One of the hardest things about living abroad is how difficult it is to attend the plethora of milestones that sprinkle our life's layers of ice-cream (...). I've missed weddings, had to wait to see new babies, and can never attend birthday parties. So when I finally get to attend a wedding and it is so conveniently located in the tristate area, I feel so blessed to have the luxury of also being able to visit my family and childhood friends as well.
So I took my relatively hangoverless self from Manhattan to New Haven on Metro North, and one of my sisters picked me up from the station. The next three days were a whirlwind of meetings and outings to try to see all of the beloved folk I so often miss. My first surprise upon landing at my Mother's house in Newington, however, was a new edition to the family... Now there is a dog AND a cat in my childhood home, despite the fact that the largest percentage of us are allergic to dogs and/or cats and nothing about the situation was helpful in balancing out the allergy invasion already wreaking havoc on my body. The good news? Wee 'kitten" was so adorable it basically made up for everything else.
My first night back home was filled with my musical theatre and actor geek friends of yore. I went to spend some time with my goddaughter in the afternoon then her mother drove me to our prescheduled drinks night in good ole West Hartford. We had a lovely night of booze and banter in the way that only true theatre friends know how. This group of crazies knows me so well and makes me laugh so hard, there is never an end to our antics. We try to outshine each other while simultaneously sitting back in supporting roles from our separate spots around the globe.
I was also fortunate enough to spend an evening with each of my parents and various extended family members. Unlike Christmas, it can be hard to find time to see everyone during a quick trip home, so I did the best I could over dinner and drinks. I also managed to fit in time with two of my dearest friends, one from college and one from high school, and their completely unacquainted though equally adorable new babies.
The highlight of my suburban spree, however, was a nice afternoon trip to the hospital... for what you may ask? Oh yes, my first mammogram. Let me just say, totally the highlight of my trip. And by highlight I mean supremely uncomfortable physical experience that creates nothing but anxiety. Due to my family history, it was high time I started my annual regime and since I don't quite understand how it all works here in France yet, my mom and my aunt sorted it all out for me in the US. Proactive prevention, ladies. Make it happen. Thankfully for me, all is clear at the moment and I feel proud that I made the effort in the end.
And on that medically inspiring note, I left the 'burbs and headed back to NYC for some profoundly moving artistic experiences... Stay tuned...