I’m flying back to England tomorrow and we just about finished packing. No, I’m not flying with company (that is unless you don’t count the constantly fluctuating number of voices in my head…). Only packing a suitcase is a bit of a team sport here at home base. Yes, I’m a capable 22-year-old, thank you very much. But I’m also a Leo (star signs do matter, you know). And if daddy dearest offers to help (and mum too, but mums are like that anyway), who am I to say no?
My vaguely nine-year-old-sounding ramblings aside, the truth of the matter is that every time I fly from Athens I bring munchies back. Enough munchies to last me for a month! 😉 And I defy you to argue the matter with my mother and grandmother. I don’t. I smile, make sure there’s space in the suitcase and rejoice in having less cooking/shopping to do for a while. I am still a student and I intend to play that card for all that it’s worth!
Between you and me, that’s also why I tend to fly (when I can) with British Airways. It’s not the halfway decent tea they serve. It’s the extra 3kg in luggage allowance. I get why in discount airlines, luggage allowances are one of the first things to be curtailed. But it’s also one of those precious, precious moments in life when I can be entirely rational and irrational at the same time. Like I said, I understand why they do it. On the other hand, as a privileged person, I feel personally offended that they put constraints in how impossibly heavy my suitcase is. Am I the only one? Or is this another one of these “adult” things everyone keeps talking about?
Haha, I don’t know of it’s a coincidence or whatever but lately my Facebook feed has been practically flooded with “how to adult” jokes, gifs, comics, rants from friends, my old rants (thank you Facebook memories, NOT!) My absolute favourite has to be the nugget that greeted me this morning when notifications were screaming more annoyingly than the third snooze call in the morning…
Sums it up, doesn’t it? You know, I kind of like adding gifs now that I’ve figured out how… Maybe I should start building up my collection…
Until then, I’ll see you all when I’m back in the UK!
When I was little my school used to drag us to church before Christmas (probably in the vain hope that we’d be enlightened and therefore more serious in class). The priest there had this annoying habit of preaching the exact same sermon Every. Freaking. Year. The subject? That X-mas is an entirely inappropriate word and we should use the full version when referring to Christmas. Never mind that most people I know only use X-mas as shorthand in shopping lists… I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic lately (what with vising the parents and so), so I’m going to write not for X-mas but for the inevitable, obnoxious, seasonal requirement of gracefully receiving kisses.
I don’t mind physical attention. I’m as cuddly as a cat in fact. But having to trade hugs and kisses (even the social, kiss-the-air kind) with people I only see once or twice a year and maybe I’m not even that fond of, then Huston, we have a problem. I understand behind the action, I accept it as a social obligation, but it still makes me want to crawl away and hit the alcohol. Perhaps I’m exaggerating a little, but come on! You wouldn’t hug someone on first meeting! Seeing someone only in the context of a Christmas dinner is a bit like that. Seven kinds of awkward.
Maybe I’m being hyper-sensitive because I’m visiting the family for the holidays and after a semester of Skype talks it takes some getting used to. Never mind all-nighters in the library, this is emotionally exhausting. Part of me is glad to be out of England and not having to care about keeping together a house and a degree at the same time. Another part of me is half-way done with her escape plan. If you have a large family you know the feeling. It’s not what’s spoken that’s the problem. It’s the unspoken expectations…
….This turned pretty gloomy for a Christmas Eve post. I hope you have more fun than I do this festive season.
Visitations are a seasonal requirement,
Inevitable like a runny nose before a cold.
Sounds like not much excitement,
In fact it is a most awkward tradition to uphold.
The crux of the matter is you can’t avoid it.
Or else you might just not get to
Realising that you missed your family a bit.
So don’t be a Grinch, they also missed you.
Holidays, a word everyone loves!
Holidays, with their long mornings in bed,
Holidays, with their specially-cooked meals.
Holidays, with the outings with friends,
Holidays, with the family reunions.
The markets that smell of smoke and drinks,
The laughs, the shouts, the music,
All in a multi-coloured pandemonium,
From winter solstice to the Feast of Fools,
A endless celebration of the light that’s yet to come.
So eat, and drink, and dance, and be merry,
In but a month it’ll all be gone.
Ah…drama. The inevitable result of combination of family reunions, overeating and disappointing presents. What do I speak of? Boxing Day! You know, when the high from the partying and Christmas cheer are over and you are left to clean the house, store away the atrocious sweater that great-aunt you’ve never seen before gave you and nit-pick everything that you heard in the past two days, all the while nursing a hangover. Charming.
Personally, I’ve always imagined family reunions as miniatures of a United Nations conference. Add the word dinner and it’s practically a convention (complete with souvenirs)! You have the people you are glad to see again, those that are just meh, the new-arrivals (new babies or cousins visiting from out of town) and of course the once you dread to face. And face them you will. Armed with only a plate of nibbles and a glass of wine, you’ll have to fix a smile and answer politely to their comments, all the while trying not to look like you’re looking for the nearest exit. It’s not even that they mean to annoy you. No, that’s what makes it worse! They are genially interested, but when it is the nth time you have to explain what you’re studying, what sort of job can you even find with your degree or –my personal favourite- is there someone special in your life and when exactly are you planning on settling down… -rage quit-
Let us all be thankful that the alcohol is monitored in this sort of gathering (what with kids zapping around everywhere) or the responses to those questions would no doubt be far less diplomatic and far, far more honest. No, I’m not a Grinch. No, I don’t despise family functions (although if anyone asks me again what high-paying job I can get with a Lit degree I will not be held responsible for my actions). Heck, I don’t even complain for getting socks as a Christmas gift! Good socks are more expensive than you’d assume. So what’s with the title?
Well, think about it: a special time/place setting, a specific cast of characters whom we like to various degrees, the exchange of rehearsed lines and actions. As good ol’Will said: “All the worlds a stage.”
Give me an audience and I will deliver.