Monday, May 24, 2010

2004 Train Trip – Part 20 - Epilogue

In Part 8, I described my discomfort with the gathering in Pennsylvania.  This was because there has always been some kind of strange East coast status thing going on with that side of the family (my dad’s side); I think my dad came to California to get away from it all.  There is a lack of casualness in general among a lot of that family, and in particular with special events (not that I’ve been to too many of them over the years).  But the whole time I was in Pennsylvania, I was supremely aware of my own behavior, very conscious not to make any faux pas.  Maybe my California upbringing has just been too casual and nonchalant.  But, whatever!

My parents had worked out that it would be better for Brenda to stay in New York during this event, given that she didn’t know any of this side of the family, and also given that this side had a certain super-cultured way about them.  My parents and I would later have a big argument about this excluding of Brenda; something they later apologized to me for.

During the luncheon in Pennsylvania that I called Brenda on her cell phone to see how she was doing at my aunt’s apartment.  Brenda answered and said that she was walking around the shops on Columbus Avenue and had just gotten herself a slice of pizza or two.  This lightened my heart.  It tickled me to think that this girl, who is from a small town of 30,000 people in the Central California Valley, was walking around Manhattan doing what she loved; shopping.  It also helped me to know that she wasn’t feeling too bad about being excluded from the activities in Pennsylvania.