I’m home sick today and watching The Myth of Fingerprints on DVD. I originally saw this movie at an art house movie theater in the Land of my Birth when it came out in 1997. Living far from home, I projected my own sense of holiday nostalgia onto the film; the familiarity of the surroundings — the clothes, the contours of the land, the weather, the shapes of the houses — was the key attraction. Eventually that was eclipsed somewhat by a broader sense of the dysfunctional family conflicts within the movie… though some sense of nostalgia remains.
I was watching the film today to get in touch with my own sense of angst about the upcoming Christmas holiday. Mrs. Geek and I started making plans earlier this week for a 10-12 day trip back to the Land of my Birth for Christmas and New Years. Why so early? We don’t want to repeat the mistake of $500+ a person round trip airplane tickets. So far we’ve found tickets in the $375-425 price range.
Making those plans really stirred up a sense of the alien in me though. We were going back for a decent amount of time in the hope that we could see some childhood friends of mine, as well as take a trip or two to see some of Mrs. Geek’s relations. Yet, my parents house will be different this time back… my sister and her husband and their son are living with my parents. That lends a certain change in dynamic to the visit from how we will interact (Mrs. Geek and my brother-in-law do not always get along well) to where we will be sleeping (my sister and her husband have taken over my old bedroom.)
I feel like I’ve been away from the Land of my Birth for long enough that I’m not sure I really fit in there anymore. This past week makes it 14 years since I’ve moved away. For much of the 1990’s, I would return there to rest and relax amidst the pressures of completing my degree. Now, the place where I live is my home and sanctuary… and my parents house is at once both intensely familiar and somewhat unknown.
I’ll be seeing my parents again in about a week as they wind up a three week long traveling vacation. Hopefully, talking to them about some particulars will sort out some of these feelings.