A common theme in the collegiate atmosphere is parents’ weekend. A time where the University feels compelled to offer the parents a chance to see what they are spending all of their 401 K on. At my prestigious school that I got accepted to with the ACT score of a 20, held there’s in October. Unfortunately, my parents living in the far land of North Carolina, we’re not able to make the long trek to FGCU. So, they decided upon themselves to move parents’ weekend to Thanksgiving. A few weeks prior to their departure, my mother did her weekly check in to ensure I still had a pulse. She had seen a recent charge on my debit card that overdrafted my account. The Lani Khai resort. For those of you non Floridians, the Lanai Khai is an exceptional beach “resort” and is considered the heart and soul of Fort Myers Beach. Now, I only have ever been to their bar and at the time, never investigated the 5 star hotel adjacent to it. My mother asked how the Lanai Khai was and I gave her the only truthful response I could muster. It’s a paradise mom, after all, it says resort after it.Without hesistation, trusting the wise words of her 19 year old son, my mother booked a room for her, my father and two sisters while they came for “parents weekend.”

I’ve done some stupendous mischief in my life so seeing my mother in angst towards me is something that had become quite routine. However, I’ll never forget the furry in her voice as she checked into the Lani Khai resort. Evidently, my description of “paradise” was a little loose and not forth coming. I won’t get into the details that transpired on that phone call but long story short, my mother checked everyone out of the resort and relocated closer to my home, The Titz Carlton. Being the “resort” was no longer in the equation, our thanksgiving dinner plans also became ruined because they were also at, you guessed it, the Lanai friggin Khai.

“You got us into this mess Nicolos, and you’re getting us out of it. We’re having thanksgiving dinner at your house.”

Woah. Keep in mind, my mother had yet to ever venture into the realm that was this pit of misery. Talk about a panic attack. Peek below.

As my mother and family drove into the driveway, my sisters immediately started laughing, knowing now, they firmly secured their spot as the favorite children. Not even one foot into the house and my family was already confirming the obvious, that my life is an ongoing joke. My mothers first step into the home couldn’t have gone any worse. Her flip flop broke as the floor was so infested with stale beer it got stuck to the ground. As they crept around in utter amazement of the refined beer box wall paper, blow up dolls dangling from the ceiling and hurricane shutters that hung over the windows as shades, all she could mutter was one sentence,

“ So Nicolos, where does one eat in this….. place.”

Like a child who knows he is about to be escorted to time out, I reluctantly picked my head up and pointed towards a table, our beer pong table. Old, chipped, stained and tattooed with the most vile statements you could think of, my mother nodded her head in a sarcastic approving manor. My sisters continue to laugh. My father is in absolute astonishment of the amount of décor in the house.

” Son, If you focused your time in academics as much as you do in decorating this house, maybe you’d graduate in 4 years.”

Belly Boo was also present for this episode of MTV cribs featuring my parents and would add subtle comments from time to time that only made matters worse because that’s what Belly Boo does. Next, my mother decided she could not sit another moment in this “poop hole” and cleaned the entire house with Belly Boo and myself.  It was the first time it had been cleaned since the homes birth. I could see the floors. I could see the garage. It was magnificent.

So, there we were, mother, father, sisters and Belly Boo gathered around the Titz Carlton beer pong table toasting our red solo cups to our forefathers who discovered this land.  Thanksgiving in 2012 is one I’ll never forget and is one my mother certantiely needs therapy for.

Family first. Stay tuned for next weeks chapter 6: Meet the Neighbors