The end of August started our first season of goodbyes in the Foreign Service. Many of our friends from A100 class have departed for their first posts, colleagues from my training class are on their way out, and we’re starting to make our rounds to friends and family to say our goodbyes. I used to really hate when people said, “It’s not good-bye, it’s see you later!” I mean really, how stupid does that sound. Of course it’s good-bye, one of us is leaving! However, now that I am in the position of having to say good-bye to dozens of people, I’m getting oddly fond of that stupid saying.
I’ve realized how awkward I am at saying good-byes to people that I really don’t want to be saying good-bye to. I hugged my mom good-bye, immediately started walking away, and then shouted, without turning around to look, “Love you, Mom!” This happened in a public space, so really any one of the mothers in the vicinity could have benefited from my sentiment.
I hugged my dad good-bye through a partially opened car window. At the time, it just seemed like too much effort to open the car door and get out, I guess. If anyone from Hollywood wants to write these real life good-byes into a script sometime, I’d be more than happy to advise on set.
Over the Labor Day weekend, we kicked off our farewell tour by travelling down to our old stomping grounds. Our trip just happened to coincide with the first football game of the season. All of my siblings and I are alumni of the same school, so we made a fun day out of tailgating and getting heat stroke! We met up with many of our friends from undergrad studies for the game, too. Apart from weddings, we rarely see the whole crew together so this was a real treat!
My mom’s parents came down for the weekend to see us, so we got to have a couple of family dinners. It’s always a challenge at our family dinners to eat without spewing your food across the table from laughter. This was made doubly challenging by the corn-on-the-cob bonanza we took part in, trying to get our last fill before the corn season ends.
We also spent an afternoon with my dad’s side of the family. My grandparents always have great stories to tell. My grandpa Jack has been researching Equatorial Guinea, so it was fun to swap facts about what we’ve learned in our reading. I think he may know more than I do about what’s going on with the embassy and politics in EG!
Next stop on the farewell tour: Cormac’s side of the family!