It's funny how nostalgia works.
I find myself missing things like the rain in England ("It lets you not feel guilty about staying inside and reading a good book," I found myself enthusing to my grandmother last week -- uhhh, really?), the neverending reading of college, and even the powersuited bureaucrats clicking away on their Blackberries of Washington, D.C.
Now, living in Italy, I'm nostalgic for something I never, ever bought in the U.S.: junk food.
When I was back in the States last week, (the reason, too, for the recent radio silence), I loaded up. I bought Twizzlers. I bought Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I bought Golden Grahams. I bought Pepperidge Farm cookies. I bought Bisquick pancake and Jiffy muffin mix. If I'd had room, I would have kept going. (Thank you, American Airlines and your woeful baggage limits, for saving my waistline).
I knew my slender, nutrition-conscious grandmother was giving my shopping cart an odd look, so I explained. "You can't get this stuff in Italy." 'Nuff said.
But I didn't bring up the fact that even when I lived in the U.S., where I could get junk food, I never bought it.
Like I said, nostalgia's funny sometimes. I do know, though, that along with the pictures of family members and friends sitting on my desk, the Twizzlers I'm noshing make me feel, almost, at the moment, like I'm not so far away.