Fall Break arrived and Harold refused to follow the Commonwealth Pack to New York. ‘I’ve been there, done that and bought the T-shirt’ he harrumphed to Geraldine* over dinner. In this patriarchal society, his argument held sway. I defied the jeering calls of ‘your weekend will be lonely and depressing’ and scheduled myself in for a megabus trip to Boston.
I arrived on Thursday evening and was escorted around town by two very kindly locals who sensed from afar that I didn’t really know where I was going. They gave me an invitation to a rave in ‘the hood’, which my inner decorous grandmother declined.
Having YOLO-ed it and gone for minimal planning, I had booked my accommodation at 3am after Wednesday’s night out. Fortuitously, it turned out that I was a lucky lone-wolf. Hostels are rather sparse on the ground in the US but this one was friendly and served beer.
I spent my Friday pounding the streets and tried to justify being alone by pretending I was a spy. I ate clam chowder, ferried around the harbor islands and came to the educated conclusion that the Freedom Trail is not an especially exciting thing.
Eventually, even Harold began to wane in his excitement in not having friends, so I got in touch with my contacts** in Boston’s student community. I found myself at a rooftop flat-party, man! Saturday hurt and the hostel crew’s ambitions to go whale-watching were shot down by bad weather. It seemed the world was not to be my oyster, so I went to the cinema with some of the hostel’s Antipodean population***. There was a RedSox game that night so the town was rife with revelers – Sunday’s early morning journey hurt even more.
I returned to Philly feeling rather edgy and self-important, categorizing my weekend as a success and myself as a strong, independent woman. I felt a little deflated when I checked my emails – yet again, Gregory House was wanting to diminish my sense of civilized maturity.
One message was subject titled ‘PENIS’ and tried to encourage me to go to the annual Sex Quizzo: ‘a great occasion to learn crucially important facts for your lives as adults’. The next email urged me to start thinking about team names – last year’s winner was ‘AtYourCervix’. I’ve been here a while now but I still just really don’t know where I fit in with all of this house spirit.
Thankfully, that Sunday marked the debut of Radio Brit – a show that I co-host with another friend from my isles. As we began our two hour slot of technical errors and questionable chat, the inner elders felt soothed.
If you’d like to hear our dulcet tones, we’re on air at www.wqhs.org from midnight-2am on Sundays. The UK time difference is not favorable, so I have low expectations. I think about four people tuned in last week though, so, if you do listen, you can know that you’re special.
Peace and Love.
*My inner grumpy old man and his wife
**I don’t know how to put this, but I’m kind of a big deal
***Obviously, because the rules of the universe dictate that all Australians must go walkabout, the vast majority of the globe’s hostel inhabitants will be from down under, but here there was also the odd Kiwi.