Point of No Return — More than one way to overstay a welcome
New York City’s Hunter College was founded in 1870 as a women’s college, and began accepting males in 1946. It is the only college in the nation that counts two female Nobel laureates in medicine amongst its alumni, and it has also graduated Ellen Barkin, Harry Connick Jr., Bobby Darin, Vin Diesel, Hugh Downs, Rhea Perlman, Esther Rolle, Jean Stapleton and “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli.
But it will be Lisa Palmer who will always hold a special place in my heart whenever I hear or read anything about Hunter college in the future.
Palmer, 32, was a student at Hunter College before dropping out in 2016, according to CBS New York. But that has not stopped her from living in the dorms.
Palmer reportedly applied for summer housing at Hunter in 2016, but was denied. She decided to just go ahead and not leave her dorm, according to an Associated Press story, and the school sent her several notices that she would be charged $150 a day if she stayed. Well, she stayed, telling CBS News she plans to eventually finish her degree at the school.
“I feel like every semester is a new opportunity to register for courses,” said Palmer. “I think I should just stay and fight the case.”
Ah, yes. “The case.”
Hunter College filed a suit against Palmer at the end of February, saying she owes them more than $94,000 in unpaid residence hall fees since she dropped out in 2016. The suit alleges that Hunter failed to pay her student fees “almost immediately” after moving into the dorm in the spring of 2016.
“Not only did Palmer refuse to vacate her dormitory room in order to make room for incoming, eligible students enrolled at Hunter College, but she dropped out of Hunter College, making her ineligible for student housing in any event,” according to the suit, per the New York Daily News.
Multiple news sources reported that Hunter issued a 30-day eviction notice to Palmer in September 2017, but Palmer has continued to... well... stay. In fact, she has been working two jobs, according to CBS New York, and then comes home to her free dorm room after work.
Palmer, a Delaware native (Boom! Local angle!), says that this entire situation was birthed from a disagreement. Palmer told the New York Post that Hunter refused to let her register for fall 2016 classes after she disputed her housing and tuition bill.
“I felt that it was a miscommunication initially, but after I met with the dean I felt they were starting to treat me unfairly,” she said. “It was like, ‘Get out.’”
Of course, she didn’t get out. Hunter has now moved her to a wing that is only occupied by a middle-aged nurse, whom the college is reportedly also trying to evict, according to reports.
Hey, do you guys remember when George Costanza was working at a company that was trying to make him quit, but he refused to leave, so they just kept making it worse for him, and tried to lock him out of his office, but...
But I digress.
The entire subject got me thinking about other situations where people have seemingly overstayed their welcomes. They range from mildly awkward and annoying to, well, much more than that.
• Let’s just start with invading armies. As a general rule of thumb, an invading army is understood to have overstayed its welcome at the point it becomes a... wait for it... invading army. There really is no helpful hint from Miss Manners except to suggest to invading armies, “Hey, invading army. Don’t invade.”
• It would appear from the outside that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is overstaying his welcome in his current position. The POTUS has reportedly called him everything from incompetent to Mr. Magoo, and Sessions just continues to wake up every morning, put on his tie and show up to work. It would have to be remarkably, unbelievably awkward for Sessions to sit at a conference table across from his boss, but his boss hasn’t fired him yet. Might as well keep punching in and working, right?
• The Baltimore Ravens used to have a quarterback by the name of Kyle Boller. Seemed like a really nice guy, was very athletic and could throw a football a proverbial “country mile.” But Boller struggled in that he was a horrendous football player. That’s kind of an important quality for a professional football player. The Ravens fans turned against him fairly quickly, and it appeared that his teammates didn’t have a lot of faith in him, either. Boller played five years of rancid football for the Ravens before getting three more years out of his career with two more teams. Again, super-nice guy. Again, just an awful football player.
• Dan. When I was living in California, a guy in my apartment complex named Dan was seemingly always out in the parking lot, no matter what time day it was. I’d leave in the morning — there’s Dan. I’d come home late at night — Dan. He’d often talk to me the entire time I was walking up to my door, and just follow me right inside and grab a beer out of my fridge and keep on talking. I once asked Dan what his last name was and he just shook his head and laughed. “It’s Dan, brother. It’s more of an essence than a name.”
“Get out of my house, Dan.”
That was pretty much my last encounter with the essence known as Dan. I guess he just didn’t dig my vibe.