Monday, March 24, 2008

Another Northeastern News Article

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This is another thing I wrote for the Northeastern News; it was published today. Enjoy!
Editor's note: This letter was submitted before Easter and therefore discusses the holiday in the future tense.  
I've been a practicing vegetarian for nearly three years, but this year for Easter I will be, strangely enough, roasting a rack of lamb. Call it tolerance, call it bad luck or even call it homesickness. Somewhere between 11:30 p.m. and midnight Thursday my roommates and I decided we needed to have an Easter meal for our group of friends abroad here in Paris, and that of course included: a rack of lamb.

I'm not even religious, but I still get excited when I see splendorous holiday tchotchies lining the windows near each appropriate holiday. Oh yes, holiday delight is international, so there is never a worry about missing junk decorations (that, let's be honest, make us all smile inside).

This isn't the first dinner we've had in the sheer name of keeping things together and familiar. Last November, 35 of our collective friends gathered into my bedroom (cleared of all furniture and replaced with tables and chairs from various apartments) and gave thanks - some for the first time.  
That night we created something powerful, something a bit bigger than ourselves, as we gathered together on such a traditionally American holiday. One of the guys got to cut the turkey for the first time - a job typically reserved for the patriarch of his family.

A lot of times we've laughed at the idea of our expatriate community and the fact that we are pulling something together for the sake of normalcy that you get only when you smell your mom's best dish cooking in the oven. Yet, holiday after holiday, we are seen piecing together something our mothers and grandmothers would be proud of, searching for that same feeling we scoff at when we are feeling brave and a bit more removed.

No one wants to admit they are homesick. I haven't been home for Easter in four years, so I am not new to slightly burnt entrees and less-than-traditional presentations at the novice dinner table, but even so, I still wish I could spend every single holiday with my family.I guess you could say I've been slightly homesick for almost four years at this point.

It's a dull ache you deal with and sometimes you even roast a rack of lamb to numb it.

- Brittany Blackmon is an international business major on co-op in Paris. She is also the worst vegetarian ... ever.


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