You can’t, and probably shouldn’t, go home again

Nathan Sanderson

Nathan Sanderson

There’s no place like home. At least that’s what they say. Sure, there are times when it’s nice to go back to Mom’s home cooking, a familiar house, your old “spot” on the couch and friends and family. But, there are a number of reasons why “Home Sweet Home” sometimes smells a little stale.

Have you ever gone back to your hometown for a street dance, football game or other gathering and run into an old high school friend you haven’t seen for years? It’s fun to see them until they start calling you by your old nickname: you know, the one no one has used since you graduated, but that’s the name they still know you by? For me, that situation is always a little strange. Now I had a couple of nicknames in high school that at the time had some meaning and were relatively funny. But, those times are long past and now I loathe being called “Sandernuts.”

But, don’t let a nickname from last century get you down. There are still other reasons why home isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. One scene that I always dread is returning to my hometown church after an extended absence. The service is fine, until afterward when all the old “church ladies” swarm around to ask what you’ve been up to since they last saw you. They’ve been quilting up a storm and haven’t been able to keep up. If you get by them, there’s the minister, who if you’re lucky, just looks at you and thinks to himself “I haven’t seen that young man in church for a long time!” If you’re unlucky, he’ll actually mention how your spiritual self would be more at peace if you came home and attended a good church service more often (especially since college is the time when all good little children become deviant and do the “Devil’s Work”).

No matter how much you used to love “cruisin’ main,” it’s pathetic to do that after you graduate. Do you really want to be the 30-year-old letterman’s jacket wearing, class-ring brandishing, Varsity Blues alum who buys beer for the high school kids and goes to the senior keg? I don’t think so. Don’t be that guy, be strong: stay with your new friends who don’t remember how much of a geek you really were in high school.

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