Tales of a Thirteenth-Grade Nothing IV: The Return Home

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In which Bwog’s first-year correspondent, Dan D’Addario, sounds a somber tone as he reflects upon his first Thanksgiving homecoming.

Unlike most of my friends in the freshman class, I actually looked forward last week to returning home for Thanksgiving break. I had missed the John Jay turkey dinner for a vegan friend’s birthday dinner at a Sri Lankan restaurant, and my body’s tryptophan levels had dipped dangerously low. I began envisioning pumpkin pie even as I ate my Tasti-D-Lite, ready for a dessert not made with industrial byproducts.

I did miss home for reasons besides food. New York had begun to seem oppressive: I love it the city, but I needed a few days without hundreds of pages of Thucydides so that I could miss it. Others I’ve talked to felt the same way. My first day back went peacefully, marred only by a dispute over TV volume when my family chose to bond over college football and I chose to bond with a two-hour Madonna concert on the TV dowstairs.


The rest of Thanksgiving break turned out as the first break of freshman year does for most people, I suppose. Hours of Mario Party with my younger sibling, and the realization that this little person is actually becoming somewhat cool – but that you can still bicker like six-year-olds over Nintendo 64. The strangeness of sitting in one’s old room and looking at the bare walls, realizing that your childhood has been transplanted to a shoebox-sized dorm in Morningside Heights. The conversations with well-meaning uncles (“So, what would you do with a film or English major? You wanted to go into law at one point, right?”) and incessant mothers (“Any special girl in your life?”). The falafel cravings, assuaged as they were with copious amounts of squash-apple casserole. The conversation with my senior-year English teacher, when I finally realized that they didn’t burn down my high school and salt the earth after my class graduated – things have moved on.

The loneliness of being significantly out-of-touch, for the first time, with new friends: I knew they were eating turkey (or tofurkey) somewhere, but it was an experience we weren’t sharing. And even as I sat with my family at the Thanksgiving table, I felt like my family wasn’t there. I missed my new home, and left not quite sure which home was real, New York or Connecticut. Much as I love my family, I might need more than a few days away to miss the home I just left.

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  1. What  

    The first Thanksgiving for most first-years doesn't consist of watching a Madonna concert or playing Mario Party with a younger sibling. It consists of getting shitfaced with your high school friends and all boasting that your respective college is better than all others even though you're all secretly depressed. That's the American way.

  2. But then  

    Why would he say "The rest of Thanksgiving Break turned out as the first break of freshman year does for most people?"

  3. old and embittered  

    Nowadays, I'd rather get shitfaced by myself when I'm at home than actually call up my high school friends.

  4. Forgot one thing

    You're also supposed to have sex with your high school girl/boyfriend.

  5. yes

    sex is a must. also, speaking of nintendo, anyone have a sibling/cousin/friend with a new nintendo Wii? anyone play Wii tennis while drunk on wine and tripto-turkey?

  6. Ano  

    And when all this is done, one argues with the parents, gets called names by siblings, and decides that no one understands them anymore. And you go back to the cocoon of school, where no one understands you anyway and they couldn't give a shit. You work to ward off the tears.

  7. The Dink  

    Thanksgiving break is for reuniting with your high school friends and having a blast. This should, and most often does, revolve around getting extremely fucked up. Anyone who disagrees needs to find some friends.

  8. DHI  

    It is reasonable that people will do different things on their breaks based on their relationships with their friends, family, and hometown, and possible to not be preocuppied with what schools they do or do not attend.

  9. it's actually  


  10. 2010er  

    I actually played video games with my siblings this weekend, too.

    And am I the only one who finds it ironic that Dan's mom asked if there was a special girl in his life?

  11. nony

    why? omg, is he gay?
    cuz if he is he just earned like ten cool points

  12. jds  

    omg, is dan gay? that would so make me the happiest person on earth ;)

  13. my hanksgiving  

    I have to agree with the "get shitfaced and bang an ex" group. Both of which turn out badly. Caveat: this does not apply to boarding school brats or other eastern prep schoolers. Also, not most people who lived in towns with populations over 100,000 people, either.

  14. hanksgiving!  

    even though you probably didn't mean to type it that way, i can't help but hope that someone else knows the joy of getting drunk/high with one's brothers and watching "a league of their own" and "castaway." that was how my weekend began, and it was amazing.

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