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MY SO-CALLED LIFE
Boo hoo hoo, no tapas tonight. :( No delicately crunchy, perfectly cooked and straightened* shrimp scampi with pesto creme. No tender marinated sweetly fragrant artichoke hearts lovingly wrapped with prosciutto. No ooey gooey rich and creamy potato and cream souffle smothered in melted gouda cheese with mouthwatering chunks of bacon. *drool* sigh But it's just as well, since I can't really afford to go out to dinner AND pay a babysitter when I'm supposed to be trying to save money to go to the States this summer.

I'm starting to have a hard time with saying "going home" when I mean "going to the States" and it seems to bother Anders as well when I say it, so I'm consciously trying to stop. THIS is home. Sweden is home. It's not as if when we go to the States, we go to a place where we've even lived, since we go to my mom's house in Michigan (where I've never lived) and rarely even make it to Chicago, and it's been seven years and you'd think I'd be over this already. Is home where my mom is? Is home where I was born? Where I came from before I moved here? Or is it where my husband and house and children and life are? The latter, is my answer...but when referring to any vacation in the U.S. of A., my brain automatically translates it as "going home for the summer/Christmas/random holiday."

You'd think I would have figured this out by now, after a lifetime of moving around, but it's still just as confusing and weird to deal with it as it was when I was a teenager. Military brats always have a hard time answering the question, "So, where are you from?" I still mix up the definition of my family, even, as sometimes it means Anders/Martin/Karin and sometimes it means my FIRST family: Mom/Dad/Sarah/John. Is there ever a time when you finally make that mental switch?

This morning, Martin and I mixed it up properly. I had to get up a bit early and get the kids up and feed them breakfast, which all went off without a hitch, but then I got their clothes out and set them in the living room and told them they could watch TV while they got dressed, as long as they were done by the time I got out of the shower. 10 minutes later, Martin had only made it as far as his underwear, because he apparently didn't inherit the multi-tasking gene from me, or else he was caught in the slo-mo undertow, and anyway, he pitched a fit and fell in it when I turned off the TV because OBVIOUSLY he couldn't finish getting dressed on time if it was on. I was dumma mamma** several times, and he even threw something and hit out, until I threatened to remove TV privileges for tonight too, and then the dumma mammas were all internalized and the only outward sign was the laser eyes of 6-year-old deprivation and anger leveled at me over the toothbrush. The only reason that this is at all post-worthy is because the child in question was Martin.

courtesy Posts a Hilarious (but sadly, not real) Reply From the Smithsonian Regarding a Submission: Australopithecus spiff-arino

And You the Judges, Bear a Wary Eye: Alternative Ending for Hamlet Recently Discovered (thanks for the laugh, pegkerr!)

Good Writing Out There Right Now:*How do they DO that?!!
**Stupid Mama
 working
mood: working
music: Corr's—What Can I Do?


Comments

You can come join Beverly, Helena, Kitty and I having pizza in Stockholm. If you leave now, I think you'll make it in time (it will be a good test run for next Saturday).

I have a similar hangup about saying "home" for Australia and sometimes L-G looks a bit hurt when I say it. I'm also not really sure why I do it either. I've been away over 3 years now and Nynäshamn is very much my home. I've heard others say it as well.

I loved that Smithsonian Urban Legend. It's not true of course, but makes a great read. It appeals to my twisted imagination.

I always thought Hamlet could be improved by the addition of some Scooby Snacks :)

Oh! I SO wish I could zoom up there for pizza! Have a great time. And Scooby Snacks improve everything, in my opinion. :D

I haven't a clue where this Pizza Hut is but I will be there. *laugh*

Kitty-Sue, I sent you an email - it's 6.30pm at the one at Högtorget.

i have the same problem with "home" when referring to going to Canada for a vacation. I have only been here for a year, though, so it really is still "home". I don't have a specific house that I am thinking about, since i'm an army brat and have moved all around my whole life. My parents have moved to my mom's hometown, so I guess it would be there or my summer cottage. Argh, it's so confusing!!! :)

hehe

This home thing is a hard one. It really hurts Ibo's feelings when I call Canada home and when I say "my family" meaning those in Canada. I am conciously trying not to say it anymore but it is hard because they are my family and that is my home, even though I have a new home and family here in Sweden and they are just as important. One thing I have had to stop saying is "I could go home and get a good job right now, without having to go to school for two years", when I get frustrated with this whole swedish language thing. I had to stop because LL started patting me on the back and saying "we can go home soon mamma" every time I cried about anything. I realized it really is giving him mixed messages by referring to two places as home. :(

I laughed at the Martin story because we just had the same scenario here. I told LL to get dressed and then I went looking for his bike helmet. I looked in the upstairs storage room and then went to the cellar one, found the helmet, came back and made him lunch and when it was ready, he was sitting entranced in front of the tv in his underwear. So I said "tv off" and tears and yelling followed the directive. I have to give him credit though, he did turn off the tv and get dressed, then asked if it could go back on. So I escaped the "dumma mamma" title today (but only because I found his bike helmet so he likes me a lot at the moment *laugh*). I did a double take to make sure I read it right, I bet it felt like you were in the Twilight Zone when it was Martin instead of Karin. *grin*

cue Twilight Zone theme song: do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do! :D I wonder what kids these days (ha!) refer to since they probably don't even know what the Twilight Zone refers to!?

Mmmmm, tapas. *whimper* Well, I guess we'll just have to convince Jessica that she wants to try tapas when she's here.

