Thursday, April 10, 2008

All I want to be is British - is that so much to ask?

Anyone who knows me, and some people do know me, knows I really want to be British. Nay, that I, in fact, SHOULD'VE been British but by some fluke or accidental "heaven to earth" tube slide mix up - I ended up in the sticks of Utah (I've always had the image in my head of little babies sliding down "heavenly" tubes to earth - I don't know why). Sigh. It's okay - there are probably a lot of ethereal tubes leading from heaven to every imaginable place in the world, and I'm sure a little mix up happens once in awhile. My mom used to tell my Aunt Chris (her younger sister) she was adopted from an Indian Tribe - and rightly so because she is pretty dark complected, with high cheek bones, likes beer (oh I'm kidding! Stop!), and is a tom-boy (tom woman?) through and through. So maybe they stuck her in the wrong heaven tube as well. Whatever happened, somewhere deep in my heart, I feel that Britishness would suit me just fine!

Why British? You might ask...

  • The British are dryly hilarious. I love British humor and ever since I can recall, my particular form of humor (although dashed with some American sarcasm and slap-stick guffaws) is really very British. Witty, but not obtrusively so. Clever most certainly! It's a smart humor that most Americans can't fully appreciate. And of course - we must make our humor "bigger and better" which is what we do with everything - but really - is bigger (louder, annoying, pushy) better? No Texas. It isn't!
  • The British Don't Touch Each Other. I've never been a touchy or particularly affectionate individual. In High School - when girls all hugged each other and held hands (was that just my High School? Hmmm), I wanted nothing to do with it. I didn't really want anything to do with hugging all over the boys either. As far as true affections go - I'm quite reserved and distant. It's not a "defensive mechanism" or anything of the sort - it's just how I am. And it's just how the British are too. They only show affection dogs and horses. I will add spouses and children in there for my personal preferences - but really, the bubble is Britishly fortified.
  • The British are Proper and Polite. I also feel I'm quite proper when the situation calls for such propriety, as well as rather polite. Sure sure I have my little vices here and there - I think poop is funny - but all in all, I like the proper way of things such as "loading the dishwasher properly" or "politely clapping after a horribly ridiculously performance or play."
What I like About Britishness
  • Spelling. Favourites. Shoppe. Colours. Yes yes. I think it adds a little something - er - other than the obvious
  • Street Names. None of this Jefferson Avenue or Bart Blvd nonsense. Or even worse, 13th East and 4th South. No no. The have names like "Little Winging" or "NewCastle Up-On-Tyne" or Kensington and High Street or Notting Hill. I also enjoy the "Shires" (said long I people. It's not Lord of the Rings) - Lancashire, Devonshire...things of this nature.
  • They Name Their Houses. It's part of the address! This is perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of Britishness; their sweet little modest homes with over growing gardens and fences to keep out the rabbits. I could live in "Rose Cottage" or "Meadow Glen" or "Hamstead Heath." How is this not completely perfect?
  • Sweet Shoppes. I think that's enough said.
  • Overall Lexicon: Barbel and Squeak, Sausage and Mash, they just have these labels and names for everything. They abbreviate things like "demi-capu" (half cappacino) and have words like knickers and trousers. I also like saying Vitamins and Aluminium with a British accent...which brings me too
  • The British Accent. Honestly, they could say "there's a hole in my sock" and it would sound smart. It's an entirely amiable way of speaking - easy on the ears, very proper, and only adds to the overall pleasing being of the British. Who doesn't love a British accent? Really. WHO!
  • The History. Honestly, American History is okay - but there's only so much of it. Now, British History - that's something! They've got Roman Baths, they've got Royal Heritage (God Save the Queen), they've been around the political block a number of times. I mean, the House of Lords and the House of Commons sounds much better than "The House of Representatives" and "Congress." It's more...picturesque. They've got cemeteries with gravestones dating back CENTURIES! And I'm not talking 300 years - I'm talking 15th Century England! They've got Westminster and the Tower of London! They've got London Bridge AND the Globe Theater! They've got Big Ben and Parliament! What haven't they got??? I wish I could say McDonalds and Starbucks but dammit - they DO have those. Sigh. That's a post for another time. Stupid American Big Business.
  • The Country. Oh yes. The rolling green hills and luscious woods of the English Countryside. Absolutely ideal
  • Oxford, Cambridge, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Bath, the Cliff's of Dover, Brighton, LONDON, Canterbury, Manchester, Wales!
  • Pasties! Mmmm, pasties. No you sicky's - not in the "barely covering nipple" kind either. Psh. Pull youselves together.
  • Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Jane Austin, CS Lewis, JRR Tolkein, Charles Dickens, Virginia Wolff, Sylvia Plath, Bronte's, William Shakespeare, Milton, JK Rowling...I better just stop that list. BUt you get the idea.
  • Tea and Crumpets - not that I drink much tea - but I'd like to have the option of "tea breaks."
  • Simon Cowell
  • Coat's of Arms
  • 2 Hour Chunnel Ride to France
  • REAL Chocolate - none of this Hershey's nonsense
  • Nannys - Helloooo Mary Poppins
  • Boarding Schools - and an overall better educational track for their youth in my opinion.
Sigh...really. You can see what I mean don't you? There are so many reason why 1 - I should rightly be British and 2. Why anyone in their right mind can see WHY I have this desire. I went to London for 6 weeks on a Study Abroad through the University of Utah. 6 weeks was not enough - it was a mockery - but I did solidify my desire to join the ranks of Britishdom for a season, or two. When I go back, I'm going back to stay. It's my long term goal to get my PH.d in Britain (considering my desire to study the rise of feminist Literature in 17th-20th Century Britain), and so help me I will do it! God Save the Queen!


Toque said...

You should write an essay for What England Means to Me - what you've written there is mostly English, though not uniquely, rather than British.

Crowther said...

So you proper? may I remind you of a little thing called a "pretzel trick". Ring any bells?

Andrea said...

How is pretzel trick not proper? I'd like to know. :)

Jacob Jensen said...

I have never been to London, or anywhere in the UK for that matter, so I cannot offer an informed opinion. However, I think the seemingly incessant overcast weather would leave me feeling in the dumps. I choose blue skies and sunshine!

Laura said...

You don't have to wish you were British . . . you can just make yourself British . . . hello, Madonna? haha . . . :-)

Crazy Walker said...

Some of the greatest things are from the UK, for example: Gordon Ramsey, Top Gear, Charles Dickens, and the caste (I know I spelled that wrong....) system.

My husband's cousin is living in England right now with her hubby who is a schoolmaster and her 3 kids. The oldest child (now like 8 or something) is speaking with a Brit accent and I'm told he's quite charming.

Although, America does have its perks right? Where else can you find anything under the culinary rainbow battered and fried? Including twinkies & oreos!