How do you connect with your English man’s friends? VERY SLOWLY.

I read an email from one of our fab-oo-luss readers and it’s definitely worth sharing.  I’ve been through this, and I know from past comments and emails that some of our readers have, too.

The question is:

How do you connect with your English man’s friends?

Here’s the email in it’s entirety:

Dear Yankeebean and all you lovely ladies from SNFY,

I’m having a slight problem with English culture I was hoping you might help me with over a blog post.

I’m an American doing my MA in London, and met a really great English guy shortly after I arrived. We’ve been dating 9 months now. He’s from London and doing his MA here as well, although at a different uni. My question for you is how to connect with his English friends. I’ll tell you more back-story so you can better understand my predicament.

My boyfriend’s close friends are mainly from his undergrad time, and although they all live in London, they don’t see each other very often, but when they do, they all get together for a huge gathering of about 15 people. They are all really close and more than half of them are actually dating each other. I’ve come along to about four of these gatherings now, and I’m having a hard time getting to know them, as they don’t make much effort to get to know me, and I’m quite shy as it is. Usually what happens is that they arrive, ask me the obligatory ‘How are you? How’s uni?” questions and then all talk together in a group about English topics I know nothing about, or reminisce about old university times. Other significant others who come along don’t seem to have this problem, as they aren’t afraid to chime in on the topics about England, whereas I have no idea what they are talking about. Even when I’ve spoken to a few of them one-on-one, which is usually easier, I’m the one doing all the effort, asking them all the questions about themselves (Although I must say, this is usually more true for my conversations with the women than with the men.) I guess my question is, is there some sort of unspoken English rule about how to actually converse in large groups in England? Any advice on how to get past the “How are you?” stage? I realize that it’s always hard being the newcomer at a gathering of old friends, but I thought that by the fourth time meeting them and 9 months into dating him, his friends would be making more of an effort to get to know the girl he’s crazy about. It wasn’t even until last time that one thought to ask where I’m from in the States!

Since I’m a student in London, most of the people I’ve met are actually foreigners as well, so I really haven’t had much experience with English social norms. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now whenever I miss home, and always laugh at your insight into English behaviour. I’ve even just bought “Watching the English” on your recommendation. I was hoping it would arrive in time for me to prepare for the last get together (it was yesterday), but it didn’t :( I did start reading it today, though, and already found that I’ve been going about talking about the weather all wrong this whole time! :)

Thanks again for the great blog. Love it!

Cheers,
NotLongInLondon

And here it is again – that age old question, “How the FLIPPING HECK am I supposed to talk to new English acquaintances??”.  I feel for you, NotLongInLondon, I really do.  I’ve been there.  In fact, I’m tempted to buy property there since I visit so often…

There’s a post by one of our guest authors, Redilocks, about just this topic – How to Make Friends and Influence People (English Style).  It’s a step-by-step guide about how to meet English people without scaring the shite out of them with your natural American-ness.  In fact, it was after I read this post that I started complimenting English women when I first met them.  IT TOTALLY WORKS.  I still get the odd alien laser death glare, but they’re much less common these days…

But if you want proof that you’re already doing a grand job of working your way in to your boyfee’s UK crowd, read this comment from a past post.  One of our readers, Michelle, remains the victim of the rudest and most unbelievable encounter that I’ve ever heard of between an American and an English woman.  After you read Michelle’s experience, I know you’ll feel better about your attempts, because it sounds like it’s actually going pretty well for you.

My final word of advice, and my own person attack in situations where I can’t seem to turn the tide in my favour is this.  Channel your inner  ninja, sit, and listen.  Don’t worry about talking or chiming in, just sit back and observe what’s going on.  If you have something to say, go for it, but don’t stress about it.  I think the ultimate key to hanging out with an already-established group of Brits is time, time, and more time.  Just keep going back, be patient, and you’ll wear ‘em down soon enough.  :)

The English and the (real) Female Body: A love affair

yankeebean

When I first came to England I was 16 years old and I was a US size 18 (UK 16).  I moved from an affluent area where a US size 8 (UK 10) was considered fat and all the popular kids looked like Abercrombie and Fitch models.  (Seriously – I once heard a group of girls gossiping scandalously about a ‘friend’ of theirs that was a size 8.  There was much gasping and OMG-ing going on…).

