I don’t understand why my family feels so threatened by the fact that I have a French husband and live in France. It is hard for me to have a conversation without my mother getting defensive in regard to America.
For instance, today I asked her to look at my blog and tell me if she liked it. Her first comment was that I didn’t have a link to Angel Girl’s blog on my sidebar (this from the woman that pretends that she doesn’t even know what a sidebar is when I tell her to look at some of my favorite blogs). She still was not happy when I told her I have a link to Angel Girl’s blog on my ABOUT page. Next, she tells me she doesn’t like my post, Who invited the Queen to dinner.
She got a bit upset and informed me that all Americans do indeed use their knives and forks. I told her it was suppose to be a funny post poking fun at mainly my husband (which she usually enjoys) and secondly at cultural differences between countries and I would even add families. She said that I exagerated a bit….really??? Mom, I meant to. If I hadn’t exagerated it wouldn’t have been funny. Ususally, when we are trying to be funny, we exagerate a bit. No???
My mother brings the French-American thing into almost every conversation. If I say something about France (unless it is something bad about France), she just has to tell me, “It is nice in America or America is….this or that.” I can say Strasbourg is a great city to live in because of the tram and there is always something to see or do. She will make sure to tell me that there are things to do there in Ohio and it is nice there too. Well, I lived there and there is not really a lot to do there. Yes, it is nice there, too. But, I don’t see why my talking about Strasbourg being nice had anything to do with Ohio.
I think she feels threatened by my life here in France.
It is not just her. The last time I talked to my brother we got into a fight because, heaven forbid, I say what I like about living in France. How dare I compare my life in America to my life in France. He took it as an attack on America and told me I was losing my Americanism. I understand that not all Americans would be happier in France. I was just telling him what I liked and even what I did not like.
I love my family but I don’t think they get it. I am American and always will be. However, I live in France and my husband and children here are French. My family sees my husband as the bad Frenchman who took me away. They don’t really see my children as French. For my family, my children are Americans living in France. That dual citizenship thing is nice…however, the kids are somehow more American.
I have even gotten the whole, “Why did you marry a French? It would have been easier if you would have married an American.” Well, I don’t think most of us decide who we fall in love with. It just happens.
I understand where they are coming from. I understand that they have never traveled outside of the states and that I am very far from them. I understand my mother is not happy that she has not seen myself or three out of her four grandchildren in over two years. I understand.
Even so, it still is not easy.