So I had a completely different post lined up for this morning, but as I was putting the finishing touches on it I realized I was fulfilling another label to a T. Right now I’m sitting on the couch in my pajamas, eating a bowl of my dad’s favorite cereal while 97.1 WASH-FM plays Christmas carols. Yes, that’s right, Thanksgiving break has started for the medschoolers, and I’m back at home sponging off my parents.
The lifestyle is familiar, adopted by many college and grad students coming home on holiday. I repeatedly fall back on the pattern of coming through the door with laundry in tow, sleeping for 12+ hours, failing to unpack for three days, and rifling through the refrigerator searching for tidbits of choice (I go for the fresh fruit every time).
Reasons why it’s good to be home:
1) The last time I did laundry was October 3rd, and underwear is my wardrobe’s limiting factor.
This is 100% true. I have quite a bit of underwear, so I tend to put off doing laundry for a long time until the dwindling supply necessitates an action step. You know—slowly dipping into the more hated pairs until you can’t delay laundry day any longer. And plus, each load is $3 to wash and dry at school, and I think I came home with about 4.5 loads. Ca-ching!
- Almost five loads of laundry. Hamper to show scale.
2) This week will be the first in recent memory during which eggs do not serve as my primary source of protein.
Eggs are my meal of choice, since they’re cheap, filling, and there’s no prepping hassle–crack and cook! No knives or cutting boards. (I haven’t gotten around to worrying about my cholesterol yet.) And, they can be made in the microwave, which means one fewer pan to wash. Eggs microwaved in a ramekin with water = med student’s poached eggs. Beaten with a fork + salt and pepper = med student’s omelette. Med student’s omelette + cheese = date night. (Just kidding.) The one caveat: they can explode if you cook them too long. Nevertheless, while microwaved eggs do their job, nothing beats a turkey-induced food coma and rolling out of bed the following morning in search of leftover stuffing.
3) Guilty pleasure reading.
I’ve left my old favorites at home for various reasons: space constraints, a lack of time for leisure reading, and sheer embarrassment that my new science-y friends would catch me reading Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels (don’t judge, try them). But here, there is time to spare and no one to judge. Jane Austen, here I come.
4) Shopping from the pantry/refrigerator/closet—like Kroger, but free.
Elle Woods bemoaned having to switch from Charmin to generic, but she probably wasn’t fitting double-soft toilet paper into a budget that covered food and rent as well as hygienic luxuries. I usually come back from home laden with the aforementioned fresh fruit, packages of frozen Trader Joe’s dumplings, and, because my mom knows I’m anemic, a couple of frozen steaks (red meat = great source of iron). Not to mention upgraded versions of shampoo/conditioner, extra razors, and of course, TP—basically, fun items that I usually don’t indulge in. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not vulturing my parents out of house and home, but it’s definitely nice to scavenge a bag of roasted almonds from the pantry once in awhile. (Also, ICE CREAM. I don’t buy it but I’ll sure eat it when I’m home.)
5) Home is where the heart is.
While I’m still astounded that November has come and gone so quickly, the approach of the holiday season is definitely reminding me of all the reasons to be with my family. It’s so nice getting the five of us together to talk about my dad’s latest advancement in hunting (his new hobby), or give each family member the obligatory roast as we dig up embarrassing childhood memories and painfully accurate impressions. (We perform best for an audience—trust me…my sister and I have brought enough boyfriends and friends home to figure that one out.) I’ve always loved Thanksgiving, since it’s basically a big excuse to eat and hang out, wrapped in the guise of a national holiday. And when you’re eating delicious food with family, it’s just natural to be thankful.
Did I miss one of your reasons for coming home on break? All in all, this week will be a much-needed deep breath before I dive back into exams in December. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! And if you’re a moocher for the week, like me, cheers—and think of home the next time you use another precious three squares of Charmin.
The turkey that a friend and I prepared for a potluck we had last Friday, trussed and ready for roasting. Happy Thanksgiving!