You know that thing where you travel somewhere and everything’s too quiet/dark/stuffy/drafty/loud/bright/weird/haunted and you just can’t sleep, and you were kind of a finicky sleeper anyway but now you’re feeling really neurotic about it?
That’s what I’m dealing with right now. Except that after 10 straight days of traveling, the place that is so weird and unsleepable is….my bedroom. I would like to go collect all the things that made my beds-away-from-bed comfy and sleep-possible and combine them, but I would need Santa’s sleigh to get my aunt’s blackout curtains and sumptuous linens, my cousin’s peaceful wall color, my grandmother’s quiet, quiet house and my childhood home’s living room full of distractions before bed all in one place before work tomorrow.
In summary, it was a great trip. There’s something about connecting with family, and heading home with a mental picture of what their house looks like, what they’re up to these days, where they’ll be sitting if you call them up…makes one feel not alone in the world.
Then one hops on mass transportation and very much wishes to be alone in the world or at least not abandoned in the row 24 middle seat while the rest of the family is both clustered together mid-plane AND on the aisle…. but I digress….
As someone with shall we say, somewhat decided opinions, it’s reassuring to weather Difference of Opinion storms and still be family the next day. Many a prospective Dating Debacle has come to its (on balance, timely) end after a skirmish regarding essential elements of cinematic taste, or the cost/benefit analysis of Home Alone 2 versus My Girl 2, but with family, you can be separated by a taste spectrum as broad as the canyon Thelma and Louise totally made it over, and it’s still all hunky dory afterwards. More or less. I mean sure, you have no respect for them as biped humanoids, but you love them anyway and aren’t afraid to say it.
There are people who like artsy movies, and people who like crappy movies, and then there are people like myself and the movie-watching Mtastic roommate who love artsy movies but revel in crappy ones out of stubborn, earnest appreciation for the One Thing that was Done Well (maybe it was just the casting, maybe the clothes were nice, maybe it was a good idea for a screenplay, maybe Adam Lambert is just freaking cool)…. and somehow we can find common ground and agree to disagree about whether Up in the Air should have had a more compelling love story attached (Answer: No, that is wrong, but let’s not fight about it at the dinner table any more).
Family are the people who will show up for rounds 2 – 46 of that squabble, save your 6th birthday party invitations for a scrapbook, remember your favorite color, and not ask questions when you show up in a snowstorm to crash on their floor and show them endless youtube clips that omg they’ve just got to see.
New year, new start, same old roots to come home to. For better or for worse.
Happy New Year, y’all.