Nancy Roman

I Want A Do-Over

My last post was filled with sweet college memories. Because I am still filled with nostalgia for college – as I am every September – here’s a post from three years ago…



Every September, as I watch the kids go back to school, I get the same yearning.

I wish it were me packing up Dad’s station wagon to go off to college.

I’d take my favorite pillow, and those narrow twin-bed sheets and an Indian batik bedspread.

I’d bring my popcorn popper to warm a can of Campbell’s tomato soup.  And my old stereo turntable and my scratchy Crosby, Stills, and Nash albums.

And my big Underwood typewriter that I bought used for $12.00 – the kind where you have to pound the keys and then sometimes the spindles with the letters get stuck together in mid-air. With onion-skin erasable typewriter paper and a gum eraser.

I’d need notebooks too – the narrow-ruled kind. no larger than 5X8, so my notebooks are about the same size as my textbooks, making a neater stack to carry. Colored pens too – so I can color-code my notes.

I’ll take my bucket to carry my soap and shampoo and comb and toothbrush and toothpaste back and forth to the communal bathroom.

With my bell-bottom jeans, moccasins, and the sweater I knitted myself that has one little mistake in the shoulder –

I’d be ready.

Ready for my do-over.

I’ll sit in my Literature class and discuss The Moviegoer by Walker Percy. When the professor asks why Binx prefers the movies to real life, I’ll say exactly what I said in 1972:

“Movies are better than real life because unexpected things happen. Nothing unexpected ever happens in real life.”

And that scruffy boy will get up from the back of the room and walk over to me. He’ll lean over the desk and kiss me without touching anything but my innocent unpainted lips.  And that boy will return to his seat without looking back. And I will shrug off the moment with a quip:

“As I was saying…”

And everyone will laugh.

And the class will be over and we’ll all leave.

And this time – this time – I will run down the hallway. And I will grab that young sweet man by his flannel shirt-tail. And he will turn around.

And I will kiss him back.




  1. What a great story!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sally Habib

      I have to be honest … I think this is one
      of my favorites of your posts … What if …
      What could have happened ? Really enjoyed it …
      The older I get the more I wonder about
      choices made … Love it

      Liked by 1 person

  2. sweetsound

    If my college years were as fun as yours I’d want a do-over too! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • You must keep in mind though, that I only write about the fun parts.


  3. Can I be the sweet young man this time?


  4. love that; just so neat

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great story. I want a do over every time I walk on a college campus. Probably will always feel that pull. It’s not a bad feeling.


    • College campuses are the most beautiful places on earth – and the aroma of intelligence is sweet indeed.


  6. Helen

    You and I are the same age and I relate so much to your stories. I, too, love academia and would go back to college in a second knowing what I know now, of course! All those things you took to college were familiar with me, the bell bottoms, the Indian bedspread, the bathroom bucket and the moccasins! Mine were ankle-high, with fringe going down the sides. So comfy! And the onion-skin paper; I don’t miss that at all! Just love your blog and your Instagram too.


    • Oooh, your moccasins sound groovy!
      (And for anyone interested in my Instagram account, it is “nancyromanwriter” – but fair warning – it is almost exclusively photos of my pup.


  7. Many people wish they could have a do over in life but alas that doesn’t happen

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on ugiridharaprasad.


  9. Dee Jay

    wow! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. divaforaday

    what a delicious moment, I am captivated, and wish it had happened to me, especially the cool quip after the kiss… kudos!!!


    • It certainly made an indelible mark on my brain (and on my heart).


  11. I’m always envious of the American college experience. I went to the University of London so I lived in a flat in town. The social life just wasn’t the same…


    • Ah but see… I am envious of the British university experience…

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Love this! Cool memory and even cooler guy.


    • And I never really found out who he was – but maybe that makes the memory all the sweeter.


  13. beautiful!


  14. What a great story. I never lived on campus but I have a vivid memory that lives in my heart and yearns a do-over as well. A moment when I was only but 17 and it could have been my first real kiss. I would say yes this time around.


    • I think most of us regret not being braver.


  15. If I had a do-over, I’d GO to college, instead of graduating from high school at 17, going to work as a telephone operator, and then getting married at 19 to someone I’d only known for six weeks. God, was I ever stupid! Fifty years later, my life hasn’t turned out the way I thought it would, but I’m generally happy with it anyway. But I still sometimes wonder, what if….


  16. afarawayhome

    I really hate this time of year, seeing everyone starting in a new college/school – they have so much hope and opportunity, and I won’t have that again 😦 plus I don’t even own any moccasins… so I very much enjoyed reading this, knowing I’m not alone!


    • Imagine how sweet it is walking along the college campus right now… I want to do it again!

      Liked by 1 person

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