So I was talking to my mother this weekend, and she told me that I should get a passport (in fact, she’s been dropping hints for the past couple of months). I had thought that this meant she was planning a trip to Israel to visit my brother and his wife.
It seems that in October, my father will be attending a seminar in Japan.
They want me to join them.
Now, I’ve always wanted to see Japan, ever since I was a blessedcub. I love travelling, seeing new cultures, meeting new people and so on. I mean–JAPAN!!!
But here’s the conflict: I love my parents very much, but do I really want to spend two weeks overseas with them? I’m a smoker, they’re not. I’ve always been a bit rebellious, bullishly independent to the point of being solitary.
My mother is your typical wide-eyed tourist ("ooh! look at that! and that! and that! stand in front of everything so I can take your picture!). My father is your typical fascist tourist ("Ve must to goink HERE. Undt HERE. Undt HERE. Undt kvickly! Standt in front of effrysink so I can take your pik-sure!). I’m a backpack and beer kind of tourist. Hanging out, seeing the scenery, trying to make time with the native chicks, pretending I’m Canadian so people don’t hate me.
If there’s anyone else at this seminar who is my age (32), they will be participating in the seminar, not hanging out with mom & dad.
Therein lies my trouble. I could go, see wonderful things, and in doing so make my parents happy by keeping my mother company and my father from pissing her off (which he always seems to), but spend most of the time bored because I’m humouring them, edgy because I won’t be able to smoke and if/when they have a spat I’ll be right in the middle, and wishing I could shake off the leash that I’ll perceive around my neck (whether or not I’ll actually have freedom to go where I wish is another matter–perceptions make the reality).
I’d also have to make explanations at work, tell the same stories over and over when I get back and find someone to take care of the cats. (I know, I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel here, but I’m also trying to be pragmatic.)
Or I could stay here, and wonder what I’m missing.