Mom and Dad look better from a distance

By Hadija Gabunga

Aren’t you glad to be back? Don’t get me wrong, my parents are great and I’m sure, like most of you, it’s a comforting thought to have not become a biological failure. But no matter how nostalgic you get, it’s good to be back in Rez.

A lot of you can relate when I say, no matter how good a home cooked meal is or how amazing your mum’s Christmas cookies are, there’s only so much you can handle and only so much time you can spend with your parents during the holidays without wanting to alienate yourself from them.

It’s funny how going home sometimes reminds those of you who don’t live there exactly why you prefer it that way. The holidays start out great: the house smells familiar, your parents smother you, talk about how much they missed you, reminisce about your childhood and your favourite pastimes. A week goes by, you spend time with your old friends and get the feel of being back home. That’s right about when your parents start analyzing your day-to-day activities and the smallest things start to set you off.

It’s the constant nagging to "clean up your room" because you have guests coming over for yet another family dinner; it’s the endless reminders about your grades, your future and, most commonly, how you should spend your creative time when all you want to do is sleep long enough to put school and all those great life "responsibilities" behind you.

You can’t avoid it; with the holidays come all those great family bonding rituals and those insane sporadic visits from your relatives. Don’t forget bonding with grandma and grandpa. It’s all in the name of quality family time, but since when does that include a scheduled bed-time hour, redoing all the chores you did back in high school or baby-sitting?

Well, what can I say? There is an upside to all this: it’s all forgotten as soon as you’re back in good old Rez. No more bratty siblings, no more chores and best of all, you can sleep as long as you possibly can. The "responsibilities" you had at home all wither away. And when your parents call and ask about the state of your room, you openly lie knowing well that you can’t get to the other side of your room without stepping on something.

It’s this simple: you know well enough the folks aren’t here, and the only person you have to worry about getting on your case is your likewise-semi-messy roommate who wants nothing more than even less responsibility than you. The only chore absolutely necessary is your weekly laundry routine. The actual partying starts again; more cabs to get drunk at, late night talks with about 10 people in your room and for those from small towns, your high school friends and their small town mentality become faint memories. Not only do you get back to "the best times" at Max’s and the thrills of Rez, but also to the upsides of living in a city.

Needless to say, there are those who enjoy the comforts of home and timeless hours spent with relatives. After a couple of months in Rez, nostalgia does creep in. I admit to that, but the only way I endure long periods of time with my family involves bribes of money and long shopping sprees with my mother. One could say I am fortunate, and that my parents, after 19 years, should no longer encourage my adverse misuse of money, but, well, it’s an understanding we have.

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