Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Greg/Priya: Homecoming game

So in the 11 days since my last post, ive started paying more attention to my dreams, and Im happy to report that about half the time in my dreams Im Greg, and the other half Im Priya. Basically what Penny described in the comments section of that post. Thankfully it seems my subconscious hasnt forgotten my true identity.

So Saturday instead of my usual routine of wearing sweatpants and watching football, I went and watched football live, lol. Priya's Alma Mater, Northwestern University, was playing their biggest rival, Illinois, and Priya's parents had tickets and apparently they all go together whenever it happens. Since Im trying not to break any of Priyas tradition or habits, and I kinda wanted to go anyway, I put on my purple and drove up to Evanston.

I had never met Priya's parents in person, although i have talked to her mother almost weekly since i became her. Ive seen a ton of pictures of them but would have trouble picking them out in a crowd. Fortunately I didnt have to do that since Priya's mom is a professor at NU and her parents live in Evanston now. All I had to do was meet them at their house, and i was able to mapquest that.

When I arrived at the Patel's (which,by the way, is not their real surname. I never mentioned it but Patel isnt Priya's real last name. Its her moms maiden name and much more common than her real last name. I didnt want any weirdos googling me) it was an hour before game time so I only had about 15 minutes to catch up with my new parents. They seem nice people, but come off as strict. I think thats a cultural thing. I think it might also have something to do with why the real Priya is ANYTHING but uptight.

We got to Ryan Field right before kickoff. Its weird, because while Priya's dad isnt much for football, her mom LOVES it. She apparently came to the US on a student Visa back in the 70s and picked up on it, which is surprising because NU football was bloody AWFUL during that period. Its funny seeing a 50 something Indian woman get into the game like that.

One thing I hadnt counted on was the fact that so many other alumni would be there, including quite a few Priya went to school with. NU is a pretty small school, especially by Big 10 standards, and all day long people were coming up to me, saying hi, and making small talk. Thankfully, ive been Priya long enough to be able to tell people how her life is going. Its surprising how well you can make conversation with a casual acquaintance despite not knowing that persons name.

The Wildcats beat U of I (yay, i guess) and afterwards we went out to eat and I got to have my first in depth daughter-parent conversation. They asked about work, amber, my love life (they really want grandkids), and what I did for Diwali (nothing). They seem kind of disappointed that the daughter of 2 engineering doctorates teaches Kindergarten.

After dinner it was 5 oclock and I wasnt gonna deal with rush hour traffic so I decided just to crash at their place and go home in the morning. We watched DVDs until Priya's parents went to bed around 9. I went to Priya's old room and had a look around.

Priya is their only child so they had kept her room pretty much intact since they day she left home. It looked like an 17 year old girls room with a few stuffed animals, band posters on the wall, and a pink bedspread. On one of her walls were tons of old photos from her childhood. Including a lot of pictures of a much younger Amber, dating all the way back to grade school. Another wall was dedicated to awards. It was at that moment that I grasped fully just how smart Priya is. There was NHS, honor roll, scholar bowl, math team, culminating with her college diplomas. Thats right, diplomaS, plural. Priya got a double degree in elementary education and chemical engineering. Thank God she chose the former as a career path, because theres no way I could cope with being an engineer.

In one of the desk drawers I found a journal from her high school days. I wanted to read it and it probably wouldve proven VERY useful, but these were her most intimate thoughts and Im her friend, so I decided against it.

After a very strange nights sleep in a tiny bed, I headed back to the city and back to the life of a single gal. Its much more manageable living on my own, but it was nice to feel like part of a family, at least for a weekend.


PS. Im gonna pre empt all you sports buffs out there. NU's REAL homecoming was Oct 24th vs Indiana. The title of this thread is a play on the fact that I went "home" this weekend.

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