Tales of a Thirteenth-Grade Nothing IV: The Return Home
Written by Bwog Staff
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.