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I was lounging about, avoiding the dreaded pre-travel errands when I decided to leaf through my USA Travel Guide for my hometown.

It occurred to me: I am now a tourist there.

Reasons I am a Tourist:

  1. I am leafing through a guide to my hometown and thinking, “I should see the sites,” places we used to take out-of-towners. *Shakes head*
  2. They say that planning is a stage in suicide, and I now realize that is a terrible way to start this sentence. I’ll clarify, planning is a stage in lots of things (and now all the bad things are coming to mind, so thanks, brain!). My recent shopping itinerary involves buying shirts celebrating my home, including the name of the city, the name of the state, and a declaration said frequently at home. I never would have bought any of these if I still lived there. Actually, I considered buying two of them, but I never did. ‘Cuz I lived there.
  3. Another weird realization that I used to roll my eyes at the declaration-based bumper sticker/shirt while now I’m considering buying a shirt commemorating it. That does freak me out.
  4. Not having been home in a year.
  5. My car, license, and voter’s registration are all in my current state.
  6. My family laughed at me when I said “y’all,” and I couldn’t figure out why. Because it’s now part of my daily speech.
  7. That I have designated people here that do things: a vet, a doctor, a dentist, etc.
  8. Parker and I are getting “bored” when we take people on tours when they come to visit. A sure sign.
  9. My mom has ALMOST memorized my address. She’s definitely written it down somewhere in her house. Possibly in several different places.
  10. I watch tv shows that take place in the city, pause it, and yell, “I’VE BEEN THERE!” Something I also did when I visited New York.

Reasons Home is Still Home, a.k.a. Reasons I am NOT a Tourist:

  1. The shows I watch that feature my hometown occasionally feature friends of mine who are extras.
  2. I also yell things like, “I KNOW THAT PERSON!” or “I USED TO LIVE BY THERE,” or “THAT’S DOWN THE STREET FROM WHERE I USED TO WORK.” I used to work for a parking company, and I frequently recognize parking structures featured in downtown, which is just strange.
  3. The fact that I still watch and try to get people to watch shows that feature my hometown.
  4. People who have lived there a shorter time than me often ask me fun places to go or things to do there.
  5. I still go home every year and obsess about it in a way I’ve never obsessed about another place ever.
  6. The pain involved in missing it usually ends up smooshed into one big ache. This makes home seem a lot like the island in LOST, and that makes me Jack with a Beard. Sidenote: for being off air 3 years on the 23rd, I still think and quote this show a lot. Information for a different list, I guess.
  7. Like Beardy Jack, I often tell Parker, “We have to go back.”*
  8. I went through the guide fairly quickly, and thought, “My home has way quirkier/cooler places to go than my current city.” I also thought of a bunch of places that weren’t on the list but should be. Also places that were on the list that shouldn’t be (opinion, obviously).
  9. Still referring to home as home. Ex: “I am going home in ___ days!” or “Where I come from…” The second one always makes me sound like some pretentious coot (I don’t know if those words are simpatico) that can’t let go of my past. To that I say, “DUH.”
  10. Most of my family still doesn’t know what city I live in. Because it’s temporary, obviously.
  11. I would rather buy beer made in my home state than beer brewed anywhere else (this might just make me a snob though).
  12. Parker occasionally still listens to our radio station via streaming online, and I get to listen to it by proxy. If I am not around, he makes sure to tell me. Then we get nostalgic.
  13. That Parker and I both freak out whenever home is mentioned in a paper, on tv, etc.
  14. Because I say I’m not, and I made the list.
  15. I feel uneasy with the universe unless I know the next time I’m going home.

*I would do this regardless, as Parker is not really a Lostie, and it annoys him. I do it more, because it’s relevant.

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