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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tommy Wolfe, Meet Henry Potter

Two weekends ago I went to two of my best friends’ wedding in Ohio and then continued on to Pittsburgh to spend a few vacation days with my family and friends there.  Two weeks ago, I looked forward to this as a pleasant drive down Memory Lane, whimsically turning at Nostalgia Street, and making a gentle left onto Everything’s the same as it ever was when you left home—it’s a frick’n anchor back here—and everything you’re doing right now is fine Road.  So maybe I missed a turn?

Eight years ago at the wedding of one of my closest friends—for those keeping score, I was 19-yrs-old as was he—I recall taking him to Chuck E. Cheese’s for his bachelor party—again, we were 19, it’s all we could think of, and it was awesome—and then drinking to the point of puking at the wedding reception, but not before prank calling he and his wife in his hotel room all night long.   Classic.
"Who ordered the Chuck E. Lap Dance?"

Fast forward to 2012; No Chuck E. Cheese’s, unfortunately, and no prank call, but I did get drunk and puked at the wedding reception.  A lot.  Now granted, that wasn’t my plan and I awoke with the appropriate dosage of shame for doing so, still I couldn't help to notice that it wasn’t quite as cute or accepted as it had been eight years ago, or even five years ago, or even one year ago.  I was older and expected to act with more decorum—or at least some self-control--and others were older too and didn’t really feel like sitting next to the dude head-deep in the trashcan all night, though to their credit, they did.  Things were, older.  Things are different.

“My childhood home in Pittsburgh, now this is surely a bastion of consistency”, I had thought to myself upon my return.  Every time I come home I end up reverting to a 17-yr-old version of myself, but in an almost Harry Potter-like imperative, I’m compelled to return there every six months so I can continue on with my life outside of it.  But even my proverbial room under the steps had changed.  My parents as recent empty-nesters had continued to re-do everything.  From the kitchen to the den to even the cat—she’s a lasagna-stuffed chunkzilla now—the house had changed.

What happened to my once sweet pad?
Most of my school yard chums have since moved from Pittsburgh—it’s funny how a dying economy will do that—but even the ones who live “in town” actually live far outside of it now.  They live in nice suburbs, in houses, by themselves, or with husbands, wives, and not five other roommates.  Who said that was okay for them to do?

Sometimes I feel like the worst part is talking to them, not that I don’t enjoy talking to them.  **Disclaimer; No one take this the wrong way**  my friends talk about new marriages, evolving careers, mortgages, pre-schools while I’m talking about the same things I was talking about eight years ago.  It’s not engaging or interesting anymore to talk about the girl I kind of like, or going back to school, or what I’d like to be when I grow up.  Apparently, these are all things that I should have figured out by now.

Now, none of these are exactly new revelations to me.  I’ve been long aware of these things and have probably dedicated more than a few blog posts to them.  These are more growing revelations that evolve and splinter a little more every time I look at them.

It’s hard to say whether this homeland morphing spurs me on in my pursuits as in some bent game of catch-up, or whether it reveals how just divergent my goals have become.  Maybe both.

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