A few tips on getting the best out of mater for those who have just flown the nest and gone to college or university.
- Go back home for the first couple of weekends. You won’t yet have made any new friends or found a decent pub, so make the most of those carrier bags of groceries your mum will thrust upon you in gratitude for your filial attention.
- Once you have found a new pal, take them home too. Mum will be so pleased to meet someone who can hold a proper conversation instead of the series of grunts she gets from you. She will specially like them if they are foreign or far from home. Besides, two pairs of hands are better than one to carry those bags of stuff, which you will notice will have grown in size as a result of your pal’s efforts.
- Invite mum to your place. Don’t worry, she’s a child of the sixties and will have experienced much worse student pads than yours. She probably lived in a squat. You will be amazed at how well she gets on with your inked and pierced weirdo flatmates. Top tip: Make sure she is left alone briefly in the kitchen. She won’t be able to resist taking a peek into your communal freezer cabinet, which, if you have any sense, you will have temporarily emptied (wrap the contents in newspaper and hide it under the bed). You will find yourself unceremoniously dragged off to Iceland to restock at Mum’s expense.
- Don’t reject gifts of clothing. Your mum’s sixties hippie gear is becoming cool again. And you can exchange your dad’s hideous old M&S jumpers at Oxfam for money-off vouchers for useful new M&S items such as underwear or socks.
- Speaking of dads, they aren’t a lot of use apart from the occasional lift to the station with all those carrier bags and a posh nosh-up on graduation day. But that’s years away. Concentrate on mum for now!
P.S. Don’t take washing home. Seeing the last of your grubby smalls was one reason why mum was glad to see you leave. Besides, you’ll already have quite enough to carry on the way back!