Home Again

I don’t think of grownup people as getting homesick, unless they’re away at war, but I’ve been pretty lonely for my family and Boston friends lately, so I was happy to go home for the weekend. It was my friend Cathy’s birthday. We had a party on Sara’s roofdeck. We drank sangria and ate entirely too much. It was a fine old time.

A note about the ridiculousness of my homesickness: I live exactly 204 miles from my folks, which isn’t that far, if you think about it. It’s only a 40-minute plane ride away. Most of my friends in New York are much farther from their family than I am, unless they’re actually from New York — but then again, maybe most of them don’t like their family as much as I do.

A short while ago, I was talking to Smyres about how bizarre it is to find myself missing someone no matter where I am. Most people get to that earlier, I know. They go to college far away, or they move to another state after they graduate. I mostly stayed put, until I ran away from home at the tender age of 29, so this is all new to me.

“You get used to it,” Smyres said. After she left Boston, her Mom went back to L.A., where they’re from. So she can’t even visit for a weekend, if she wants. It’s too far away. Also, it’s expensive.

Smyres is right, but I have a ways to go before I’m totally used to this. Things change while you’re not there, and it’s weird to come home to find out that some of your friends are thinking about having babies, and others have new boyfriends or jobs. I feel totally the same, which is silly, because I’m the one who moved.

When I moved, I thought it might only be for a few years, and it still might, but now I’m not sure where I’ll be. I might stay in New York, where I feel more at home than I ever have anywhere, despite being far away from the home I started out in. I might move back to Boston. I might learn French and move to Paris. Who knows.

That’s exciting, I guess, but it’s also weird. My friends are having babies, and I’m thinking of renting an apartment that comprises more than one room. I feel ten years younger than I should.

After our 47th glass of sangria, I mentioned this to Cathy. (OK, “mentioned” is a bit slicker than the actual situation. I think what I really said was, “Boo hoo hoo, you guys are real grownups and I have only one drinking glass at the moment, because I keep dropping them at 4 a.m., and anyway, they’re from the Christmas Tree Shop, because I’ve never registered for anything.”)

And, of course, the grass is always greener, because Cathy pointed out that she couldn’t have decided to move to New York on a whim, cuz maybe her husband would have wanted some input.

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8 thoughts on “Home Again

  1. If it makes you feel better all my drinking glasses are stolen beer glasses from Flannery’s, drinking game glasses, or dollar store wine glasses, and one is under my couch…
    woo hoo livin’ single.

  2. Move to Chicago! We’ll delude ourselves that we’re still teenagers and get drunk together with alarming frequency. We like to keep our bars open until 4 or 5 a.m. Did I tell you the Dresden Dolls are coming back this summer? Opening for Panic! at the Disco.

  3. Your stories wouldn’t be nearly as Smashing if you were a suburban housewife. I’d rather read about the mysterious pooper than baby poop anyday!

  4. For Ms. Smash it is a natural state, that of being of two minds about the concept of home, missing the other when parked at either. It’s a matter of chemistry, and of being Irish. It’s in the genes, girl.

    Ma Smash proudly comes (on one side) from a long line of Irish people who, when seeing neighbors jumping on wagons and trains heading West, said, “Crossing the Pond was enough. You guys have fun with the Cholera, the thirst, and the cannibals… we’ll be right here on the porch when you want to come home.”

    On her otherside, we’re talking Irish in Brooklyn for two generations, then off to mate with Irish in Boston. (Which was only allowed because he was a Dodgers’, not a Yankees’ fan.)

    The trouble comes from your father’s side. For at least 5 generations (and then many of the records are obscured, perhaps intentionally) his people never stayed in the same place for two consecutive generations. Since 1735 they have lived in Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Slovakia, Canada, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Texas, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Boston, Vermont, Oregon, Alabama, Florida, and now NYC and Dupont, Washington.

    The only ones to stay around anywhere for the second generation at the same home place made a BIG mistake, because both brothers in that generation lost their heads (one literally) in the Civil War. If they had survived, they probably would have moved, too, especially since the one who still was in possession of his noggin at the end, was also in possession of a stolen horse.

    The reasons for all this relocation are a bit obscured, but there are at least two theories. One is that you have a streak of the intrepid seeker of better places, of different horizons. The other is that they were one step ahead of the law, running away from a cult, or both.

    Whether they were Irish, Scotish, German, or Slovak, and whatever their own reasons for moving, these wanderers relocated but then, sooner or later, hooked up with a STAYer (usually Irish) who had LAND, making the next generation feel homesick as they followed their genetic programming and traipsed off following the next rainbow. Also true, no matter what they found when they got there, they MADE it into a rainbow’s end.

    From what I heard last night, so too are you making a rainbow’s end. Congrats, my fine and fuzzy number one!

  5. I moved to NYC from Boston too, though I’m not from there originally. The best friends I’d ever had in my whole life lived in Boston, and I spent the first year traveling there at least once a month for the weekend, and sometimes more than that. I don’t even remember any of their names now. 😉

  6. If you come visit me in WA again, I’ll give you some of my drinking glasses with the little fishies on them. I have too many!

  7. hmm.. jennie – i assume that you will not have a problem remebering my name right? even now that you live in NYC?
    -Ms. Bunny

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