UK 18 and UK 20 are the same size – but they felt a world apart.  My size went from being taboo to being faboo in the time it took me to fly across the ocean.  It was AWESOME… and bloody good timing as a 16 year old :)

It’s the norm in the UK to show bodies of all shapes and sizes in the media.  Literally, ALL shapes and sizes.  The UK has a love affair with the real female body and I LOVE IT.

I’m not going to talk about health – I know there are health factors blah blah blah, but I’m not a health guru and that’s not what this is about.  But having been heavier in my life, I know for a fact that making people feel badly about themselves is NOT how you get them to start living a healthier lifestyle.

There’s a wonderful glorification of ‘flaunt what you’ve got’ here.  Find your best features and spotlight those puppies.  Got boobs?  Lift and separate :) .  Got legs?  Walk the walk.  Got arms?  Work those guns.

Don’t worry so much about what you don’t have – focus on what you DO have and work work work it.  Then revel in the confidence of your best bits.

For evidence, watch an episode of the UK’s ‘How to Look Good Naked‘ – this show always leaves me laughing out loud and beaming with joy.  It’s guaranteed to make you feel like a powerful gorgeous saucy-licious woman.  I’m always tempted to strip down to the nip and run around after I watch it, much to Mr. Nice Guy’s delight… :D

De-mystifying the ‘British girl’s night out’, or ‘Why do some British women dress like hookers when Saturday night rolls around?’

peacefulyorkshire

peacefulyorkshire

Ok, so the blog title is a little unfair. When Saturday night comes rollin’ in some British women don’t always look like hookers.  No, sorry, my mistake—sometimes they could be classified as looking like strippers. I am still trying to decide which of the two is a better description for my Yorkshire city on a Saturday night. Stripper or hooker…wait, maybe stripper. Maybe a hooker slash stripper. Maybe a hooker with a dash and swoosh of stripper.  Maybe a hooker stroke wannabe stripper. Whateveh you want to call it, honey–after 5 years of living on this little island in the North Sea, I am still trying to figure out why some British women let themselves pour out of their clothes on a night out. Yes, pour out is the perfect sentiment.

I decided to ask Cat, an English female friend  ‘So, why do British women dress like hookers on Saturday night?’

Her response? Because they are desperate and on the pull. And they think it looks good. ‘

(Cat, a devoted Marks and Spencer clothing lovah  is not one of these Saturday night ladies, mind you.)

I asked Carlo,  a British football coach the same question ‘So, why do British women dress like hookers on Saturday night?’

His answer—–‘They do!?’ (I had some serious laughing at this point)

As an American living in Yorkshire, I think that I have started to figure out the ladies night out in Britain. It’s simple, my lovelies!!

  • Just wear as little as possible in material as tight as possible.  Got it, little and tight are your motto.
  • If you have lots of flesh, don’t fret. Make sure it hangs out in abundance. Bonus if you can show your cellulite and cleavage.
  • NEVER wear a coat, we want everyone to see your gorgeous Primark outfit– which shows off your white (or orange depending on your style!)  legs.
  • yes, let’s talk about legs. If your legs are ‘larger’ than most you will need to expose them as high up as you can show them…. like up to where your bum starts is fine, no worries!
  • By now you should know that if you are really serious about your weekend then flats are a no-no. If you wiggle and wobble and can not walk properly in your eight inchers then these are the ones to wear!
  • Oh and before I forget. Probably best to wear all the make-up you own at once.

And here you are complaining to your British man you have nothing to wear to your next Christmas office party?? Just look in your lingerie drawer!

Self-deprecation: A trixie little minx

yankeebean

yankeebean

If you (like me) are an American woman, living in England, married to an English man, having trouble making English women friends – here’s a tip for you.

