a big beautiful mess

Christmas reflections

Christmas break has always been a kind of check-in moment for me. No matter how far or how long I’m away from home, I’ve always been here for Christmas, always slept in absurdly late, always written an unusually long and pensive entry in my journal on Christmas Day, after all the presents are opened and Dad’s treasure hunt is solved. I never thought about it before, but those kinds of things are meaningful to me; the first Christmas away from home will be something just as new and strange and life-changing as Russia. Or maybe not life-changing, but a marker of how my life has changed. And my life has certainly changed a lot, but not enough that I don’t come home for Christmas.

While I’ve been here, I’ve been enjoying some of the cultural things I missed about America:

I got my hair cut and was able to explain to the lady exactly what I wanted, ask questions, clarify, and have a conversation that we both understood.

Driving! I love driving so much, and being in my car.

I went to the grocery store with Andrew today, and I just TOOK a bag, without even asking, and they didn’t make me pay for it!

Paying for a $3.45 hot chocolate at Starbucks with a $10 bill and not getting yelled at for not having exact change. I think I may have taken advantage of this a little too much, because now I have just piles of American change that I’m not going to be able to use for seven months. I guess that’s what I have a piggy bank for.

Hit all the major food needs: cheesy corn at Mom’s last night, Yuengling, pizza, macaroni and cheese out of a box, Eat N Park multiple times, tiny marshmallows shaped like snowmen. Oh yeah.


  1. 4 January 2012    

    So good! I definitely took advantage of those things while I was home too, especially the bags at grocery stores (I needed the bags for cushioning to secure American beer that I brought back to France with me) and food, though my items of choice were real bagels and a Slurpee. =P

    Hope you’re having a bonne rentrée if you’re back in Russia, or that you continue to enjoy home if you’re there!

  2. Charles Jacobs Charles Jacobs
    4 January 2012    

    A time-worn phrase, but there truly is “no place like home.” So nice to read that you enjoyed your return, especially with family, however brief it may be.

    Я желаю вам прекрасный и удивительно заполненные Новый год, независимо от того, где он может принять вас. / Te deseo un Año Nuevo maravilloso y lleno de maravillas, no importa dónde te encuentres.
    d Carlos

  3. Kaitlin Kaitlin
    8 January 2012    

    UGH, we have to pay five cents per bag in DC; this is the scourge of society. On another note: I’m so glad that you decided to go back for a visit!! Congratulations on such a fun and relaxing trip!

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