Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Q&A V-log Transcript

As per a request from Shermeen, here is the transcript for the v-log. It's not exact - i.e. it's not a script - as I just used it for reference, but it's pretty much the same.

Louise Edington: How does it feel to be adopting a whole new culture?
This is a difficult one... I don’t know! That’s not a very good start. I feel excited and am looking forward to learning as I go. I’ve been reading about the modern culture of America as well as its history over the past 400 years, and so far I’ve found it really interesting, but I know that that’s just books, and not really living it. So, I guess I would have to say that, in my naivety, I am really happy to get my teeth into learning about another society – linguistically, socially, politically and so on – but am yet to discover how I feel about the culture itself.

Sam Rogerson: If you were in the position to choose a question that a 28 year old gal who’s about to emigrate to the USA to marry the love of her life is going to answer, what question would you choose?
Thanks for this one, Sammy. Well, if I had to ask myself anything, I suppose I’d probably ask a lot of the questions that people have already posed for this v-log, so that makes it a bit difficult to choose just one question. I guess I would ask that girl what she thought she would miss most, and then want to ask her again a few months later, to see if the answer changes at all. Or how long she thinks she can go without proper bacon.

Caroline Bristow: What one thing that you can’t get over there do you want us to post to you in regular care packages?
Either proper Cadbury’s chocolate (it’s not the same in the States, it really isn’t), or Yorkshire Tea, I think. You can get Yorkshire Tea in the US (though more it’s more expensive), so I think I’d go for the chocolate Dairy Milk, please!), as that just won’t be available.

Vicky Walters: What’s your favourite cheese? And will you be able to get it in America?
Mozzarella and yes. Apparently Harris Teeter (a supermarket chain) also sell ‘make your own mozzarella’ kits, so I’m a happy camper. Also available on Amazon, and direct from the Roaring Brook Dairy.

Sarah Kilmister: If you could be any animal over in Charlotte, what would it be and why?
An animal?! I don’t know, probably a cat, so that Ben would love me (even) more.

Rae Henry: Is it a chance to be a whole new person, and if so, who will you be? E.g. What changes will you make?
It sort of is a chance to be something of a new person, though I hope the bits of me that I like stay pretty much the same. I hope to be less afraid of taking chances, more willing to grab happy times, calmer in general, and to continue being biased towards love. I think that has a lot to do with Ben though, rather than where he is, but I certainly am looking forward to becoming an English photographer in America.

Vicky Walters: What colour’s your underwear?
Purple, in honour of CRD.

Cassie Chaney: What are you most nervous about, what with the big continental jump? What are you looking forward to the most, BESIDES THE SAPPY HETEROLESBIAN RAINBOWVOMIT-WORTHY BEN THING? 
(This question can have NOTHING to do with Legs [Ben] in response!)
I am ridiculously nervous about driving, which I know is a bit silly as I’ve been driving for 10 years here, so I am sure with an automatic and Ben’s tuition, it will be fine. Plus of all the things to be nervous about, that seems a bit daft – perhaps it’s a ruse, to stop me worrying about more serious things? Besides the sappy rainbow stuff, I am most looking forward to both cementing and continuing my relationships with family and friends in the USA, and seeing where they take me, and allowing myself to pursue my other dream of working as a photographer.

Cassie Chaney: How excited are your tits to be in *my* glorious presence?
To be answered in person.

Mike Dean: What is the one thing about American culture are you looking forward to embracing the most?
Probably the greater pro-active nature of a lot of Americans I’ve already met. The positivity I’ve experienced, and the friendliness, is something I really appreciate. I have felt for a long time that I’m a bit too friendly for a British person, so I hope I will fit in with Charlotte!

Andrew McDonald: How many pairs of shoes are you taking to the USA and why?
36 pairs, because I threw out or gave away all of the others. I probably had 100+ pairs of shoes before I did a massive clear out.

Mindy Vähäkainu: Another friend of mine may be in the same situation as you soon. Have you had any critics, and what do you have to say to them?
I think “critics” would be the wrong word here. We’ve had two people express concern about my leaving (friends of mine, not Ben’s), but in the context of natural worrying I think. This comes from knowing me and my usually rational nature (i.e. I don’t often emigrate for love...) and because they’re my closest friends. But that has been it, and it was temporary, helped by my reassurances and the fact that they have seen how happy Ben and I are. I am sure some people who don’t know us might have things to say about either how we met, or how fast things have gone and so on, but honestly, I would say we’ve had the most wonderful support from our families and friends. We are so incredibly blissful together, and I think that shows, so no one seems to question it. Our engagement party was definitely one of the best days of my entire life, as it was with Ben, celebrating us, with 80-odd people we love and who love us. The whole day was just full of joy and love and all that rainbow stuff Cassie mentioned in her question.

I actually got interviewed for a bridal magazine back in spring, and this was one of the questions I was asked. The interviewer did seem unable to believe that neither our parents nor our friends had expressed any deep worries or tried to dissuade us from getting married this year. I suppose it might sound a little unbelievable, but then, I genuinely don’t know why anyone else should have a say in anyone else’s relationship. So, I suppose I would say to your friend that it is important to be kind and considerate to people’s worries, especially those closest to you, and that you should reassure them when you can. But outright, unconstructive criticism isn’t helpful and should be ignored, I think. As my Dad said when I spoke to him about this (as well as querying why it mattered anyway), “Why would anyone object to more happiness?!”.

