Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Photo courtesy of and T-shirt for sale at nodemo

1984 is the year my life started. Well, not really. I am not THAT young. But it IS the year that starts my consciousness of the world in which I live in today. No, this isn't a reference to some kind of "zen" thing. It's just that before 1984 I lived in a culture completely different from the one I live in today. I moved to the United States in 1984 not knowing a word of english besides "yes", "please", "thank you" and "sun." (Don't ask me why I specifically retained that last word from all of the other words I was made to learn in my English class in elementary school, but I did).
Now, imagine walking into your first day of 7th grade in some foreign land where people don't speak a lick of what you speak, don't wear one item of clothing that is in any way similar to what you're wearing (frilly dresses that in this culture kids stop wearing at age 4), and people eat some wierd concoctions that you couldn't even think of putting together on the same plate let alone on a sandwich, Peenah baddaah jalleee (photo courtesy of and note cards for sale at exquisiteimage). And all eyes are on YOU! Oh come on, it's not that bad is it? No, it's not. The worst comes later. When you're 32 and you can't for the life of you remember that darn expression people use for not caring about a certain incident. Uh...water over the bridge...ice under the bridge...ice under the water over the bridge over the ice in the water? And you don't have an accent when you speak english so when the person you're talking to turns to you with a raised eyebrow wondering what is wrong with you, you shudder to think what their thoughts are on your mental acuity or lack thereof. You just look stupid.

Then you join a water cooler meeting in progress in your office where people discuss the finer points of that super popular show from before your time that everyone knows everything about everytime it is mentioned. You know, that show everyone loves to remember from when they were kids (photo courtesy of and stickers for sale at samann1121). Remember when so and so did this? And so and so said that? Blah, blah, blah. You try to pretend you know, but inevitably you end up making some faux pas and mixing up trivia from different shows trying to pass off like you know something. And all eyes are on YOU and you're just lookin' stupid.

That's when you try to to find someone in the water cooler gang to help you recuperate your "cool" status and you say: "Remember in 1982 when so and so won Eurovision?" And all eyes are on YOU and that's when you know stupid is not quite the word you were looking for to describe yourself. You're just plain, well...what's that expression? One fry short of a combo #5? Ok, but at least I recycle.

Photo courtesy of and tote for sale at andyeatsonlycandy


Shibuya Baby Jewels said...

I love those stickers!!

Anitra Cameron said...

Wow. That is some history you have. You really did put me right in your shoes. Maybe you're just feeling self-conscious, though, and they don't really think you're clueless or stupid or uncool?

Curious: Why not share your background? They'd probably be very interested to hear about it.