Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Burning the Midnight Oil. At The Oasis.

That's it, I am officially keeping a notebook by my bed to write down all the awesome blog post ideas I get at 3 AM and then forget by 7:45.

Oh who am I kidding? The kids will find that notebook and claim for their own, just like the rest of the stuff they have taken off my nightstand, including my thermometer and NFP charts.

How did I get five kids again?

(kidding, people. SO kidding. Everyone remain calm. NFP works. I repeat, just kidding, NFP works. Please don't send me either hate mail or "I told you so" mail.)

Anyway, I really do get some fun ideas at odd times, but I cannot retain them because I have been cramming for Book Club. I know I'm not supposed to capitalize Book Club, but it just feels fancier if I do. Fancy is as fancy does.

(I don't even know what that means because I am so tired. Ignore me.)

I got the selected book yesterday and the meeting is Friday night. Think I can finish it? I'm betting I can, because it's a quick read and I have become pretty good at staying up late. That's thanks to my on-the-job motherhood training right there.

I haven't stayed up this late reading since I was cramming for finals during college. I was never one of those who stayed up for the entire night, but I do remember dragging myself to bed around 3 AM several times.

(Luckily for me, there was no 6 AM wake-up call by a blond two year old, just standing there and staring and breathing. Waiting for me to open my eyes and see him 3.6 inches from my nose. Creepy.)

Whoa, tangential much, tonight, Aimee? Don't worry, I haven't taken up meth, I'm just trying to post something before I have to get back to reading and I lose another chance at my computer time.

Another thing I remember about finals during college was Midnight at the Oasis. I kid you not.

I went to a small college, out in the middle of cornfields, and our cafeteria closed at some ridiculous hour like 4:30 PM. Seriously, we all became like senior citizens racing in there for the early bird special before they closed up shop.

Once that cafe closed, unless you had a stash of food in your room or you had a car/friend with a car, you were done for the night. And forget about trying to walk anywhere. When I say cornfields, I mean like huge, sprawling cornfields. I would have had to be ready to chew my own arm off before I thought of walking a couple miles past PITCH BLACK cornfields. Again, creepy.

Plus, I had no money. None. Not even a little change in my pocket going jing-a-ling-a-ling. (Quick, name that song and artist!)**

No wonder I was at my lowest weight in college. Fear, poverty, and stress work wonders on a waistline.

I don't know who came up with the Midnight at the Oasis plan, but here's what happened: They would open the cafe at midnight and let you in to eat junk and drink coffee. Simple, yet enticing. I was so there, since I was so hungry that my stomach was cannibalizing itself by that point.

They even piped in that awful Maria Muldaur song of the same name from the '70s as we waited in line. And I'm sorry if you like that song, but it's awful. "Cactus is our friend?" Really? Oh well, I was hungry so I could deal.

In addition to Midnight at the Oasis, our parents were strong armed guilted persuaded to send money in so that the school would deliver an "exam survival kit" to their beloved, long-studying son or daughter.

What was in the survival kit? Gatorade, Pop-Tarts, granola bars and some kind of caffeine pill like No-Doze or Vivarin. So we'd all be nice and jittery for our tests in the morning. Yikes.

But my parents sent me one, God bless them, and I had the good sense to binge on Pop-Tarts and leave the caffeine pills alone. I've always been a carb girl.

I know my parents had no money while I was in college. None. But they sent me a survival kit anyway and I've always appreciated it.

I wonder what kinds of things my kids will need or want of me when they go away to college?
Will my kids want me to send them a survival kit when they are cramming for exams? Will those kinds of things even be offered?

Maybe I'll download "Midnight at the Oasis" now, just in case I need to send it to them with a ten dollar bill wrapped around a Pop-Tart and a couple of caffeine pills from Mama. You know, kickin' it old school.


  1. the OASIS!!! oh em gee, I totally forgot about that- well, until you just blogged about it, and YES! We were so deprived that it was a BRILLIANT idea (that sr. citizen early bird line cracked me up). Do you think we could institute something like this with our kids? now?

    And the care pkgs- they were RIDICULOUS. I think there was one of the stuff you mentioned (one each) and it cost like 50 bucks. My dad started making his own, and man they were CRAMMED with lots o carbs and good stuff. So if you ever do the care pkg thing, def do it yourself and ignore any official things.

    Oh, and maybe send it a little earlier than the last 2 days of dorm living. Just saying, Dad. :)

  2. Great great story.
    And, the cactus WOULD be your friend if you were on a desert.
    Just saying.
    I didn't hate that song before, but maybe I do now.
    What are your thoughts on Neil
    Diamond's lyrics...
    "And no one heard at all, not even the chair."

  3. I never got one care package. I may need therapy. I have, of course, made up for that with my own son, and he gets awesome Care packages -- the home version (no music though). The ones offered by the university cost a fortune! Redunkulous!

  4. the corners of my mind....

    I had forgotten all about Midnight at the Oasis. And those care packages. Thanks for the trip back in time.

    @ Laura: I thin t hat not even if your chair hears you, you're pretty miserable. That is probably not Mr. Diamond's best work. My most vivid memory of Neil is my mom belting out his songs when I was a kid. And my little brother dancing to "They're coming to America." Just thinking of that song gives me goosebumps. "TODAY!"

  5. Anonymous10:58 AM

    Georgia Satellites (original), Garth Brooks (good remake)

    I can't believe I beat Mama Giglio to that one!

    No Midnight @ the Oasis in upstate New York, few cornfileds, lots of alcohol...

    Husband of Awesome Blogger

  6. MamaK & Barbara: I agree that homemade care packages are the best. My mom once sent me an entire box of milk chocolate caramels and a homemade Valentine card. It still ranks as one of the nicest things I've ever gotten for St. Valentine's Day - and my hubs is an awesome gift giver.

    Hubby: I KNOW you were never at any place with any alcohol. Ever. You lived in a monastery during college, right? ;)

  7. Anonymous12:52 PM

    Certe, carus uxor

    -Mister "how-did-the-seminary-miss-this-guy?" Aimee's husband

  8. Anonymous1:25 PM

    I loved Midnight at the oasis! What a great post!
    Mirabella Mom

  9. I only know part of that song from watching Waiting for Guffman. I like the idea though--very smart on the part of the university. And survival kits? Brilliant!

    So all that talk of staying up late reading and you don't tell us what the book is?

  10. I am getting near-weekly Care Package Spam from my son's university of choice. Spare me! I know I can do better with a flat-rate box from the post office and everything I can stuff in there.

    I want to know what the book is too. Right now I'm reading a very good book but I can't remember the title because it's 10:37 and I'm stupid like that at this hour. Sheesh.

  11. GeeGee1:32 PM

    You know how you have fewer pix in your photo album of each successive child? Well, that's how I was with care packages too. I think I sent JB one, and maybe one to JuJu, but the Bird?...he'll be a senior this year and I've yet to mail him anything...terrible Mom!

  12. oh, so my blonde 2 year old isn't the only child creeping his Mama out at 3am?!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for the college memories- only I never got the care package as I went to Moravian- they'd just tell me to come home and mow the lawn or wash the bathroom if I called hoping for food or money (well now, I suppose I should back off, they were very supportive- but still no care packages!).

  13. Oh, how I loved the soon as I saw your title, I had a nice little trip down memory lane.


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