6 Reasons Why I’m British at Heart


There has been a curious absence of blogging activity here lately & for that I apologize.  But the holidays are a busy time of year, as we all know, especially if one is a nurse & holiday breaks by necessity don’t actually exist.  However, my husband & I did manage to see all of our families in Virginia, so it was a successful & enjoyable Christmas for us.  british flag

Anyway, it has occurred to me lately that while in actual fact I’m an American (& a Southerner at that), I’m really quite British at heart.  Here are a few reasons why I’ve come to that conclusion.

  1. Many of my favorite authors are British, particularly Agatha Christie & PD James.  I’m not nearly sophisticated enough to honestly say that I spend my leisure time reading such scholarly pieces as those written by Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, or Shakespeare, though those works certainly have their merits, but I can say that British literature was always my favorite in school, though there are certainly some great American writers as well of course.  But there is just something about the way British people write, the phrases they use, the innate dry humor that is so pervasive in their culture, that I just love so dearly & of which I can never, ever get enough.

    russell brand with dog

    Russell Brand on the Jonathan Ross show

  2. If you know me in real life, hopefully you know that I really love to laugh, quite often at my own clumsiness & general silliness.  In any case, most of my favorite comedians are British, namely Ricky Gervais, Russell Brand, Jonathan Ross, & Graham Norton.  If you’re an American, you’ve possibly never heard of any of these genius men, aside of course from Russell Brand.  But I implore you to proceed immediately to that place of great amusement called YouTube & research these gentlemen.  Specifically you should check out the Graham Norton show featuring Marilyn Manson, the Jonathan Ross show featuring Russell Brand, & Ricky Gervais on obesity & religion.  Additionally if you’re not following Ricky Gervais on Instagram, you are seriously missing out on some insanely hilarious pictures.  His account is one of the main reasons I finally broke down & created an Instagram account for myself this past week.  Furthermore Russell Brand’s autobiographies are some of the funniest but also most inspiring & well written books known to man.  (Indeed, reading them completely changed my views on the man.)

    P1070759

    Here’s our adorable corgi obtaining great amusement out of a plastic water bottle.

  3. My favorite dogs in the world are welsh corgis.  Here’s a picture of ours, aptly named Chaucer (my husband actually chose that name after his favorite British author Geoffrey Chaucer).  I love all dogs, but with their stubby little legs, cheerful faces, fluffy butts, & never-ending playfulness, corgis are definitely the best.  It’s no wonder Queen Elizabeth owns so many of them.P1070747
  4. While I’ll confess it’s a new obsession for me, I’m extremely fond of hot tea.  Of course if I were truly British, I wouldn’t have to qualify it as “hot” tea, but being a Southerner I have to phrase it that way for fear of people assuming I mean iced tea which, shockingly, I have never liked.  Sometimes I even like my tea with milk in it.  And what could possibly be more British than that?

    tazo tea

    This stuff is what started my love affair with hot tea

  5. I’m very fond of certain words & phrases (though some of them I think more than I actually say) that are definitely British.  Here are a few of my favorites:
    1. Bloody
    2. Predilection (Americans use this too, but it’s not exactly a common word like it is in England.)
    3. Fancy (as in “I rather fancy a little honey in my tea” or “I’ve taken a fancy to that Indian buffet of late.”)
    4. Wanker
    5. Blimey
    6. Beastly
    7. Bollocks
    8. Gallivant
    9. Not my cup of tea
    10. Queer (NOT used to be mean gay/homosexual)

      british slang

      I don’t actually know/use all of these, but I love most of them & think we Americans should adopt them.

  6. And most importantly one of my dearest friends in the world is British . . . Which of course is the biggest reason why the UK is the number one place I want to visit as far as international travel goes.  I’m not exaggerating when I say that a part of my heart is across the Atlantic, which is why I’m so incredibly grateful for Facebook, WhatsApp, & Skype to help us stay in daily, sometimes hourly, contact.home elsewhere

In all seriousness though, I really do think I’d fit in quite well in England or the UK in general.  The idea of living somewhere with actual decent public transit sounds quite thrilling to me.  And of course London is easily recognized as one of the most culturally & ethnically diverse cities in the world, & it’s certainly quite loaded with Indian restaurants, which of course would make me feel right at home.  Additionally one of my great-great grandmothers hailed from Yorkshire, so at least part, if not most, of my ancestry is indeed British.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

My sister attended grad school in England; this is one of her pictures from her time there.

