Irene in College
By author Lori Goldson
Tour Date: November 1st, 2016
In book 1 of The Life & Times Series, “Irene in College”, Irene comes face-to-face with the realization that college is anything but easy. At the mercy of an insufferable mother, pompous boyfriend, malevolent best friend, dim-witted nuisance, and an ineffable college professor, what would be easy about it? Come join Irene as she learns how to deal with it all.
Irene thought college would be the easy part—get good grades, make new friends, and say good-bye to a daunting past. Little did she know that the whimsy of life would have other plans for her!
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Book 2 in this series is coming soon!
Life has a whimsical way of kicking you in the throat. I find it to
be one huge cosmic joke at our expense, only nobody is laughing but the forces that be—given that they are even a wee bit human.
No, instead, we are all here crawling on our bellies like mongrels
hoping that one day, somehow, someone will let us in on the joke
opposed to only being the brunt of it all. That’s how I felt for
the last nineteen years of my life. I have been nothing more than
fodder, despite my constant efforts to rise above such put-downs.
“You’ve got to work hard, Irene,” my father, Ernest, always
said before he worked himself into an early grave when I was six.
He had been a construction worker who started his own business when he was only twenty-one years old. During that time,
he felt it would keep him “grounded” to stay outside with the
manual laborers and leave the paperwork to someone with more
administrative experience—cue my mother, Esperanza, who was
his girlfriend at the time.
My father did work hard. Day in, day out, he sweated through
his work clothes lifting, pulling, carrying, and pushing just as the
other union workers did. Sadly, his work did not come without a
price. Most expect me to say that my father passed from a heart
attack or heat exhaustion, which brings me back to the whimsy of
life. My father was in impeccable shape at the time of his death.
It was not the elements that killed him, but himself. While working on a dormitory for a nearby university to our New Jersey
home, he lost his balance while carrying what were arguably too
many steel rods for one to lift on his own. But being the man he
was, proud and quite hardheaded, my father carried these rods up
a ladder, and ironically, when he got to the top of the structure,
lost his balance and fell to his death. Working hard clearly didn’t keep him from being a victim of the masses, and the urn filled
with him to the brim sitting above our fireplace was proof.
“Stop and smell the roses,” my mother often said to counteract my father’s overzealousness before she lost her mind and
became so consumed with R&R that she began self-medicating
with over-the-counter prescriptions, and trips to the spa to get
her mind off of my father’s passing. It’s funny because I thought
my life was difficult then. My father was gone and my mother
was losing it. Working for my father’s company was no longer in
the cards for her, understandably, but she never thought to look
for other work.
She had administrative experience coming out of her ears, but
I guess it all seemed too hard for her. Living off my father’s pension was just easier for her. She called herself a “stay-at-home”
mom now, despite never being home. She was always in New
York, Tahiti, or Dubai getting massaged and intoxicated on
whatever was being sold on the black market in each location. I
just hoped she didn’t speed through all the money before it came
time for me to bury her. I counted the days, as I felt they would
be upon me sooner than later.
Oh, if only someone had warned me that there were more
universal hilarities in the works at my expense. However, as time
would tell, not just my being would be jeopardized. Instead, I’d
find myself crawling on my belly begging for salvation—or crucifixion—whichever came first.
Through the last few years of my high school career, I was told
that I was very well adjusted considering all I had been through.
My mother and I stayed in New Jersey, but moved to a smaller
house and I focused in on school as to not be stuck in the house
alone. I spent most of my evenings in the library, promising
myself that I would get the best scholarship possible to honor my
father’s “work hard” mantra. I didn’t want his death to be in vain
and have his only child go on and be a loser after all he had done
in such a short time. My father wasn’t even forty when he passed.
In retrospect, there’s no telling what caused this unsuspecting string of events. It might be that I was born under a questionable sign. Through my childhood and adolescence, I had no
close friends. While there were people I associated with, I did
not have anyone I could call a true friend because I was socially
suicidal on a regular just by trying to ensure myself some type of
future. Going to the mall and beach and whatever else was not
likely. I had no desire to pilfer away good time with nonsense,
like wandering the walkways of the locales unless it was absolutely necessary. Interestingly enough, I had no companionship
growing up. I emerged into young adulthood and started to have
friends and even—dare, I say—a boyfriend, and found myself as
the social butterfly.
But still, the social circle wasn’t as strong as it could’ve been,
and I clearly had a lot to learn about life and who and what
truly makes me happy. So, maybe Michaela, Emily, Nicolette,
and myself were all “destined”—and I use that term loosely—to
meet and become permanent parts of my life because if you had
told me when I was seventeen that a stranger would become my
mentee, my enigma a closest friend, and someone I loathed my
mother figure, I would have laughed in your face. Or maybe this
is just the way God wanted it. I’ve learned he has an unsullied
sense of humor. I know there are times I have just had to laugh
with him because yeah, I guess it is kind of funny.
While I am still adjusting to what has occurred over the course
of time and learning to appreciate the newfound camaraderie, I
cannot help but wonder. One of the pitfalls of being a brainiac—
you cannot stop thinking about stuff.
It was September of my sophomore year in college. Ah,
September. The time of year I often yearn for as I get to do what I
am best at—being a student. I suck at everything else. Girlfriend?
Please. I didn’t have my first boyfriend until college, and to this
day, we have a very weird and confusing rapport. I shudder to
think of myself as a stereotype: self-conscious, full-figured nerdy
female falls for the suave Dominican guy with an awesome body.
I know, I know, too “hood romance novel” for me, too.
My mom kind of hates me. I think my birth had something to do
with it, since, you know, it’s my fault she lost her figure and all.
Friend? Eh, I guess I would need more of those to see how I fair
in that regard. But school is where I clean up and make up for all
my shortcomings. And I was ready to get back into action, until
a certain someone came and interrupted my night. I have a very
real hypothesis that he started this whole thing…
About the Author:
Lori Goldson lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Erik, and is the author of “Irene in College, The Life & Times Series: Book 1”. The sequel, “The Adulthood” is to be released November 22, 2016 from Tate Publishing. Lori has also begun a collection of book-related items that are available for sale now on Zazzle.
I am a writer, blogger, book reviewer, and bon vivant and encourager. I have lived my entire life in Tropical Ohio. My goal is to make friends with everyone in the world. I am writing a fiction series, The Golden Age of Charli, that presents the problems and praises, and the love and laughter of family life and retirement.
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