My Night to Cook Days, Light Days, Remarkable Days, College Days

Okay, I’ve addressed hemorrhoids, so I feel like the content of this blog is wide open. Why not address the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever done? Sure.

Of course, some history is in order.

In college I lived in the dorm two years per the University of Illinois requirement.

But then, as all cool kids do, I moved off campus. I lived with some dorm pals in a house that had been subdivided (awkwardly) into two apartments. We thought it was the Taj Mahal. (It has since been torn down…)

The first floor had two apartments. One had five bedrooms — perfect for me and four pals. Well, maybe “perfect” is an overstatement. But, hell, we were out of the dorm so we hardly noticed the inconveniences. To wit:

We had one bathroom. For 5 girls.


To access the basement laundry, the residents of the other first floor apartment had to tramp through our apartment.

No problem.

More background detail: In our one bathroom for five girls, we had a dresser with five drawers. Convenient. One for each of us to store our toiletries. Nonetheless, one drawer was still small considering my storage needs.

The other first-floor residents who needed to tramp through our apartment? Well they would be Mr. and Mrs. Dicker. While they were not old — my guess is grad students — they were married (which none of us could imagine). The Dickers were seemingly appalled by our freewheeling approach to life in general.

Really? We were good students — accounting, biology, social work, geology, engineering. We were devoted to our studies Sunday through Thursday nights. Yes, Friday and Saturday were the “let off steam” evenings. But they — particularly Mrs. Dicker (a/k/a Kim…can’t believe I still remember the name of someone I had less than 3 conversations with 40 years ago, but I digress.) Kim seemed particularly disturbed by our “goings on.” The music. The parties. The raucous laughter.

But we abided her.

We also made up a song about Mrs. Dicker. It went as follows:

“I’m a dicker. She’s a dicker. Wouldn’t you like to be a dicker too?”

Of course I am not proud of this ditty, but believe me, I wasn’t singing it alone…

One of our — frankly brilliant — ideas, was that we would each take a night and cook for the five of us, allowing the remaining four to come home seconds before dinner, snarf something down, and return to study on campus. The cuisine was “uneven” but that is the subject of another post. For now, let’s focus on my night to cook.

I came home, about 4:30ish. Early enough for me to prepare my signature ham slice or meatloaf. But before starting, I had to “freshen up.” So I proceeded to the shared bathroom, opened my assigned dresser drawer, removed my spectacles, rummaged around my very messy drawer, and donned my shower cap so I could wash my face without having my hair “in the way.” Ladies will understand.

And just at that inopportune moment, the doorbell rang.

I trudged to door, still in my shower cap, and asked, “Who is it?”

“Kim Dicker. I need to do my laundry.”

So I unlocked the door and admitted her.

She looked STUNNED.

“What the hell?” I thought. It’s just a goddamn shower cap. Surely she is familiar with shower caps?? I explained that I was just washing my face and donned a shower cap so as not to dampen my locks.

She looked dubious but hustled past me down to the basement, and I returned to the bathroom to finish up my “refresh.”


When I returned to joint-toileting central, I caught a glimpse of myself.

Yes, I had the shower cap on but that wasn’t the half of it.

Somehow, appended to my shower cap, was a “light day” pad. The strip covering the adhesive back had gotten dislodged. Not sure how that happened, but one small drawer to house all my toiletries is the obvious answer. The crowded conditions made for an untidy drawer. Jumbled even. Things got knocked loose perhaps. Like adhesive backs.

And the pad was stuck to my shower cap at such a jaunty angle!! Almost gaily!

I don’t know how to even end this post.

Are the Dickers still married? Did Mrs. Dicker tell Mr. Dicker? Did they concoct some bizarre story of the girls next door? Did Kim Dicker suppress the sight? We will never know.

This I do know. The Dickers never mentioned the shower cap incident to any of us. They moved away at the end of their lease. They didn’t say good-bye but one day they were just gone. So we got to rent the whole first floor, and the Dicker apartment became one with ours, meaning we now had two bathrooms, two living rooms, another bedroom, and two front doors.

And there was learning. Henceforth I always stored things in their original packaging.

Tidy, eh?

4 thoughts on “My Night to Cook Days, Light Days, Remarkable Days, College Days

  1. Please write an account of the post-school history of the Dickers. I think she told her future kids to wear clean underwear in case of accidents AND always check your hair for “light day” pads before answering doors.

  2. When I told this story, I (incorrectly) amended it to say that you had attached the pad to your shower cap so you would remmember to put it on.

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