In Celebration of Intense, Prolonged Homesickness!

vidalia onionWhen Toney and I left Atlanta many years ago, we were in a daze.  It all happened so fast, with not even a hint of a warning.  I arrived at work one day, was summoned to the corner office, and told to expect an important phone call in the afternoon.  No additional information was offered, I was just supposed to stay near the phone.  What in the finger-snapping hell?

I called Toney and told her about the cryptic mini-meeting, and we spent the next 10 minutes trying to figure out what was going on.

Finally the call came in and it was from a big-shot at home office, named Vinnie.  He was one of those mythical one-name corporation people:  “Vinnie is coming tomorrow!”  “Oh shit!  Start cleaning!!  Get all this crap out of here!  Vinnie’s coming!!”

I wasn’t high enough on the food chain to have spoken with Vinnie very often, yet here he was calling me directly.  He didn’t beat around the bush.  His second-in-command was leaving the company, and he wanted to know if I’d be interested in coming out to L.A. and interviewing for the position.  Wow!  I couldn’t believe it.  I think a tiny turdlet might’ve come out.

They flew Toney and me out there, wined and dined us at expensive restaurants, and put us up in the Universal Hilton.  It was crazy.  And within hours of us landing back in Atlanta, Vinnie was on the phone offering me the job.

All this happened within the space of a couple of days, and our heads were spinning.  I was flattered and amazed, but was happy in Atlanta.  Did we really want to do this?  Of course we did!  No way I was going to allow the opportunity to go to someone else.  So, we put our house on the market, and before I knew it… we were living in Los Angeles, California.  It all seemed impossible.

But when the dust settled, and we realized what was going on, we were both body-slammed by homesickness.  What had we done?  Why didn’t we put more thought into this thing??  I wasn’t the type to make instant decisions like that.  I needed a chance to turn it over in my head a million times, and consider all the angles.  We’d made this decision in an hour.

I think it’s called buyer’s remorse…  We missed Atlanta so much, we were near-tears half the time.  I felt panicked and stressed.

So, after only a few weeks, we booked a trip back to Georgia.  It was ludicrous, but we needed to get back there before we had a nervous breakdown.  I can’t explain it…  We’d had no transition period, in which to accept this giant change.  Maybe that’s what we were looking for?

We went back, ate at all our favorite restaurants, and did all the fun stuff we used to do.  Shit!  That didn’t help at all.  I loved Atlanta, and this only made matters worse.  We were both miserable.

But we returned to California and tried to make the best of it.  There was nothing else we could do.

And during the first spring I wanted Vidalia onions — a Georgia delicacy.  I was sure those California shitheads didn’t know about the wonders of the Vidalia, so I went online and spent something like $35 on a small carton of the things.  When they arrived I saw that the box had been plundered by state agriculture people, and there were only about four onions left in the box:  four onions for $35.

Then, a couple of days later, we were walking through Costco and I saw huge sacks of the things, for something like $7.  And that pissed me off, as well.  Not because I’d wasted so much money (that didn’t help, of course), but because I didn’t think California deserved such great onions.  Or something.  None of it made sense.

Of course the sadness faded with time, but it was pretty intense and prolonged.  I get sentimental about things, and always experience homesickness whenever I move.  But that one was bad.

And for the record, I never really liked southern California.  When I had the opportunity to move to the Scranton area, I accepted the job — sight unseen.  I’d never been to northeastern Pennsylvania, but it was on the east coast, and that was good enough for me.

Vinnie was a great boss, but California sucked ass.  At least for me… at that particular point in time.  I couldn’t wait to get the place in my rearview mirror.  Oh well.

Now it’s your turn.  In the comments section please tell us your tales of homesickness.  What was your worst case of it?  We’ll need to know all about it.

And I’ll see you guys again soon.

Have a great weekend!

Now playing in the bunker
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57 Responses to “In Celebration of Intense, Prolonged Homesickness!”

  1. 1st?

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  2. I don’t think I could be homesick for a place I am not from. I have lived where I live now since 1987. But – I am not from here, and I don’t ever forget I grew up somewhere else.

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  3. Dad was in the Air Force so we moved around quite a bit. I think the longest we ever lived in one house was 6 years, so I’ve never had homesickness like that.

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  4. I lived alone in mesa Arizona and las Vegas this year for a combined total of five months. I was lonely, homesick (for okc) and drunk.

