Column: Parents, partying, Halloween should spell interesting time for students on big weekend

By Phil Collins

Homecoming Weekend is an annual tradition enjoyed by students and alumni alike. This year Homecoming takes on a special meaning as our football team may be giving us more to cheer about than the occasional victory.

You see, when victories are strung together in NCAA football they sometimes translate into a bowl game – something that has until recently seemed as mythical as a unicorn, leprechaun, centaur, or whatever you fancy.

Now I don’t want to jinx anything, so let’s talk about a tried and true staple of Homecoming Weekend: drinking with your parents.

This, of course, is the second part of the annual trilogy of weekends that see campus overrun with 40-somethings trying to remember the lefts and rights of campus navigation. This weekend takes on a slightly different feel than the other two (Dads and Moms weekends), as it caters specifically to alumni.

Somehow I get the feeling that more than just alumni take that as an invitation to come down to visit C-U, and why not? It’s as good a weekend as any to get together.

This weekend, I’ll be continuing a tradition we started last fall, which of course involves drinking with the folks.

In fact, it involves drinking with 10 members of my family. After the game (because before the 11 a.m. kickoff is just too damn early) we’ll be tailgating, and if history is any indication of what will happen, we’ll probably have enough food and beer for a small army.

I think, if we do end up at a bar, my relatives would choose the same bars that I would – Legends, Murphy’s, or Firehaus.

I’ll never forget last Moms Weekend when I was stopped in the middle of the day by two mothers who were probably in their 40s, dressed as if they thought it was the middle of the night and they were still in their 20s. I was naturally asked where “the station” was.

I kept myself together long enough to point them in the right direction and then thanked God I wasn’t in some dimension where my parents might want to dance up on someone.

In any case, family can add an interesting dynamic to the whole drinking scene. Personally, I feel compelled to use some level of restraint when I’m with family. This is mostly because I don’t want them to see me drunk, although weekends like this can make it hard to avoid that peril.

When we tailgated last year, the family decided it would be a good idea to give all the leftover beer to me, rather than lugging it back home.

Well, I didn’t want to be rude … and just like that I was about 40 cans richer. Needless to say, we invited some help over that night and when my parents came back to drop off my brother so he could stay in my apartment that night, well I wasn’t entirely sober. This is exactly the kind of unavoidable situation I’m talking about.

Now by blind luck or whatever it may be, this year’s Homecoming falls on the weekend before Halloween. If your parents are staying for the full weekend, Halloween is an X-factor if there ever was one.

I can say with little doubt in my mind that Halloween weekend is the busiest party weekend during the fall semester. So happy Halloween on Saturday night and have fun hiding your hangover Sunday morning.