28 2 / 2012
Being born in the good old USA and attending public school is different than being born in Wellington, NZ and attending an all boys private school. For these reasons (and many others that we won’t delve into here, but will continue to allow tax dollars to trickle down to sociologists so that they can mess with it), my husband and I have a very different idea of what constitutes embarrassing.
For example, my husband has no idea how to dress.
Well, that may be exaggerating.
My theory is that since he went to private school and was told what to wear and how to wear it for many, many years, he missed crucial years of fashion consciousness that is necessary to dress oneself later in life. For example, he sees nothing wrong with walking me to work wearing his plaid pajama bottoms and a Polo shirt, complete with house slippers. His reasoning is that its all comfy clothes so it therfor “matches” and then becomes acceptable to wear out on the street around other individuals.
Some days, I find myself literally running to the elevator and frantically pushing the close door button so that he won’t walk beside me.
Yeah. Its like that.
His theory about dressing up basically boils down to the same concept: If the clothing is all the same brand, it doesn’t have to be the same color, same type or go with the weather. “What,” you ask. “Why?” Because its all the same brand, duh!
I, on the other hand, have learned that I am embarrassing because I do crazy American things like ask for extra butter at the movie theater (because NZ movie theater popcorn tastes a lot like dry cardboard). By the way, “We can’t do that,” was the response that I got. You like literally can’t do it? Is it illegal? Will you be fired? I mean WTF?
I also ask for it My Way at restaurants. I mean, Burger King slams it into our heads in the US that we can always have it our way and that this is OK.
“Can I get a cheeseburger without onions and mayonnaise, please?”
“And can you bring some blue cheese or ranch dressing for my freedom fries?”
Yeah. They are FREEDOM FRIES and they LIKE it.
Kidding. They are called chips here. I order blue cheese with my chips. Well, okay, I TRY to order blue cheese with my chips.
Apparently, this is absolutely humiliating for my husband and simply unheard of in this culture. Asking for things that we pay for to be made the way we want and sending it back when it isn’t done correctly! How embarrassing I am!!!
Social inconsistencies (also known as faux pas if you are French or a French enthusiast), are embarrassing here. But walking into a restaurant or place of business in bare feet is totally fine.
Here is one kiwi that would defend his right to never wear shoes to the DEATH if needbe. HOW DARE YOU MAKE ME WEAR SHOES YOU EVIL AMERICAN!! I mean he makes it seem like shoes are a painful conspiracy made up by Americans to hurt his feet and cripple him into a quick death.
See what I am up against here?
Did I mention that my work place has table tennis set up in our conference room?
Just some more quarks that an American might not expect when she falls in love with a New Zealander and finds herself living and working in a foreign country.
Happy Leap Year, Yanks and Kiwis!