Monday, June 20, 2005


I called my father up to say Happy Father's Day and he asked, as he has done every year since I left for college, when I'm coming home for summer. I think since I'm at a university, he assumes that it's just like school and that I get the summers off and would therefore come home for three months. Never mind that I actually haven't had summers free since 1999, and that, even before that, I never came home for more than two weeks, tops, during the summer. I always stayed in Portland and worked during the college summers. But it's cute that he ignores all previous experience and expects me to be at home, anyway.

It's actually very good for my mental and emotional stability, I think. It's a subtle reminder to me that, no matter what, I can always pack up and go home and he will happily feed and house me, for as long as I need it. Never mind that I'm nearing 30, never mind that I should, by all rights, be supporting him by now, never mind that I'm educated up to my eyeballs, he will always cheerfully take me in. I didn't appreciate this as a safety net until recently and it was further driven home (excuse the pun) when I was reading through the reader responses to the Class Matters special section in the NYTimes. A few people mentioned that they, and many others, had no safety nets, of any sort, familial or otherwise. If they lost their jobs or got ill, that would be it- they'd be out in the streets. And I, who has no savings to speak of, no pension or retirement account to draw on, no monetary wealth of any kind, would be in the same position if not for my family.

Now I feel guilty for not staying longer at home this August. Dang.

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