They say you can’t go home again. Well, that’s a load of shite. I’m back at the parentals and…..it’s all good? Stupid guilt, making me feel bad about not visiting my parents. Brain, shut up!
I caught the expat guilt virus from one of my friends while sitting across from her at a café. She had just come back from visiting her family in the Ukraine and kept blathering on about the importance of seeing family.
I hadn’t been home in three years, so her stories about laughing around the kitchen table with her Mom were getting on my last nerve. To kill the pain I took a few gulps of her extra strong Gin Tonic (they still free pour in Spain suckas) and like clockwork, the virus had taken hold by the time I got home.
The guilt virus works fast, and like most expats, I don’t have the antibodies to fight it off. The symptoms started with a general all over body sensation of feeling like crap. After a few hours I started to get a throbbing headache from the voice in my head constantly saying, “Why the fuck can’t they visit me? Their legs ain’t broke. Do they think I’m made of money?”
Before I knew it, I was slumped over my laptop desperately searching for the cheapest fare possible to go home. After five hours of screaming “fuck that price” at the screen, I gave in and just booked the damn ticket. After all, it’d be worth it just to see the look on family and friends’ faces when they clapped eyes on me after so long.
About a month or two before the flight, I started daydreaming about all the hilarious evenings I was gonna have reminiscing with Mom and Dad. I would crush it on nights out with my friends, telling them all about my crazy expat life.
The airport pickup was gonna be just like the last scenes from the movie Love Actually. Everyone running into each other’s arms crying because they were finally reunited.
Dreams are Like Unicorns. Bullshit!
It was gonna be epic. Except, it wasn’t. Daydreams are always better than reality. That’s why they’re called dreams dumb-dumb head.
At the airport I got a hug but was too tired to push out any tears cuz I was so frigging tired. That bastard kid just kept kicking the back of my seat the whole damn flight and I didn’t get a wink of sleep. The only relief I got was farting into my airplane blanket because no one could hear it.
The first three days at home went pretty smoothly. My parents told me all about the last three funerals they went to. I was able to smile through the fourth rendition of how my brother’s six-year-old daughter is doing so well in school, is so well mannered and is generally perfect in every way. Barf!
By the fourth day, I really needed to see some friends and get drunkity drunk so I started making calls. Of course the parentals don’t have WiFi and refuse to ever get it so bye bye to contacting anyone fast on WhatsApp or FaceTime. Landline it is!
After a few days of trying to set something up, I realized those “friends” that were so excited to see me a month ago were suddenly all booked up for the summer.
It’s all good though. I just put those friends on my TIER TWO list. Once you on that list you ain’t ever coming off, SUSAN! I just bided my time until the BFF was on holiday cuz she never lets me down. I’m one of the lucky expats that has a very small core group of friends that show up no matter what. Yay me!
The Doorbell is the Gateway to Hell
After I “partied hard” with my FIRST TIER friends over a long weekend, my batteries were re-energized enough to go back home and endure the dreaded drop-in visits.
Do old people have some sort of radar that tells them the exact moment you have finished your breakfast, but are still in your PJ’s, and your bowels are now revving up to drop a deuce in the bathroom? They must have one because my Auntie Carol, my Mom’s 85-year-old friend from church and the nosy next door neighbor always pick that moment to drop in unannounced just to say hi.
It’s all good though. I can handle it. Thank God my parents like Marvel movies as much as I do. We’re gonna watch ‘em all. By the Hammer of Thor, I have the power to make it one more week.
My Expatations: Summer vacation filled with laughter, tears and good old family fun.
Reality: LOTS of movies, TV and drinking alone in the backyard. Yay fun!
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