    I moved to cleveland 2 weeks ago and I couldn’t be happier. I’m 150 miles from my parents brothers and four nephews and I goto bed every night next to my wonderful girlfriend whom iI’ve know for 18 yrs but only got together recently.

    I’m a little homesick for okc but mainly since I have a house there I need to figure out what to do with.

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    Bill in WV Reply:

    Congrats t-storm, glad it is working out for you!

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    t-storm Reply:

    Thanks. I’m glad to be back on the eastern side of Ohio.

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    Lucie in Tampa Reply:

    lucky! I want to go home to Massillon Ohio!

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    Max Reply:

    Welcome back to good old Ohio!

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    t-storm Reply:

    Nick Swisher baby!

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  5. Also I’m loving instant netflix. I got the girl into the league and iI’ve been watching the office trailer park boys 30 rock and have watched reservoir dogs dusk till dawn dolls creep show ii and vamp.

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  6. I’ve never felt homesick for any location. I might have the opposite problem where I long to move on.
    I am eyeing St. Augustine next then will continue south until I land in the Keys .

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  7. I’ve never been homesick like that, although there are a couple of places I’ve lived that I miss. Even so, I’m thinking that the memory is better than the reality.
    .

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  8. And funny you should mention hating LA. I’ve just discovered the work of Bill Hicks, and I’ve been listening to an album called Arizona Bay wherein Bill tears LA a new asshole. That guy is funny as shit.
    .

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    Limey Reply:

    Bill Hicks was wonderful. Some of his TV shows are on the internets for downloading too.

    Went for CA for a job. Stayed there 5 years. IIRC we actually did a little woot and high five as we crossed the border finally getting out of there. Sucks as a place to live if you need to work for a living.

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  9. I always seem to be glad to leave wherever I live. The next place always seems like it will be better than where I am at. There are things that I miss about just about everywhere that I have lived (12 cities in 9 states). I don’t miss anything about Raleigh, NC however. Leaving there was quite literally the best thing that I have ever done for myself.

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  10. Never missed any place like that. Always looking for the next place.

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  11. Didn’t think I missed CT as much as I did until we went back there this past summer. Holy moley – I’d move back in a hot minute.

    We’re from the pretty part smack in the middle of the state.

    Wake Forest’s not too bad, and my sweeties are here, so that give it some panache in the ‘make a memory’ parade.

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    chill Reply:

    I’ve only been to Hartford once, maybe twice, and that was a long time ago. Still, I don’t recall it being particularly pretty.
    .

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    Tiff Reply:

    Hartford, no. Go south of there down the CT River about 15 miles, and you’re in beauty.

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    chill Reply:

    Middletown… I’ve been there once too, and it’s very pretty. My dad’s family are from New London County, which is also pretty. Mostly.
    .

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  12. We are in the process of moving to Atlanta and I am really looking forward to it. We’ll be leaving Miami and can’t wait to get out of this god forsaken shit hole.

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    Lucie in Tampa Reply:

    good for you! Florida as a whole sucks!

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  13. Home is where your couch is. 13 cities in 48 years.

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  14. I have never been homesick for a particular place. My dad was transferred several times when I was young. So home was where ever we were at the time. I went to 4 different schools. But I still get a bit homesick for being with my parents, especially around the holidays.

    When I went to camp as a kid, they would take us to laundermats to wash clothes. Laundermats, for some reason, always made me homesick to the point of tears.

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  15. Note…

    Dude, for an important message concerning your longevity and urination see yesterday’s comments.

    John

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  16. I was forced to leave Atlanta to live in nowhere, New Mexico for three years. Every single day, I couldn’t wait to get back. Fortunately I did make it back. If I turn around now, I can see Phillips Arena and the Georgia Dome out of my window. I can relate to how you felt, I’d hate to have any reason to leave again. (Side note: As I look at the Georgia Dome, there is a huge cloud of black smoke billowing out from behind it; something’s on fire.)

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  17. We’ve moved around a bit, but we did a stint in New Orleans for 3 years or so, and that is the only place I’ve ever been homesick for. My home town can go to hell, I’ll always want to move back to NOLA. I still get excited every year when French Quarter Fest and Jazz Fest time come around.

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  18. When I was 13, we moved from Mount Vernon, NY (“city”) to a hicklet town 40 miles north which could have been another planet. My sisters and I would sit in our room blaring Rolling Stones and Elton John albums (whenever I hear Captain Fantastic, I’m taken back). My mother said it was the most miserable summer she ever had. This town was so bad, it didn’t even have a friggin pizza parlor in 1975. Every Friday, I would take the train back to MV (13 years old and I was already a commuter) to be with my friends.

