Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 141

Hygiene obsessions!

I have found recently that ’round these parts’ Americans (not all, but some) are obsessed with hygiene. Like, really obsessed. Like cleaning their weights before they pick them up at the gym obsessed. This behaviour is at odds with my stance on it, since in the UK we typically acknowledge the ‘five second rule’ if a kid drops food on the floor. We do! It’s okay to eat it, that’s what we generally think! Get a good bit of dirt and germs in to build up that immune system!

Anyway, my research points to this explanation: The New York Times’ Room for Debate segment deals with the American obsession with cleanliness. It states that, compared with the rest of the world, Americans take personal hygiene and general disinfection to another level. It adds: “From our appreciation of white teeth and the daily shower, to our manicured lawns and store aisles full of bleach products, most of us cherish our unsoiled, unstained existence. And yet a recent Times article suggested that our “war on bacteria” has backfired.”

I like an antibacterial wipe as much as the next person, but sometimes, you just gotta roll with a few germs. That’s all!

(Pic courtesy of the NY Times)

(Pic courtesy of the NY Times)

Graduation fight and nonsense about graduation in general

So, I read this story about a fight between parents at a graduation.

Graduation – yes, I thought, when you graduate from UNIVERSITY. Oh no, graduation happens every year to every school year. My son will be ‘graduating’ from PK4 to Kindergarten…. WTF?!!!!

To us in the UK, graduation means after university you don a mortar board and gown and have completed a degree in something you either love (and won’t ever get a job in – humanities, for instance) or were forced to take by your parents to get a better job (like Calculus and Applied Science-stuff). And it also means getting a bit trollied at the graduation ball and then having a massive hangover/come down when you realise you now need to at least try and behave like an adult beause it is time to go in to the REAL WORLD.

A typical UK graduation

A typical UK graduation

A kindergarten graduation.....

A kindergarten graduation…..

Here there will be a ‘graduation ceremony’ for my son tomorrow. Everyone will clap and cheer and he will receive a certificate for being able to draw loads and loads of pictures every day that get sent home to me so that I then have to choose between the ‘keepers’ or the ‘recyclables’.

As lovely as it sounds, graduation every year between school years must get a bit ruddy tedious. I say let them on their way, give them something to aspire to and let them graduate when they can actually go and buy a drink at 21 – then they can celebrate properly!

Food truck competition

I missed this this weekend. Gutted! Everyone must have stuffed their faces!

What a fabulous American past-time! There’s always next year!

Bring on the sauces!

Bring on the sauces!

Healthy Howard

I totally know that I am very lucky to live in Howard County, which was named the healthiest county in the USA for the second year.

So I rocked up to participate in the Healthy Howard event, and proper healthy it was too, with all sorts of activities to bounce along to in 75 degree heat. You can read my write up on it here!

Healthy shenanigans :)

Healthy shenanigans 🙂

Ken Ulman and Lt. Gov Anthony Brown

Today, Lt. Gov Anthony Brown and Ken Ulman, Howard County Chief Executive, announced that Ken will be Anthony’s running mate in his bid for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Maryland.

It’s all very exciting stuff locally.

The announcement was made at the Columbia lakefront, and whilst I missed the actual announcement (because I was being a Good Parent and helping five year olds chuck bean bags through hoops – they mostly missed, for the record – and roll large balls down corridors in the name of fun), but I pegged it down there for the last bit of the ‘do’.

And what a party atmosphere! Aretha Franklin blaring out Respect from the loud speakers (she wasn’t there, you understand, it was a CD) and all sorts of well-dressed people mingling as banners flew overhead. This is American politics – a different vibe from UK politics. It has glamour and edge; it feels like popular culture rather than political cultivation, but that’s just how it works here.

I missed the very exciitng bit (image courtesy of Columbia Patch)

I missed the very exciitng bit (image courtesy of Columbia Patch)

It was a buzz!

It was a buzz!

I am interested in observing this political race from a PR aspect. I like to see how it all works, how the publicity shapes up and what it feels like. In one of my PR roles back in the UK I worked for several local councils, and have been through big UK elections, so I am fully aware of how it all operates back home. Here……well, I have a feeling it’s going to be flags and banners, and all sorts of high profile stuff that is just so, so different. And so, so interesting to be part of.

I also managed to get interviewed for the TV news in Baltimore about my thoughts on the announcement! I bet afterwards they thought…hang on, she’s British…she can’t vote….what’s she on about, why does she care?! Plus, I had not done my hair (note to self: always do hair) and was a tad sweaty (owing to large balls and bean bags, as above), so I sort of expect/hope they don’t use it, but we’ll see at 5pm news time!!

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13 Responses to Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 141

  1. Andy says:

    “getting a bit trollied” Thank you for using that phrase, it’s one I haven’t heard in a long time and will immediately work back into my vocabulary.

  2. Rhough says:

    When I was in school, and even more recently, when my children were in school, we/they did not have graduation from Pre-K or elementary school. Graduation happened at the end of High School and college. The practice of graduation after every grade, is something I have just begin seeing the past few years and, in my opinion, is a bit ridiculous.

  3. I for one have never been obsessed with the anti-bacterial stuff and I do know some people who are totally obsessed. Like that article states it has back-fired and I pride myself for not getting sick very often at all compared to most people. I credit the fact that I don’t wash my hands 15 times a day. Your immune system needs practice fighting bacteria. Now that’s not to say I haven’t been guilty of avoiding the gym at the height of flu season.

    I always thought pre-school graduations and the like were completely ridiculous. Man do we coddle our children?!! By the time they graduate high school the special-ness of the event is gone.

  4. EmmaK says:

    Tots in gowns – weird! Also some posh private schools here call their staff ‘faculty’…..rather bizarre

  5. ThatOtherGuy says:

    Two things: I think the gym thing has to do with a MRSA outbreak a while ago which kind of spooked everyone.

    Second, “in 75 degree heat” is the funniest thing I’ve read all week.

  6. Pat and Pam says:

    I agree that “graduation” has gone bonkers. Last I recall, when I left the USA, “graduation” had expanded to a ceremony from Kindergarten to Grade School, but NOT one EVERY year. That is ridiculous. In my day — okay, okay, I am being an old f*rt here — we graduated when we left High School (aged 17-18, grade 12, which I guess would equate to upper 6th for Brits — still haven’t got my head round the Brit system as I have no children). All High School graduates did not go on to higher education, so that was the excuse for a ceremony at that stage. Then was REAL graduation, when we finished a degree, when we also got to wear those velvet collar/cape things (can’t remember what they are called — shows what an old f*rt I am) with blue for Bachelor of Arts, and gold for Bachelor of Science. I didn’t go on to higher degrees, but there were ceremonies for those as well.

  7. Pingback: Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 145 | ukdesperatehousewifeusa

  8. john says:

    I wouldn’t be mentioning the no daily shower bit, especially in summer.

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