Thursday, December 30, 2010

There's no place like home

There are some aspects of home that simply can't be matched at school. Sure, Harvard fills my heart with rainbows and unicorns, but it's the small things that I often don't realize that I miss while I'm away. Here's a look at some of the most taken for granted aspects of living at home (in no particular order, because I like lists, but not hierarchies):

1. Real Cheerios - not Toasty Os. This is not a case in which the knock off is made in the same factory as the brand name product. Toasty Os taste like the perspiration of the Oscar the Grouch compared to real Cheerios. I've been lowering my cholesterol (disclaimer: I have no idea if this heart-healthy claim has an ounce of truth to it) on the daily since arriving home. I feel like a 4 year old with finger food again.
I have tried you. And you taste like chemically-treated sawdust.

You don't really want them until you're given a unsuitable alternative.

 2. Driving - I don't love driving, but I always miss it when I'm at school. And the first drive upon arriving home always feels so liberating. No more must I rely on the whims of public transportation -- because who really knows whether or not the city bus is going to arrive on time (or at all)? I even missed controlling the radio while I drive. I need that constant introduction to the newest Top 40 hits. Oh, and check out my sweet ride:

 Just kidding. I drive a mini-van.
3. My pets - Despite the fact that animal dander turns me into a sneezing, crying, itchy mess, I love my cat and my dog. Animals are supposed to warm the heart, no? Below is a photo my my beloved kitty. Disregard the hatred pouring from her eyes. It's from the flash of the camera, I swear.

This is my cat. She fits in a box.
4. A constantly clean bathroom - The cleaning lady at school (no, my building isn't serviced by dorm crew) doesn't come often enough. At home, the bathroom is always sparkling and shiny clean. I've never seen a dorm bathroom that didn't make me shudder at least a little on the inside.


5. The Laundry Advantage - There are several elements of at-home-laundry that make me extra cheeky and smiley. For one, I like not having to drag two weeks of heavy laundry down the stairs, outside, across several entryways and down another flight of stairs (and back again). I also like having my laundry done more frequently than every two weeks.I also like not having to pay for it. Or having my clothes removed from the washer and left in a wet heap. Or having to set my clothes through 2 dry cycles because the "high efficiency" dryers actually totally inefficient. Okay, I whine a lot about school laundry days. But so does everyone else. So don't judge me.

Oh yeah, and this happens to all of my clothing at school.
6. Good Coffee - I had forgotten that coffee didn't always taste like the muddy water of the Mississippi river. At home, I can enjoy a good cup of coffee while watching the birds at the bird feeder (because I'm actually 85 years old) but at school, it's no more than a method of loading caffeine into my system.

This is what happens when I have 2+ cups...

7. Trees - Cambridge has too much pavement. Being from the sticks, I get lonely for a tree to hug every once in a while. I'm not used to so much concrete; I need trees and grass and sticks and mud to be a happy little forest critter. I may or may not be a bit of a hippie. 

Yes, I'm a crotchety old person. GET OFF OF MY LAWN, ALRIGHT?

Oh, and I suppose that friends and family and home cooked meals and all that jazz are important too.

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