America fits, but so do the Brits

Posted on January 21, 2009 by yankeebean

yankeebeanI went back home to the Midwest in America for Christmas and New Year.  It was my first Christmas back home for 4 years and it was a fantastic experience.

Going back home (although I do consider England my home, too), I always breathe a kind of sigh-of-relief when I get back into the swing of things.  My weird semi-brit accent fades, the volume of my voice rises, my humor gets more flambouant, my hands warm up (is it just me or does England make your hands cold too??), my optimisim comes more easily, and the list goes on and on.

My Ameri-me is such a comfortable thing, even though it’s never quite the same as it was ‘back in the day’.  It’s like my favorite sneakers that I wear when I want to loaf around town or my giant College sweater that I get out every time I have cramps.  It just fits… like something that was made for you, and like something that you could never replace.

But, like I said, it isn’t quite the same as it always was.  I still made dry-sarky comments and people would actually think I was being mean until I explained in an apologetic rush that ‘I live in England and that would have been funny there, I’m sorry!’

This trip was the first time I didn’t fight these changes.  Before I always wanted everything to be just like it was, like some giant-American-time-capsule that you can only get to via O’hare airport.  But this time all I wanted was to enjoy what was happening ‘right now’.  I wanted to live in (and do a happy dance in) the moment.  And it was awesome!

I loved easing back into America’s famliarities, but I wasn’t annoyed when people picked up on my Brits-ways.  I loved seeing my Mom, Dad, and brother, but I lovedlovedloved coming home to Mr. Nice Guy and all of his gorgeous wonderfulness.

All in all, it was a 10 out of 10 experience, right down to getting 3 seats to myself on the flight back to England.  Nice!

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What Others Are Saying

  1. Lisa June 3, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    I agree-the british aren’t as loud as we americans-my husband who is british often says to me-”talk more softly…everyone can hear you!!” I am not even aware…and I may be somewhat loud, but I wasn’t half the chatterbox I am now-it’s his fault for getting me to open up so much! ;o) I’ve noticed my 6 yo daughter, although british by birth, has picked up my more extroverted/loud american nature and to be honest, I think it puts some brit parents off wanting their kids to play with her! She sort of says it how it is and I think alot of parents/kids find her somewhat intimidating. What I tell myself is …yes, now it might be offputting but as kids get older, they find the chatty ones more attractive b/c they bring kids out of their shells. I hope that’ll be the case anyway…I don’t want my daughter’s cheery/bubbly nature quelled b/c people like things more placid and reserved! She’s such a social little thing!

    Another thing-the british sense of humor is something I always miss when I visit the US!! I think b/c of my european bloodlines, I must have inherited this sense of humor b/c I love brit sarcasm. Tons of americans just don’t get it. They are missing out on that, for sure!

  2. Pingback: A Reader in London Ponders a Return Back to her Native Texas « She’s not from Yorkshire…

  3. Tori Pie January 21, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Hi Yorkshire gals,
    I LOVE YOUR blog. Thanks for this!

    Iota-The British voice is often soft spoken and quiet? Well maybe but when Brits drink, have you ever been out on a Saturday night in a city Centre? High pitch squeals and everything. I’ve never seen anything like it. Americans seem to be more expressive when talking, but we’re louder in general anyway.

  4. Iota January 21, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Hey, girls, I’ve written a post on my blog which is partly about one of yours. You got me thinking.

  5. Iota January 21, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    Sounds great.

    As well as the volume of your voice increasing, does it’s range? We Brits use just a tiny range. You Americans make the most of the whole of it – piercing highs that in England would be counted as singing! Do you find British monotone rather dull?

  6. Peter Bond January 21, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Love reading your blog, especially the pieces about culture shock. this year will make the year when I will have lived in England as long as I lived “back home” as opposed to “home”. As you say it is never the same as it was when I left. After all Jimmy Carter was President and Margaret Thatcher had just become Prime Minister here. Now I feel very British when I visit, and it comes as quite a surprise!

    The changes in both countries are enormous but I suppose you just don’t notice them so much as they happen around you.

  7. notfromaroundhere January 21, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Yay midwest, I’m from Minneapolis! I don’t know when next I’ll be home, although I tend to go in the summer. But I agree, the last time I was there it was clear that I don’t live there any more, my slight bit of Britishness that I’ve picked up came through clearly.

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