Well, I’ve survived my fourth Christmas both ever and with the Good Doctor’s side of the family in a tiny remote village about three hours north of London, and good drive away from anything or anyone. I’m a city kid at heart so, for me, the English countryside is simultaneously beautiful and totes adorbs, full of mostly sheep and proportionally less people. I also saw with my own eyes that reindeer are, in fact, real (!), and kinda look like cowhorsedonkeys (watch out, manbearpig).
But that’s pretty much where the entertainment ends. And when the cuteness dies down, I come to the realization that I do year after year: THIS TOWN IS FUCKIN SMALL. This place is so small that there is a “centre of town,” and it’s 45 minutes away. If the center of their world is that far away, the idea of New York (in their mind, the capital of America) is even farther away, and thusly inaccessible. Am I really shocked that the mentality of a tiny town in which I didn’t see or hear evidence of nearby neighbors isn’t exactly progressive? Nah. But just for fun, let me share with you a few of my favorite small-town moments:
Strike 1: After four continuous years of my unrelenting presence at Christmas, the constant questioning about what us ‘Jews’ do on your fancy materialistic holiday should probably have subsided. The typically amusing answer of “Chinese food and movies” gets a pitiful rather than humorously commiserative response. And for some reason, looking up what Hanukkah is would take too much effort, but I don’t think I can blame them entirely – it’s partly due to the fact that there is no internets in the boonies, and partly because they’ve never figured out how to spell Hanukkah/Chanukah (here’s the secret: no one has or ever will! That’s how we keep the intrigue of an otherwise pretty banal holiday. Suckers.).
Strike 2: While a particularly small-town gentleman was making fun of another woman at the table for not being able to sew and still bringing things home during Christmas for repair, I piped up in support. I mean shit, I can’t sew, and I still bring clothes home to my mother at the ripe age of 28; his response to me: “Aren’t you married, now? Woman of the house, know your place.” After restraining myself from throwing a roasted potato at his similarly shaped head, I merely said, “well my husband cooks so often, I barely have room to fit my tiny feet in front of my rightful place at the stove.” BAM, make ME a sandwich, bitch.
Ball 1 (hehe): The Good Doctor’s grandmother, who refuses to believe that anything exists beyond the 2-mile radius of her town, complained that she couldn’t understand me when I spoke. Thankfully, someone else told me this, because I can’t understand a damn word that comes out of her mouth. Hey, at least we’re even.
Strike 3 YOU’RE OUT: For the finale: one of the Good Doctor’s half-brothers (it’s a veritable episode of Downton Abbey on the reg) asked me whether it is politically correct or not to refer to Black people as “colored.” If my facial expression was any clue, he then proceeded to try and explain to me that it was commonplace in his little village, and certainly supported by his grandmother who bears a striking resemblance to Irma Grese (look it up). I know I’m jet-lagged, but are we sure I’m not in Texas?
However, in the spirit of the holidays and the approaching new year, it’s time that I give some thanks and stop complaining, even though complaining comes more naturally to me (because Jewish). First and foremost, thank fuck the Good Doctor doesn’t still want to live there. Thanks, NYC, for surrounding me with friends who read the news, continue wasting heaps of money on their education, and have semi-intellectual debates before heading off to the strip club (sorry, Joe). Thanks, Texas, for preparing me to deal with racism through experience, teaching others, and knowing better. And lastly, thanks to this tiny town in wherever the bumblefuck I am for reminding me that I’m a damned lucky bitch to live in NYC. Hm, tell Mr. Potato Head that I think I know my place just fine.
Happy happies of all varieties, dear readers. This is Kitty, signing out.