Despite all odds, I have started to notice that I miss my country in ways I never imagined. Mostly in awkward ways, but also in manners that would have never occurred to me. Here are some examples on how I know I'm not actually becoming a full Finn:
- I take the time to explain my nation's healthcare plan to others even though I know it's not the best. (Yes, we are actually aware that our healthcare system is flawed and yes, we do know that it's dumb that people are fleeing to Canada to escape the ObamaCare plan.)
- I look upon products from the States with a new love and familiarity. (Though balk at their 10x more expensive price and still refuse to buy them.) From what I understand from my other expat friends I will soon cave and buy them anyway. We will see. 5euros for that box of Betty Crocker cake mix? ....maybe.
- I cry every time the national anthem is played. Literally. I never used to do this back at home. I would think nationalistic things every time it was played, but never was I really teary-eyed. Now I actually slightly weep. Real example: I cried when they played it during the new Batman movie this last Friday. I was that embarrassing moviegoer who cried during the part where nothing was yet happening.
- I actually miss American football. Everytime I see it now I get excited. This is actually twofold - first, that I started to actually watch American football with regularity before I left the States, second, I've started to enjoy sports a lot more in general. But still, everytime I see American football specifically, I get a little nostalgic.
- I enjoy American design more than ever before. Relatively speaking I used to scoff at most major-brand American designers. Don't ask me why - probably had something to do with being too familiar with them and thinking they were cheesy, but now I have a newfound respect and enjoyment of them that I never had before.
- I covet the products I brought over with me. It's true - yesterday morning I took a picture of the last roll of American toilet paper I shipped over with me. This is likely the last time I will have American toilet paper except when I'm home. Somehow it felt wrong not to document it. Silly, yes, but somehow, it felt like I was letting go of something. (Picture at the end of the post).
- I actually enjoy wearing the colors red, white, and blue. Together. This was banned during my early childhood years for some reason, (chalked up to something something gang colors or something of the silly notion), so it should come as no surprise that as an adult I had a natural aversion to wearing these colors together. No longer. I actually enjoy wearing these colors together. A little nationalistic? Maybe.
- I really do wonder the next time I will be home again, and really look forward to it. This goes without saying, and generally speaking has always been the truth, but I've never looked forward to it so much. Before, whenever I was out of the country I just sort of always knew I would go back, so it was never a question. Now I'm not really sure when I'll be back, and that scares me. Sure I'll be back for the holidays, but what about before that? Suddenly not having an end date is a bit odd, rather than liberating.
And here, for your enjoyment, is the picture of my beloved last roll of American toilet paper:
I believe it's the Safeway brand - nothing particularly special in it of itself...but it does mean something to me.
It does seem true...I do love Murrika. (Say it outloud and you'll get it).