Sunday, March 13, 2011

Never try to high five a Brit




Being married to a British man is amusing.

There are certain things, quintessentially-American things, Ian just doesn't get and certainly won’t stoop to.

Baseball hats, for example. He sees them as the socially-acceptable security blanket for the American man. He's speaking, of course, of those types who essentially wear their hats from the minute they wake up, to the moment they get in bed. There are more than a few of those types in Vermont.  I have yet to find any here in France.

So I'm not sure why I was surprised when, the other night, I tried to get him to high five me in the kitchen, after we had pulled off an amazingly-efficient, after- dinner -party cleanup--a stellar demonstration of the power of teamwork (another American concept)-- and he sheepishly put out his fist, rather than his whole hand.

The look on his face was one of awkward embarrassment, along with a dash of disapproval. Clearly, I had crossed the line.

I was acting, like an American.

Rather than call him on his rigid cultural restraint and possibly start an argument, I simply said,

“You married an American girl, you know.   I just need to remind you of that, now and again, lest you forget.”

My next reminder might be to call a "family meeting" to discuss our "goals, issues and priorities."

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

KiminAZ:

It's actually not a surprise to me that he won't wear a baseball hat having lived in Vermont. There are definitely more than a few men there that wear them so often that you wouldn't even know what they looked like with out one!

The high five thing is funny! I guess that I never even thought about that being an American thing. I guess that he wouldn't "tough hug" either!

Laree said...

It's very important to remind our spouses of the person they actually married - rather than the one they think they married!

Living Down Under said...

Teehee, this one made me giggle! I could just feel the awkwardness of a high five gone awry. :). As someone who didn't grow up in North America, the cultural references were often lost on me. Jokes fell flat. Fast forward twenty years (wow time does fly!) and I was doing better... Then we moved here...back to square one!

My question to you though Betsy is you've been married to him for a long time - don't you know better?:)

Kathleen Trail said...

I LOVE the picture (especially Ian's expression or lack thereof) of Isla trying to double high five her dad with her pink-mittened hands, obviously to no avail. I'd venture a guess that Ian will be able to avoid the scourge of baseball caps, but he may be outnumbered on the necessity of congratulatory hand slaps....

Betsy said...

Kathleen: Tee hee. Yes, if he were a smart Brit, like those back in the Revolutionary war, he would know when it is time to surrender.

Betsy said...

@KiminAZ: Oh, don't get him started on the tough hug. It gives him hives. And we live in a touchy- feely, cruncy kind of town back in VT. He is regularly pushed out of his comfort zone there. It's good for him. :)

Betsy said...

@Living Down Under: I do know better. But some things just can't be suppressed indefinitely.

cecile said...

I'm wondering if he's going to take up things from French people ? You know you can say "tope la", for a high five, in France ?

Seamingly Sarah said...

Was he going for a fist bump? Because my husband (both american) do the fist bump all the time! This was too funny to read.

Irishmama7 said...

So funny! Everybody has their own quirks, love the picture.

Linda said...

I married a Brit too and wouldn't dream of attempting a high five. Nor do we watch any American sports whatsoever. Kind of a plus in my view! However, enjoying Thanksgiving and Halloween fully comes up short in some ways because I love those holidays yet he doesn't really understand them.