I’ve experienced culture shock twice. The first time I was nineteen. I’d just moved to Brighton from Trinidad to study English Lit at university. There wasn’t a language barrier (much – there still managed to be a lot I didn’t understand or couldn’t make understood easily) but just about everything else was unfamiliar, from the sense of humour to the cultural markers to the public transport. But I was fortunate to fall into a lot of fast friendships that sustained me through those years and many of those people remain
“Three girls! Poor dad!” Thanks, you’ve just told my children their dad wishes at least one of them were a boy. He doesn’t. “You have your hands full. Are they all…?” My eldest has started answering this one, “Yes, we’re all girls.” “Are you going to keep trying for a boy?” I guess the assumption here is that that’s what we were doing the second or third time. I’m always tempted to respond asking for advice on how to do that. I mean, is there a specific position for conceiving
I’m late to the party blogging about The Hunger Games but it’s such a luxury getting out to the cinema at all post-baby that I can’t help but mark the event. We ended up seeing it by accident. We’d actually bought tickets for the wrong viewing of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which was disappointing when we eventually saw it. We sat for a full 20 minutes towards the film’s end, thinking it must be avant garde, before realising the error. The mix up turned out to be serendipitous. (Warning:
I’ve instinctively struggled with the idea of gendered roles in marriage since we got engaged two years and two months ago. I’d like to think I’m closer to settling the matter in my mind by now but every time I turn a corner I find myself pausing, uncertain of where to go.
As a younger teen I often bragged that I would never get married and certainly never have children. Mostly, I got a kick out of making controversial statements. I also considered myself a feminist (still do) and naively felt that this was at odds with pursuing family life. But mainly, I saw marriages suffering all around me, with children caught in the middle, and it scared the hell out of me.
Actually, I didn’t start interrogating my body again until pregnancy began to make itself apparent. I felt frumpy. But I didn’t talk about it because I didn’t want to appear shallow or ungrateful for the baby.