Sorry for my blogging absence.
I considered writing a belated Valentine’s Day blog (I’ve never not blogged about Valentine’s Day), but who wants to read a story about a holiday that everyone hates over a month after it happened? Not even me. So instead, I’m publishing a terrible blog about nothing for the sole purpose of publishing SOMETHING before the turn of the next month.*
*Because that sounds like a great read.
I guess I should start by explaining my blogging absence, even though it seems pretty obvious. I was taken hostage by aliens (who dislike the term “abducted”). They threatened me with death if I so much as penned a word for my blog. I spent two months with my fingers duct-taped together trying to peck at a keyboard with my nose. Finally, my devoted fans (who dislike the term “stalkers”), realizing I hadn’t published a blog in 78 days–far too long to still consider myself a “blogger”–issued a siege to cut off the aliens’ source of life: peanut butter and chocolate milk. I suffered too, but not as much as I’m currently suffering, listening to the guy sitting next to me blow his nose every ten seconds and throw his tissues on our adjoining table. I think I’m going to vomit.**
**Give me EmergenC or give me death!
That is what I wish were true (minus the peanut butter/chocolate milk thing) rather than the tired excuse that “I haven’t had time,” but unfortunately, it’s the latter. I’ve spread myself so thin that it’s all gone into the backlogs of repressed memories because I couldn’t even tell you what I did during all of that time. I know I completed my coursework and practicum experience to earn my TEFL certification (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), and that—along with Greek class—made me feel like a student again. Except I also had a real job this time and my other sort-of real jobs, and I was also editing a PhD dissertation (OH MY GOD—he just blew his nose and looked at it) and I forgot what I was saying. I think I was saying I was busy.
In case you’re wondering where I am right now, I’m at the Philadelphia airport, on my way home to surprise my parents (i.e., Dad) for Easter.
Of course, I ruined the surprise within 24 hours of my arrival because when I checked into my flight, American Airlines (I HATE YOU) sent my airline tickets to my dad’s email address instead of mine. How was I supposed to know *********@gmail.com was not me???*** He thought I was keeping it a surprise from my mom, so he didn’t tell her what happened, but she caught wind and sent me an SOS text, which is when I realized what happened and nearly knocked down my cubicle wall in rage.
***I didn’t remember that my dad set up my frequent flyer account back in the day, so the default email address is his
She did tell him (I think) that she knew I was coming and that I had wanted it to be a surprise, so he’s determined to still act surprised so as not to hurt my feelings. My actual text to my mother:
“Should I let him know I know he knows?”
It was a true Friends moment.
I tried to call and his phone was turned off, so he doesn’t know that I know he knows (unless he’s reading this). So, I’m sorry, Dad, for RUINING THE SURPRISE.
Anyway, I was saying I was in Philadelphia because
- I wanted to explain why I haven’t just gotten up and left the guy who is STILL BLOWING HIS NOSE. (Why? How? Every ten seconds!): so, I’m at one of those charging stations that are somehow always full, and I need to charge my laptop before my next flight. But if I leave now, I’ll never find an outlet, so I’m risking my health and my sanity for this blog (he just took a phone call and told them to hold on so he could blow his nose before starting the conversation).
- Also! Philadelphia is such a Greek city!!! Maybe not in actual persons, but in name. “Phil” means friend (or a friendship sort of love) and “Adelphia” means siblings, hence the city of brotherly love! I get it! (This isn’t a new revelation to anyone, but it’s exciting to make connections of my knowledge.)
Speaking of Greek, a few weeks ago I went to a Hellenic Student Association event, which felt akin to me going to group tennis lessons with 10 year olds when I graduated college. I was the only non-student (I audit Greek, but I’m a decade older than most undergraduates) and I was the only not from Greece. I went because, well, it was a Greek event, and I have met quite a few Greeks since last summer, so I expected there to be at least a few people I knew in attendance.
There were not.
I showed up to the restaurant like a lost sheep, first being directed to a party next door (wrong association, ma’am), then wandering aimlessly until I saw a table half-filled with people I didn’t know speaking quietly in what I hoped was Greek. I interrupted them asking if they were with the Hellenic society and they said yes, then, “Are you Greek?!”
“…No…but I’m taking Greek class?”
“Oh, that’s great! Come! Sit!”
I was concerned that the seats were reserved for people who, well, were part of the organization, but they assured me I could sit. Then they asked, “Are your parents Greek?’
“No…I just wanted to learn Greek.”
“Wow. Really? You kind of look Greek.”
TELL ME MORE. Anyway, they were all very kind and welcoming, and more encouraging than they should have been whenever I spoke Greek. I said things like, “Where are you from?” and they replied with astonished, “Wow! That’s great! You don’t even have an accent!” which is the complete opposite of what my friend Nikitas says. He likens my Greek to a hillbilly pronouncing tortilla as “tor-till-a,” but, I appreciated it and believed them all the same.
(Update: during the phone conversation, the guy admitted he’s been “blowing his nose constantly and have probably gone through 40 napkins in the last 20 minutes,” but he attributed it to allergies.)
Long story short, despite all the progress I’ve made in Greek in a cognitive sort of way, I’m still really bad at executing it in a practical, conversational sort of way. I’m sadly gauging myself as successful by the fact that I can understand every other word instead of just the words “is” and “but” and days of the week.
I also have some news regarding Greece (!), but I’ll save that for another blog when I’m not holding my breath in fear of germs.
I hope all of you out there are safe from alien hostage situations, and may your Easter (unlike my dad’s) be full of surprises 🙂