Since moving I have received a lot of junk mail addressed to the name of the former owner of our house “or current resident”. That is me. Current Resident. I claim to want to stay here in Ohio until my husband retires but recently have decided it is too soon to tell. Current Resident has a temporary feel. Wonder how long that lasts?
There really is lots to blog about here in Ohio and I am about to begin in earnest. From the swan on the pond sighting to the free gas at the Giant Eagle grocery store. From the Al-Jazeera Thrift Shop on the same road as the abortion clinics and pro-life lamp store where the owners have taped a plastic fetus to a water bottle, a heavily highlighted bible placed next to it. To Friday Night High School football and am alarming lack of enthusiasm called Administrator/Instructor Discouragement (“You can join the _____ team but I can’t guarantee you’ll play. It’ll also be tough getting you a uniform” to a coach saying, “My team played terribly so I needed a mental health day”). Is this really America? Yes, it is. I am not disillusioned. I knew this was coming, I was (partially) mentally prepared.
I am a little concerned about America’s myopic world vision. Last week I met a woman who asked from where I moved. I replied, “Madrid, Spain.” She responded, “Oh, I know someone who lived in Lima.” Spanish speaking to be sure, but Peru is on a different continent. (Thing 2 is also scandalized by his fellow students lack of geographical knowledge.) Then there was the manicurist who thought the Spanish economy was doing great …
In a recent phone conversation with a fellow ex expat, I remarked (as opposed to complained) to my friend Mrs. Hotlanta that we have had no social invitations, not even for a cup of coffee.
She replied, said, “Well, you just have to take into account that most people will think you are weird.”
“Why weird?” I asked. Frankly, weird had never ever crossed my mind.
“Because you lived in other countries. Even my best friends in my hometown think we are weird for living abroad.”
I am willing to accept “weird”. I am sure I will eventually find other “weird” people here in Ohio. The bottom line is, I am willing to accept America’s weirdness because I am just thankful not to be living in Spain. Rubber bullets are currently flying as riots protesting the new austerity measures ensue. My former neighbor is now head of the Communidad de Madrid. (Since he could not be bothered to encourage his fellow citizens to clean up the dog poop on the sidewalks in one of Madrid’s most upscale neighborhoods, I am not sure he will be an effective leader for the community.) The money has run out in Spain and it is a matter of weeks before the Spaniards are going to be forced to go the way of the Greeks.
All things considered, I am happy to be home even if home doesn’t feel like home yet.