I just met with an exchange student from Sydney. Now, I often meet with international students in my job; in fact, just this morning I met with an adorable Scottish boy who reminded me of a happy, charming Harry Potter. But I don’t often get to meet with Aussies, and seeing as how I’ve been there and spend most of my non-work waking AND sleeping hours with one, I was kind of excited.
I tried not to say anything stupid, like “Oh hey! I went to Australia this summer!”… but I couldn’t contain myself. When I asked her for a check to pay for her practice room key, I preempted her by saying, “Oh wait! You guys don’t do checks! My boyfriend is Australian, and he’s always like ‘Why do you still use checks here?'”
Way to stay cool, right?
I didn’t think too much about it, but about an hour later, as I reached for my last remaining lamington, I realized what an incredible Aussie poser I must have looked like to her! Looking around my office, I have a stuffed wombat, a cling-on koala on my lamp, and a picture of Aussie and I in a frame that says “Australia” with a cute little koala. And that’s only what’s visible — I also had the lamington (now in my tummy!), a jumbo bag of Shapes, and a bunch of Weet-Bix in my drawer, plus a package of Tim Tams in my fridge. To top it off, I was listening to Missy Higgins, an Australian singer-songwriter.
I was taken aback by this realization. Am I a big obsessed poser? Do I just have an appreciation for Aussie snacks and a desire to display my cute souvenirs? Or am I just one of those blinded-by-love types?
Here’s what I think: It’s unavoidable. If someone is important to you, and something is important to them, you pay attention. You can’t help it. In this way, I know way more about watches than I could ever care about, and can sometimes talk reasonably intelligently about cars. Isn’t one of the hopes in sharing, after all, that you might be lucky, that something THEY like becomes something YOU like (and vise versa), and you can use that to build on your bond? It seems reasonable to me.
So how could my excitement over sharing a box of Shapes on the plane or eating a couple-y weekend breakfast of Weet-Bix with raw sugar be a bad thing? How is displaying the adorable wombat that used to belong to Aussie’s sister and was given to me by his mom be anything other than a token and reminder of love? How could singing along with a talented Aussie singer be a waste of time?
Answers: It can’t, it’s not, and it isn’t.
For as long as I’m with my Aussie, which I hope will be a very very long time, Australia will have a big impact on my life. Just consider me culturally aware. 😉