Monday, December 28, 2009

RE-paysée at last

My flight home for Christmas was...long. We were delayed on the runway at CDG for a little over an hour after one of the throwers punctured a line on the luggage lift and got hydraulics fluid everywhere. On the other end, Washington was an absolute shit show—with so many flights re-scheduled after recent weather there were about 15 flights entering the international wing at once, meaning slow customs and an even worse baggage collection process. I zenned out to my iPod for about two hours after landing before I could finally get my bag and rejoin my family. I used that two hours to go through the typical returning-to-America run of emotions—starting with a "yay! I'm among my own people!" when I heard American English conversations right after getting off the aircraft and progressing quickly to an "ugh, I'm so embarrassed to be American" as soon as I started actually listening to the conversations and hearing how intolerant/ignorant they were (one of the other flights was in from Qatar, so use your imagination). Granted I think long flights and customs delays bring out the worst in everyone, but still...

Being home is comfortable. Mom is thrilled to have me back, and I've already told her about as many stories as I have. My sister adds "we should see that when I come visit" to the end of everything I say and hasn't lost her excitement for Christmas presents. She’s a pretty perceptive gift-giver as well: she gave me a great pair of earrings and this scarf she knitted herself. My brother actually hung out to recite song quotes and teach me how to play Rock Band (I rock the bass) for a little while before he retreated to his room to text/call his friends, so I felt honored to have won that much of his attention. My aunt embraced our favorite foods tradition with gusto (and gumbo!) and proved a formidable opponent in word games. (She beat me in Scrabble, then I creamed everyone twice in Quiddler, then I lost by a few points again in Boggle—we did a crossword together and called it a draw). Dad shared wine and plans to come visit me in Paris at the end of the year—the top attraction in his mind? The sewers. Go figure.

Today was an all-day brunch/lunch/cocktail affair to celebrate a friend’s engagement. She’s adorably excited, and I couldn’t be happier for her and her husband-to-be. Still, I can’t help but feel a small wave of oh-my-god-I’m-getting-old, as I'm sure this is only the first in a series of similar announcements and invitations. I have graduated from the college phase of my life and entered into the marriage stage. It feels good, but strange.

1 comment:

  1. You meann the Paris sewers aren't the main attraction? OMG, what is the world coming to. But seriously, Sarah is starting to freak out occasionally too, when she gets the news of another friend getting engaged, married, and... the major freakout - having a baby. Guess it's that transitional point of life, but the important part is being happy with where you are.