Remember the post I wrote about touring the SUNY Geneseo campus last year because it was on Zoe’s list of potential colleges? The post in which I alluded to drunken sex with architecture and bears allergic to virgins and introduced you to Josh, our tour guide, otherwise known as Zoe’s future fiance?
When Zoe was all Oh my God, Mom! Could you BE anymore embarrassing?
And I was all PUH-LEASE. Like he’s ever going to find this blog. Unclench, would you?
And Josh wound up leaving a comment and was all Ummmm, hello? Cool blog. I have a girlfriend.
And I was all Hey there, Josh! Thanks for making a liar out of me!
And Zoe was all OH MY GOD, MOM. I’M MOVING TO AUSTRALIA AND YOU CAN’T COME.
Zoe wound up applying to Geneseo. And Geneseo wound up requesting a parent essay.
And I wound up yelling something like WOOT! BOOT UP MY LAPTOP! HEY, WHERE’S THAT PICTURE OF YOU ASLEEP ON THE TOILET? THINK I CAN SCAN IT?
And Zoe wound up hollering something like SOMEBODY GET ME A PASSPORT while petitioning the court for emancipation.
Here’s my essay.
I’d ask Zoe to tell you want she thought of it, but she can’t hear me from down under.
ZOE IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
(submitted SUNY Geneseo, January 2012)
AMBITIOUS. Especially when it comes to school, work, career goals and, most recently, affording an iPhone 4S on her own and then deciding to work extra hours to afford insurance for it. But only because it’s the sensible thing to do and not because she dropped it the first day she had it and then spent the remainder of the day ignoring me as I duct-taped my mouth shut to keep the ginormous I TOLD YOU SO from flying out of it.
BOSSY. I tell Zoe’s little sister that this is a good trait to have, that it’s a sign of a natural born leader. Judging by the screams of YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME coming from downstairs as I type this, I don’t think she’s buying it.
COMPASSIONATE. She dropped everything and immediately drove to her girlfriend’s house to lend her an ear and shoulder because that’s what you do when your girlfriend gets dumped by her boyfriend. She took her little sister to the store so that they could buy me flowers and cards together because she knew I had had a terrifically bad day. When she sleeps over at a friend’s house or at her dad’s, she always texts me at night to make sure that I’m OK and to tell me she loves me. She reminds us all that good things are going to happen because we deserve them. And she’s given me more hugs during the last few months because of the nightmare we are living than she gave me her entire childhood. She’s good people, as my mother would say.
DATING. She’s a fan. I’m on the fence. It’s a big, long, fat fence.
EMPLOYMENT. She likes it and arrives on time, stays late and generally goes above and beyond to ensure she keeps it. Even if it means pretending not to know the crazy lady who runs in and snaps her picture behind the counter. Twice. Possibly three times. In my defense, why do they put the camera button so close to the power button on the iPhone?
FISHING. The only thing that can get Zoe up at 5:00 a.m., to sit in small boat, be silent and breathe in the stench of live bait for four hours, is the love she has for her dad. And her dad has no clue that she detests fishing. THAT is classic Zoe.
GAS. For her car, that is. Apparently, it’s outrageously expensive now that she has to pay for it.
HOME. We’re currently looking for new one and she’s excited about it. But all I can think about is that whatever home we wind up in, I’m going to miss the hell out of her when she leaves it.
I DON’T KNOW. The name of Zoe’s friend who moved in last year and repeatedly leaves wet towels on the bathroom floor. As far as I can tell, this friend is deaf, invisible and a slob.
JOGGING. Zoe went with me a couple of times. She hates jogging with the heat of a thousand suns. But, she loves me and apparently, that trumps boob sweat and shin splints.
KITCHEN. She loves cooking in it and makes THE best chicken cutlets I have ever eaten.
LASHES. As in, eye. Hers are so long that they touch her sun glasses which, to hear her tell it, is irritating. I wouldn’t know. My lashes are like my legs. Short. But not as hairy.
MASS-OF-TWO-SHITS. The way Zoe used to pronounce Massachusetts when she was little.
NERVES. She gets on mine occasionally. I’d hazard a guess that I get on hers a little more often than that. But that’s my job.
OLIVER. Our dog. Zoe adores him but gives him way too much credit. For instance, she thinks he’s got bowels of steel and can hold off going potty until she’s done watching eleventy-three episodes of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Oliver has proven her wrong on more occasions that I can count. And I can count pretty damn high.
PHYSICS. A subject in which Zoe excels. This is what Zoe texted me the other day: Take a rubber band. Measure the length of it at equilibrium. Stretch the rubber band, measure the length. Find the difference, and that is X. Put various weights on the rubber band, measuring the differences in lengths. Then use Fs=kx to find the spring constant. Fs is the mass on the rubber band. Do multiple times, find an average for K. After you find K you can solve for the PEs using PEs=1/2kx2. Launch the rubber band vertically to a certain height, holding meter sticks up in the air. Use PE=mgh to find potential energy. The height is the height the thing goes to, G is gravity, 9.81m/s2, and m is the mass of the rubber band. Time the rubber band from the time it reaches its maximum height to the time it reaches the floor. Use vf=vi+at to find the velocity. Use the equation KE=1/2mv2. Substitute in all the values, and you can find BLAH BLAH, OH MY GOD MAKE IT STOP, BLAH. She asked me what I thought about it. I told her to hang on, I was still looking for a rubber band.
QUADRATIC EQUATIONS. Zoe thinks they’re fun. Honestly, I have no idea where this girl came from.
RESTAURANTS. Specifically, those that offer take-out. She was the child of divorced, full-time working parents and she was probably about seven before she realized that not all plates were square and made out of white Styrofoam.
SCIENCE. Another subject in which Zoe excels. She dissected a cat once and texted me a photo of its brain. By the way, unlimited texting? Totally overrated.
TEXTING. Zoe had over 6,000 of them last month. Her thumbs have developed six-packs.
UNFLUSTERED. Zoe just doesn’t wig out. When her sister’s ear was nearly amputated and we had to rush her to the hospital, Zoe simply held a towel to Helena’s head to stem the bleeding while periodically reminding me to breathe. When we discovered one night last June that her stepfather wasn’t the person we all believed him to be, she kept herself together, mopped up the puddle of mess I had become and concentrated on moving us all forward. She’s the one you want around when anything hits the fan. But throw a spider into the mix and all bets are off.
VEINS. Zoe uses hers to donate blood. And even though she almost fainted last time and I had to pick her up from school early, she was the first to line up for the next drive and not just because there were free cookies. In my defense, they were good cookies.
WINTER. She loves it. The snow, the ice, the frigid temperatures, the snowmobiling. If she hadn’t left a mile long butt trail down a ski slope one year, I’d be hard pressed to say that she’s mine.
XANAX. The diet of choice when your seventeen year old daughter walks in the door after a date at 11:59:59 p.m., so as not to be late for curfew.
YELLING. We do a lot of it around here. We’re Greek – it’s like a law. That, and owning a restaurant. Yelling is easier and far less sweaty, to be honest.
ZOE. Any college would be lucky to get her.
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