I volunteer, a couple of times a week, at a local elementary school. It's a Title 1 school and I work mainly with kids who have either a limited understanding of English, or need a little extra help to catch up with their peers. It can be really frustrating, but also very rewarding. It can also have it's moments of humour.
Walked into one class yesterday and a little girl ran up to me, threw her arms around my middle in a big hug and buried her face into my midsection. She then looked up at me and the conversation went like this...
N .... 'Mrs H. you smell really good.'
Me ... 'Well, thank you sweetheart.'
N.... 'Did you take a shower today?'
Hmmmmm ... now I'm wondering how I normally smell!!! :-)
Well, the numbers on the scale do not seem to be moving right now. However the inches seem to be shrinking.
I started off this current weight loss journey in a size 22, which was on the verge of turning into a 24. This week I tried on a pair of size 18 jeans and they fit!!
I still have my size 24 jeans, from two years ago, when I lost 50 lbs. Tried them on and they promptly started to slide down. In fact I was able to put them on and take them off without undoing the zipper or the button at the waist. ;-)
For the most part ...yes. However there are some differences between American English and the English spoken by the rest of the world, that can lead to some confusing and funny misunderstandings. Factor in slang words and it can get downright hilarious at times!
We do see a lot of American TV shows and movies in NZ, so I was fairly up on the language differences. However, I found out quickly that Americans did not always understand what I was saying and that I was not as up on the American lingo as I thought I was.
Examples of the differences can be found here and here.
Some of the funnier misunderstandings ...
******** The first night I arrived in the US, I was taken out for dinner. On the menu was 'Biscuits and Gravy'. In NZ a biscuit = a cookie. Fortunately one of my fellow diners explained that a US biscuit was like a NZ scone. Until then I had a vision of Mallowpuffs swimming in a pool of gravy.
******** I also found out quickly that ordering an item off a restaurant menu was not that simple. For example, ordering eggs resulted in this list of options from the food server. "Do you want them over easy, sunny side up, scrambled, egg beaters, etc, etc." For ages I took the easy way out and ordered scrambled eggs. They just seemed less complicated, plus I knew what they were. To this day I'm still not sure what the other options signify! Well, other than the egg beaters. They're a staple in this house, these days.
******** Was taken to a party about a week after I got here. This man walked up to me, stuck his hand out and the conversation went something like this..
Him .. "Hi, I'm Randy"
Me .. "That's your problem, not mine" , as I stalked off.
Poor man then asked my friends what he'd done to upset me. Basically, in NZ, 'randy' = 'horny' and I'd thought that he was hitting on me. It's also one of the reasons you don't find many kids in NZ called 'Randy'.
******** At the garden dept in Lowes, I asked one young man where they kept their " Pot plants ". I was a little taken back at his look of horror and his " Ma'am, we don't sell those here, they're illegal!! " At that point I looked over his shoulder and said " Yes you do, there's some over there. " He turned around and the look of relief on his face was almost comical. " Oh, you mean potted plants!! "
Well .. they were plants in pots, ie, pot plants!! Perhaps I should have said house plants. :-)
******** By now, anybody that has read the links to the NZ-US dictionaries, will probably realise that going to NZ and announcing that you want to 'root for the team' does not mean the same thing in both countries! For those that have not perused the links,that I helpfully gave, root or rooting, in NZ, is slang for having sex.:-)
When I first arrived in Nevada, I saw trucks driving around with names like 'Mr Rooter', 'A-Rooter-Man', 'Joe's Rooter Service', etc, emblazoned on their sides. For a little while, in all innocence and knowing that NV was a state where prostitution was legal, I sort of thought they might be mobile brothels. I was quickly told that they were actually plumbing vans.
All was well, until our toilet blocked up and I had to call a plumber. This nice gentleman showed up and I explained the problem. I had myself well under control until he said "No problem, Ma'am, I'll have your pipes rooted out in no time."
I lost it. I was literally hysterical with laughter. There were tears running down my cheeks, my stomach muscles hurt and I had to lean against the wall for support. Poor man must have thought he had a total nut job on his hands.
I finally calmed down enough to explain what I had found so funny. I think it made his day.
******** Don't you just love language and differences? :-) I think I could probably write pages and pages of the funny things that have happened. It's certainly made my time, here in the US, interesting. It's also probably made me a little unforgettable to some of the Americans that I've met :-)
J often mentions, when I'm recounting my latest adventure/escapade/mishap, that 'You and C (daughter) seem to be a magnet for trouble!!'
Well, DUH, I do try to walk between 6 - 10 miles a day. I also use our city bus service, so of course the likelihood is higher that strange things are going to happen!!
Today, I was trotting around Virginia Lake, which is about 3/4 of a mile from my home. It's a nice place to go for a walk, as it has a path going around it that is just over a mile in length. One WW member recently mentioned that she's measured the outer path at about 1 1/4 miles.
Unfortunately, it also attracts the occasional creep, especially earlier in the morning. Today was no exception.
Creep sitting in car beside the path.
