Thursday, December 22, 2011

Home for the Holidays

When I last posted, I was in the Wilmington airport, blogging and waiting for my flight. After a long day of unexciting travel (which is actually the best kind of travel - excitement while flying is not a good thing) I landed safely in LaGuardia. First step: meeting my middle sister, Susan, getting a bottle of wine, and drinking the whole thing before we met some friends for dinner. Oops.

We had dinner at an awesome Indian restaurant called Polash, and the food was delicious. No photos because did I mention the first bottle of wine and the second we ordered at dinner? We Hennesseys take our wine drinkin' seriously. At the restaurant, we me met two dear college friends from Purchase and two friends from my new college life in Wilmington. Worlds collided, but it worked wonderfully. I love when the universe conspires in weird ways.

The next morning I woke up in Susan's bed, still wearing last night's clothes, and feeling less than stellar. I was meeting my youngest sister at noon. Ally was taking a final in the city and when she was done we planned to ride the train back to Long Island together. Because I had hours to kill, I accompanied Susan on a photo shoot for the magazine where she works as a photo editor. The day's shoot was for clothing and motorcycle helmets, and I got to see first hand how many shots of a pile of shoes in a nest of sticks are required to get the right one. Answer: so, so many.

Because I have been watching Ugly Betty on Netflix Instant, I felt right at home and pretended that I was Betty, out of place and trying hard to fit in at Mode Magazine. It made the raging hangover slightly easier to bear. Finally, Ally called. We reunited, had a terrible lunch at a Chinese place near Penn Station, and then caught a train home.

Now I'm on Long Island, at "home." I haven't lived in New York for eight years. I have never lived full time in my parents' current home or town (they moved when I was in college). I find myself observing their weird habits and then am startled to remember a time when I did the same things. For example: my parents keep their peanut butter in the refrigerator. I thought this was bizarre until I remembered doing the same thing, even after I moved out. I don't know when I moved the peanut butter to the cupboard, or why. It seems significant, but then again -  it's just peanut butter. (And after I told my mom the existential dilemma that cold peanut butter was causing me, she took it out of the refrigerator and moved it to the cabinet. My mom is awesome, even if she rolled her eyes while she did it.)

In other words: I'm home. My dad has gone overboard with the Christmas decorations (as usual), I'm sleeping on a lumpy foldout couch, eating frozen veggie burgers for every meal, and the air is thick with cigarette smoke that makes me feel like I'm on the cusp of a sinus infection at all times. But there is also a whole season of Glee to watch with Ally, the opportunity to talk my mom's ear off for hours on end, CHRISTMAS PRESENTS, and the fact that home, despite all it's drawbacks and weirdness and absence of comfortable routines, is home. Deep down, I'll always love it.