Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"Going Home" for the holidays

The most annoying part about this week is all the people who ask me if I'm "going home" for Thanksgiving and then seem confused when I tell them that my home is in Milwaukee and I will visit my parents at Christmas.

My parents have moved three times since I graduated from college, each time moving to a new town in a different part of Iowa than where I grew up. I'm finally used to their current town, but it's not really "going home" when you need Mapquest.

They also moved to successively smaller houses, to keep any of us from moving back. Now that there are more sons-in-law and grandchildren than spare rooms, guess who is relegated to sleeping in the unfinished unheated storage closet in the basement? (Could be worse: it's the only room in the house where you can't hear a baby scream all night.) It's a nice house, and some of the furniture is familiar, but it's not "home." Especially when I wake up in the morning frozen solid and surrounded by boxes.

I don't know if the assumption is that never-married people (more likely, never-married female people) still belong to their parents, or if most empty-nesters don't change jobs and move, or what exactly the cultural phenomenon is...I don't understand why I have to explain over and over that I have my own "home" here, by myself, in my apartment. But at my age, I shouldn't have to explain.

I'm not staying home for Thanksgiving, either. I'm going to Indianapolis with a friend from work, which will be interesting because I'm not used to traveling with other people.

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