When you first meet someone as an adult, your brain tries to tie in this new person to existing brain schema. That’s why new people you meet so easily remind you of others you know or have seen. You find yourself turning to a mutual friend and asking, “Doesn’t so and so remind you of…”
When meeting a bunch of new people at once, it’s difficult to remember their names or get any more than a vague sense of their person. Aberdeen is much the same way. I remember remarking to Brett that there must be an official architect for Aberdeen and he/she had a design monopoly on the whole shire. (I’d argue that it was definitely a he due to the fact that my laundry room is on the ground floor and bedrooms on the 3rd. A woman would NEVER design a home that way.) Each home looked exactly the same to me save occasionally having different color trim. Now, much in the same way that people change as you know them – becoming more beautiful/handsome or unattractive as you become more aware of the person underneath – so has Aberdeen. I can pick out the different homes now, can see differences that I didn’t notice before – and appreciate them.
It’s been just at 6 months since we moved to Aberdeen. During that time, Aberdeen has become a better friend. But she’s still a new friend. A friend that I still have to explain myself to, that I’m still learning about, a friend that I must still be polite with and politically correct – apparently not everyone is as sarcastic as I am. She’s not the sort of friend that I can text at asinine hours to complain about my husband or kids without having to explain their good points in the same breath so the wrong image isn’t portrayed.
Looking EXTREMELY forward to going home to my good friend, Houston. The friend who after ten years together – is still pretty damn ugly, despite her redeeming qualities. The friend who scars I’ve seen and who has seen and carried me through my own scarring. The friend that somehow has quality sashimi despite residing on the Gulf of Mexico and who houses others who are willing to drop everything to drink wine and talk about everything and nothing – and not have to explain the life experiences that shaped your perspectives because they were there for them.
We fly out on Boxing Day and I am CERTAIN that I will have a plethora of stories of our transatlantic travels. Our children never fail to disappoint in that department!
A little US vs Scotland convo for you:
I was talking to my hairdresser recently (Side note: If you’re reading this because you’re considering a move to Aberdeen, have your hairdresser write down SPECIFIC instructions about what to do. A picture is not enough. Even a picture of YOURSELF with the hair you want. It will not be enough.) and she was asking me various things about America. She asked me about kettles:
(I can’t remember her name so I’ll just call her A.)
A: What do you mean no one has kettles? How do people drink their tea?
Me: No one drinks tea. People have coffee.
A: What do you mean no one drinks tea? Well what do you have with your coffee then?
Me: You don’t have anything with your coffee. You generally drink it in the morning to wake up. A lot of times people have a cup in the afternoon as well.
A: Well what about biscuits? When do you eat your biscuits?
Me: You just don’t really. Caffeine is the main point of the whole thing. And people have coffee pots. It’s not that common to have a French Press that you use all the time – because no one has a kettle to use with it! A lot of people have a thing called a Keurig that comes with little pods – a lot like Nescafe – except that all different kinds of coffee companies make their own brands fit those pods. If you don’t have that then you have an automatic coffee maker that you can set to come on at a certain time of the morning so your coffee is ready when you wake up.
A: Whhhhaaaaaa????? I’ve never heard such a thing!
While I do occasionally tire of living the differences, I do not tire with talking to people about the differences with people who are from here.