Spring came into its own this past week and, uncharacteristically, carried on through the weekend. It was a wonderfully sunny and warm day on Saturday, which proved quite a bonus as my wife and I were heading to Essex to meet up with some of my fellow countrymen.
We reconnected with NFAH, finally met a few other bloggers in person and enjoyed a lovely meal at an Italian restaurant in the charmingly twee village of Saffron Walden. And if it came to my attention during the meal that I was, once again, the lone male at a table full of women, I certainly didn’t think much of it. It’s just the way things are.
But at one point, the subject of blogging and the blogging community was brought up (at a table full of bloggers, go figure) and I did point out that I seemed to be the lone male voice (with the notable exception of Brit Out of Water) in the expat world. I don’t consider my situation very unique, so why am I an honorary member of the Mummy Blogger crowd?
The answer, it turns out, is screamingly obvious; I simply managed to avoid realizing it these past eight years: expat blogs tend to be written by the trailing spouse (stranger in a strange land and all that), and in every case I can think of (aside from myself and Dylan) that trailing spouse is female.
Up until the moment one of my blogging friends pointed this out, I had never thought of myself as a ‘trailing spouse.’ But there you have it. At least in the future, when I go to these sort of gatherings, I won’t have to wonder about being the only guy there.
And I always do enjoy meeting up with my fellow bloggers. We may be from different backgrounds in the States, with different experiences and different expectations, but when we meet up over here as expats, we bring with us so many shared experiences that the basis for a friendship is already present. The conversation, even from the initial introduction, is never awkward because we feel as if we know each other already.
That’s a good way to be, even if I am the odd one out.
We spent a relaxing few hours together in conversation, then parted, with promises to keep in touch. Then my wife and I took advantage of the commerce opportunities Saffron Walden afforded before heading home on the train.
And as we passed through London, I naturally I treated my wife to dinner at an exclusive restaurant.
All in all a remarkable day: good weather, good conversation, good friends and good food. I’m already looking forward to the next time.
Married to an American Moment of the week:
While watching the television.
Me: What’s he eating?
Wife: It’s a Chupa Chup
Me: What’s that?
Wife: It’s a boiled sweet on a stick.
Me: You mean like a Tootsie Pop?
Wife: What’s that?
Me: It’s a hard candy on a stick, but with a piece of Tootsie Roll inside.
Wife: What’s a Tootsie Roll?