It’s been months since you last saw your family in 3D, at the very most you’ve seen a couple of relatives through Skype (if even). But now it’s the Christmas holidays, and, as tradition goes, you’re back at home with the family. So you come back, anxiety rising, not so much for the imminent meeting as for the effort of the journey.
But the return is no less traumatic than the expectation of the return itself. So while you were lost in a day dream your train pulled into the train station, your family has arrived and is ready to bring you home. And the trauma begins.
#1 The fumes of the fabric softener coming from your duvet will knock you out since you’re no longer used to it.
#2 When you open the fridge you feel like crying because, for once, all that food doesn’t belong to your roommates.
#3 Relatives start interrogating you on how the semester went and you desperately come up with an excuse to escape the situation.
#4 You start eating on the evening of the 24th and you don’t stop until the 6th.
#5 During the toast all your relatives suspiciously control your attitude to alcohol by measuring how long it takes you to finish the champagne flute.
#6 You can’t convey to your parents the college rule according to which when someone goes off to his/her room they do not want to be disturbed. That also goes for earphones.
#7 Your grandmother, thanks to her sixth sense, is able to find any open wound (college, love, friends, …) and painfully questions you on it.
#8 After each meal you want to escape to your room or laptop instead you remain stuck at the dinner table as though you were Buñuel movie.
#9 You’re forced to stop mid-anecdote to make the story suitable to a family audience.
#10 On January 2nd you realise your study plans jumped out the window.
#11 You have to dribble questions like “When will you find a boyfriend/girlfriend”, “When will you find a job?” “When will you stop not doing shit all day?” the same way Maradona dribbled the entirety of the British defence during the ’86 Mexico World Cup.
#12 “Eat, you’re looking too skinny!” – quote MOTHER
#13 You rejoice in the fact you don’t have to cook , but after months of bland couscous and take away pizza your stomach can’t tell the difference between sweet or salty.
#14 Everyone (mum, dad, grandmother, grandmother’s hairdressers, random family friends, …) feel the need ask “But are you eating?” with a troubled expression on their faces.
#15 “Don’t drink too much.” – Mum.
#17 Enjoying using as many plates as you want cause there’s a dish washer anyways.
#18 The first day you’re happy to be back home, the second you remember why you left.