Man, if I'd said something like that to my mother, I'd have had my mouth slapped off my face. How do parents deal with these things today?

immediate action: threats. removal of privileges. firm talking-to. time-outs (which I didn't have time for since we were going to be late for school/dagis/work). :( It's not a fun situation. At least it's still dumma mamma and not jävla bitch which I have heard at least one friend get called by her teenage child.

Kid calls me jävla bitch is one kid that is going to be leaving this world. As mothers have said before, "I brought you into this world, I can take you out." Not that I have any kids to do that, of course.

For me, this is home, but I think that comes with having no children and no parents back in the States. Once I had an argument with Anders, where he said "Why don't you go home?" and I said, "I am home, but feel free to pack your bags and leave" (so we don't argue nice sometimes), but I truly meant it.

Good God, he actually SAID that to you!? *boggle* I'd KILL my Anders if he dared to say such a thing.

We don't fight often, but when we do, we're evenly matched on the smart-ass meanness stuff. You'd think we'd have grown up and matured by now, but nooooooooooo. To top that off, I also told him that if we divorced, I was staying in the apartment, to which he said, "The lease is in MY name", to which I replied, "Yeah, but I'm an older immigrant female, the papers will LOVE that." See what I mean by immature and nasty at times? (This ended shortly thereafter with a VERY nice reconciliation).

I believe I also brought up "Taliban" while I was calling names as well, and threatened to write to Gundrun Schyman.

My home thing is tricky too. There's Idaho, where going home to visit Grandma is the house I grew up in and lived in for nigh on 20 years. My "first family" is almost entirely based there, and I'm much closer to my family than Lennart is to his. I think _he's_ closer to my family than he is to his (except for his mother)! There's Sweden, which is my home with Lennart. And there's Boston, where we have an apartment where we're both home when we're there too. It's very strange. But luckily Lennart doesn't get upset by my referring to Idaho as home. I think it comes from the fact that he's lived outside of Sweden, and knows the feeling.

Tapas sounds great to me. :)

Oh good! that only means I have to live with the drooling for 2 weeks :)

My best friend made a comment like that the other day - she is 10 years married, and probably 18 years living on her own, her Dad died a few years ago and her mom moved...

but she said something about "...since I don't live at home any more". I said "what does THAT mean???" Where IS home? Isn't her HOME her HOME?

...and your little dog too!

Unlike Dorothy, I don't think I'll ever 'arrive' somewhere and think - Wow, this is home. I KNOW this will never happen with anywhere in the USA. Not now.

There's been too much change. Both within myself and with where I used to call 'home'. The small town that 'produced' me is changing so quickly that I sometimes don't recognise where I am on visits. I visit annually, so it's not like it's been years and years. My little town now hosts a 'super' Walmart! MY LITTLE TOWN! Although, admittedly, Henry County, Georgia is the largest growing (commercially/residentially/etc) county in the country. (or so it's been reported in the local papers) Because the commuter belt of Atlanta keeps slipping south, it has enveloped my 'little' town. It's unrecognisable! There's houses and little new subdivisions where there used to be cows and fields and woods.

I just don't feel 'comfortable' in the States anymore. There seems to be an underlying tension. Maybe I'm more sensitive to this because I'm 1) Not religious 2) Not Christian and 3) Have my own quite liberal but VERY strongly held views of what is and isn't right (esp politically). I'm rather glad to get 'home' to the UK after visits to be honest and 'relax' and be myself.

Since we've just moved in November, the 'renovation project' is not home either. It's just a NIGHTMARE due to the dust, boxes, and work. However, it technically is home. Why? Well, because my family is there. My family consists of my hubby and my dog. I do (as you say) belong to a larger 'immediate' family, but my CHOSEN family is the one I stated first. You're lucky that you're close to both families, maybe not geographicly, but if a relationship is sustained, distance matters little.

'Home' is something each of us as expats have to make for ourselves. I'm sure that your real home is with your little ones and Anders - whereever that may be. :)

Re: ...and your little dog too!

it's true!, so true :) We have our "first" families and our "chosen" families, no matter WHERE we are.

HA! Är du säker på att du såg efter så det var rätt unge? Jag menar, det låter INTE som Martin, det var nog Karin det var bara det att du såg lite fel, tror jag!

Well, it WAS early and everyone DOES tell me that they look a lot alike! :P

We have lived "out west" for 4 years and every time we go "back east" to visit our familes and friends we miss "home" AKA "out west" more and more. The west is definitely home now.

That said- if we relocated tomorrow to anywhere- we would make that home!

I started out consciously deciding not to refer to my hometown or homeland as "home" because once I made the decision to come here I didn't want to start second-guessing it. In the end it didn't matter since the second-guessing part never materialized for me so not only is it a habit to call where I live now "home" but it feels as if I was meant to have this be my "home" and I've only now just gotten back to it. Maybe my past life resurfaced?

That's a nice way to look at it :)

you lived in the Chicago area? i grew up in Joliet!

I lived there for 10 years (1 in Arlington Heights, 2.5 in Schaumburg, and 7.5 downtown in Lakeview area). I miss it!!

Home can be many things. When I think of me and Daisy, home is where we live, but even though I've been living in Toronto for 24 years, home is my childhood home in Nova Scotia, where my Mom and brother still live. Home! Nova Scotia will always be home, although my home is now in Toronto. Lost yet?

Nope! :) Home is many things to me, too: Michigan, where I was born, and went to college and where my mother lives (and many of my relatives) is home. Chicago, where I lived for 10 years and left a huge piece of my heart is home. Holland where I went to school for 3 years and would live again in a heartbeat, is home. Sweden, where I live now for the past 7 years, and where my chosen family and life is home, too.

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