Experiment (carefully) with self-deprecation.

You all know by now that I’ve had never-ending issues making good friends that are both female and English.  English but not female?  No problem.  Female but not English?  Nothin’ but net.  English AND female?  I’m an alien from outer space.

But there’s been a positive development in my handicap with befriending British women – self-deprecation.

It doesn’t have to be much, I’m not saying, “My God, I am just SHITE and EVERYTHING, I am such a WASTE of SPACE, I’m taking up VALUABLE OXYGEN that better people could be USING…” – but it seems that a little self-deprecation goes a long way.

I must admit, it doesn’t come naturally to me… I’ve spent my whole life working in an industry where self-deprecation = weakness = no work = no cash = no food = die (well, not DIE, I’d probably just have to move back in with my parents…).  I mean, there’s enough free criticism out there to knock any wobbly ego off its pedestal faster than you can say “American Gladiators”… why invite it in to bash you in the face?

Anyway, I’m starting to ramble…

Before

So, this is how it used to go when I met a new Brit-chick:

  • I introduce myself and shake their hand
  • I ask what they do
  • I make a comment about how that sounds interesting
  • They say something equivalent to, “Oh, it’s nothing, really”
  • They ask me what I do
  • They make a comment about how that sounds interesting
  • I say something like, “Yeah, I really love it – it’s the best job ever”
  • The conversation eventually either dribbles, grinds or jolts to a halt…

After

This is how it works now (only one small difference):

  • I introduce myself and shake their hand
  • I ask what they do
  • I make a comment about how that sounds interesting
  • They say something equivalent to, “Oh, it’s nothing, really”
  • They ask me what I do
  • They make a comment about how that sounds interesting
  • I say something like, “Oh, I dunno, you haven’t heard me yet, you’ll have to make up your own mind” (note: I’m a voice-over artist)
  • The conversation ambles along reasonably well for awhile

I don’t know exactly why it works and I don’t give a rip snort – but it definitely warms the atmosphere.  I get a kind of ‘you’re one of us’ vibe once the deed is done.  Of course, deep down I believe the people that don’t like my stuff either have different taste, or they’re just wrong.  But if I didn’t feel that way, the Industry American Gladiator would’ve WHOOPED my ass by now…

But beware!

A word of warning to all the confident, outstanding, feisty-sass-pots out there – don’t fall for your own bad press.  Self-deprecation is just a tool to crack the ice – we all know you’re awesome, really :)

PS – On the flip side of the foreign currency, Americans seem to HATE self-deprecation.  People tend to either try and big you up, or tell you to stop fishing for compliments.  I wonder if there are any American kids named Confidence…

When random British people (that you’ve only just met) tell you what is wrong with America

yahooavatar15Imagine meeting a British person for the first time. Imagine introducing yourself, answering all the questions that you get asked as a foreigner– like having to tell your “America to England” story for the zillionth time. Now, imagine randomly saying to this British person that you have only just met that people in Britain have  bad teeth. Real, real, bad teeth.That you have never been to a country where people have such bad teeth. That you saw this one 15 year old kid on the train and you COULDN”T believe he had such BAD TEETH. Now I am sure you are horrified about doing that, right? No, that would be so rude!  Plus could you imagine the wrath? It is hard enough making female friends in Britain!

Well, for whatever reason, some British people love to point out America’s flaws to me during our first meeting. Like today–a 6o-ish woman from Harrogate decided to tell me that she had NEVER SEEN so much obesity in her life as when she went to America. That she was on this train where she saw this 15 year old kid and he was SO FAT! That she couldn’t believe how many obese people were in America. That she couldn’t imagine how unhealthy THOSE FAT PEOPLE OVER IN AMERICA are.

Running through my head as Mrs. Harrogate ranted at me: Hello? have you seen all the white muffin tops pouring out of jeans in Leeds City Centre  lately, honey? There are fat people here too, and it seems its getting worse according to obesity reports!”

