Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I've got the fear. I feel a bit silly admitting it, but I think I am scared of visiting England.
The last few days at our place have included almost hourly discussions about our homeland. And each time, I feel panicky. The UK conversations between Him Downstairs and I have me dancing with excitement one minute and crashing to tears and anxiety the next.
You see, I haven't been back for over two years and right now, I have UK withdrawal BIG TIME. I need to smell Persil laundry detergent again, wash my hair with Timotei and eat fish and chips out of vinegar soaked paper. But, as we talk and try to plan a trip for 09, the memories of the goodbyes from the last visit awaken from their sleepy coffin and the fear grips me. I think, 'Can I go through that again?'
I'm going to have to. We have to go. Our visas have to be renewed and we're having sod all luck getting an appointment at a Canadian Embassy. Anyway, I'd rather take a holiday to London England, than Toronto or Halifax Canada, right now.
So, I've been spending hours on Northwest Airlines website, searching for flights, whilst Him Downstairs spends hours on hold with the US Embassy in London, trying to secure us appointments.
I cannot wait to see my girlfriends. I want to hug their kids and see my boys play with them. These little people who are now strangers to each other, but were once so close in utero. I know my heart will beat a little faster when I clock the lack of recognition on their faces as they fail to remember meeting me before. It will make me sad. It's one of the things I'm scared of; being a stranger to them, yet their mummies are still as important to me and my life in the US as they were to me and my life in the UK.
If my reaction to watching Last Chance Harvey - a movie set in London with scene after scene shot in some of my favourite places, is anything to go by, I definitely need a UK fix. I swooned and swooned as the film unfolded, evoking memories of my former Life in the Big City. Strolls along the Embankment, dates at Somerset House, a party at The Grosvenor - my past all mixed up in the celluloid I was lost in.
When the film finished, my movie buddy turned to me and said, "You're going to go home and book a flight now aren't you?" I would have driven straight to the airport if I'd had my passport on me!
Yes, I cannot wait to go get me a piece of England again, but I know what it will do to me. And it's not nice.
For starters, I'll cry all the way back on the plane as I clutch my Jelly Tots, Minstrels, and M&S Percy Pigs. Then for about two or three weeks after I arrive back home, I'll spend hour upon hour trawling property finder websites to see where and how much it will cost us to come live in the UK again, whilst sobbing into my Hula Hoops.
I'll mourn and mourn again The Life I Once Knew in the UK, and beat myself up about giving it all up to come to America. I hate those post-UK-visit weeks. I hate that just as I've reconnected with my friends and their children, I have to say goodbye. Most of all, I hate that there's not one darn thing I can do about it.
Well, except land myself an amazingly well-paid job in England, that will afford us all to move back and for Him Downstairs to be stay-at-home dad. And that's about as likely as me becoming the next American Idol.
Yes. You've heard me sing then?
The only good thing about post-UK blues, is that I have some close Brit girl friends over here, and we've seen each other go through this many times, so each of us knows how it feels. I will cling to their shoulders of support, until the fear and tears fade. Then, as if the trip had never happened, suddenly and without warning, life will just go back to its US normality.
Yesterday, I said to eldest prince, Cheeky, "Would you like to move back to England one day?"
" Why Mummy?" he replied. "This is my home. This is where our house is."
He has no idea of the extra fear he just put in his mummy's heart.