Tomorrow's the day. I am filled with the annual anxieties about forgetting something, getting a speeding ticket, and wishing that, 20 minutes after arriving at my destination, I wish I'd just stayed home in the first place.
Tomorrow I'm headed back to my old hometown of 100,000 people, a little place called Wichita Falls, Texas. Some (in)famous former Fallsians include: soccer maven Mia Hamm, members of pop-punk outfit Bowling for Soup and, yes, the dubious Dr. Phil.
Since moving to Houston some five-plus years ago, I really only return to visit the folks. It's the kind of place where a visit to your local Target guarantees you will run into at least 7 people you went to high school with and they will always recognize you.
Four hours into our arduous trek northward (Texas is, lest we forget, a big state. Y'all.) we will be stopping in Dallas to pick up a friend I've known since the 3rd grade. Our parents still live four houses apart so it's always nice to share in our collective travel weariness when the holidays slingshot us back to this part of the world.
I am looking forward to introducing new grooming products to Mom that she'll claim she loves but never use again, arguing about the Democrats (hurrah!) and Republicans (hiss!) with my dad and brother, and crossing my fingers that my parents decided to put up the god-awful fiber optic Christmas tree this year.
Oh, it all just wears on your soul, but when I put my feet up on the coffee table that's been around longer than I have and hoist a steamy cup o' Vegan Dad Hot Chocolate to my lips while watching my all-time favorite Christmas movie, Casino (there's just something about Joe Pesci in silhouette stabbing someone in the neck with a pen that just says Merry Effing Christmas) surrounded by my near and dear ones in a house where I'm still not allowed to touch the thermostat, I'll be happy. And isn't that the point?