Monday, October 12, 2009

Alia/Rob: (Real) Thanksgiving Thoughts

I checked the calendar today to remind myself that this weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada. It might not be the healthiest thing in the world but I allowed myself to get nostalgic. The past doesn't seem that far away, and Todd keeps reminding me that before long, I'll be back where I belong. If has has anything to say about it, that is.

Fall always puts me back in the state of mind of my early University days. Even before all this, I marveled at how much things had changed over the years. It was fall 2003 when I first met Todd, this comparatively dangerous-looking boy who kept catching my eye in a couple classes, and whom I swore I'd seen glancing back my way once or twice.

I was living in the dorms and I guess one of the girls he was involved with was on the same floor because one day I caught the elevator with him and he struck up a conversation and I thought it was probably too good to be true because he seemed genuinely friendly and not only that, far more intelligent and well-spoken than his rough exterior. He was sarcastic but kind, and he had opinions but was not preachy. Before I knew it, I was swept up in this whole group of people, some of whom were utterly full of shit, some were legitimate individuals. And as much as I did not want to fall for someone like Todd -- I knew (or figured) going in, that I'd be hurt in the end -- it happened that we were drawn together. And I guess I was the last girl standing. For a while, anyway.

By the end of the semester, we were an item, and as much as I resisted, I had to bring him home to meet my parents around Christmas. It was pretty much as bad as I expected, although not as bad as I feared, if that makes sense. Dad had resolved not to like him no matter who he was, and mom saw he was trouble from the beginning. But he was on his best behaviour, played the good suitor for my dad and charmed my mom. It was a rough start but after some consideration they determined he was not the worst boy in the world.

I tried to limit their contact with him, though. It wasn't until much later they saw his darker side, especially after he resigned himself to a certain state of life and our relationship started falling apart (repeatedly.) And that was still a long while before the break-up that led to him coming to Maine.

But for a long while, we were fixtures at each others' family Thanksgivings. It reminds me of the first time I met his whole family, which of course also features part of Bry's family, since Bry's dad is Todd's step-uncle. It was a choice between helping/hindering the women in the kitchen or sitting in the living room with the men watching the Leafs and scratch themselves. I guess there's nothing wrong with the traditional female role, and looking back, those ladies were some tough cookies. I fit in well with them, and I've missed them. I hope Todd, this weekend, has found some way to send my love, even if I might be there in body. Sigh.

Instead, I'm sitting here feeling nostalgic. I contemplated doing something, going out, having a drink, but instead quietly cooked dinner for one and sat on the computer not doing anything particularly productive.

I pine for those innocent Undergrad days because, let me tell you, I much prefer them to the awkward teenage years that preceded them, which I seem to relive on a daily basis at work. I feel like I'm cursed to watch these kids play out the usual teenage drama, barred from providing any useful advice or assurance that things will get better, because really, when I was a kid, I didn't believe my teachers when they said stuff like that.

The weird/funny thing, I guess, about being in a high school environment is that it even makes adults -- REAL adults, not just fake ones like me -- regress a bit. Sure, there are jaded older teachers who've been here forever, but ones around Rob's age, like Dean and Cathy, have a way of slightly adapting the attitudes of the students, I guess because we're young enough to still relate, not so old that we feel completely detached and deeply embedded in our authority figure roles. It's kind of a dangerous position because when it's time to be firm with a student, you have trouble really asserting yourself. Or at least I do.

Dean and Cathy would be the supporting characters of my little story as Rob. I eat lunch, I make funny excuses not to talk much about my (Rob's) life, despite them having known Rob for a few years at least. Don's a nice guy, in a long-term relationship but is still glad to talk about girls like he is available. Perhaps too glad. Cathy, I don't know her deal. She's mentioned a few guys before, but I guess none of them are all that serious. We all eat lunch together, I don't mind having them as friends, I imagine it's kind of like what Todd, Bry and I will be like in5 or 6 years, if Todd and I aren't together.

Thy have interest in the mostly-nonexistent details of Rob's bachelor life. They seemed somewhat scandalized when I let it slip that "a girl" stayed the night last weekend. Sorry, Cliff, heh. I told them it was completely innocent...

Anyway, I just felt like spelling my guts a bit tonight, all the nostalgia and all, and Todd's busy with family stuff, unable to put up with my little flashbacks, so here I am. hope you've enjoyed it.



Todd said...

Remember that time you got drunk and talked to my uncle for like an hour about porn?

Alia said...

Yeah, and I wish I didn't, and that you didn't either.