Today is the last day that my parents will live in the Alexandria, VA house that they bought when I was 16. So it's not my childhood home, but it is the site of a trillion high school memories. I made some of my very best friends in the world when I was in high school - friends I still talk to multiple times a day over email - and we had a lot of fun in that house during our high school years, and while reuniting over Christmas and summer breaks from college. My parents aren't moving far away, so I'll still often head to the D.C. area for holidays and visits, but I won't take the Telegraph Road South exit anymore, past the old site of the Honolulu Restaurant and the Good News Baptist Church and by the weeping willow tree up into our driveway. This morning I emailed my parents and asked them to perform the following acts of remembrance, honoring my teenage self and beyond, so that I could properly say goodbye to the place that I, for many years, called home:
1. Stand in my room and shed a tear for Jerry Garcia. 2. Go to the site of the old abandoned barn and read an e.e. cummings poem. 3. Skinny dip in the pool. 4. Make ill-tasting but innovative alcoholic concoctions in the drum room - like gin and orange juice or amaretto and milk. 5. After that, have a dance party. 6. Stay up all night reading John Steinbeck. 7. Write college essays in your bathrobe just under deadline, groaning the whole time. 8. Have a family dinner at the dining room table. 9. Watch scary movies in the den. 10. Have a grappa in the living room. 11. Stage a full-scale Christmas dinner, complete with witty political and social commentary. 12. Pierce your ears. Start a club. 13. Book a ska band for the back yard. 14. Walk to 7-11 in the snow, barely avoiding frostbite. 15. Blast Soundgarden in Vinnie's room. Then the "1812 Overture." 16. Go for a long run. 17. Make a mixed tape by recording favorite songs from the radio. 18. Play the Jesus and Mary Chain while figuring out what to wear. 19. Write a letter to your boyfriend. 20. Put on bright lipstick. Kiss the wall.