I wish I were brave enough to say that!  But instead, while smiling politely I said “It is just a different lifestyle there, isn’t it? You must excuse me while I go get some milk for my tea…”

Now then, lovely readers! Why would someone decide to tell me this to me, an American? Am I responsible for America’s obesity? Do I even LIVE IN AMERICA anymore? How would I be an expert about America’s weight issues? (I have enough of my own!). Sometimes I think that I have to defend America all the time, and I am so tired of it. Please tell me that you have to take the ‘blame bullet’ too?

————————————-

P.S.  I don’t really think that all British people have bad teeth. That was used for example purposes only, and is used to represent a silly stereotype that people have of other countries.

P.S.S. I forgot to say that the afore mentioned lady from Harrogate had only visited Florida. And that was it!

P.S.S.S. On a ‘let’s blame America!’ related topic: Why are dinner parties with your British friends so much nicer now that Obama is in the White house? Click here

How To Make Friends and Influence People (English Style!)

redlillocks

Hey lovelies, today we are proud to bring you a guest post by a another American in the UK, who calls herself ‘Redlilocks’– (insert applause!)

A quick introduction… I grew up in Pennsylvania but moved to Denver and then later to Wisconsin where I met an English man with a wicked sense of humour who made me laugh like no American man ever did. After a whirlwind romance, we married and I moved to Kent with him in 2001. Cut a long story short, the relationship didn’t work out & we divorced two years later. By that point, however, I felt so happy and settled in the UK that I decided to stay. I lived in Kent for 8 years and have only just recently moved to Manchester (oop north) to live with my new lovely man. This is not to gloss over the first 3 months I was here in which I spent either crying, saying, ‘pardon?’ to every person who attempted conversation or dreaming of Wendy. (No, not my BFF – the burger joint). But I stopped making comparisons and started to enjoy what the UK had to offer – and there was plenty. Including good friends.

Reading the comments, I felt compelled to write as it seems so many have such a problem making friends with British women. I have some fantastic friends here and genuinely love the UK. I relate so much better to the British mentality then the American ‘gung-ho’ attitude which always left me feeling slightly uncomfortable. That is not to say I’m reserved – by no stretch of the imagination – I’m actually very enthusiastic and out-going but I think I’ve learned that British people aren’t actually cold and snotty but they ARE more reserved and I have had to adapt the way I approach making friends with this in mind.

I have a lot of really great female friends here but have admittedly ‘worked’ for it – at least to start – but it’s been totally worth it and I’d like to share my advice. Bear in mind there are no guarantees here. After all, some people are just not very nice and nothing you can do will change that but do you really want to be friends with someone like that? No, I didn’t think so.
Let’s get started then.

MEETING FOR THE 1ST TIME:

Turn down the volume. I have turned my ‘volume’ of enthusiasm when meeting new people from about a 9 down to around a 5. This isn’t about not being yourself, it’s about being a more chilled out version of yourself .

Asking lots of personal questions doesn’t work. Whatever you do, DON’T ask a million and one questions when you first meet someone thinking that will break the ice. It won’t. They will think you are being exceptionally nosey – questions can come upon meeting them the 2nd, 3rd and 4th time. It’s like melting ice – yeah you can go at it with a sledgehammer to break it into a million pieces or you can warm up the temperature around it and wait. Believe me, the waiting is worth it.

Engage in pointless chitchat. Go ahead and talk about the weather for the first conversation. Tell them where you are from, why you’re here when they inevitably ask and you may need to smile and laugh while you suffer through their stories of holidays in Florida. If the conversation falls flat, let it. English people are not as uncomfortable with silence as Americans. It’s okay, you haven’t failed. Compliments are always welcome. Tell them you love their earrings or their shoes or their bag – it might start a conversation about how great Matalan is.

Keep it light, Keep it positive. DON’T complain about anything British (not even the weather). They will get defensive which is what you are trying to avoid. DO NOT TALK RELIGION OR MONEY. Keep it light and impersonal.

