14-ish Things That Happen When You Return to Your Hometown

i am!

i am!

After leaving, can we ever really go home again? The question has been posed time and again by singers, writers and poets of many generations. It’s kind of silly because the answer is obviously yes. We can definitely go home, but it’s usually a little weird and can even be uncomfortable.

If you’ve ever gone through the experience of living away from home and then coming back after a while, you’ll probably relate to one or more of these.

1. Your parents have done something new with their house. It might be a new couch, or a new door, but whatever it is, it reminds you that nothing is sacred and nothing stays the same.

2. A business that you loved and / or saw constantly will be gone. “Why, Homeplate hot dogs, why?! I never got to try your savory dogs!”

3.  You remember all the reasons you left your hometown in the first place. “Really, camo-vest, man? Do you have to take up two parking spots in your Ford 350?”

4. Certain places become “minefields” where you’re doomed to run in to people that you went to high school with, and we all know how much you loved high school. Not.

5.  Inevitably, you’ll run in to someone you know, and then both of you will either fight the urge to or wholeheartedly engage in “catching up,” also known as “dick measuring.” Recent trips, relationship statuses, current jobs and apartment sizes must all be covered and compared.

6. Your hometown will surprise you i.e. “Where did that Moroccan tea place come from?” “Wow, vape places are really popular.” “Interesting, didn’t know that Shepler’s Western wear had a store here.”

7. You’ll go to a bar, see one of the popular kids, and freak out a little bit. You’ll try to reason with yourself and be like, “Nah, it’s cool. I live out of state now,” but beneath that pscho-babble there is real fear and an acknowledgement that this is not your turf. It belongs to the polo shirts.

8. You’ll resolve to never go to the aforementioned bar again and give another excuse for not going besides cowardice i.e. “the vibe wasn’t really for me.”

9. While grocery shopping, you’ll feel like a complete jackass for looking for Belgian endives.

10. Occasionally, someone will mention a person or place to you that you’ve kind of forgotten and they will be surprised that you don’t remember what you’re talking about. Secretly, you like when this happens. It means your brain has been filled up with more interesting things.

11. Someone you used to know will see you and enthusiastically comment on how good you look. This will happen regardless of your appearance. You know this, but you’ll still leave the conversation wondering if you really look that good. You hope so.

12. When you get off the plane, you look around wondering if there are any old crushes or enemies lurking about. There never are.

13. Despite your best efforts, you will compare your hometown and the city where you now live in front of other people. Whatever you say will be boring and kill the conversation and you’ll hate yourself for doing it, but you’ll do it at least three more times before leaving town.

14. If you’re staying with your parents, you will revert to childhood and find yourself roughhousing on the couch with your sister with your mom in the kitchen yelling, “If anything happens, I’m not paying for it.” This will mean more to you now that you have your own health insurance (or lack of it.)

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