While I cannot say with great honesty that I am truly proud to be an American all the time, I am thankful to be an American because of the freedoms we have here . . . But there will always be a large part of me that feels British at heart.

BFMV

Oh, look! Another fabulous British thing: BFMV, a Welsh metal band who are seriously awesome.

In conclusion, the British are a people who created the phrase “How’s your father?” as a euphemism for sex.  That’s so absurd, it’s endearing!  I don’t know how one could read that & not become a bit of an Anglophile.

Cheers, everyone!  And happy 2016 to all ya lovely wankers reading my blog today.  I mean that in the most loving way possible, of course.  😉

Real Life Romance Is Better Than Fairy Tales


This past weekend I watched a British film called I Give It a Year which centered on a subject I’ve been pondering a lot lately: why some marriages/relationships last while others don’t.  A common theme I’ve come across in this regard is that real life ruins romance, that the nitty-gritty grind of daily life leaves even the most passionate relationships tasting stale after a couple of years.  The movie dealt with this very topic (quite good by the way, if you appreciate British humor).

Let me preface the rest of this post by saying that I’m no relationship genius . . . I don’t suppose anyone is really, but least of all someone under thirty.  But I have been with my husband for over a decade (married three years at the end of this month) & I can honestly say that our relationship has only gotten better over the years.

Sure, real life has changed our relationship over time, but we haven’t lost our passion because the foundation of our relationship (our friendship) has only grown stronger over time.  For example, yes, my husband doesn’t bring me flowers quite as often as he used to . . . But he doesn’t work at a florist anymore either!  And he still buys them for me on special occasions or even randomly when he knows I’ve had a bad day & just need a happy surprise to make me feel special.  (This happened recently when I woke up with a headache & broke the blender & he knew that I was upset by this turn of events.)  More importantly we both still take the time to do the simple little day-to-day things that show each other we really care & are invested in this relationship.

Living together does indeed open up a whole new can of worms so to speak.  For example, yes, my husband leaves empty toilet paper rolls in the bathroom all the time, & yes, there is a part of me that wants to scream “How hard is it to just change the roll?!”  But then I remember that I do little things that annoy him too . . . And he doesn’t scream at me about those things because we both have the presence of mind to realize that life is far too short to get angry over things that are of no real consequence.  So instead of getting angry, we just laugh, roll our eyes, & move on with life.  To us this is just the logical way to handle the everyday frustrations of life.

Some of my husband's gorgeous landscaping.  He's so talented!

Some of my husband’s gorgeous landscaping. He’s so talented!

This is not to say we don’t have arguments . . .  And, yes, they are usually in the car because we are both very strong-willed & proud & think we’re always right about everything  (I’m kidding . . . sort of), especially directions!  And, yes, there are definitely times when stress from work spills over into our relationship.  But when that happens we call each other out on it & we work to fix it quickly.  Furthermore, we’ve always had a “no holds barred” policy in which we can say anything & everything to each other.  Perhaps this means we say “mean things” to each other more often than we “should,” but it also means there is never an opportunity for resentment or bitterness to arise between us.  To put it simply, I don’t expect him to read my mind, nor does he expect that of me.  If something is bothering us, we don’t mince words; we just say it.  As my husband recently stated “If you can’t tell your partner to buzz off every once in a while, what kind of relationship is that?”  I heartily agree.  The important thing is that you get over it quickly & that the underlying anger/frustration isn’t allowed to fester & build into an explosion.

