Wednesday, May 9, 2007

the 5 month itch

I was watching the Gilmore Girls last night and I had an epiphany. Ok, maybe it wasn’t an epiphany but more like a sudden realization. I sat there and was watching the show with Jesse during last night’s dinner. I got super excited while watching the Yale ‘campus’ scenes they filmed. Why? Because I had no idea that Rory Gilmore had suddenly transferred to USC. All of those scenes were filmed on my old stomping grounds. That scene where Rory and her friends are drinking out of a bottle right before graduation? Yeah, my program’s graduation ceremony was in that park. That scene with all of the assembled parents about to watch their kids graduate? Right outside of Bovard Auditorium, home of my freshman year Biology class. And as I sat there admiring the beautiful campus that had been transformed into a Hollywood set (definitely not the first time), I felt a slight pang. Hmmm…feels familiar…as if this pang and I have met before.

Pretty soon, I recognized that pang and had a sudden realization. I miss home.

But this wasn’t any old case of homesickness. This was THE case. The case that usually makes me buy a plane ticket before I could start feeling better. It comes along about 3 times a year, approximately every 4 months. If I haven’t gone home by the 5 month mark since my last visit, I get really, really homesick. Unfortunately, I haven’t been home since January. So it’s about time for the Itch.

I spoke to my mom recently and she asked me, “How’s your hair? Are your roots starting to show?” (Trust me, this is related to the homesickness). Unfazed, I told her, “No, mom. Actually, I had to get the roots taken care of in a few weeks ago before that wedding I just went to. They were really bad. I can’t believe I was out in public like that.” My mom replied with disappointment, “I thought you might need to see Mischa.” Mischa is my West Coast hair colorist (yes, my hair team is bicoastal) and I really prefer not to cheat on her but sometimes I have to. She understands. She knows that I think she’s the best but sometimes I cheat out of necessity. My mom continued, “Does this mean you’re not coming home any time soon?” And there came the pang…and the guilt. I answered, sadly, “Mami, I want to, but I don’t really have the vacation time right now. I’m using all of my time off right now for all of these weddings. And all of my money.”

Without a moment’s hesitation, my mom said, “Well, I can pay for your ticket.” I was shocked. Since I got the whole “you’re on your own now” conversation from her when I was 17 and getting ready to move out to go to USC, I have asked my mom for financial help twice. Twice in 11 years. I’m pretty proud of this fact. My mom knows that I am too proud to ask because I’ve been so self-sufficient for so long and she has occasionally given me money as random holiday gifts when she thinks money is a little tight for me (like the year I got a big check for Easter, which was incredibly random but appreciated). I didn’t want to let her down because the offer was pretty tempting. A free ticket home? I’d be crazy to say no. I told her, “Thanks, Mami, that’s really nice of you to offer. I’ll see what I can do. Maybe in June.”

I really don’t want to wait. I have an opportunity to earn a considerable amount of comp time at the end of this month, so I really can’t go home before then. But I want to go home so badly. I miss my niece. And my mom (even if she is crazy sometimes, I know that she loves me). And my dog. And the weather.

And maybe I miss my sister. But only a little bit.

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