MEETING FOR THE 2ND TIME:

Be warm, not overbearing. You will find they will be a little warmer. Smile warmly back. That is all. Don’t extend your hand (You are not on an interview.)

Remember their name. This is sort of a no-brainer. Don’t be upset if they’ve forgotten yours. I can guarantee they haven’t forgotten you – being American brings with it a novelty value.

Be personable without being intrusive. Now is the time to be slightly more personal. Ask them where they are from, what they do.
Know your limits. Now is probably not the best time to regale them with stories of your childhood or how much money you make. There’s time for all that (well, not the money – that’s just not a conversation you want to have. Ever.)

Bear with the process. It seems long-winded. You’ll have to bite your tongue. You will feel like you are not getting anywhere but I promise you will!

MEETING FOR THE 3RD & 4th TIME:

Greet them appropriately. You may find by this time that they will be even warmer – you might want to give a kiss on the cheek if you feel it is welcome (NOT A HUG). If not, a warm smile always works.

Get to know them ‘properly’: Now you can start asking more personal questions, asking their opinion about something in the news, offer funny stories (preferably if you’ve done something silly – they love self-deprecating humour and it shows humility). Don’t be surprised if they start asking you some personal questions back and genuinely try to get to know you.

Don’t be scared. If you find you have things in common and you would like to see them again, invite them around for a cup of tea or a drink down the pub. You’ll be surprised how quickly the English will open up when they’ve had a few.

I think the main thing is not to try too hard – it will seem forced. My female friends (English) who have met other Americans find them scary – overly enthusiastic (which they don’t trust; they think it is fake, no matter how sincere you are) and nosey. What’s natural and normal for us is alien to them and they don’t know how to take it. So being accepted here is all about working around THEIR issues slowly until they are warm enough to you that you can feel very natural about totally being yourself. By that time, they will have (almost) forgotten you are American and the person beyond that will shine through.

You might not want to take my advice – it’s just what’s worked for me. I find with English people, once they DO warm up to you, you will have some pretty fantastic relationships. When I moved from Kent to Manchester, I had 3 going away parties because I had 3 different groups of pals (male/female mixed) that I wanted to be able to say goodbye to. It’s worked and I don’t feel like I’ve not been myself, or have denied who I am.

So now that I have moved I’m starting all over again – having to make new friends. I start a new job tomorrow and am hoping that in a couple months time, I have made some new friends to go shopping with or get lunch with or have a natter with over tea. In the meantime, I’ll smile politely, chat about the weather and laugh at the appropriate places when they tell me all about their annual trip to Disneyworld.

How do you find people in Britain who make you happy when you’ve just moved?  Click here

How a pair or rollar skates can help you make friends in Britain- Click here

A Reader in London Ponders a Return Back to her Native Texas

yahooavatar15Us three ladies on this blog get to know many of your worries. We’re glad that you can trust us enough to share your thoughts and troubles-we get many stories about your experiences in the UK. Believe us, we love it and don’t mind if you need a place to vent (see our strap line above for verification!). In our short 6 months of blogging we have 6,000 readers a month now come visit us and some leave us stories (we’re chuffed!). From your worries about UK visa approval, to your British partner’s hygiene, to your homesickness, to your long-distance trans- Atlantic relationships, to being broke and not having enough to eat, to not being able to get a job, to not making friends in the UK, to moving your child here, to the bad weather, to ranting about Bed and Breakfast etiquette (oh wait, that last one was just me)— WE’VE READ IT ALL!

From our About page Lisa writes:

“hi, I’m glad I found this site too! I’m an american who has lived in Greater London for 9 years now (married a brit). In all this time, I still haven’t met any good friends (keep in mind, we have a 6yo daughter so I’ve been and done all the baby/toddler group mingling as well). I’ve got 1 friend, if you can call her that, whom I go shopping with occasionally and that is it…and she only calls me when her man isn’t busy spending time/money with her. The “aloofness” of UK girls is REALLY getting to me…I want to find some girlfriends who will just open up and chat, chat, chat! Because I feel isolated, I often find myself wanting to uproot and take my daughter back to Texas so I can see my parents and friends again. It is so hard b/c financially, my husband and I are better here. We have an age gap and he would find it too difficult/expensive in TX. So if I did move, he’d stay here. That would NOT be good for our daughter….so I’m feeling very torn right now. Any tips how to get over all this??”