My husband & I definitely talk to each other like this sometimes.  It makes for a lot of laughs!  :)

My husband & I definitely talk to each other like this sometimes. It makes for a lot of laughs! 🙂

Certainly real life can make romance a bit more “work.”  Sometimes my husband & I go days without having any real time together, especially since I work night shift & thus we can literally go days without even seeing each other sometimes . . . But instead of resenting each other for this, we allow the time apart to help us appreciate our time together all the more.  And we make the best of the time we do have.  We prioritize spending quality time together, knowing that nothing in our lives is more important than our relationship with each other.  We take care of each other in various ways, not so much because either of us is incapable of doing things for ourselves but because we realize that life is better together, & thus we take care of each other out of mutual love & affection.  We do not view each other as filling certain “roles,” rather we view each other as intellectual equals in a romantic friendship (otherwise known as marriage), each of us having unique but complementing traits.  Because we have such a comfort zone together, yes, sometimes we do become the worst version of ourselves around each other . . . But we also see the best version of each other a lot of times too.  And the best times are definitely worth all of the worst times.

I guess what I’m trying to say is we never went into our relationship (& thus our marriage, which is really just an extension of the relationship we had prior to marriage) with any fairy tale ideas.  Marriage isn’t a fairy tale because LIFE isn’t a fairy tale.  It never has been; it never will be.  Real life is mundane, stressful, & sometimes even dull.  But it’s also full of beauty, joy, & meaning if we look for it in the right places.  As someone who grew up watching Disney fairy tales over & over & over, amazingly enough I’ve always had the foresight to understand that no relationship is ever perfect.  Everyone fights at times.  I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again: if I can’t fight (I prefer the term argue actually) passionately with someone, I probably can’t do anything else passionately with them either.

cinderella marriage

[As an aside, I also think a lot of people have an unrealistic idea of what romance actually is.  A lot of people seem to confuse attraction, lust, or passing interest with romance when true romance is so much more.  Furthermore, I’ll be so bold as to say that romance isn’t having the proverbial butterflies in your stomach.  Real romantic relationships are built around a solid friendship, & real happiness is found with that person who makes you feel comfortable & “at home” when everyone else makes you feel nervous, afraid, or worse yet bored.  To me this is just logical & makes perfect sense but apparently it’s a bit more complicated because a lot of the world obviously hasn’t figured it out.]

I hope I haven’t come across as self-righteous or as if I think I have the perfect marriage.  I’m just trying to make sense of what I see in the world & to share a message of hope that real life doesn’t have to ruin romance.  I know a lot of people say my generation is clueless when it comes to relationships & that we don’t know how to handle marriage, but I want to prove those people wrong.  (And I like to think I’m off to a pretty good start.)

true love chickens

From the things I’ve observed in life thus far, I’ve deduced that a lot of people go into relationships & then marriage with the idea that everything is going to be perfect.  When real life creeps up on them & they realize that reality isn’t matching up with the fairy tale they imagined, suddenly they think they’ve failed.  I don’t know who or what is to blame for this phenomenon . . . I’m sure movies & TV feed into this scenario somehow.  But even as a kid I knew that the things I saw on TV weren’t real.  As adults we need to grow up & realize that real life is the nitty-gritty day-to-day grind & there’s no reason why that should spoil our fun.  I’m not at all suggesting anyone settle for someone with whom they don’t share real passion in all aspects of a mature relationship.  What I am saying is that real passion doesn’t have to be worn down by every-day life.

This is why I’m a huge proponent of living together before marriage because it allows you the opportunity to experience day-to-day life together.  In so doing, you can figure out whether seeing each other at both your best & worst, with all of the bad habits & general grossness that encompass everyday life, ruins the romance or whether it only makes it grow stronger.  (On the other hand I do not encourage rushing into moving in with a new significant other.  I am only talking about serious, long-term, committed relationships.)  It’s been my experience that when you have the basic ingredients for a sound relationship, a solid friendship combined with physical/romantic attraction, the daily grind of life will not ruin the romance at all.  It will only grease the wheels.

irritating love cartoon

**As an afterthought, I should disclose that my husband & I do not have kids yet so I have no idea how that tremendous variable will affect our marriage someday.  I can only hope that if we approach our relationship in the same logical but loving way we have for years now that the romance will continue to blossom despite the challenges that I know children can bring into a relationship.

***Here’s a great article that I believe explains what the ultimate relationship should look like.  Notice I said ULTIMATE, not perfect.  I believe if you have the qualities listed here, the romance & passion will NOT die over time; they will only grow stronger.  http://jamesmsama.com/2014/07/09/10-qualities-of-the-ultimate-relationship/