First time past him "Hey, you want to go for coffee?" Me, to myself, 'Oh, pee off!!'
Second time past him "Hey, I like sweaty women, they turn me on". Me, to myself, while rolling my eyes 'Oh great, we have a right charlie here.'
Third time past him "Hey, I like sweaty, fat, women, they really turn me on." Okay, that did it. This time to him, with my hands on my hips "Your pickup lines suck, you have the sex appeal of a gnat and if you are still here when I come around again, I'm calling the police."
Needless to say, when I came around for the fourth time he had gone.
What is it with men like this? What on earth are they thinking when they do this type of thing. Do they really, truly believe that most women are interested? It's not even as if I was wearing something revealing. I had a loose pair of comfortable track pants on and a t-shirt that was too big for me and way past it's prime. Even if I was wearing shorts and a skimpy top, that still does not give any man the right to push any unwanted attention on me. Yes, I do know that all men are not like this. I have a good one at home and I am Mum to boys that have grown into wonderful men.
I am proud of myself, though. In the past, an incident like this would have been enough to have me reaching for the packet of cookies, bag of chips or other food that would have comforted me. I would not have stopped until the bag was empty. Because of my history, food was my security blanket. My fat was something I could hide behind. It made me invisible. It made me safe. That was my perception, anyway.
This time, I came home, had a large glass of water, an apple and a slice of 1% cheese.Pretty cool, huh !! :-)
I'm not going to go into details of my past here, even though I am very open about it. Suffice to say, I am a survivor. I survived a horrible, abusive childhood. I went on to survive rape and DV. It's not something I am ashamed of. In many ways it's made me a stronger and wiser woman. I've been able to use my experiences to help other women and men, who have been victimised.
I feel empowered by the fact that I can say that I'm proud of myself. I know that there are still going to be times when the ghosts of the past will try to trip me up and there will probably be times in which they will succeed.
However, today, after an unpleasant experience, I came home and ate only what I had planned to eat, before I left on my walk. That feels, really, really good! :-)
I finally did it. Cut my hair that is. It's now about chin length and layered. Feels a little strange, especially since it does expose my face more than my face was exposed before. In fact, I feel a little naked without all that hair!!!
I think that my hair, like my weight, is something that I have tended to use to hide behind. Gradually, over the years, as I felt better about myself, I've let my hair get shorter and shorter. However, I've always kept a long fringe (bangs) and not wanted the hairdresser to layer my hair away from my face. So this has been a big change. At least I no longer look like 'Cousin It' when the wind blows. :-)
It has opened a whole new world to me though. The world of HAIR PRODUCTS. Apparently, according to my hairdresser, my hair has been styled in the 'I Just Got Out Of Bed And Forgot To Brush My Hair' look, otherwise known as 'Bed Head'. To achieve 'Bed Head' one has to use Hair Products. Heck, and here was me thinking that it was hot flushes that gave me that wild look in the mornings!
Last time I needed Hair Products, I had a choice of hair spray or mousse. Shows you how long ago it was when I last had my hair styled to where I needed the use of them. If memory serves me right, it was about 20 years ago and a perm. Unfortunately, a couple days after the perm, I needed emergency surgery. I went into the operating theatre with a lovely soft curly perm and came out with a tightly curled Afro. Apparently, an anesthetic sometimes does that.
Okay, so now I have 'Bed Head' and need Hair Products.
I found a jar of blue creamy stuff, that was labelled 'Dep Sport Endurance Hold', on the bathroom counter. It promises 'non-stop hold'. I think I bought it for J, about a year ago, after he'd shaved all his hair off in a male mid-life crisis moment. It was growing back and I thought he might like to spike it. He didn't so the jar just sat there.
I don't think it's quite the right stuff as all it does for my hair, is leave hard spiky clumps, that remind me of the time I was doing paper mache with the kids and I kept brushing my hair back, forgetting that my hands were covered in gooey, floury, paste.
So in pursuit of the 'Young, Sexy, Bed Head Look' (my stylist's description, not mine)that had adorned my head when I left the beauty parlour, I trotted off to the nearest store that sold hair goop.
A few hours later, I was bewildered, bemused and none the wiser. I'd wandered up and down aisles and discovered shelves laden with the familiar mousses, gels and hairsprays. However, I'd also discovered clay, fudge, spackle, mud, pomade, paste, cement, glue, goo, goop and so on. These products assured me that I could mold my hair, spike it, shine it, twist it and rearrange it until I had that look. I was also wondering if they would cure my fast developing headache !!
Back home to do a little research. Of course, I could have called the hair dresser and asked for her advice, but I'm not exactly known for doing things the easy way.
Sighhhhh .... now for the styling brush and curling iron. Last curling iron I had, was definitely possessed. It had bristles on it which constantly entangled my hair. Come to think of it, I definitely got the 'Bed Head' look with that sucker. Or as my Grandma would say 'Girl, you look as if you got dragged through a blackberry bush backwards, now go brush your hair.'
Wonder what she'd say about my current hair style :-)