I landed at O'Hare around ten o'clock last night and Amanda was waiting for me curbside. Instead of heading straight into the city we stopped at the home of Shay and Dave (or "Shave" as they're commonly known within our group of friends) in Arlington Heights for a bit of champagne and some Jenga. Since I'd already consumed an unknowable amount of bubbly on the plane, I arrived at their place party-ready, which I'm quite certain was immediately apparent to everybody in attendance and also most of the neighborhood, probably.
Regardless of how much holiday cheer I poured into myself prior to and during the party, last night was a perfect holiday homecoming, even though it felt a little strange to be coming home to the suburbs. Just four or five years ago moving out of the city seemed a great ways off, something that people in their thirties do, but now that the majority of my friends have hit that milestone more and more of them are saying goodbye to Chicago and New York and even San Francisco proper every year for the small towns just outside their borders. It's always special catching up with the people I navigated the majority of my twenties with, so I guess the location of our increasingly infrequent meet-ups shouldn't really matter all that much, but the thought of it makes me feel old.
And also hungover.