Matthew Willits: When are you going to introduce Eve to Cap’n Crunch?
For Ben to answer!

Sarah at ExPat Bride: While you guys were separated did Ben ever speak to his friends and family about missing you? I find that women are more likely to open up about heartache whereas men like to be more private. Why or why not?
I think he does speak to them if asked about it, and often his closest friends and family do – or pick up on the fact he might be missing us being together. Ben is generally someone who doesn’t talk about how he feels to most people, as he’s quite a private person. He has written a bit about it on his guest posts for our wedding photographer's blog, now I think of it, though. I'm not sure whether his way of dealing with it is because he’s a man, or just him. I’ll leave this one for him to answer for his point of view. From mine, I guess I write in the blog about how I feel about him and being without him, plus if he texts me while I’m out with friends then I often get a silly grin on my face, so we end up talking about him a bit. It’s always hardest just after we’ve parted, but then I generally want to be left alone, because I don’t like to impose on people when I’m that sad. Plus there’s nothing anyone can say, really! To be honest, I think I talk to Ben most about missing him, not to friends and family. Funnily enough, he understands better than anyone else!

Martha Aldridge: How long (in hours or days) do you anticipate squeeing for when you’re finally together, at the end of this process. OR Do you think you’ll settle quite quickly, or anticipate a gradual wind-down?
I imagine it will be a couple of weeks, gradually calming down but with the frequent, sudden realisation that I am really there, with him. As for settling, I think I’ll feel comfortable quite quickly, as I already know our apartment and we will have something of a routine with Ben’s work and university classes, but it actually being real, NOT HAVING TO LEAVE will be exciting for a long time yet, I think.

Ben Condon: Are you going to develop an American accent (intentionally or unintentionally) and are you going to adopt the various Americanisms, such as putting “z” instead of “s”, and omitting the “o” in words like “foetus”?
I imagine that I might develop some kind of American accent, as I pick up accents pretty easily. However, it will be harder to change the way I spell things. Being a bit of a grammar/spelling freak, I think it will take a long time for me to see the Americanised version of words as “correct”.

Daphné Jacques: What part of British culture do you think will be the most important for you not to “lose”?
Not sure! Possibly sense of humour and the level of sarcasm the Brits enjoy. Bantering and mickey-taking are normal and treasured elements of British interactions for me, with a spot of cynicism and a healthy dose of acerbic wit. I’m not sure if it’s rumour or fact, but apparently the Americans aren’t so at ease with sarcastic humour, so I hope I don’t lose either engaging in it, or appreciating it.

Shermeen Robinson: What are you most looking forward to about living with Ben, and what are you least looking forward to? Do you expect there to be a period of adjustment, where after you realise, hey, neither of us is going anywhere! And I have to put up with him slurping his tea like that forever?! And, for good measure, without talking to each other again, where do you see yourselves in the next five years?
Just being with him. Sappy, eh? Just being in the same room as him, in the next room as him, knowing he’s there. The fact that I immediately want Ben to be the person that knows what’s going on in my head, or if I see something funny or interesting, I want him to see it too... all of that. It’s so wrong not sharing life with him in that immediate, face-to-face way. So, just the normal stuff like making coffee, walking the dog, going for dinner, reading, watching a movie, cooking. All that. I am least looking forward to feeling like I’m crashing “his” apartment and filling it with all my stuff. That and getting used to new appliances, where things are in the flat, and how to understand temperature in Fahrenheit so that I don’t burn everything. I guess I am also not looking forward to forgetting how lucky I am – I hate it if I get snappy or grumpy and then feel ridiculous for being so (even if it’s normal) because of how fortunate we are to be able to be together.

I think there will of course be a period of adjustment, but I don’t anticipate anything too drastic in terms of me and Ben, especially in the context of having moved countries (there will be a lot more to deal with there!). He is a lot more chilled out than me, so I guess that while that is a blessing, we might clash over me being neurotic and over-organised (or me having to not be like that, I suppose). But by “clash” I just mean “differ”. We love each other, we discuss, we talk – we don’t argue. I made a pact with myself that I will always speak to Ben calmly and openly, even if I think I’m being stupid. Every single time I’ve done that, he has shown me that I can trust him and that talking to him is not only easy, it makes things better. So, I feel really happy and comfortable about that, even if we have adjustment issues.

As for the five years... quite possibly still in the USA, probably looking to have our first child. Hopefully I will be an established photographer, at least part-time, and earning enough money to pay my half of the bills and save a little. I guess we will have probably moved apartments by then. We might come back to the UK, but we just don’t know yet. We think that the kids decision will influence whether we do or don’t. Either way, it’s exciting!

Shermeen Robinson: (for Ben) What do you love most about Eve and what habits does she have that drive you insane but you secretly love about her? And, for good measure, without talking to each other again, where do you see yourselves in the next five years?
For Ben to answer.

And there you have it! All my waffle in print.

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