Realising what Britishness means

The return

Well, August is nearly upon me and that means off we trot over the Atlantic, back to reality. The return is bittersweet. I will miss so much about living in the USA, but the thought of making a new and challenging life in the UK is dawning on me with quickening realisation, albeit in the same town (it’s hard to see things with new, fresh, adventurous eyes when you return to the same place, that’s just something for me I’ll have to deal with).

I am plagued by lists and boxes and packing tape, but right now it’s a cure for taking my mind off the reality of repatriation and the sadness and the wonder of change that keep me awake at night.


Very British problems indeed

I was struck today by how different our British mentality really is from the American one, via this series of exchanges with my very British sister-in-law back in the UK.

This is how it ran:

‘Claire, I need some advice….I was going for the ombre hair look but instead of blonde the hairdresser dyed me ginger from the ears down! Its bleached, will it work if I put a ‘home dye’ light brown on?’

I replied thus:

‘No, don’t touch it. You need to go back to the hairdresser and get her to correct it. Honestly, do that as its her mistake. Putting home stuff on will kill it!’

She then responded:

‘I cant go back, it would be too awkward. It was a mobile hair dresser and obviously I had to say I loved it at the time – it’s the British way, lol!  Maybe I’ll ring another hairdresser and see what they say, lol.’

To which I replied:

‘That is totally British! You paid money and it went wrong! I’ll have to blog about that! Let me know how it goes!’

So blog about it I have. In the USA the mentality would generally be to go back and get it sorted. In the UK we Brits generally bury our [ginger] heads in the sand. ‘Oh, I couldn’t possibly….’!

It’s this all the way:


God bless us Brits, we just can’t do it! To be fair, I would be a little anxious about going back and asking for it to be rectified, but after spending time in the States, I now realise it’s not obnoxious and it’s worth the slight amount of awkwardness between you to get it sorted. By Gawd, it’s yer hair! Do it gal!

I’ll keep you posted on what happens to my Very British Sister-in-Law’s hair!

52 days to until we go back!


10 thoughts on “Realising what Britishness means

  1. It is going to be an interesting time for you to repatriate. You will have changed so much, and your loved ones and colleagues will be wondering what’s gotten into you. In many ways it was easier for me being the foreigner already because I was just the assertive American. But people will be hear your voice and expect you to play by the standard rules. It happens to everyone no matter where you repatriate. You will resettle. People will adapt to the new you, and you will temper yourself. It will all work out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We Brits are to nice ! When I call Diane and say “hi, it’s only me” she yells at me apparently I should say ” Hi it’s me” Drop the “only” !!!!!


  3. As a returned Brit expat eight or so years ago…I completely understand the apprehensions. However I made the decision soon after deciding to return, that I would do it with a totally optimistic outlook. I wouldn’t allow myself to moan and grown about the bits that I hadn’t missed about home, and have settled back here really well after fourteen and a half years away. I still miss bits of the U.S. lifestyle but generally love being home among my own if you know what I mean. Embrace it x I’m always here it you need reassurance. oh and I really really miss my great friends and acquaintances from The U.S. Too!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I still don’t really complain in the hairdressers or even restaurants unless it is completely rancid. I don’t really think I’m polite it is just in UK there is no ‘customer service’ to speak of or at least that I remember so I don’t expect a high level of service. I remember getting chicken in a restaurant frozen in the middle in a UK restaurant and just eating it thinking well the outside it ok….although in fairness I do eat practically anything, not picky.

    Yeah I was in a hairdresser here the other day and a woman asked for her hair to be dyed beach blonde and pointed to a magazine pic and the hairdresser dyed it that color and the woman complained it was too blonde….and the hairdresser changed it. Unbelievable BS!! Although different matter if you wanted ombre and got ginger.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 626 | ukdesperatehousewifeusa

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