I walk into my grandparents’ house and the smell of packs and packs of cigarettes invades my nostrils. I hug my grandmother, who never seems quite as happy to see me as her other grandchildren, and go to find my aunt, the only one I know of who cried when I left for college. She gives me a hug and tells me I look skinnier, too skinny.
Next I write out my Christmas list for this year’s Secret Santa. I never know what to put down. I don’t really trust them to buy anything I’d actually like, so I just write down giftcards, like I do every year.
I try talking to my cousins, there are a bunch around my age, but none of them really have much in common with me. Most of them are sporty, and to be frank, not extremely intelligent. I manage to have a nice conversation with one of my cousins about hockey, one of the few sports I enjoy watching, and how difficult it is to watch a game in Oklahoma, where no one cares about hockey.
One of my other cousins tells me I am “too literal” when I inform him that you cannot, in fact, be 200 percent sure about something. I am saved from a dreadful argument about the laziness of hyperboles in language by the announcement that dinner is ready.
Ahh but Thanksgiving dinner, guaranteed to turn any sub-par Thanksgiving around. The turkey is moist and amazing when smothered with gravy. My grandmother’s mashed potatoes have more butter in it than I wish to think about but my God was it delicious.
Someone brought sweet potatoes, which are a personal favourite of mine. But the star of the meal, as always, is Grandma’s dressing. I don’t even know what’s in the stuff, but I know the flavours send good vibes all through your body.
After dinner I just want to sit on the couch, pretend to be interested in a football game, and text my friends about how bored I am, but one of my aunts decides that it would be a great idea to not just sit around and watch football but instead to play charades.
After an hour of embarrassment (and it must be said that apparently no one in my family has even heard of “Catch-22”) people finally decide it is time to leave.
Overall, coming home from college is a strange experience. Everything seems new and just a little bit different, but it is still familiar. The world goes on without you and that makes people just a bit uncomfortable.
Despite this, your family still accepts you, drops you right back into the fray. However much they might bore or annoy me, I must admit I did miss them all just a little bit.