We went out to dinner with Thea tonight, which meant that the entire period of time we’d  usually be cooking, eating, and cleaning up dinner after she’s asleep was just quiet down time. I started reading the latest issue of The New Yorker. Nick gave me a subscription for Christmas, and the issues just began arriving.

I started subscribing to The New Yorker when I was sixteen. Back then, I think the cover price was about $2 (it’s $7.99 now!) and the mail must have been much slower or something, because I remember the magazine always arrived on Thursdays. I love Thursdays. You haven’t started using the weekend up yet, but the week is basically over.

Anyway, on Thursdays, I’d get home from track and take a shower and then get in bed and start reading from the front cover. I’d read the letters to the editor, and I always read the Goings On About Town section all the way through. I felt like I’d reveal myself to be the unsophisticated, 16-year-old rube I really was if I didn’t. And, I liked to imagine that someday I’d go to the music and theater venues whose addresses looked as though they  might be in the East Village. My memory of the section is mostly black and white photographs of pale women smoking, looking artier, skinnier, and smarter than I felt (or was, or am, or ever will be).

But, now, I feel such a nostalgia for the safety of those Thursdays. I’d read until my mom called up that dinner was ready. Probably a lot of the time I was in a bad mood about the grade my European history teacher gave me or the phonies at track practice talking about who they’d ask to prom. But, my memory of those years  between the time I stopped feeling like an adolescent alien and when I went off to college is of feeling absolutely surrounded by love. And how lucky. To feel the love of my family, which made me feel safe enough to feel the anticipation–Thursday-like–of growing up.

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