Sunday, 19 December 2010

Puppy loss and unexpected smiles

Woke up to a jaw-dropping email from the Husky Farm.

The breeder had forgotten that our featured pup had been reserved by the (clearly evil) Sandville Family of Pennsylvania.  Hank got straight to work on the web, checking out rescue Huskies but they are all older and ill-matched with potential future cats.  The search continues...

I'm trying to keep on smiling but apparently not doing very well.  Today in the hippy organic food store near Eastern Market, two separate strangers said hello and, being a Londoner (naturally callous, and extra socially-challenged for having recently lost a puppy) I just grimaced awkwardly with eyes cast downward, and walked on by.  This did not satisfy the second chap, who sarcastically repeated his greeting to my back as I skulked past, forcing me to turn around and break every rule in the Londoner's Self-Preservation Manual.  He seemed glad when I finally made the effort to smile but it was a most uncomfortable experience for me!  How many other people have my gruff city ways alienated in DC?  This is a capital city, right?  And surely people in the administrative centre of a nation have to be at least as indifferent to their neighbours as Londoners or New Yorkers?

Odd.  My experience of DC truly bucks the London-Paris-Milan trend. Dog walkers, joggers, hippy grocery shoppers, people walking past my house when I'm opening the front door; they say hi and smile.  But what I really need you Americans out there to tell me, is how friendly should I be?  I mean, seriously, even HOMELESS people say hello and seem really offended if I don't return the greeting.  I don't want to be rude!

Talking of rude, I turned up (late) to my first Bridal Shower today.  The Bridal Shower tradition does not exist in the UK and Hank was typically-man ignorant about what was required.  So I rocked up without realising there was a Gift Registry and I was expected to have researched this and provide a gift of the bride's choosing.  So ignorant am I, that I barely brought a gift at all, picking up a leather photo album en route "just in case" and arriving 30 mins late.  Oops.   The Bridal Shower was really pleasant though, with a lovely group of women from different walks of life, and a refreshing lack of crude innuendo.  A far cry from the Hen Nights of my youth.  I wonder how I will deal with this additional cultural difference when my Hen Night rolls around....  Which, I am now proud to announce, will be Feb 25th in Vegas, followed by a 6pm Elvis-led wedding on Feb 26th.  You have been warned!

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