I thought today I would just write a short blurb about some of the things I see noted as cliches about the Brits in the U.S., some of the cultural observations I’ve made while here, and how sometimes phrases in the UK can mean something completely different in the States.
First, this past Friday I spied my first actual “Crop Circle.” It was a small one, but definitely in England nevertheless…the typical “sighting grounds.”:
And, as cool as I thought the crop circle was, I have formed a very strong opinion about something completely uncool: I HATE stretch pants. And, unfortunately here in Oxford, they are prolific. I see several pair on women of all sizes and shapes each time I leave the college and go into town.
To further enhance my point, I did a quick internet search and found that Lindsay Lohan started wearing them again (I say again, because we-who-are-40plus all KNOW this is a fashion faux pas repeat) in fall of 2007.
Here’s my proof – CLICK HERE FOR PHOTO OF LI-LO + STRETCH PANTS
I would share pictures of those I’ve seen around here, but trust me…you don’t really want to see them.
However, if you must go against my emphatic fashion advice, then you can order your new stretch pants here, in a rainbow of colors, for only 4.58GBPs!!
Alright, enough poking fun at stretch pants and the unfortunate people who wear them. I’ll just close with two brand new pieces of Great Britain information I’ve recently heard.
Evidently, if someone says to you that they’ll “knock you up at 6:30 a.m.” it means they’ll wake you.
Here’s an example of someone announcing that they’re going to take a nap: “I’m going to have a lie-in, knock me up when you’re ready to go.”
Finally, I don’t know if it is England in general, or just perhaps because I tend to wax philosophically about gender equality and respect whenever I have the chance, but something really surprised me this past weekend. While in York, we spied approximately four or five groups of women on Saturday evening making their way down the street. What was interesting was that they were dressed up in brightly colored, conspicuous costumes or matching t-shirts with over-the-top make-up.
My distant cousin told me that they were “Hen Parties.” Well, immediately I think I got my own “feathers ruffled (smile)” because to me, “hen” or “cackling hen” is a derogatory term for women. He told me that they were like our bachelorette parties.
So – I guess that’s fine. But I just didn’t like the term “Hen” party. Here’s a picture borrowed from the internet to let you know how they look:
I don’t know.
I just don’t know if I could swallow the notion of one of my daughters having a Hen Party – – it feels sort of 1950s-cliche-women-are-ridiculous-and-the-weaker-sex-ish…
I guess I like to think of women as women, and not Hens. I will say, however, that when I found out about the custom I wanted to squawk. But then that’s the sound a hawk makes, not a hen, right?
Good night. I’ll WAKE myself up in the morning.