Thursday, October 4, 2007

inept, lost and bleary eyed


Yesterday my husband and I went to the auto supply store to get racks for his truck. Not ski racks, but racks for hauling big heavy work stuff. So we walk into the store, and as it goes here in America, I do the talking. That's not always a good thing. The first word that comes to my mind is "thingies". Thingies for on top of the truck for stuff. Seriously. Then I start to compute a bit, and come up with bars, then posts, then holders, and finally racks. The nice, cute, young, patient guy behinds the counter looks at me quizzically and then says, "Oh! Car racks!"
My husband and I go out to the car. I get in, put on my shades, and immediately start to cry. We've been married long enough for this not to totally freak out my husband, so he just puts his hand on my thigh and waits. I finally spurt, "I feel so behind! I feel so unprepared! I feel like such an idiot!" My blubbering goes on for a while longer, when he finally says, "Well, the racks were too expensive anyway...". He gives me a tentative grin.
But it's not the racks. The racks mean nothing. It's my feeling of being a fish out of water even in my own country. It's getting better, but days like yesterday just happen, and I roll over the edge. Feeling inept, lost and bleary eyed.

10 comments:

Greg said...

I experience that feeling whenever I return to the U.S....even if only away for a short time.

anno said...

I think returns are harder than departures. When you go away, you expect new things; when you return, you expect them to be the same. When they're not, or when you're reminded of things you've forgotten, it's like living through little earthquakes-- and just as unsettling.

Time to slow down. Didn't I tell you yesterday to enjoy a glass of Pinot? While the kids are at school, turn up the stereo. Loud.

anno said...

Seeing Turner or Bierstadt is almost as good as a glass of Pinot. It's been a treat to see what is "in your mind's eye" the past few days.

Jennifer said...

I am so sorry. I know exactly how you feel. It happens to me everytime we go back. And it happens to me all the time here. The curse of the expat. You're never in the know no matter where you go.

Rebecca said...

you most definitely need to paint, don't you? Wish I could help. :(

cathouse teri said...

You got on the moving stairs without tying your shoes, too? :)

You're so cute. I'm gonna start calling you Mary Tyler Moore. I was totally picturing her in that crying fit.

It is hard to have to be the strong one. What a switch from Italy. I'm sure you had your struggles there, but different.

I was just remembering the other day what it was like to have a man hold me when I felt my weakest and tell me everything is going to be okay. I haven't had that in many years. And I kinda like it.

Yes, you have a man to do that. But in your quirky situation, you still feel like the leader, in some sense.

You little oak.

Carol said...

If it helps...

My dad is a native German, having lived there for the first 25 years of his life. In 2004, at the age of 75, he went back (again) and, when he asked a storekeeper a question in German, he was asked (in English) whether he's from TEXAS.

It ruined his day.

Carol

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Jen said...

That was the perfect picture for your post. This is also the time when reverse culture shock would set in naturally. It will pass. Work on getting that studio space.

Jen said...

Ugh, I sounded harsh. I didn't mean to sound harsh in the least bit. Sometimes I hate the internet. What I really meant to say is that my heart goes out to you, that I *do* think it's reverse culture shock, which does tend to pass, but I know it is horrible to go through. And that I'm hoping you can paint soon. Hope that's better...

 

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