Tuesday, May 26, 2009

This American Life

It's taken two months, but the feeling of having moved onto Wisteria Lane on the outskirts of Springfield is beginning to fade. It may not be fair, but I've found it difficult to shed these caricatures of American culture.  They're just so true — and not.  The other night Emma and Mouse went chasing after the ice cream truck, money in hand.  The Captain and I smiled wistfully after them. It was a memory we could never have given them in Switzerland, one that bridged a gap between our childhood and theirs.  Minutes later the pair returned with popsicles as long as my forearm and, whamo, I was back in Springfield. Jeez Louise!  Must everything be super-sized?

I can't say I feel settled yet, but I'm not pining for Switzerland either.  It's strange, this emotional no-man's-land.  Next Tuesday school will be over and the girls and I will be free to explore.  I'm sure that will help. 


  1. Great post, Melissa. It captures the whole notion of "cultural pull" simply and eloquently. But I am hardly surprised that you are not pining for Switzerland. That is because you are where you are supposed to be . . . with your family. With them, I am sure that you will feel "at home" wherever the wind blows you.



  2. Hi!
    I just wanted to say that a friend turned me on to your blog for the main reason that we too were expats with small children. We have been back in the US for 7 months, and I often think back on the "simpler" times. When we lived abroad I could only wish for a Target, or Super sized grocery store. Now that I have it back it isn't all that I remember! Good luck with your transistion!

  3. Welcome Anonymous! Thanks for reading and for your kind words. I feel bad to complain considering how very fortunate we are in the grand scheme of things. I'm glad you can identify.

  4. Oh, and thanks John! If you ever need an industrial-size bag of Twizzlers, look no further.

  5. I always feel I am in an unreal world when I am in the States and am distinctly uncomfortable while enjoying Dunkin Donuts blueberry muffins, rasin cinanmon bagel, Stouffers welsh rarebit, friends, family. I guess because so much is corporate rather than human driven. However running after the ice cream man brought back great memories.