Friday, August 14, 2009

In which Swiss Ms. relates some real-life daydreams, gets temporarily nostalgic about weird things, and grudingly admits to missing her homeland

Sometimes I really long for a few American-style errands to run – the soothing and mindless Saturday morning kind. Slip into the car, catch familiar NPR voices in between purposeful jaunts, sip a coffee maybe, stop in somewhere you never have time for during the week, buy a book on World Religions from a yard sale, avoid the baseball traffic, put on Dick Biondi if the errands take too long and Garrison Keilor shows up. Or walk down to Kim's Hardware, overpay for a specialty tool, write a check for the box of vegetables next door, and stroll home. (Actually huff my way home, since I am carrying the big box of vegetables, but feeling pleased about the exercise I won't have to do later. Also everyone will be impressed and feel guilty when they hear I've done it myself.) I can think of a thousand versions of Saturday morning and somehow they all seem pleasant to me. Especially if we happen to run into Kim and Ryan.

I am overlooking the hateful truth in these real-life daydreams, of course. That is, that errands always take longer than you think, chomp up your fresh weekend energy, and leave you really hungry in the middle of the afternoon with a stupid amount of time left in the day. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, my mom recently pointed out, even of inanimate objects. I guess we can add "horrible and grueling tasks" as well. Maybe this is why I also feel nostalgic about cleaning graffiti off our building? And why people run more than one marathon?

The real story is that, despite loving so many things about the lovely lifestyle and setting and culture here, it is about time to come home. It's hard for me to admit that, by the way, like I'm exposing some sissy weakness. I never was the kid crying to go home at the end of camp, I swear. I was the one conspiratorially telling my parents in the car how some suckers actually had to call their parents in the middle of the week. It's not really about the errands or having a car or writing checks (which if nothing else is way more satisfying than making a bank transfer, by the way). I don't even think it's about feeling purposeful. I'm not sure what it's about. It's just the mystery of home.


Your Friendly Seattle Area Chili's Manager said...

We knew you would come around eventually Swiss Ms. Your baby back ribs await.

barbeque sauce.

Swiss Ms. said...

I get suspicious when people call themselves friendly.

TGI Friday's Host said...

And I get suspicious when Americans go more than 6 months without eating in a Chili's, Applebee's, or TGI Friday's.

Open up Swiss Ms., here come your Jalapeño Shooters and Kickin' Quesadillas.

Swiss Ms. said...

Mind your own flair, TGIFH.

jenicrob said...

I love it when Swiss Mr. shows up under various pseudonyms.

Swiss Ms. said...

That made me laugh, Jenicrob!