Although I’ve been ridiculously lucky with the many opportunities I’ve had to travel around the world, I had yet to have the opportunity to assimilate to another culture, unless you count my move from DC to Denver (which I think is legitimate, but many would disagree), until I moved to the UK last year. Considering that I’m studying culture, nation and identity politics, I try to be especially open-minded about the things I experience that remind me that I’m definitely not in the States anymore. Sometimes, though, that’s really difficult. Below are the top five things that trip me up every time.
I’m not sure what it says about me that most of these things are fashion-related. Hm.
1- “Cheers” as a form of thank you, goodbye AND well…cheers, as in “let’s
clash our glasses together and hope they don’t crack before we down this
beer.” This one little word often makes me extremely confused and reminds me of when I was in Hawaii and could never tell if someone was coming or leaving when they said, “Aloha.” Very “disorientating”.
2- English flags galore This is the kind of statement that makes people
roll their eyes at me and (rightly) think I’m an idiot, but I’m seriously still thrown off when I see English flags
flying from everything. It takes me a second to realize why I’m seeing them everywhere. I don’t know what I’m expecting to see, but its still jarring and I find that I often have to
remind myself that I’m in England. Strange, and possibly a sign of early
3- Jean Shorts (aka jorts) Unless you’re a complete hipster and own the Schwinn hybrid to prove it, or you are on your way to a Springsteen, Keith or Kid Rock concert, I was taught that it is simply inappropriate to wear jorts. Apparently, that rule does not exist here.
4- Cath Kidston This crap is everywhere. For those of you who are
blissfully ignorant of this horrid “fashion” phenomenon, Cath Kidston is
a fashion designer with her own chain of shops that sell hideous
floral home ware, bags and sweaters that look like they belong in
nursing homes, cat lady’s offices and/or little girls’ rooms decorated by overzealous
mothers. Strangely, grown women who seem rather socially adroit LOVE
this designer and insist on wearing clothing and decorating their homes and accessories
with this ugly stuff. It blows my mind.
5- Nude-colored tights I always thought that wearing nude tights under the age of 65 was totally
socially unacceptable. Apparently, I was wrong, and I really wish the kids I went to prom with got that memo, because it would have saved me lots of teasing and heart ache! ANYWAY. I’ll go one step further and say its actually fashionable to
wear nude tights- with anything! Seriously. Gone are the days when these babies were reserved for old age and extra-cold days around the office, you can now wear them with any item of clothing, including jorts (see number three) or,
if you seem to be missing socks, underneath jeans in lieu of socks! This is probably the item that I get hung up on the most. Probably kind of sad, and illustrates what shallow and pathetic person I can be. Oh well.
|No nude colored tights for us on our night out at Cuckoo|
|Miriam’s 24th at Boujis|