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A student's guide to Family Weekend

By Ryan Chirnomas
Arizona Daily Wildcat
October 9, 1998
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Arizona Daily Wildcat

Ryan Chirnomas

They gave you life.

They gave you morals and values. They gave you money. And now they're coming to visit. Brace yourself.

Yes, it's that time of year again. Temperatures have plummeted to double-digit figures, midterms are rearing their ugly heads, and the NHL season is finally upon us. Must be time for Family Weekend.

Before your kin arrive, there are a couple things that you, the student, must do in order to survive this weekend. First, if you have a car, find a parking spot. Now. Keep it. Next, it's quite important to "mom-ify" your dorm room, apartment, or house. Basically, this entails the temporary removal of any items that may not be "parent -friendly." This includes, but is not limited to, bottles of alcohol, crack pipes and other drug paraphernalia, and undergarments belonging to members of the opposite sex. It is essential that you stay on your family's good side this weekend. You'll see why in a bit.

Once your residence is cleared of any incriminating evidence, it's time to welcome the family with open arms. But after the initial pleasantries of a parental reunion have worn off, it suddenly occurs to you, "What the hell am I gonna do with these people all weekend?" Here at the Wildcat we've done the thinking for you, creating an itinerary suited to your needs.

Friday night, your family arrives, exhausted from a long, arduous drive or flight. They'll probably want to relax and chat with you for awhile. And what better place to do that than your favorite (and somewhat expensive) restaurant? They pick up the bill of course. They love you, and the best way for them to express that is to give you free food.

After a restful sleep, Saturday rolls around. This, of course, is the most challenging day, as it requires filling the entire day with some wholesome All-American family activities. I would suggest the most All-American activity of all: shopping. Personally, I suggest patronizing Price Club, where all your spending needs come in "larger-than-a-Latin-American-country-size."

This is where the "being on their good side" comes in. Mom and Pop will be happy to buy you all the stuff you need, from clothes to groceries to gas. That is, provided that you're progressing (or can create the illusion of progressing) along the path they consider to be the road to being a better, more enlightened human being.

However, one can only shop for so long before maxing out your parents' credit card. Well then, what to do on Saturday night? Why, go to the big football game, of course. A good time is guaranteed for all, well, at least all who can get tickets. Put on your favorite red and/or blue duds, and head to the stadium to join 50,000 or so of your fellow families in screaming your brains out.

So what about Sunday? I say sleep in late, and let the family take you out for one last free lunch. Heck, since they probably won't see you for another month or two, they'll be glad to fill your tummy full of food that doesn't originate in a brightly colored package.

Then, after a full weekend of football, food and fun, it's time to say your teary good-byes. Give your family a hug and a big thank you for visiting, not to mention buying you enough food to last until Thanksgiving. Send them off with a smile.

And then you can go back to living your normal life of parties, pizza and procrastination.

Ryan Chirnomas is a molecular and cellular biology junior and a regular columnist for the Arizona Daily Wildcat. He can be reached via e-mail at Ryan.Chirnomas@wildcat.arizona.edu.