Lisa, I completely understand your feelings! In fact, we have posted about some of these situations ourselves. Just know you are NOT ALONE! You might find some of our posts helpful:

So, in closing and as we grow in readership I want to ask the sassy-brilliant-and-smart-as -a-whip-She’s Not From Yorkshire community what would you answer to Lisa in London?

Yankeebean’s American-ness vs. English Chick’s English-ness

yankeebeanAaaaaaaaand – Yankeebean wins!!!

But before I revel in my creepy success (yes, it’s creepy, I’m not proud of my ‘us vs. them attitude), there are some facts that are important to this story:

Fact 1 – I am a musician and being a musician means meeting and getting to know as many other musicians as humanly possible.

Fact 2 – I am a very smiley person, this (I feel) is often confused with flirtation. But it isn’t, Mr Nice Guy is all the English man I need ;)

Fact 3 – I don’t have a great track record with English women. They don’t warm to me… The don’t even luke-warm to me… Maybe it’s the accent, maybe it’s the hair, who knows (who cares?)

SO, now for the tale of my creepy triumph…

I went to a gig in York recently and was introduced to a Recording Engineer and his girlfriend. So I did the ‘networking’ thing – y’know – ‘so tell me more about what you do’, ‘what does that involve?’, ‘are you ever looking for a piano/synth player’, yada yada yada… (It’s the broken record of networking)

And WHAT is his girlfriend doing during all this? STARING AT ME LIKE I HAVE 3 HEADS! And not just 3 heads – 3 EVIL HEADS!!

I mean, for God’s sake, WHAT??? Something in my nose?? Eye lash in my third-eye?? Tail showing from under skirt???

What is it about me that makes me get that look? Sometimes I think it’s the faux-flirtation thing – they think I’m husband hunting? Sometimes I wonder if they think I’m stupid because I smile so much (I get patronized a lot – but just for the record, ‘happy’ and ‘naïve’ are not the same thing.) Or then again, they could just have a problem wit my 3 evil heads…

But this time I took it as a personal challenge. THIS TIME I decided to just keep going – see what would happen.

Snarky comment? Cat fight? Spontaneous combustion? If it doesn’t kill me, I’ll be stronger, right? So on I went, chirpy as anything, and trying to involve the English chick at every opportunity. Determined not to be derailed by her raised eyebrows and unimpressed, un-blinking stare.

At first she tried (well struggled) to smile back at me each time I smiled at her. Then, after awhile, she started whispering into her boyfriend’s ear while we were chatting. Then, eventually, he whispered back to her and she stropped off and LEFT!

That’s right, she left! I was SO chirpy and friendly that she actually fled the scene. I guess it’s that ‘fight or flight’ instinct, and I think she made the right call…

So in Yankeebean vs. the English Chick – *dingdingding* – Yankeebean wins!!

And the crowd goes wild! :)

Some American Expats in Britain are Scoffing Scones and Looking for Other Feminists

yahooavatar15“Feminism is a belief in the right of women to have political, social, and economic equality with men.” -Wikipedia

Before she made her move to Britain, there was once an American gal, age 20, that liked to wear gold kitten heels and had an explosive laugh. She was a feminist extraordinaire. Determined to be the “modern American Feminist of the 21st century”, she would happily get regular bikini waxes, but eat men on toast for breakfast. And while wearing Revlon all-day coral lipstick, she took the words of magazines like Ms.Bitch and that “Feminine Mystique” book as wise ways to live life.  I am telling you about her because that gal was once me.

Ok–So, what does this have to do with being an American Expat in Britain?

