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I had an experience last night that I just can't get out of my head.  I wanted to let it go; I wanted to sweep it under the rug and not let it bother me, but it has and this is my forum for dealing with such things...
I took Wayne out to dinner last night (I like to do that from time to time.  It makes me feel valid).  We went to the Italian place here on the harbour.  It's good food and really reasonable, plus we can walk there and not have to pay for a taxi if we feel like drinking. 
The place is new and I think they're still trying to find their way with the business.  It's pretty chaotic with the service - 3 different people come up to take your order in the first 2 minutes before you've had a chance to look at the menu and then no-body comes back for 20 minutes.
The manager (maybe owner) is a young guy who seems to wear many hats.  He runs around like a crazy man while the others kind of wander around not doing much of anything. He ended up being our server.  He was sociable & quick witted and we joked & talked with him every time he came to the table.  He recommended dinners and drinks and always made sure he asked if we liked his choices.  When I didn't finish my meal, he seemed disappointed and when I told him I was on a diet and found it hard to finish a meal lately, he joked with me and said 'Why are you on a diet -  Because the magazines tell you you should be?  You don't need a diet'  This not only validated yesterday's entry, but it also inflated my ego and I instantly liked him. :-)
At one point during our banter, he responded to something I said with, 'Not in this country, Love'  I'm not sure of what he was responding to, but it was funny,  appropriate and I didn't take offence to it.  I said to Wayne that I wish it was always like that when the 'American' thing came up.  Wayne said that I'd soon get fed up with it if it happened every day like it does with Dan (Dan makes an American joke almost every time I see him and it really bothers me.  I've been here nearly three years - do we still have to poke fun?).
At the end of the meal, I waited for him to come over to say good-bye and handed the tip to him - not wanting of of the other staff to get it considering he did all the work.  I told him just that and he said my tip was too much and that he'd be right back with change.  When he came back, I jokingly said to him (in response to his earlier joke) that in my country we tip 20%.  He then said to me in his best Texan accent - 'In my country we go around bombing everyone else's... He said more, but in the shock of it, I honestly didn't hear much more.  It wasn't light hearted banter any more.  He meant it and he wasn't joking.  I took the money from him and he walked away.  Wayne asked what he said (it's a loud place) and when I told him, even he seemed surprised and said, 'like he should talk - we're not any better...' We soon left.  I asked Wayne, 'He didn't mean it as a joke did he?' Wayne agreed he probably didn't and if he did, it was crossing a line. 
The thing is, I was really enjoying the evening.  It felt social and fun and then he had to remind me that no matter how I try, I just don't fit in.  I'm always different and I fear I'm always going to be looked down on because I'm American. 
I wanted to let it go and pretend it didn't bother me.  last night, I swept it under the rug and we went to the pub without it coming up again, but all morning it's been bothering me. 
I keep telling myself that giving up everything we have and two thriving businesses to move back to the US is completely insane and horribly irresponsible of us.  We're doing well for ourselves here and we're giving it up to start from scratch again (all while considering starting a family in a few months time) - nuts right?  But what's the alternative?  Can I ever be happy here?  I don't think I can pretend that I don't need more. 
What happened last night sucked.  I feel deflated.  Once again, I feel rejected and most of all I feel fed up and defeated.  God, I feel like a whiner...


Two Crabs said…
Wow. that sucks. That guy definitely stepped over the line. I don't understand why certain Brits seem to think it's ok to bring up US politics into every mundane conversation.
Maybe I missed it from your blog, but why are you moving back?
chicago_seeker said…
I guess I wonder why you take it oersonally everytime someone in the UK criticizes the US government. I live in the US and it is true. We happen to have a "bomb happy" president right now.He is gearing up to bomb another country, Iran.
But when people make these comments, and we make them too in the US, they are not criticizing you in particular. I would just agree with them, and say that yes Bush stinks, but we will have a new administration soon. I wouldn't let it get under my skin and take it personally.

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