It's like Sex and the Suburbs and 30 Rock all rolled into one…
Whoever said you can never go home again was right. Well, almost. This weekend I’m going home to see my family to celebrate some family milestones – birthdays, surviving all that work will throw at you, beating some illness. It’s cause to celebrate and we like to. Some families never figure out that despite all the terrible things that happen you need to take time to recognize all the food. My family, I’m beyond relieved to say, is not such a group of people. We party.
… But going home is tough. For four years I’ve been on my own, living by myself. There’s no curfew, no real need to pick up the clothes from the bedroom floor, and certainly no sharing of the television or laptop with other people. Quite probably very little of your belongings are at your childhood home. Your sister might have taken the futon with her leaving you with a questionable place to sleep (questionable because you have no idea where you are to lay your head). And you don’t get to dictate what gets put on the television, leaving that to your parents. Which means it’s a Law and Order marathon until you either gouge your eyes out, or find some book on World War 2 history to mooch from your father. (Actually, the latter option often is the more interesting one.)
But it’s not that exactly, is it? After all, chances are your parents kept the cutlery in about the same place. It’s not like the place drastically changed. You changed. Having your own domain, answering to no one, being responsible for yourself – all these things make you grow up. You are no longer dependant on your parents and indeed might even have a life separate and secret from them. Going home, even for a visit, puts you back in a place in which you had to rely upon your family, a time in which your life could not be as private as you’d care for. It feels like, now brace yourself, you’re not the mature and amazing adult; you’re that gangly and awkward teenager.
But there is something comforting about going home. After all, it is where your loved ones live. And no matter how dysfunctional your family is or isn’t, they’re still your family. Sometimes it is nice to have mom offer to do your laundry, and for dad to pour a glass of scotch and cut a cigar and talk football. We all have that safe place we long to return for. In many of our cases, it’s home.
So this weekend, I’m in a Woodstock state of mind. Because I’m home. Where Cat Stevens strums the guitar on a mint condition vinyl of Tea for Tillerman and exotic craft beers are drank. And if at nearly thirty my curfew is still midnight and I’m not sure if I have a bed, I’m going home. To see the people who love me whether I’m a successful blogger, in a relationship or inclined to clean my stove top.