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Columns

I've Been Thinking: Writing about family and remembering a teenager's messy bedroom

Carol Kloskowski
Carol Kloskowski

Greetings. I’m delighted to be a new columnist for the Elburn Herald, Sugar Grove Herald and Kane County Chronicle.

Here’s just a bit about me.

I was born and raised in the Chicago area, married and quickly became the mother of seven children who are now adults. Besides a variety of short-term jobs for years, I was employed as a teacher’s aide, and I volunteered as a religious education teacher for the children attending my church. 

My husband and I just returned from living in upper Michigan for a number of years. It’s good to be back and living close to most of our relatives.

One topic I like to write about is my family.

There are a few things I would have loved my son Billy to do when he was a teenager – get good grades, date only platonically until he finished college, hate the taste of alcoholic beverages until he was 21 and CLEAN HIS ROOM.

At that time, if you had dared to enter his bedroom, you’d have seen a collection of electronic gizmos scattered on top of his dresser. His dresser drawers would have been full of nuts, bolts, screws, other assorted tools, a sports magazine and candy wrappers. Back then, clothes that you and I would have kept in the dresser drawers resided on the floor in Billy’s room. Whether the clothes were clean or dirty, it made no difference. ALL CLOTHES BELONGED ON THE FLOOR. That was an unwritten rule my son followed.

Bill’s bed was never made unless Grandpa was arriving for his annual visit from Florida. Under that bed would have been a gym bag containing very "ripe" socks, shorts and gym shoes. It drove me crazy trying figure out the source of "that terrible smell."

There actually were clothes hanging in the closet – clothes I’d purchased for my son since he was 13. They hung neatly with the price tags still attached. Never to be worn, they would finally make it to a resale shop where some needy mom would buy them for her son who also would never wear them.

Besides these unwanted garments, sometimes the closet also contained stereo speakers, footballs, bats, basketballs, soccer balls and a weight bench. Of course there were weights scattered around the bedroom floor on top of – and hidden under – a lot of strewn clothes for any bedroom intruder to trip over.

Next to the bed, on the night stand (if you could have seen it), you’d have found an unplugged electric alarm clock, a bottle full of moldy Pepsi, one half-eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and (just for effect) an open math book.

On one wall were posters of young women, their hair flying wildly in all directions and their bodies either encased in jeans so tight that it would take a surgeon to get them off or they wore tiny bits of material that only jokingly could be called swimsuits. The contortions these women were posed in emphasized parts of their anatomy that were discreetly covered just a generation ago. Could the look of brooding on each of their seductive faces really have been a look of pain because of the contortions and the tight jeans, I wondered?

On the opposite wall were posters of football players with menacing looks on their fierce faces staring at the sexy, brooding ladies across the room. It wasn’t a pretty sight, let me tell you.

Luckily, when Grandpa visited from Florida, Billy was forced to clean his bedroom because Grandpa was there. Thank God for Grandpa.

Carol Kloskowski is a resident of Elburn. Feedback on this column can be sent to editorial@kcchronicle.com.

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