I was so tickled reading this New Yorker article on the train that I couldn’t stop smiling at my Blackberry and trying not to giggle.  People must think I am nuts.  At least it is a newspaper column that I was amused by and not the usual something else. 

(I have no idea whether it is okay to copy and paste the article here.)

Congratulations! It took four years and hundreds of thousands of dollars, but you’re finally the parents of a bona-fide college graduate. After the commencement ceremony is over, your child will be ready to move back into your house for a period of several years. It’s a very exciting time. But it can also be stressful. We hope that this guide will answer all your questions and give you the information you need to care for your precious new college graduate.

What do I feed my college graduate?

Most college graduates are vegetarians and will become cranky or upset if offered meat. They also have irregular eating habits. Most prefer to skip family meals, but if you stock the fridge and the cabinets with snacks they will usually be able to find them on their own.

Why is my college graduate so fussy?

It’s normal for college graduates to be fussy. It just means that they feel frightened, vulnerable, or confused. You can usually get to the root of the problem by consulting this checklist:

Did somebody suggest that he “look for work”? Yes / No
Did the subject of graduate school “come up”? Yes / No
Has he been to a scary job interview? Yes / No
Did he see a scary LSAT book? Yes / No
Did his rock band “not get signed”? Yes / No
Was he asked to “help around the house”? Yes / No

What do I do if my college graduate cries? What do I do if he screams?

College graduates are setting foot in the real world for the very first time. Imagine how daunting that must be! They have so many daily needs, and yet they lack even the most basic tools required to survive in the world. They are completely helpless. Crying and screaming are ways for college graduates to communicate their frustrations, so that you can solve their problems for them. Again, you can usually find out what’s wrong by consulting a simple checklist:

Does your college graduate have enough cigarettes? Yes / No
Did you remember to fill her wallet with cash? Yes / No
Does she have Internet access? Yes / No
Has she had her daily nap? Yes / No
Does she have her Moleskine and/or sketch pad? Yes / No
Does she have her bottle? Yes / No

That brings us to another frequently asked question: How do I wean my college graduate off the bottle?

With difficulty! Ha ha ha. Seriously, though, it is extremely difficult to get a college graduate to stop drinking alcohol. Most require six to eight beers per night, plus occasional “shots” throughout the week. In general, college graduates outgrow this habit once they’ve moved out of the house and are forced to buy alcohol with their own money.

How should I respond to political temper tantrums?

It is perfectly normal for college graduates to have these kinds of outbursts, particularly if they graduate during an election year. As time goes by, though, the tantrums will lessen in intensity and frequency, and they tend to stop entirely once the graduate begins to pay taxes.

How do I teach my college graduate independence?

Good question! Experts have differing opinions on the subject. Some suggest a “firm” approach: assigning housework, banning marijuana, requesting politeness, etc. Others suggest a “liberal” approach: cooking and cleaning for them, praising their “poems,” etc. Unfortunately, neither approach works. But don’t worry. With a little patience and a lot of love, they’ll be out of the house in no time.

Your New College Graduate: A Parents Guide

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