Saturday, January 2, 2010


I am back from my unintended blog vacation. I thought I would have more time to blog while I was traveling to and staying in my hometown. No such luck.

Paramed and I have been far away from hometown for nearly 7 years now. Somehow, though, holiday visits just seem to get stranger every year. This year time spent with my dad was unusually quiet, strained, and awkward. Time spent with Paramed's family--which is usually full of drama--was surprisingly calm; everyone was on their best behavior for some reason. One night we went to a couple of clubs with Paramed's older cousins--Paramed and I never go to clubs. Most of the week felt too much like wandering around in some parallel reality. I tried to figure the cause(s) for these peculiarities this year. I have a few hypotheses, but honestly, after a few days, I have found myself not particularly caring why things were so different because it really has no impact on me and what I'm doing in the next six months.

Not everything was different. We still got to contend with Paramed's mother putting in requests for a grandchild. It doesn't seem to really matter that, even if we did have a kid at this point, she wouldn't be seeing it often, given the distance between here and there. Or maybe she thinks that we'd move closer if we had kids. Or that I would stop working. Or she would move in with us. I don't know. We also got to deal with the continuous commentary from some of our family about how we needed to finish up and move closer home. At least this commentary has become less guilt-ridden in the past few years. While in grad school, there was usually inclusion of statements about the poor health of family members and that they might not be here next year... I have since grown quite apathetic toward such statements.

This is part of the life of the vagrant academic. "Going home" isn't really going home at all. Paramed and I take our vacation days and money to have a few days of awkward visitation with family a couple of times a year. Maybe one of these decades, we will get to take a real vacation--you know, where you don't know anyone and you're just fine with that, where you spend a week (or more) doing things that make you happy. It's a nice dream anyway.