And now I am in Windsor. Much to my dismay, I was informed upon my arrival that the wireless network usually in my parents' house is absent, due to router problems. So my laptop is like a paperweight on this trip, and I'm left using my dad's computer.
Last night I went to a surprise party for the last one in our group who was turning 30. I was the first (kinda). I wasn't sure I wanted to go - just being the day that I arrived, maybe only knowing a couple of people there, trying to dredge up small talk from some deep recess in my brain that might know how to do that. But it turned out that my parents were going out, and my brother was having gamer friends over, so it was kind of the only good option I had. I am glad that I did go. I ended up learning a couple of new games and having a good time. Thank goodness for board games. Unless it's with people I really know and can talk to easily, I hate sitting in groups, trying to keep a conversation alive and think of things to say to people I barely know. I'm so very, very bad at small talk. But if you have a board game, you're not trying to discuss something, and you're suddenly in a team with a bunch of people who have now automatically (if temporarily) become your friends and your companions-in-arms.
We played 'Catch Phrase', which is a bit like Taboo, and then later we played 'Left, Centre, Right', a game involving quarters and dice.
I couldn't help thinking as we played the first game that everything had come full circle. I was sitting at a dining room table with all the women at the party, while the men were downstairs, listening to classic rock and playing pool. And most of the women were talking about their kids and potty training and how to deal with attitudes, and the funny things they said (this was the part of the night where my eyes glazed over a wee bit). And when the phone rang at one point and the hostess answered and asked, "Maybe - who's your mom?" I felt like I was 12 years old again, but looking through the wrong end of a telescope. I can remember calling my parents at parties and listening to the ruckus in the background while they shouted, "What?" and I struggled to make myself heard long enough to ask some inane question that probably involved whether my brother and I could open that last bag of chips.
It was also while I was at this party that my camera stopped working - again. I'm thinking that I really, really have to accept it this time. I may be shopping for a new camera tomorrow, while I also shop for birthday presents.
But it is for this reason that I have no pictures of my adventures so far - not even today, when I met the new member of the Friesen-Rowe family - Moki. And I got to visit with the llama and the donkeys and goats and dog, and even got to watch the chickens eat some little fish, which was kind of disgusting. Not as disgusting as the time we watched them hunting and eating frogs, but still.
And the adventures continue tomorrow. First, I may go car-ogling with my dad, then I'm meeting up with Cathy, Carly and Chrystal for lunch, then Car and I are going to the casino (yeah, I don't know) and then my brother's going to go shopping with me, and then we'll probably share some quality geek time.
I like being in Windsor, even with the annoyances. I think sometimes that I'd like to find a job around here and move back to be close to my family and friends. But I know that it wouldn't be the same living here as it is visiting. People don't get together as often, my parents and I don't get along well in big doses, and my friends spend most of their time with their kids and jobs.
But at the same time, some of the people with whom I am most comfortable, most myself, are here. When I'm with them, I'm not trying to figure out what to say or do. I'm just me. There haven't been many times and places in my life when I've been completely me. But it is in those times that I come closest to being content with who I am.
I miss me sometimes.