Home sweet home…

12 Jun

I love the feeling of coming home after traveling.  A comfy bed, a refrigerator stocked with all sorts of food, a couch, carpet, a toilet that you can put paper down AND flush, tap water you can drink AND brush your teeth with, English speaking store owners and in general, just comfort.

And then…You really know you have been home a few days when you are begging your mother to hang out and you are counting down the minutes until your little sister gets home from high school and you are physically angry when your brother pushes back the day he is getting back from college, by one day.

I find myself stupidly excited to have coffee with my mom and her friend and suddenly I’m passionate about cooking, (which I’m not actually passionate about in the slightest)

I find myself reverting into a strange version of my teenage self but more like an only child.  My parents are my best friends and by golly they better pay attention to me!

“Look parents, look at the beautiful meal that made for you.  Yes, I made it.  You think I can’t do domestic things?  Well look at this meal that made…by scratch, mind you…”

My mom has made dinner for our family for 25 years and does she behave like a toddler showing off her first piece of macaroni art when she makes dinner for the 7-billionth time? Nosireebob, she sure does not.

It probably has something to do with my subconscious (maybe not so ‘sub’) wanting to prove to my parents/friends/family that I can be a normal functioning member of society too.  By god, I even made a cake!  Not the boxed kind, the real kind with eggs and flour and sugar and a recipe book.

Another thing about being home is the occasional judgment.  For the most part everyone is completely supportive and wonderful about the past year and a half I have spent abroad.  But then I run into someone who gives me the look.  Its an inner shake of the head with downcast eyes full of pity.  And they recover from the look by asking, “So, what is the point of all this?” Waving their hands fancifully as they ask, clearly indicating that I must live in some strange and spiritual Alice in Wonderland dream world.

This exact situation happened today and my response of the moment was, “Does there need to be a point?”  Caught off guard, the old curmudgeon continued digging his hole or grave by saying, “Well everyone has goals.  Don’t you have a goal?”

My dear sir, I did not realize that enjoying my life and choosing my own way and making my own decisions as well as seeing the world doesn’t count as a goal.  I didn’t know that there is an official goal list that one must pick from that includes only a career or a family or being rich.  I didn’t realize that I couldn’t color outside the lines.

Another terrible comment I get is, “Huh, interesting, well you’re just never going to grow up, are ya?”  To this person I want to ask if they have ever lived in a car for four months, spent a day sitting in lawn chairs in the back of a Malaysian police van, run completely out of money, booked a flight but not a hotel, hitched a ride with an Italian family, argued with a Cambodian taxi driver, watched a dead body float down the river, been deported from a country or detained by immigration officers.  Because I can guarantee those experiences along with many others can sure make someone “grow up.”

Last but not least, singledom.  This is one thing that I did not expect to encounter when coming home, the protruding neon sign on my forehead that screams “25 and STILL SINGLE!”  Over the past year, I have of course noticed the increasing number of friends and/or facebook friends getting married and/or having babies.

Its obvious that I am not yet on that path of what my dad calls a “nest egg.”  (I’m still slightly confused about this phrase means and only hope it doesn’t involve much regurgitation on my part.)  Being single has become a burden not on me, but on my friends and family, they feel an obligation, a duty and a privilege to find me a suitable mate.

At a wedding I recently attended, a drunken group of 20-somethings surrounded me and apparently the only other single guy at the wedding, we’ll call him “Fred” and for five minutes proceeded to shout out positive attributes about Fred and I.

“Fred has great pecs”

“Lauren is soooooo nice.”

“Fred has a good job”

“Lauren is sooooo nice!”

This went on for a bit too long and poor little Fred looked very frightened so I finally excused myself from the situation, telling the group that I needed another drink, (despite the very full glass of wine that I was already holding).

After telling this story to my two best friends from high school (both in serious relationships) they responded by telling me that they know the perfect guy for me!

My dad thinks its hilarious.  He has informed me that he has found my husband (the poor unfortunate single son of his friend) and that he is actually in mid-negotiation of my dowry.  “Two goats and a pig!” he says and laughs.

Thanks Dad.  I’m worth at least a cow.

Despite everything, what can I say, I love coming home.

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8 Responses to “Home sweet home…”

  1. Vicki June 13, 2013 at 2:13 am #

    Hi Lauren – truly enjoyed your blog! and I would add . . . a lot of married people are nervous about single people – or at least this has been my experience. (not that I have had anyone offer to set me up recently) It does change a little when you get older ….much older – when you get to 60 no one will bother you anymore. They do finally give up 🙂

    Glad to hear you are back home and that you love your family (never doubted it). If you get into Portland, look me up, I will take you out for dinner or lunch . . . . . notice I didn’t say cook you dinner 🙂 Love you sweetie!

    • lmelink June 13, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

      Hi Vicki! Thanks for reading. I am unfortunately only home for a bit, then head back to Asia! I would love to take you up on the lunch/dinner offer someday though. I hope you are well. Tell your family hello from me!

  2. Kris June 13, 2013 at 5:34 am #

    You are doing exactly what you should be doing! You’re young, have no encumbrances and it is the perfect time to travel and try different things. As for being 25 and unmarried – ignore them! Better the right person at 40, than the wrong person at 25. If you want sympathy – call Rachel; she’ll be 28 in August, Mario’s mom told her she was a “ripe piece of fruit ready to fall to the ground” and that she’s too picky; apparently she will soon become a rotten piece of fruit and no one will want her!. My mother on the other hand has told all of her granddaughters that they shouldn’t marry before 30! You sound like your having a wonderful time learning about the world and yourself; good for you, life is to be lived!

    • lmelink June 13, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

      Thanks Kris! Appreciate your comment. Your mother sounds brilliant!

  3. Jules June 13, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    I totally forgot about that pecs comment. So random!

    • lmelink June 13, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

      I know! Guess I didn’t realize good pecs were so important. I think it was the very first thing they said about him too.

  4. Amanda June 21, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    Remember, Lo…most of us are SO JEALOUS of you and fully support you and wish we could go on all of these adventures, too! You are a brave soul, much more grown up and worldly than I’ll ever be. 🙂

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