Nicole Paulhus
June 26, 2013 8:00 am

I spent the past week visiting family and friends back in Massachusetts. Going home is weird. If you’ve seen the film Garden State or the episode of Girls in which Hannah goes to Michigan, you probably get it. It’s as if all the things I’m nostalgic for are gone, while everything I hated is exactly as I left it. The Friendly’s my dad used to take me to is no longer there, but the Dunkin drive thru chick is just as rude as ever. While reconnecting with family and friends is absolutely worth the trip, returning to my hometown is always a bit stressful for me.

Here are ten reasons why going home makes me nervous.

1. Seeing Everyone I Want To See

Most of my friends from high school and college live within a one-hour radius of my childhood home. This means I get to kill a ton of birds with one trip. It also means that I have a lot of birds to hunt down. No matter how hard I try, there’s always one or two I just can’t catch. It’s not that I don’t want to see them; I just don’t have the time. I always feel like a jerk when someone comments on my Facebook asking when I was home.

2. Seeing People I Don’t Want To See

While struggling to see everyone I want to see, I always end up seeing the people I want to see the least. If I’m out to dinner, the guy I dated and then never called will be at the next table with his family. If I’m at a movie, the obnoxious girl from my soccer team I couldn’t stand will be sitting two rows behind me. I hate it and live in constant fear of having to make uncomfortable small talk with these people.

3. Forgetting To Report My Whereabouts

After months of coming and going as I please, staying out as late as I want and not having anyone I need to report to, it’s hard to adjust to living back with my parents and letting them know where I am at all times. I get it, they just want to make sure I’m safe, but I’ve gotten out of the habit of texting them whenever I put the car in Park and sometimes I forget. It’s only a matter of time before my mother puts out an Amber Alert.

4. Getting Too Comfortable

It’s scary how quickly I revert to a childlike state of complete helplessness when I get home. I’m not around often, so when I am, my parents spoil me rotten. I arrive with a suitcase of dirty laundry and wake up with it freshly washed and folded. The fridge is always stocked with my favorite snacks and my mother constantly offers to make me an egg sandwich. It’s pretty cushy… maybe too cushy.  My fear is that I will get too comfortable and never ever leave.

5. Having My ID Rejected

I’m always worried that my baby face and out-of-state ID are going to get me barred from a fun night out with friends. Bouncers and bartenders are not prepared to handle my out-of-state ID. It was easier to get into bars with the ID of Meghan a 26-year-old Massachusetts resident who was a Libra and looked nothing like me when I was nineteen than it is now with my legit California license.

6. Pretending To Care About Sports

I don’t enjoy watching professional sports. Yet, I have the misfortune of coming from a place with excellent teams. No matter when I plan my trip, there’s always some kind of bowl, cup or series happening. This means having to plan my social gatherings around games and forcing myself to cheer for the Bruins to avoid a bar fight.

7. Living Up To My Mother’s Hype

I’d like to think that I’m doing fairly well for myself. However, I am not doing nearly as well as my mother tells everyone I am doing. It’s always awkward interacting with relatives, family friends, neighbors and cashiers, because I cannot possibly live up to how smart, funny and well-off my mother’s told them I am. It’s always like, “So you’re a TV writer?” “Nope! I get coffee for some though!”

8. Telling The Same Stories Over and Over

I would never make it as a stand-up. I hate telling the same stories over and over. I used to make fun of those families who sent out newsletters every Christmas updating people on their lives, but now I get it. It’s annoying to have to repeat the same information every time you see someone new. It’s not my aunt’s fault she’s the fifteenth person who’s asked me about my new job, but having to repeat this boring story for the fifteenth time makes me want to hurt someone.

9. Meeting The Significant Others of My BFFs

As BFF, it is my duty to judge your significant other and make sure they’re deserving of your awesome. When I come home and have to meet the guy you’ve been dating for six months and are probably going to marry, it’s terrifying. He’s such a huge part of your life and I’ve never even met him. I know you’re happy and I want to be happy for you, but I also haven’t had a chance to form an opinion on this person you’re sharing your life with and it makes me super nervous. Bear with me through the awkward questioning, forced hugs and weird jokes, okay?

10. I Need “Me Time”

I get so little time with family and friends as it is, so when I’m home I try to spend as much time with them as possible. However, I’m an introvert. At the end of the day I need some time to decompress and process my thoughts. I never realized how important this “Me Time” was to my sanity until I found myself screaming at my mother for waking me up to go outlet shopping. At least I get six full hours of “Me Time” on the long plane ride back home. Well, to my new home that is.

Feature Image is a screenshot from Girls found via comicsbulletin.com

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