28 April 2005

Filial Love

So, have I told you that I'm staying with my sister, Sue and her family while I'm in town? I love these people. They're the salt of the earth.

I don't know about your family, but I just don't think it's all that kosher to just crash with your family for six weeks -- they have to be pretty special to agree to it, and near saints to put up with the interruption to their daily routine.

But Sue and her husband Tom -- and their daughters Rachel and Maggie -- are the nicest of people, and they've really welcomed me into their home.

So I'm doing my best not to be a free-loader.

So, I'm back in Pittsburgh and, as ever, have really mixed feelings about it. I know I go on about this ad nauseum and y'all are sick of hearing about it, but the other day I actually said to someone, "I'll give up acting before I give up New York."

Which wasn't entirely true. It should have been, "I'll give up acting before I move back to Pittsburgh."

Which, I know, is going to be a bit of an insult to my loyal friends who make their home there -- including the beloved Lagemæ -- and who think of it as a lovely, homespun, friendly little town. But the fact of the matter is that, although I'm sure there's a time when I was -- if only briefly, I don't remember ever being happy in Pittsburgh. Maybe for the first couple years with Gavan, when things were going well with him and my career (such as it was) was taking off.

But now when I think about Pittsburgh, it's hard not to associate it with the later years of my relationship with Gavan, and the decline in the amount of work I was getting.

As is typical, of course, the amount of work I got in Pittsburgh exploded after I left. Which, frankly, I've never gotten. But hey, I'm hardly complaining.

Sometimes I wonder if maybe one of my real reasons for not living in Pittsburgh is that it allows me to avoid dealing with some family things with which I should deal. For instance, the perceived conflict between my late-blooming social "liberalism" and my mom's growing conservativism. I mean, it's easy to just let it pass when my mom makes an offhand comment about gay marriage being wrong when I don't have to listen to them all the time.

See, that's how my family both engages in and at the same time avoids conflict. By making offhand comments or jokes about subjects that are (or we will assume will be) devisive or inflammatory. That way, when someone calls you on it, or challenges your beliefs, you can claim it was just a joke, or use the ever-popular "well, that's just the way I feel."

We're a crafty bunch. 'Cuz you can argue facts, but you can't argue feelings.

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