I'm probably flying over Ohio right now, heading home to California. I've got mixed feelings about Mt. Vernon and Gambier, a lot of which I've chalked up to learning how to be middle class, for realz this time. That is, having professional relationships, chatting in sitting rooms, and never seeing the kind of semi-bohemian lifestyle that I led for eight years ever again. Now people buy houses and go antiquing to fill them with stuff; they don't scrounge around the Internet to pick up milk crates and pressed-wood furniture just to have a kitchen table, or find a terrible but sturdy piece of wood and cover it with an equally-terrible table cloth because, well, you accepted your fate. The stories we tell about our furniture are different now.
And I hesitate to use "we" here, but I suspect I can't fight this tide, as the pull of class (the reality of class) melts me both physically and mentally into a gigantic grilled cheese of terrible food metaphors about selling out. God that was so bad, I'm going to end this paragraph prematurely.
I say this as if there's a "real" to be kept, when this may be fate of sorts. Granted too I'm lucky, considering how the economy has been treating others like me, but you never really get a sense of those sociological concepts like assimilation or socialization until you actually take historical stock of them. I don't have the confidence of Bourdieu to say I can see this dispassionately -- I'd say I'm at the Camus stage of the "French philosophical stages of acceptance" -- but I can't avoid the trajectory my family has taken from living 10 or more to a house to all my aunts and uncles (and my mom) stepping so far away from the immigrant life.
If I'm throwing loaded dice in some terrible crapshoot of fate, I wonder if it's Marshall Berman's maelstrom of change or some appalling American Beauty/Donny Darko/bullshit white person problem suburbia ass leakage that I'll be losing with. Either way, it's dissatisfaction, but one is solved by obsessive changes while the other is only solved by rebellious teenagers (I hate those things).
One thing is certain, I will refuse to tuck my polo shirts in on the weekends. Occupy my pants!