Brits in the USA

(39 Posts)
anonymosity Thu 21-Mar-13 23:09:30

Do you sometimes feel neither here, nor there? I find that I am often asked if I'm "visiting" as in a tourist, even though I have lived in this town for nearly 3 yrs now (ok its a big place for tourism, but still).

And I don't really get the other mums at school and I wonder if in some small way its that they think of me as itinerant and therefore not really worth getting to know properly.

But that aside, I am extremely happy here and think of it as home. I don't really miss the UK, just occasionally my friends and relatives - who I try to stay in touch with via email and skype as much as possible.

Anyway I just wondered if others felt a bit like this - like they've left one place but not been fully absorbed into another yet, if ever?

stopgap Tue 26-Mar-13 22:21:12

I feel completely at home here. I've lived in NYC for ten years, have lots of American friends, and have grown to love the general upbeat cheeriness of the native folk. Occasionally I have to bite my tongue, as I'm a straight-talking northerner and instinctively lead with two hefty feet.

By contrast, I always felt a bit like the odd one out in England. I'm into healthy eating and working out, and would much rather run in Central Park than go down the pub for a swift one.

OT but my mum's a redhead and I'm gutted neither of my DC are!

I dunno, I've found the REALLY LOUD AND OVERZEALOUS adverts quite irritating and the politics so confusing but that's my ignorance. A lot of people I suppose I have found weirdly standoffish or their parenting styles just so different (as in they refuse to discipline their ratbags) and I've got into trouble for not toeing the line when it comes to bitching about Mexican nannies and not praising DHs apparently infallible company enough.

But I've made a handful of very close friends very quickly, which has helped me to settle

My mum and dad and me were/are redheads and neither of mine are sad Maybe we'll have red head gcs

kickassangel Wed 27-Mar-13 00:18:23

I found it really hard until I got a job. We moved when dd was in Kindergarten, and I found that a lot if the mums had made their friends before then. Also, we live in a small town and we were definitely the ethnic minori, worthy of much comment. No meter how well intentioned, it makes someone uncomfortable if you always notice their accent, rather than talking to them about everyday things. I teach in a fairly mixed school in a nearby city and feel far more at home there, and so does dd.

Small town America can be very harming, but it is quite small town.

mathanxiety Wed 27-Mar-13 00:23:05

I don't know where my redheads came from. Wasn't the mailman I promise.

No matter how well intentioned, it makes someone uncomfortable if you always notice their accent, rather than talking to them about everyday things.

Amen to that. It gets very wearing to have people constantly less interested in what you say than the way you say it.

anonymosity Wed 27-Mar-13 00:50:58

Yes, agreed.
when we lived in the US when I was a teen I used a US accent. My DD does the same, its like she's bi-lingual (in accents).

kickassangel Wed 27-Mar-13 03:08:33

Yes, dd is noticeably more American at school. Luckily one if her friends is Swedish and very quick to be proud about it, this has gelped her be more OK about being British

Bue Wed 27-Mar-13 17:55:39

No meter how well intentioned, it makes someone uncomfortable if you always notice their accent, rather than talking to them about everyday things.

This, a thousand times over! I'm actually Canadian in the UK (just finding the insights in this thread interesting!) but since we moved from London to a much smaller, less diverse town three years ago, I get asked nearly every week by someone where I am from. God, it is BORING. As a result I almost never ask anyone where they come from in casual conversation. People probably think I am really rude and uninterested grin

anonymosity Thu 28-Mar-13 00:16:45

They are probably grateful you don't ask. I don't like being asked that, no matter where I am. I think its an odd and not very interesting question, "where are you from?" as if you hark from only one place, or one country only. How do you answer that you've lived in many countries during your lifetime, without sounding like a bit of a wanker, I wonder?
I feel very influenced by growing upon the US east coast but also from living in different places in Germany as well as the UK. I have ancestors from Ireland which I've visited only a few times, but have a huge connection to....etc etc. Maybe I should just say all that!

mathanxiety Thu 28-Mar-13 00:59:29

I answered with 'I'm originally from Ireland' as I thought that tended to leave the door open to questions about other places I might have been.

I don't care if I sound like a wanker -- as long as nobody asks if I'm Australian and follows my disclaimer with 'Are you sure?' [this happened twice] we'll get along fine.

Ok actually now we're talking about it, I've realized I do get this a lot. In fact now avidly avoid a friend of a friend as she just repeats back everything I say in a terrible British accent, it's annoying and actually quite intimidating (almost feels like she's teasing and undermining me?)

I also get so pissed off by the constant guesses that I'm Australian, ALWAYS followed by "are you sure? I'm normally really accurate with accents"....oh no wait, yes you're right, I'm not from the UK at all, I'm from a country literally on the other side o the world hmm

TheCatInTheHairnet Thu 28-Mar-13 02:00:12

I think it depends where you live. I don't get any comments other than people saying they like my accent. In our current town, all of our friends are American whereas in our last town, we had a high rate of expat friends. I didn't move all this way to hang out with Brits moaning about what's wrong the US.

I do think it takes more effort to make US friends but it's worth it.

MercedesKing Thu 28-Mar-13 02:03:08

Definitely yes, I have had! When I am an international student even it is not that far from my hometown, I have the feeling that you "left one place but not been fully absorbed into another yet", it might be not that happy in a not that familiar place without any familiar clues in life... perhaps that might because that your root are not here... anyway, we can conquer it by reducing the sense of strangeness.

When my kids have left home (assuming we are still here) I am going to loose my accent overnight. I only keep it so they can hear it.

Oh yeah, many people are convinced I'm Australian too.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now