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Being Married to an Englishman
Picture this. He's from England where it's cold and wet, lush and green, and everything you want is within walking distance. Then he met me. I live in Texas, where everything is hot and dry, brown and browner and nothing is within walking distance.
For the almost five years we were together, every day a new word or phrase would pop up in conversation and we would spend at least half an hour going over why we call something what we do. It usually ended with him trying to remind me that he is English, therefore he must be correct. I jokingly reminded him that is one of the many reasons we left England to come to America.
I'm going to share with you a few of the things we've laughed about over the years. I hope you enjoy them.
Armadillos are funny looking creatures even to those of us who have been around them all of our life. But, to someone who hasn't seen them before they can seem like very big rats. Of course, it took months before he saw his first LIVE one. Most of them you see are dead in the middle of the road. What most people don't realize is that armadillos can actually jump incredible heights and that it's not actually the wheels of a passing vehicle that kill them. It's usually because they have jumped from fright and managed to hit other parts of the underside of a moving vehicle. Poor ‘dillos.
Spiders are something the English do not see much of either. I have to admit, I didn't know we had so many varieties until I had to start paying attention to them more. I can tell you that he's not a big fan of our wolf spider. The one pictured here is pretty much life-sized to the one he first saw. We sprayed him with insect spray and he shriveled up into a tight ball.
I have written a separate hub about the Brown Recluse Spider that is often seen in Texas. Click here to read it.
He had never seen a skunk in the UK, but you can find reports of them now being spotted in the UK. The first time he smelled one he instantly knew what it must be. A particularly strong one almost made him vomit. He's pretty certain he'd die if he should ever get actually sprayed by one. Like the armadillo, these are usually spotted dead in the middle of the roadway.
One observation he made was that they smell similar to strawberries. Before you disagree, think of strawberries the next time you smell a skunk and see if you don't see the similarity.
Words We Pronouce Differently
There are so many words we pronounce differently, such aluminum, vitamins, and herbs. Of course, as a Texan, I have a twang to certain words that make him laugh. Such as "vehicle", "fourteen", and "dang it". His accent makes any word with a short "a" sound different such as "plant". My "plant" is like "ant", where his plant is like ‘plont'.
I now know words and phrases I've never known, or needed to know, such as "bloody hell", "the dog's bollocks", "sussed out" and "skive". He now knows words like "fixin' to", "y'all" and "get 'er done".
Talking about music and bands is interesting even though we grew up in the same timeframe. Bands that were huge in the UK were often virtually unheard of here. At the same time, bands that were huge here he hadn't even heard of. We made it a point one night to look up some songs to see how they ranked in the charts in the U.S. and England and the difference was amazing. Try some of your favorites and you'll see what I mean.
Guessing Where He's From Game
If anyone tries to guess where his accent is from, 75% of them guess that he's Australian. When they ask where in Australia is he from he replies, "A little island off the coast, called England". One lady guessed Germany?!
He'd never been to a drive-in movie. There are still a few around. We went to the one in Gatesville, Texas. We saw The SImpsons Movie.
Cotton Fields, Long Horn Cattle, Roadrunners, and a Chicken Snake
He'd never seen a field of cotton, long-horn cattle, a roadrunner, or a chicken snake. He has now!
This lovely specimen of a snake decided to pay us a visit on Father's Day 2007. He had discovered some baby birds in the eaves of our porch that he thought would make a good snack. He did manage to get 2 of the 4 of them before we killed him.
Blinking Traffic Lights
He's adjusted to driving on the right side of the road much better than I would ever adjust to driving on the left side. The only things that threw him off when he first arrived here where flashing red lights and flashing yellow lights. They don't have those. We also don't light up intersections and curves in the roadways as well as they do.