I’ve Decided to Collect College Kids. Also, We Should Probably Pray for Greg.

We’ve mostly been with Abby since arriving in Hawaii. Not a ton of time on our own. We’re helping her hunt for next year’s apartment. Doing the grocery shopping. Gasping over the cost of bread one minute (FIVE DOLLARS, you guys, and that’s for a cheap loaf) and piling All the College Kids in our car to force feed them pancakes at IHOP the next. It’s like feeding puppies, y’all; they’re just so wiggly and enthusiastic and grateful, and they look at you with those eyes, like, “You fed me, and now I’m yours forever,” and suddenly you’re all, “MORE PANCAKES FOR EVERYONE. EVERY KIND OF PANCAKE. ANOTHER ROUND ON ME,” and, “Can I KEEP them, Greg? Pleeeeease? I will do ALL the work. You won’t have to do ANYTHING. I will walk them EVERY DAY, and I will feed them and water them, and I will never ask you for anything ever again in my whole life if you just give me All the College Kids.”

I have searched, lo these many years, and I have finally found my calling; feeding college students. I was born for this. This is my sacred duty. This is my calling from the Lord. This is how I shall fulfill my destiny.

Greg says I can’t keep them, though. He says they don’t belong to me. He says we already have five kids and that five kids is enough kids.

I’m not sure about his logic. I think there’s a flaw in there. I’m pretty sure collecting College Kids isn’t the same as collecting Kid Kids since College Kids are technically grown-ups. Also, they’re way cheaper than Kid Kids because College Kids only cost you pancakes. Greg says they don’t only cost pancakes; he says they also cost tuition and fees and apartments in Hawaii. I say that’s practically the same as just pancakes; we can call it pancakes and sundries, and we’ll be fine. Surely, we can fit pancakes and sundries into our budget. How hard can it be?

Greg says I’m the one with flawed logic and that I need to work on my budgeting skills. Since I recognize an expensive loaf of bread when I see one, though, I’m not sure what he’s talking about.

Then he called me a cow, which was mean and temporarily put my Collect All the College Kids plans on hold.

Greg feels like it’s important at this point to note for the record that he did not call me a cow, but I was there so I would know.

See, we took one night to ourselves while we’re here. One night while Abby was studying with the rest of my Future Children to walk the beach in Waikiki. We found a little patio restaurant at sunset looking at Diamond Head. We took this picture and posted it on Facebook.

He ordered the pulled pork sandwich. I ordered the fish tacos. We eavesdropped on our neighbors’ conversations while I had a pretty drink, the color of the purple clouds in the azure sky.

Greg leaned over and took my hand. He looked into my eyes and said, “I really like that trough they served your tacos in.”

That trough, he said.

That… trough.


“Greg, did you just say I’m eating out of a trough?”

Greg looked afraid.

“NO,” he said. “I definitely did not say that.”

“Did you, Gregory, or did you not just say that this is my taco trough?”

“I DIDN’T,” he said. “I SWEAR.”

“DID you,” I asked, head tilted curiously to the side, eyes turning as black and alien as the approaching night sky, eager to swallow the human before me, “therefore liken me to a trough-like creature? Say, a horse? Or a cow?”

“NO!” he said.

And now, days later, he continues to deny it.

Whenever I want to mess with him, I just whisper, “trough.” He winces, and I giggle. I haven’t told him yet how many College Kids he has to let me keep for me to let the Trough Comment go; I’m holding that part in reserve for negotiations to be held at a later date.

In conclusion, let’s pray for Greg, friends. Although he must have committed some sort of heinous crime in a previous life to have to go through this one with me, he really is a dear and doesn’t quite deserve the eye tick I’m giving him.

Dear Jesus,
Please help Greg survive his trip to Hawaii.
And also his life with Beth. 

In your precious name,




P.S. Greg loves travelling with me. My family calls him Poor Greg. I don’t know why. He’s the luckiest.

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9 responses to “I’ve Decided to Collect College Kids. Also, We Should Probably Pray for Greg.”

  1. I feed college students all the time. It truly is a large part of my calling. I’m a professor who lives within 2 miles of a small Christian university. I fed 22 this morning, 5 tonight, and 3 tomorrow (at last count). They love to eat, and–unlike your own children–they are grateful for anything and will be happy even if you offer them burnt offerings (speaking from a recent traumatic baking experience). We had a ‘midnight’ breakfast the other night and fed over 500 students. I got to walk around and offer students muffins and danishes and talk to them. I was so ridiculously happy my colleagues teased me about it. My daughter is seven and already enjoys baking for college students, as did my mom when she was a professor, so apparently it’s a multi-generational calling in our family. Thankfully, my husband also likes to feed them–but we only have 2 kids, not 5, so that helps. 🙂

  2. My husband and I are chaplains in residence at a Jesuit university. Feeding college students can be a real calling!

  3. Beth:

    A secret about feeding college kids: they’re more like cats than dogs. They are STARVING and noisy until you feed them, then afterward they rub against your legs and purr in gratitude… then they leave. And they don’t think about you again until you feed them the next time. Tell Greg not to worry. It’s less like having more kids than like feeding strays — they actually have other homes, but just like to hang out at your house during meals.

    Hope you had fun in the sun!

  4. Bread? Can’t you just live on raw fruit and coconut water in Hawaii? Or is that kind of like thinking everyone in Oregon has a home birth? I’ve never been to Hawaii!

  5. Dear Beth.
    I will be your college kid. It may seem awkward since I am no longer in college. But I can spell college. And I have kids. Also – pancakes.
    All that to say I knew we should be pen pals the moment I first read your blog. I married a Greg too. His name is Marc. People do say poor Marc when my craziness gets the best of me. This will better explain: http://www.lightlyfrayed.com/confessions-warped-sense-of-humour/
    But also they say poor Karen when he is so clean he attacks me with a dustbuster. Poor, poor Karen.
    I only have 4 kids and maybe you don’t speak to people with fewer kids than yourself, but I’d love to hear from you…if you are willing to think outside the box.

  6. I have a 30 year old son living in Waikiki and going to school (he’s a professional student …. in and out of school no degree). Now he works at the sushi house under the Waikiki mall. It’s expensive ….but if she ever gets there tell him Sam Olson’s mom sent her. He wrote home for the tater tot hot dish recipe to take to a shindig last year….didn’t realize Velveeta was $22 a box and I forgot to mention it was an *optionsl ingredient

  7. I made Easter dinner (mostly vegan and gluten-free, but that’s another story) for my son and some college friends a few years ago. He informed me afterwards that I was accorded “goddess status” as a result – not only for cooking and leaving them the leftovers, but also for the fact that I pretty much had to furnish their kitchen in order to do so. (Now that he has graduated and moved home, I’m afraid he no longer regards me as such, though.)

  8. Maybe Greg will allow you to BORROW all the college kids. For breakfast. Then it’s “just pancakes” and all are happy.
    Beautiful pictures. I’ve never seen a trough eating animal have such pretty blue eyes, so obviously it was the pork talking. But you should get to borrow all the college kids for breakfast for good measure.
    Thanks for making Monday so much better!! 🙂

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