Gains and Losses - Pt. 2

So as I celebrate the first anniversary of becoming an American this week, here is a sometimes irreverent look at the things I have gained by moving to the USA and Okieland in particular.

The Gains:

Cowboy hats and boots are now just a part of my wardrobe. I can go out in a Cowboy hat here and nobody will assume I am a) at a hen-night (bachelorette party), b) gay or c) attending a fancy dress party. And I love Cowboy boots, not only are some gorgeous but they're also comfortable and practical.

I have the right to shoot someone if they enter my home illegally and uninvited. I can even say to them "C'mon make my day" in my best Clint voice as I shoot them and not get into trouble, because it's known as the 'make my day' law - bizarre but oddly comforting. Now if I just knew how to shoot the gun.....

I can go off and leave my home unlocked and more than likely it will remain unharmed even a week later, probably in part due to the above! Despite this being truly smalltown USA I won't ever try this.

I could park my car, leave it running with the keys in the ignition and pop into a store and nobody would touch it. But again old habits die hard, so I lock it everytime and continue to be amazed at the madness of the locals who do this.

It's nice to have complete strangers greet me and smile as I go about my day. There's none of this standing 2 feet away from someone and pretending they're not there, as seen on the London Underground for example. I have no doubt at all that if I needed help here, someone would always offer it quickly.

Complete strangers call me "M'am" regularly, in fact daily. I think the only person a Brit would address as "M'am" is the Queen.

Country music is a whole new appreciation for me. Before I moved you really only heard the classic country artists occasionally on Brit radio, like Dolly and Kenny. But I have noticed now when I listen online that many of the newer acts like Sugarland, Keith Urban and Lady Antebellum are heard over there. I now really enjoy country music mainly thanks to Brad Paisley.

I could go out locally any night and enjoy a plate of Calf Fries otherwise known as Bulls testacles, however I think hell will freeze over first.

As opposed to England where you have to ask for ice in a drink, over here I have to ask for "easy easy ice" just to ensure I have any actual drink in my cup. And let's not even go there on how many times I've been a victim of the dreaded 'ice slide' and ended up with it all in my lap.

I am often in contact with 'real' men in big cowboy hats, tall boots, driving huge trucks, calling me "M'am", who know how to shoot a gun, and it's ACTUALLY my life not just a Mills & Boon Western romance.

The Hubster can pretty much fix anything or do anything around the home and vehicles himself, there's no need to have a plumber, electrician, mechanic etc come in and do it for us. Men here are impressively self sufficient.

Body weight - sadly what I have lost I have gained again, in part due to the excellent Mexican cuisine in our area. If only one meal a day was compulsory Calf Fries, all my weight issues would be a thing of the past.

New Mexico as a bordering state - the 'Land of Enchantment' has me completely won over. In fact I am already planning our retirement to Taos, just don't tell the Hubster.

I can say outrageous things and get away with it, because a British accent just makes everything sound better - apparently.

I can drive on the wrong side of the road and people just think it's funny.

Blue skies for probably about 90% of the year.

ABSOLUTELY NO TRAFFIC, or at least nothing that anyone who has ever driven on the M25 in rush-hour would consider traffic.

Four cats, I may have left one behind but over here I seem to keep acquiring more.

Access to mainly clean toilets everywhere. I love that just about any store, or garage (gas station), or institution I enter will have a public loo and it's usually alot cleaner than those back home.

A happy content life with the man of my dreams.


Daryl said...

those wins sure outnumber/negate the losses .. especially being with the man you love!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

We are really gun happy here in Oklahoma. So far, of my acquaintances, I've known several who have been shot by accident by other family members and not one incident of using one to fend off a robbery.

Iota said...

Great list.

I would add: being around people with a can-do optimism about life, who, when asked how they are, reply "good!" rather than "not so bad" or "mustn't grumble". It's cheering.

Brit Gal Sarah said...

You are so right Iota!

Expat mum said...

You have such a great attitude Sarah! Lovely post!

Anonymous said...

How wonderful, Sarah! Love this list.

Odie Langley said...

A mighty fine post Sarah and it sure is good to have you in the blog family. I have a friend that lived in SC that moved to the UK some months ago that just found out her youngest son got killed in an automobile accident with her so far away. That has got to be tough. Have a great weekend.

Frugal Queen said...

so ? what do you miss? froogs xx I would miss the greenery, tea shops, chatting to strangers on the bus, every one calling me 'lovey' or 'love', pasties, clotted cream, I would not miss the political correctness.

Gaelyn said...

Happy one year American. Sounds like you couldn't do much better. Except for living without tornadoes maybe.

Star said...

I could take a double helping of those self-sufficient men in cowboy hats and boots!!! oh, wait a minute - I've got one of those already and he's a a Texan!
Congratulations on your first year Sarah! Shall I eat a bag of cheese and onion Walkers for you to celebrate? Can I see you drooling?
Only joking!

George said...

It sounds as if the gains at least equal the losses. Brad Paisley helped Betsy become a fan of country music as well. In fact, I even got her to go to a Brad Paisley concert. Congratulations on your first year as an American citizen.

Laura said...

Glad to hear you have settled... I'm still in the process... although I do have a certain pride, as to where I live... I think I'm finally thinking of it as home! Lx

Winifred said...

Congratulations, can't believe it's a year

That was so funny Sarah. Especially the cowboy hat bit. Have to say though if you had lived in the North East of England complete strangers would talk to you particularly at bust stops and on buses! Funnily enough it doesn't seem to be the same on the Metro. Weird but maybe it's me! I've always talked to strangers!

Pam said...

My first boss here at the cap is the one who passed the make my day law. An englisj newspaper came over onceto interview him about it. Congrats on one year.

BJ in Berlin said...

Ahh....I have missed my regular "fix" of the Brit Gal in my hometown area! Glad you're back and loved the walk down "memory lane" for me!