Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 25

Land of the Free?

I am officially a resident alien, which means this….I cannot have my own bank account.

I am totally incensed about this. For God’s sake, I’ve had my own bank account since I opened my Griffin Savers in 1983 with £1.  I’ve had my own money and account since forever. This is not freedom, it is total disempowerment. A disempowered homemaker, that is what I am. I’m off to buy something at Macy’s in protest and then watch my other half’s raised eyebrows when he sees the outgoings on the joint account… 🙂

Famous Dave’s

For those of you who are in the know about the tanning world, Famous Dave’s is a brand of tan. So imagine my joy when my husband declared that we were off to Famous Dave’s that evening. Would I get a Brazilian Dark? Or a Caribbean Vacation?

None of the above.

Famous Dave’s here is a pork/rib house of astronomical proportions. You eat it in bin lids. And it is fun. It is called a ‘Pit BBQ’. Turn the sound up when you log on. You’ll get the idea…

Anyway, what you don’t eat out of your bin lid you get to have as take out (note) and suffice to say Famous Dave’s fed my husband for two more evenings. Thank you Famous Dave.

My three McD’s stories

I have three McD’s stories of note. All on one occasion (although I confess we have frequented the local one a couple of times owing to the excellent play facilities….). Anyhow, first story.

My server….he is tattooed to the hilt. Arms, neck, ears, some on his face. His teeth are rotten and his eyes a little wonky. But he is polite, amusing and offers Harry an alternative to the toy from the one he already has with his Happy Meal. Thank you Dylan, this is beyond the call of duty of a man with only three stars – get the man another star. Word of caution. Do not ask a man with five zillion tattoos what they all mean – your child’s nuggets get cold, he gets cranky and the other customers in the queue get v v v annoyed.

Gloria….Gloria is big, bold, beautiful and I am mesmerised by her. She has a bottom eight times the size of mine (and that means it’s BIG), the biggest Afro, the loudest voice, the most colourful clothes and a matriarchal presence that would threaten the sheriff’s authority. It’s a party at McD’s, and Gloria, I work out, is the grandmother to Tyler. Gloria is in charge and I admire how she holds that group of kids in the palm of her hand. “Who ain’t eating their fries?” booms Gloria. Now everyone is eating their fries. And she calls everyone ‘honeychile’. I love that.

How old is Tyler? I ask Gloria. Tyler is four. I love your accent, she says. I love yours, I say.

Gloria gives us cake when we leave. I feel like Gloria now has me in the palm of her hand too.

In the parking lot (note)….so we come out of McD’s, holding Gloria’s cake in a napkin, wary not to drop it in case of repercussions.  A woman calls to me from a car. You from the UK? Yes, I am. She nods. I’m from Hounslow, she says. I get her life story – she came here 23 years ago with her husband (she’s now divorced) and stayed as a dressmaker. She misses tea and villages. Here’s my card, she says, call me. Thanks, I say.

People just do that, give our their number and want to befriend you. I like it. It makes you feel part of something.

Air con

I do love air con, but it can be very deceiving. I must remember just because it is hot outside, it does not mean that wearing very little clothing inside will be in any way helpful – just chilly. Must remember to take a sweater (note) next time we eat in.

Naming cars

I have had several cars in my life. Barry, Roger, Tiffany, Rodney. I’ve loved them all in their own way.

My husband has acquired a Ford Taurus 1997 and it’s basically an old banger. If ever a man has had a car that resembles him, this is it. It has character, is a bit rough around the edges and needs a bit of work. But it is lovely and makes you smiles and everyone loves it. We call it The Bull.

I have a new car too. She is called Lady Miss Tilly, for she is part Southern Belle and part sophisticated madam. Sassy and smart – I love her already.


Harry is asking A LOT of questions right now, some of which I just don’t know the answer to. What do raccoons eat? What would happen if I ate sweets all day? How many people live in America? I could Google them, for sure, but not always easy or legal when driving Lady Miss Tilly.

Best ever question that I actually could answer.

“Mummy, why do I ask so many questions?”

“Because you are four and a half.”


They like Clarins and Estee Lauder. Fact.

Doggy Day Care

We went to a pet shop, just to see. A half hour out, as most mums would admit.

They have frigging Doggy Day Care! And you can just sit and watch them sniff each others bums and jump about a bit and poo. It’s nuts!

Filling up with gas

It’s not as we know it. I had to ask for help. I shan’t bore you with the details, but it really is so different with levers and stuff, and you don’t do half tanks or only put in $40 (or £30 as I would have at home). Fill the tank up, darlin’ and hit the highway! Um, okay….

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