March 27, 2012 § 17 Comments
My mom called me bright and early last Monday morning and proposed “Bride Day.”
March 13, 2012 § 12 Comments
I have walked so much during this last week in Madrid. My toes hurt.
Every day when I return home I cannot wait to remove my boots and let my ‘desperately in need of a fresh pedicure’ toes wiggle in the open air.
I can sum up my last 10 days with the following: Talking & watching / Eating and walking.
Talking: All those things I do (and don’t) want to say.
The Spaniard and I have some serious convos over afternoon drinks. Gender specific toys and the raising of children… the over sexualization of society… how I am going to run for President one day… (can we get an Independent, please.)
Watching: The Office.
Michael Scott – Seasons 1 through… (I don’t even know) are on deck. I’ve loved Jim, Pam and Dwight for years. The Spaniard has recently found himself smitten as well. It’s a good thing. Or I would seriously be rethinking this whole European affair.
Eating: Must eat to sustain life.
My eats have been boring and bland. 99.9 % of what I consume is made in my Spanish kitchen. Truth be told, the day I landed I decided what I wanted to eat and I have eaten the same exact meals every day. I kid you not. Every day. Exactly the same. It’s just easier to shop that way for such a short time frame. Get me to a Whole Foods stat!
Walking. Walking. Walking some more…
It’s what I do here. I scour the city in search of new streets – cool shops – places take my Farm Party guests. The weather has been amazing and it would be a shame to spend the day inside.
You never know what you are going to see:
I explore until my toes are numb.
Then I prop my feet up with the same dinner I ate last night (and the 5 days prior) – say a few words about the state of our world – and end the day with a few episodes of Office antics.
It’s what I do here. The sum.
And now, I fly back.
March 9, 2012 § 14 Comments
- 1. Communicating in any relationship.
- 2. Communicating when your first language is not the same as your partners.
- 3. Communicating when one partner is living in a culture that is not their own.
All relationships are challenging. All couples deal with communication issues. But add the language and cultural barrier and you might want to invest in one of those boxing helmets to cushion the blows from beating your head against the wall.
I can recall numerous conversations between the Spaniard and I where we thought we were having a conversation about X – when really, I was talking about X and he was talking about Y.
It can be as silly as 15 minutes describing a wedding cake and still not getting your point across. The difference between tiers and layers… add in flavors and icing and you can run in fondant circles.
But it can also create arguments when you didn’t intend for there to be one. Did you know that he translation of the word “ambition” is derogatory in Spain. In the U.S. to be ambitious is desired. In Spain – not exactly. Ooops.
The Spaniard and I definitely went through a phase where we had to be really careful. Careful to explain clearly and presisely what we were trying to say. Conversations took longer, argument weren’t resolved as smoothly, but with time and effort we have come a long way!
I still find myself thinking, “I do, but I don’t, want to talk about it.” Sometimes I am afraid to rock the boat. Afraid to be misunderstood – to create an argument when it isn’t intended. To hurt feelings when I only want to be kind.
But as practice makes… better partners… we are getting the hang of it. We now joke about past blunders in the communication game. Not that there aren’t many more to come.
How do you handle wanting… yet not wanting to talk about it?
Are you in a cross-cultural relationship? Experience or advice to give? Any funny cake layer stories?