Culture Shock

It is wonderful to have two sons back "home" with me. The first week hasn't been totally smooth, but we are getting used to togetherness and coordinating mass transportation by DART rail.

The refrigerator is in shock because it is filled with food again--roast beast, fresh fruits and veggies, Feta cheese, and gallons of milk. The dishwasher is stunned at its new workload. I pulled an inch-thick deposit of Transatlantic dryer lint out of the trap, and gave it to the worms to make feather boas. The Buick is asking for time-and-a-half overtime pay.

The Woolly Mammoth has the biggest time change to make, coming home from Italy to a place with orange cheese. He needs a haircut, a job, and a diet with lots more fresh fruits to fight a nasty cough. I can help with the fresh fruits, but not the job.

His need for a haircut is sufficiently pronounced that his brother and I both had ours cut. Danger Baby is talking Woolly Mammoth through some of his post-Italy depression issues. I never had a junior year abroad, but I'm sure most of real life is not quite as wonderful, scenic, exciting, empowering, or impoverishing.

Fortunately, we are still allowed to diagnose returning students with Post Junior Year Abroad Syndrome (PJYAS) and Haircut Disorder. Our returning vets may not be treated as kindly with their Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Just another day opening the newspaper and being embarrassed to be an American living in Texas in the Bush Era!

Much of the old high school Lunch Bunch showed up to sit on the patio on a perfect late spring evening, drink beer, and recount their various junior year adventures. It was fun to hear them chatting out back, but I need even more beauty sleep than before. When this CollageMama invites all the gang to look in her wormbin, it's probably a hint to move the reunion to another venue! Vermicompost is not vermicelli.

© 2008 Nancy L. Ruder

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