The Case of the Magically Disappearing Transplant


Brace yourself. This post is a bit of a downer….

Something happens each summer to me, I don’t know if it is because I’m a transplant, or maybe you feel this way in a place you’ve lived all your life. But, each summer, I feel like Harry Potter who has donned his invisibility cloak, though not voluntarily. And it seems as though I have disappeared.

The phone hasn’t rang. Well it rang once.I actually picked up the phone the other day and willingly offered to participate in a marketing research survey about childhood immunization. But, because I do not have an infant between the ages of 2 to 22 months, I didn’t qualify and - a telemarketer actually hung up on me.

It’s hot. I have no pool to invite anyone over to swim. No boat to invite friends to have drinks and tapas at sunset.  I just have – me to offer you.

Do you ever feel like you are just missing out by not having the most fantastic incredible summer ever? The ever permanence of social networking like Facebook and Twitter make it all the more evident. If you are not at your vacation destination in the south of France, or off at a lake house each weekend, it feels you are left in the hot summer dust.

Maybe its the timing of our vacation that sets my summer off kilter. Like the sea turtle or salmon, each year we travel back the beaches and shores of our ancestry and go Island hopping – in the New York metro area.

 Our usual vacation resort destination: Our childhood bedrooms and basements. We spend time with family, try to see some old friends who never transplanted far from their roots, and take in some sites in one of the greatest cities on the planet.

Then, we head “home.”  To quiet Rochester. To seemingly absolute nothingness.  As much as we scramble to see the friends we left behind in New York, it seems like there is no one to get back in touch with back in Rochester. No one seems to be around and all attempts to make plans fall short and are met with “maybe some other time.”

The first years I encountered this lack of social contact and plans in the summer, I felt quite lonely and isolated. Now, I look forward to these low-profile weeks. They give me an opportunity to catch up on:

  • Organizing sock drawers
  • Reading
  • Weeding my garden
  • Going through the clothes in the attic
  • Baking peach pies

But still, it would be nice to find a walking buddy in the early morning or evenings, like I see so many other women pairs. I think – how do they do that? How do they keep standing walking dates – who calls who?

We did get one summer invitation this summer: to a princess birthday party of my new neighbor’s daughter who just turned four. A real princess party with crowns and ballet tutu wearing girls. And neighbors who go months living next to each other but not seeing each other on a social basis that much.

My new neighbors are also transplants. She is American, and her wonderlust sent her on a one year trip around the world that lasted 10 years. She met her husband in India, and now they live here, with their two beautiful children, to settle down. I am very thankful that they reached out to us and invited us to celebrate their daughter’s birthday over chips, salsa, cake and Sangria (the Sangria being drank by the adults, not the four-year-olds.  

Okay. I’ll admit it:  some company in these long summer days would be most welcome.

I must snap out of this involuntary invisibility:  So, next week, after I return from seeing my kids off at sleep away camp. I may pick up the phone and call you to make plans. A walk? Morning Coffee? Shabbat dinner? So, please pick up the phone too.

About stacylynngittleman

I have been a public relations professional and reporter -- and always thought I would live in the New York Metro area - before my husband took a job in Rochester, New York. Most in Metro New York can't find Rochester on a map,and neither could I before we moved. I am now a columnist and a freelance writer for Rochester's only daily newspaper, the Democrat & Chronicle. I also am passionate about gardening, fitness and most of all, Jewish education and Israel Advocacy. Here's my perspective on Western New York living - the good, the bad, and the snowy.

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  1. Pareve Pumpkin Pie « Transplantednorth's Blog - November 21, 2011

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