I was catching up with some friends over the weekend and discussing plans for Christmas.
“I am going home for Christmas. I haven’t been to the US in two years. I haven’t seen my family since last Christmas, so I’m going to visit home and spend the holidays with them.”
“Well, that will be awkward.” My friend responded.
My eyes filled with gratitude. FINALLY – the empathetic response I had been looking for.
“Yeah! It is going to be really weird!!!” I was so thankful for his response. I was getting really sick of having to feign a fake reaction when everyone else would say ‘OMG! Are you like, SO excited?!?!’
Nope. I’m anxious. I’m nervous. I’m inconvenienced. I’m stressed out. I am nine days away from taking a month off from the stability I worked hard to build in BA. I do not want to think about packing and getting on a plane and traveling and dealing with airport security and my (as my lawyer calls it) ‘unusual immigration status’ (you folks in the US might call it ‘illegal immigrant status’). I feel like my life is coming to a halt and my day of reckoning has arrived.
Ok, this all sounds far too negative. I’m a bundle of nerves.
Actually now that I vented, I realize that I am pretty excited. I can’t wait to go skiing; be in the mountains, feel cold air on my face, feel my freshly waxed skis glide over clean white snow, have some great talks on long chairlift rides.
I’m excited to wake up Christmas morning and open stocking presents with my siblings. I hope we will be wearing matching pajamas, just like we have worn every year since we were kids.
I can’t wait spend the day with my Tia in her new store, to talk with my uncle and to laugh with my cousin, who shares my silly sense of humor and affinity for anything ludicrous. I’ve missed their beautiful home, always impeccably decorated for the holidays.
Finally I will get to share long talks with Blair over incredible Seattle seafood, and reminisce our happy memories of the Villa Anita.
I can smell the pine trees and hear the noise of car tires driving down my grandmother’s long gravel driveway. I can see the beautiful site of her gray house lit up festively with white twinkle lights. Of all the parts of the world I’ve seen, I don’t think there is anything more beautiful than her home, the location of my favorite childhood memories.
I can smell my mother’s subtle Chanel Nº5, and hear her exclaim ‘Vini!’ when she pretends to be mad but can’t help but laugh. I miss her hugs. I see my Dad reading The Economist, reclined on the streamlined modernist sofa he selected. He acts serious, but hopefully with the right combination Van Halen and Jimmy Buffet we can get him to tell us stories of his fraternity days.
I want to stay up all night, talking about music and books with my brother. I love listening to his guitar playing through the shared wall of our old bedrooms. I can’t wait be near to my dear sister. She’ll be furious if I go through her closet, and she will act annoyed when I want to sleep in her bed instead of my own, but I’m going to do it anyway, because I know we love each other unconditionally.
I hope we’ll have Christmas dinner in my Grandpa’s wrench museum. In the car ride there we will joke about how he doesn’t want us in the house and complain about having to cross the cold driveway whenever we have to use the bathroom. On the way home we won’t be able to deny that we had a wonderful evening; the best Christmas in a barn since the nativity.
I want to drive around for hours in Dre’s car listening to all of our oldies. I guess she upgraded from the red VW bug. Even though we are no longer 16, sharing our ‘boy drama’ maintains the same importance and relevance.
I can’t wait for unending conversations with Zack. I missed hearing his thoughts on Jesus and Descartes, his voice singing along to old Weezer songs or making silly impressions of high school friends.
Ok, I take it all back. I’m really excited. Glad we worked through all of that.
See you soon.