My name is Vanessa and I am scared. Actually, it seems all the guest bloggers are mildly petrified of filling Susannah's shoes. I mean, this is one of my favorite blogs and people come here to be entertained or moved or sometimes just plain old weirded out by stuff like this:
When I came back to the U.S. in December, I saw the Snuggie infomercial at least 75 times a day, vying for my Christmas bucks. I was amazed. First I scoffed. Then I giggled. Then I considered. Then denied. And now... Now, I regret. Because if there's any place I'll need a Snuggie, it's in Sweden come November. And damn, that Snuggie looks so, so snuggly. Blankets slip and slide! They're so lame...
As a former English major, I've always found the advice "write what you know" to be the way to go. And to be honest, I don't know anything about sticking live frogs down vinyl pantyhose... yet. So what do I know? I started The Voyage of V in December, simply as a way to keep my friends up to date on my adventures. You see, for the past three years I'd been living in Sweden. Yes, the land of many a meatball, reasonably priced flat-packed furniture and the bane of Sean Hannity's existence. Then I had something of a quarter life crisis, took a six month leave of absence, gave the goldfish to a coworker and fled home to Philadelphia. So now it's six months later and it's time to go back. There's no end to the laundry list of things I'll miss when I'm gone. But I thought I'd share just a few with you. May you never take them for granted again.
The bacon, egg & cheese McGriddle
Yes, I am actually being serious. Whatever, I can feel you judging me, but just hear me out. This isn't the first time I've blogged about the greatest of American inventions. Did you know the McGriddle is only 420 calories?!? I bet you thought it was more. And it's got 1110 mgs of sodium. Wait, that kinda sounds like a lot of salt... Anyway, this little breakfast wonder is the definition of American ingenuity. Who else would think of putting the syrup inside the pancake? Genius.
There was a time in my life when I wanted to torch every Whole Foods in the Tri-State area and do a happy dance around the bonfire of burning tofu and vegan cookies. That's when I worked there and was forced to make protein smoothies and lattes for entitled housewives who'd drop by after their baby yoga classes. But you know what? The joke's on you HoFo. Cause now I roll up in there freshly meditated and stretched out, ready to buy kefir and organic rhubarb. That is, unless I'd rather do my food shopping in Margaritaville. Then I go one block in the opposite direction to Trader Joe's.
Political BanterIf there's one thing you'll never run out of in this country, it's a never-ending supply of debate opponents. A week ago a few of us got into a debate about why Dick Cheney is/isn't the guy you want to call "a hero," all via a string of comments on Facebook. I'm not kidding when I say this debate went on for 52 posts (no, not all mine). When I'm feeling pissed off all I have to do is turn on Fox News and unleash the fury within. This is a country of polar opposites, and no matter what you believe in, there's no denying we love to rip each other to shreds over it. What am I supposed to debate in Sweden? I love Obama more than you do! Fuck you and your universal healthcare! Your high quality of living absolutely sickens me... Snooze.
Ok, so Seinfeld runs on tv in Sweden. So does Sex and the City. But not at all hours of the day. Which, clearly, is absolutely necessary. At any given moment I can turn on my extended cable and watch something I've seen at least 10 times before. Thus, continuing to turn my brain to a mushier mush. Luckily I'll be going back to work soon, so mid-day idiot box-ing won't even be an option.
So folks, there you have it. Just a few of the things that I'll be missing very soon. But then again there will be a whole other list of Swedish things I'll be glad to have back in my life. Meatballs not included. But that's for a different post. Susannah, although I resent you deeply for being in a tropical paradise, I also thank you for letting me guest blog for you today!