Thursday, July 16, 2009

And The Support Group Gains a Member

I had a funny phone call from an old high school friend the other day. Some of you may remember me talking about our visit from Keith a few months back. Looks like things are going well with him and his woman in Northern Ireland, so if all goes well, he might actually join the ranks of expat in the not to distant future.

The phone call was funny in that he mentioned how tough it could be learning to live with someone else. He's been a bachelor for a long time and after spending three weeks living with his gal at her house, he was having some trouble adjusting to sharing his toys. Curiosity got the better of me, so I asked what exactly was bugging him with co-habitation.

"Well, she gets mad at me when I put the dishes in the sink. And then she gets really upset when I go and get a drink and I forget to ask her if she wants one."

"Keith," I laughed, "these are issues that go beyond just a man and a woman sharing a house. You've now stumbled into the 'we-speak-the-same-language-but-I-still-don't-understand-a-word-you-are-saying' aspect of the Anglo-American relationship. Good luck sorting that all out!"

And with these concerns, Keith's been officially welcomed into the support group.

A support group, you may ask?

Yes. Yes. Emphatically yes.

For a while, I used to think it was Hubster who was just a little too sure of himself on linguistic questions or maybe it was just his nature to be a little bit of an ass about these things, so I'd let it slide. What finally dawned on me after talking with others in similar relationships is that it isn't that Hubster's an ass. It's just that he's British.

A few examples for you....

*Last night, the kids were learning how to play badminton at a friend's house. One of the other guests present asked us what we called the little white flying thing in English. I responded, "birdie." Hubster looked at me like I was nuts.

"It's a shuttlecock," he said.

Cue huge discussion on the origins of badminton and the fact that the French word for the little white flying thingy is even worse than shuttlecock.

*Cooking dinner one night, I realized I didn't have hamburger buns but I threw some meat onto the grill anyway. I ask Hubster if he'd like a cheeseburger to which he replies that we aren't having cheeseburgers.


"Ok, so cheese on your burger then?"

"If you're asking if I'd like cheese on the pattie, that would be nice."

Shoot me now.

*I tell Hubster to get the toilet paper out of the downstairs bathroom. He responds that we have no bathroom downstairs. He says that we have a toilet.

Ok, so that's technically true, but where I grew up, we called that a bathroom or a half-bath all the same. It may not make sense, but there it is anyway. AND HE KNEW WHAT ROOM I WAS TALKING ABOUT! Humor me here, honey!

*The sink/dishes fight. This is a major one for us. For me, the sink is the place to put your dirty dishes until the dishwasher is free. For Hubster, if you put the dirty dishes in the sink, how can you use the sink? Stack them on the counter above the dishwasher and leave the sink free. But, I argue, YOU CAN SEE THE DIRTY DISHES ON THE COUNTER. In the sink, THEY ARE HIDDEN! And so on and so on and so on....

Speaking pigeon French is a cake walk compared to the stress of having to deal with English on a daily basis!

Truth be told, I'm starting to twitch as I try to remember other examples of this. I might have to succumb to my darkest fears and go and make myself a cup of tea.

Note: All extra "u's" have been deleted from this post in protest. Love you, Houney.


magali said...

I am still wondering what kind of English the kids will be speaking in the end ... ;-)

chateauview said...

Sorry Dear but you know im with Dave when it comes to "proper English". By the way what makes me laugh is that Americans never question the origins of the word "English" but you can argue over a shuttlecock! LMAO! But I do sympathise as I have these same ole arguements with my French froggie!! So there are many pedantic and semantic arguments in this household!

Dig said...

Trust me, Angie, I am well aware of the origins of English. And you do not speak proper English, either my Irish/Scottish friend!!! ;)

Sue said...

Dishes in sink not on counter. This is a debate in our household as well. It would seem that you and I grew up in the same environment :-)...ok, same house.

Diane said...

I must say we have this dishes argument too. So it may not be an english thing, but rather a clone thing. ALso, I sympathize with Keith. I frequent forget to ask Curtis if he wants one when I get myself something. It is really more courtesy then culture, I think.

This post still has me chuckling. When are you writing that book?

Kitty said...

There is always someone in my family who puts the dishes, glasses, etc. on the counter. . . and he is the only one still here. . .

kissmekaty said...

Dave yelled at me when I asked the kids to take their plates to the sink after dinner. Such treatment of guests?!?!? xoxoxoxo

Dig said...

Katy, you're like his second wife. And mybe his favourite since your the wife that does DIY!

Snap said...

I recall this debate about the drink last year when I visited ... Dave quizzed me and it turns out I'm American too. I use the sink because I loathe the process of touching dishes. Do it all at once I say - and who needs to see that mess when the rest of my house offers so many other opportunities?

hubster dave said...

why not put the dishes in the oven, you cant see them there either. or in the freezer???

chateauview said...

'Bout the wives in oor location -
An' the lassies' botheration -
Some are decent, some are dandies.
An' a gey wheen drucken randies;
Aye to neebors houses sailin',
Greetin' bairns ahint them trailing,
Gaun for nouther bread nor butter,
Juist to drink an' rin the cutter!
O the dreadfu' curse o' drinkin'! -
Enjoy the Scottish!

RHB said...

y'all crack me up!