Return to State College

I thought it had been kind of a tame couple of weeks, but when I sat and looked back on it, it actually hasn’t. Especially considering this past weekend was the first in which I had no set plans and Paul could come over and just hang out.

So, Paul ultimately got fired a few days before Christmas on what would’ve been his last night before their Christmas/New Year’s shut down anyway. As shitty as I’m sure it feels to get fired, he actually is absolutely happier unemployed than he was at the fucking soul-sucking job. In fact, I talked to him on the phone twice that night–a half hour before he got in and was told he was fired and again a half hour later on his way home from being fired, and he sounded so, so much happier after the firing. Said he felt relieved. And he has enough money stashed to not have to worry about running out for a solid year. But the financial dynamics of our relationship has shifted–almost the entire time we’ve been dating, only one of us has been working full-time, and that person has paid for almost anything. Since Paul started working, he paid for almost every date and I picked up concert and ballet tickets and such, mostly because I was the one planning all that, and now we’ll be back to me paying at least more often. I can tell he’s too proud to let me cover everything. Because he bought me books after I paid for dinner the other night.

Anyway, he’s obviously on another job search, potentially with a full career switch. He got a call today about a job in New York and should be going up for an interview soon, so we’ll see what happens with that.

Other than lying to extended family about it for reasons I don’t understand because there are no reasons, life has been normal.

We picked Jacob up from the airport, then drove right out to Penn State to pick up Katie for break. She made us dinner, then Paul and I went out for a drink to give Jacob and Katie some alone time. Frankly, this whole plan was probably for the best–otherwise, Jacob would’ve been met by a large welcoming committee that probably would’ve included screaming and tears, and he and Katie would’ve gotten approximately zero alone time. We even donated some condoms before we left.

Comparing Paul and Jacob and their family situation to mine is kind of funny. My parents didn’t allow a free-for-all, but I didn’t get in trouble when my dad spotted a condom wrapper in my bedroom before I moved out and my mom encouraged using birth control when I was in my teens. I didn’t tell them everything, but I almost never lied because I never had to, and even when I tried they didn’t believe me. They always did say I’d never be able to get much past them, and they were right. And so I never really felt like I was doing anything sneaky or elicit. Paul and Jacob, however, have lied more times since Paul and I have been together than I think I’ve lied in my life. Paul at least felt like the bad-infuence big brother and practically said so.

I figured our options were either give them the time and the space or listen to them fuck all night. And they were in the shower together the next morning for at least an hour. Which was a problem because Paul and I wanted to showed so we could run around State College like old times, but it’s our own fault for not thinking they’d showed together for over an hour and telling them they could go first.

I’m more nostalgic for Paul’s college town than I am my own, though that’s probably because I went to school 45 minutes-ish from home in a place I was already familiar with and didn’t really do the typical college stuff, at least not on campus with people from that school. And I’m in touch with classmates and professors on Facebook and go to people’s book launches. State College, though, was a totally different experience, and visiting was like a mini vacation with lots of sex. And near the end, when friendships were collapsing, State College was a true escape–I went up on at least one occasion solely because I didn’t want to be home, plus Paul was an epic source of support. And it was also summer, he worked part-time in the creamery, and we discovered the pool, a frozen-yogurt place, a few amazing restaurants, and used books and records.

Given, say, a full weekend just after payday, I seriously would’ve gone all out and eaten at every single restaurant I ever loved up there. But I settled for Green Bowl and a trip to Webster’s, which ironically only yielded one book but did help Paul find a Christmas present for me–Pink Floyd’s The Wall on vinyl.

Paul’s dad had mentioned something to Jacob the week or so before about us likely being back by around noon that Saturday. I’m not sure why anyone would expect four 20-somethings in State College, including a newly reunited couple, to go up on a Friday night and be back before Saturday afternoon, but I suspect it has something to do with being slightly clueless and viewing the trip as something with a definite purpose–get Katie. Obviously, our mindset was more, “Fuck that, we just drove three hours so we might as well enjoy it, also shops and bars and food and sex.” That said, I have a strict no-sex-in-other-people’s-homes rules because I have this thing where I think it’s rude, so no sex for me.

We finally left sometimes Saturday evening, and at some point on the way back I got into my cranky I-don’t-want-to-be-here-anymore trip slump that so far no one seems to be immune to. And then Paul didn’t help by teasing me about vegetarianism when I was already in a mood, which was especially irritating since he only does that in front of other people.

Sunday, I went home for family Christmas fun, which was legitimately a good time until my uncle decided to say tons of racist things. Call me crazy, but calling people “niggers” at a Christmas function doesn’t strike me as being in the Christmas spirit or remember the meaning of Christmas and all that, but what do I know? I’m just a stupid, liberal, tree-hugging hippie.


3 thoughts on “Return to State College

    1. That’s mostly where I’m coming from–with the exception of maybe a designated guest room, which I do not have, I wouldn’t want people banging all over my furniture. I figure people are nice enough to let me stay with them for whatever the reason and the least I can do is save it for my own sheets.

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