So we’re home. Again. I promise I’m not going to wax poetic about the homecoming like I did after our last little holiday (partially because I’m sure y’all are sick of that, and partially because we had such a great time that I’m more than a little sad to not be there anymore) but I will say that it is very nice to arrive home to discover that work has been turned up to 11 while I was away, and while I’m feeling a little tentative about the 3 websites I have to write copy for and the 3 magazine issues I have to edit in the next 2 weeks or so, I’m also feeling happy and relieved about it, because the onset of fall makes me feel productive. And also grateful we remembered to pack our little space heater last week. (Can I kvetch about the weather here for a bit? I love fall – in fact, I would love it a lot more if it wasn’t the start of a cruel, inevitable descent into winter – but one shouldn’t have to pile on several different layers just to stay warm in the evening and one CERTAINLY shouldn’t have to wish that one had remembered to pack her sock bunny hat to take to camp IN AUGUST to prevent frostbite and imminent death while wandering around late at night making sure campers are asleep or, at very least, doing something relatively innocuous and exceedingly hilarious like singing Journey in unison and at top volume.)
The unmistakable crispness in the air also makes me feel desperate to go back to school, although Mike thinks that feeling is rooted less in a desire for higher learning and more in my obsession with office supplies. I can’t really deny it either, because frankly the thought of being forced to string together 2,000 words comparing Wide Sargasso Sea with The Taming of the Shrew makes me want to stick my index finger in my eye and swirl it around a little, but if you set me loose in Staples this afternoon, I’d inevitably come out with $250 worth of lined paper, reinforcements, 3-ring binders, and a sparkly pencil case with Hannah Montana on it. I can’t quite figure it out, because I don’t really NEED a pencil case or various brightly coloured paperclips or mechanical pencils or seventeen different highlighters that I’ll probably never use because I never could stand defacing my books in that manner, but the somehow allure is there all the same, reminding me in a really poignant way of a time when the beginning of fall really meant something, when it caused me to anticipate the fresh possibilities of the looming year, the opportunities for learning and reinvention and report cards filled with all kinds of hard-earned affirmation and recognition that I desperately hoped would trump those of my siblings, because that’s the sort of pretentious, competitive jerk I am deep down inside.
It all has a very different flavour (at least in my memory) than the way it is now, when I spend the first few weeks of fall, you know, just worrying about how bad the lawn is after the weird weather we had this summer and anticipating the return of the pumpkin spice latte. Sometimes being a grownup isn’t very much fun at all.