I ask you: Where is Feminism in Britain, dear readers? Could I have been Ms. Peaceful Yorkshire, feminist extraordinaire, age 20 in Britain if I were here then? I can’t figure out where the British Feminists are, nor have any other of my American Sistahs. We have spent many afternoon teas scoffing scones and wondering “Why is it so uncool to be a Feminist in Britain?” I don’t outwardly see a big feminist movement here nor do the English women I meet readily talk about woman’s inequalities. Ok, not like I am expecting debates on fetus rights or suffrage history over clotted cream. But how about equal pay salary?  Women in politics? Alan Sugar’s rampant sexism? We make small talk, like the weather. Celebrities.  New Topshop boots. Woman’s rights? Uh, no.

Doing some further investigative research into British Feminism, I found this Guardian article.Is Feminism in Britain dead?  Or just unspoken? Is it a DIRTY BAD ASHAMED WORD? It seems to be that saying  F*** or the word “Feminist” might as well be scaled on the same social “no-no” list.

I had to dig. Germaine Greer writes articles for the Guardian (always getting slammed by her British readers),  and another great lil’ Brit resource I found is a cheeky little “feminist” site called The F Word.

Just because I am living in Britain doesn’t mean I will stop calling myself a feminist–but do I need to be so quiet about it?

Your British Sister-in-Law and you, the facts

yahooavatar15Dear Readers,

Christmas is just around the corner (21 days lovelies, 21 days!) And you are going to need to prepare. Us 3 gals at Shes not From Yorkshire know the stress of being an American in Britain for Christmas– we’ve been there and done it. Numerous times.

It may be that you will be going back to America to see your beloved folks. Lucky you!!! If that’s the case, you don’t need to read this now. Go get that second cup of coffee and we’ll see you same time tomorrow.

Ok,  that means that you are staying here for Christmas. Chances are you don’t have the clout to hold Christmas at yours this year. Number one reason is probably because you are Americanyou wouldn’t get it right to have the family over, after all how would you know how to hold an English Christmas?

Because you’re American, this means that the hols will either be at the in-laws house or at a sister-in-laws house. If its at the English parent’s house, this isn’t going to apply to you. That is another topic! So, go ahead and get that saved up Oreo…. and yes, we will see you tomorrow, same time.

This means that you are spending Christmas at your sister-in-laws?? You do realise that you will be needing some confidence to voice what you need and what you want and what you expect? You need to make it clear what you will do and will not do.

Repeat the quote: Trying Fails, but Awareness Cures… repeat three times a day.

Just be aware sweet readers, just be aware you will need to be vocal about your expectations because No one else is gonna do it for you–!

Ms British sister in law will probably be be lovely and ask you what you might want to make you “feel at home”. Under no circumstances will she ever actually get it right, not really her fault, shes not really concerned about your needs. You have to realise that she is trying to impress her parents, her partner, his parents, her kids, not you!

Ill have a pumpkin pie that is all I really want, Ill even give you a great recipe since you don’t want me to bring anything, you say. Mr. Kipling’s mincemeat pies will be flogged instead.

I don’t eat meat. she will serve you a nut roast from Tesco’s value range.

I’ll do the Christmas breakfast, you say, to try to show them that you can cook and can contribute, and what a great little lady you are. They won’t like your smiley face waffles. Odd bread products are brought from deep-freeze instead

Hasn’t baby Sophie grown so much, would you two like to take her to the park? she asks

About that point you start daydreaming about your lovely family and how much you miss them in America… I bet dad is on his 2nd Coors-light by now, you  sigh.

And don’t expect your British man to understand, even if he is Mr. Chill, Mr. Nice Guy or Mr. Charismatic. Its his family and you do not want to be in the middle. Nor do you want him to be in anyway held accountable for your homesickness. Its not his fault either.

Christmas at your sister-in-laws is under her reign, darling, and you’re just there for the ride…

Just be aware sweet readers, just be aware and you will feel better…