    I’m 50 now and I’m still scarred from that experience. No wonder I’m such a cynical bitch.

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    Theresa Reply:

    I’m from Yonkers! I live in PA now but it’s cool to see someone who is from the same area.

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    madz1962 Reply:

    Howdy, neighbor!

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    chill Reply:

    I had a very similar experience: uprooted from Brooklyn to move to Great Barrington, Mass. at age 14 in 1973. Except it was 150 miles, with no train in the little town and no money to take it if there were.
    .

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  19. I am from Michigan, and I did an 8 year stint in the Toledo area then landed in West Texas. Culture. Shock. Don’t get me wrong, except for the politics, I love Texas. However, I miss a whole lot of things about the Great lakes region – certain restaurants, foods, TREES. Cars without anti-Obama stickers.

    I have been here in West Texas for 10 years now, and this is home. Now when I visit family in other parts of the country, I find myself missing things from here. Go figure.

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  20. i moved from Ohio to florida 20 years ago andI miss Ohio ALL the time. my true friends are there and most of my family & holy shit the changing of the seasons. Fall is my fav & I miss it. in Florida you have super humid hotness or like 3 weeks of chilly. Now if I was to go ahead and move home to Ohio, I think (damnit!) I would actually start to miss Tampa (WTF?) & friends have already pointed out I am to pussified for a real Ohio winter…. I am just waiting on my son to get through school & out on his own & I will make up my mind once & for all.

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    sunshine_in_va Reply:

    Hey – at least you can get frozen Skyline chili in Publix and there is an actual Skyline restaurant in Clearwater. Also, I hear tell there are 7 Donatos pizza (best on the fucking planet) locations in Florida.

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    dto Reply:

    Skyline restaurant in Clearwater, Florida? Blasphmey!!

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    sunshine_in_va Reply:

    Well there used to be one, anyway. Maybe the religious nutties (Clearwater is STIFF with them) drove them out. After all, Skyline was founded by Greeks, and we know all about that “Greek Love”, don’t we…….. 8^0

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    dto Reply:

    …and especially when they heard someone talk about wanting a three way…or a five way. Yikes!… =8^o

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    chill Reply:

    Last time I was in that MSA (about two years ago) I was sitting in the rental car, flipping around the radio trying to find some music. The airwaves were teeming with jesus-channels, far more than any city ought to have. It’s pretty frightening when you think about it, so I try not to think about it too much.
    .

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    Ed Reply:

    Metropolitan Statistical Areas?
    Mechanical Signature Analysis?
    Mammary Serum Antigen?

    I can’t figure out what MSA stands for and my usual sources for internet acronym decipherment aren’t helping.

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    Ed Reply:

    I agree about those clusters of jesus-channels – unsettling, but can be entertaining. I was traveling thru one of those areas on a sunday once heard some live singing that was hilariously bad. Wish I could have recorded it.

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    chill Reply:

    Metropolitan Statistical Area. For broadcasting purposes, Tampa and St. Pete are the same place. Although I was in Tampa, all those radio stations could have had any nearby city of license.
    .

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    johnthebasket Reply:

    If you’re websearching, you probably have to use the full name, SMSA. The first S stands for Standard. If you ever figure out the demographical standards and can explain them in less than a half hour, be sure to let me know.

    jtb

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  21. I really want a big heaping plate of vidalia onion rings now.

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  22. I moved from Yonkers, NY (20 minutes north of NYC) when I was 18 because I wanted to be “independent” and ran off with a guy I met on the internet to Allentown, PA. Boy what a culture shock. I was used to the hustle and bustle of the city, trains and buses all hours of the day and night taking you anywhere you needed to go. Walking distance to almost anything. You needed a car to go anywhere in Allentown (I didn’t drive) they had a bus that ran once an hour if you were lucky. I hated it and the guy turned out to be a douche, I dumped him but stayed in PA and eventually it grew on me. I drive now and I am married to a great guy. I feel at home in Allentown but all my family and friends are still in NY and I get homesick a lot. I like to visit Yonkers and love it when I’m there but PA feels like home to me now.

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    madz1962 Reply:

    For all you other Surf Reporters: This is exactly what I meant,t oo, except Theresa wrote it more eloquently. Yonkers and Mount Vernon are sister cities, both steps over the Bronx border. It’s a very different environment.

