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Parentology: The ultimate college shopping list

August 2, 2010 |  9:46 am

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There are many lists of freshman dorm necessities floating around on the Internet, but one list making the rounds among parents on L.A.'s Westside is especially thorough. It's an Excel spreadsheet that usually lands in in-boxes with a disclaimer from the sender saying something like, "I know it's a little much, but it's nice to have it all spelled out."

This particular list is broken down into categories such as "bedding," "bedroom stuff," "common room," "hardware store" and "toiletries," and it has more than 100 items, including Dixie cups, Blistex, mini cutting board, stamps, ruler, Wite-Out, thank you notes and small vacuum.

Some people see helicopter mom in this list; others might see just plain neurotic person. After all, an 18-year-old who has managed to get into college is surely capable of buying his or her own Blistex. But there is something else in the time, care and energy spent by the unknown parent who put it all together: the desire -- however absurd -- to take care of everything, just one last time.

Read more about the emotions behind the college dorm room shopping trip.

-- Deborah Netburn

Photo: Sharon Lerman shops with her son Ben, center, and his friend Daniel Gordon at Bed Bath & Beyond in Los Angeles. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

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