    I still live “Up North” in the ‘burbes, but a lot has changed. It was news – NEWS! when we got a 24 hour gas station a few years ago. I can still get in my car and be in midtown in an hour but now I like leaving that all behind at the end of the day and coming home to quiet.

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  23. I missed Cincinnati when I moved to Texas the first time in 1984, for all of about 3 months. I missed it again in 1996 when I found myself in Phoenix, AZ and my parents were going on (rather disingenuously) about selling the house I grew up in. Dad’s gone now and I go to visit my Mom a few times a year. I don’t really miss the place anymore. It’s sort of like I movie I used to know really well.

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  24. I desperately missed home when I was working as a travel nurse. I will never forget standing in Albertson’s in Santa Clara, CA trying to explain the concept of fried green tomatoes to a produce manager. I couldn’t get him to understand that I did NOT want tomatillos, that I wanted an unripe tomato. Now I am home to stay, and I miss living in the Bay Area.

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  25. When we were first married, we moved from (home) WV to Georgia. It was one of those cases where you have to take this transfer or you will slowly waste away on the corporate vine and eventually drop off and die. This was not Atlanta, btw, it was Albany. A very tiny town. I was continually getting lost because there were no rivers or mountains by which I could orient myself. Within a very short time–I’m thinking 2 weeks–my husband had secured a promise of employment from a high school friend who had wound up in Florida, that if he went to work for his company, they would transfer him back to West Virginia at some point in time. Thus, we spent our first Christmas away from home in a land of sea, sun, and cold snaps in the 50s. Whatever. I thought we were gonna make it–even when they told my husband, no, we like you so well that we aren’t going to transfer you after all–until we got that first issue of a gift subscription to West Virginia Magazine from back home (I’m sure my parents knew exactly what they were doing when they got it for us). It was the January issue, complete with snowy mountain scenes galore. We were back home in the mountains of West Virginia within 3 months. We miss it. We did spend a year in Michigan which was kind of pleasant. But central Ohio (it seemed like a good idea at the time) is breathlessly hot in the summer and full of farm dust, any road that runs east-west blinds you on sunny days one way or the other, spring or fall days that look nice just look that way because you haven’t been outside in the icy Canadian wind yet, tornado watches are disturbingly frequent, and all that pretty snow probably has at least an inch of ice lurking underneath it.

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    Greg Reply:

    Hollerbabe, I know what you mean. These mountains and valleys protect us very well.

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  26. My homesickness is for something that doesn’t exist anymore: The San Francisco of my youth (pre dot com, I guess). I’ve been out of SF and living in Italy for nearly 3 years now (how is that possible?) and I don’t miss it one tiny bit. Even when I lived there I’d get sad that things had changed so much.
    I’ve been back twice and couldn’t wait to get back onto Italian soil. This is home for me now. When my mother is gone, I doubt I’ll ever go back.

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  27. My wife and I adopted a child from Poland and we lived there for a couple months during the adoption process. I never missed home so much in my life! I just wanted to sleep all the time so the days would pass more quickly. We would talk about what we missed about home and torture ourselves with thoughts of Varsity chili dogs, REAL BBQ pork, watching American television without the German or Polish overdubbing and College football (we were there from November through January, so we missed the regular season end and bowl season).

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    t-storm Reply:

    All the good travel guides say Poland in January is the place to be.

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    SeeKar Reply:

    Bright and cheerful!

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  28. I lived in LA from Oct/71 til June/72 and it seemed like years. I had out-sickness. Everybody there seems to be on the run from somewhere and hellbent to clamber to the top of the pile. The most serious oath of my life was when we crossed the city limits.

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  29. So how is that whole Scranton thing working out?

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  30. Yea I know I’m really late writing this but I also know you will eventually get around t reading it. i’ve been out of town for 2 weeks and just catching up.

    I left WV in 1988, lived in NC for 16 years then SC for 6. I was fine, then when the daughter got a great opportunity for paid grad school in New Orleans we didn’t think anything about packing up and moving. But once we got here we HATED it! Been here almost 4 years and can’t wait till she’s finished so we can go back to the east coast. Just spent 2 weeks in Virginia and it made me even more homesick. I dont’ care where she gets a job anywhere on the east coast is fine with me!

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    t-storm Reply:

    Is she like a child genius? I’m just saying because it seems if she is over 18 your job is done and you can move anywhere you want.

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