Friday, September 16, 2005

The Good, The Bad, and The Reluctant

Recently regarding my blog, I have been asked by certain individuals (who shall remain nameless), "when do we get past the Reluctant and on to the Anglophile?"

In fact my dear husband Steve has himself suggested that perhaps it would be nice if once in a while--for variety's sake--I were to write something slightly less cynical and more embracing of the English culture so that I don't let the latter portion of my moniker wither up and die on the vine. After all, being reluctant and being an Anglophile shouldn't have to be mutually exclusive states of being, should they?

Well, this philosophical conundrum got me thinking, which is always a bit of a dangerous thing (though not as dangerous as some of my other pursuits involving cookery, feats of physical coordination, or weekly Pub Quiz Night with the locals--more on the latter in an upcoming post). Deciding I was up for the challenge, I sat down and tried to write a fun, informative, and not in the least bit cynical piece for the R.A.

And I wish I could offer that impassioned literary gem up for you to behold, but alas, I must admit that I sat at my computer for the better part of two hours staring at the cursor flashing back accusingly at me on a blank screen, until I was finally forced to give up the ghost and accept defeat--for now anyway.

It's not that there's a lack of good things to be said about my newly adopted home country--in fact, there are a lot of great things to be said about it, I'm sure--it's just much easier to write about the more annoying, unusual or unexplainable aspects of life over here. Hoping to give myself some room to maneuver, I looked up the Webster's definition of an Anglophile:

An·glo·phile (ăng'glo-fīl') n.
One who admires England, its people, and its culture.

Hmmph. Well, I'm certain there are things about England, its people and culture that I quite admire, or at least find interesting. After all, I quite liked Brighton, though it was rather cold, overcast and did cost $60 to get there. And I liked the Globe Theatre, though their choice of using 3 actors to play 12 characters still eludes me. And I absolutely adore the English people that I count amongst my friends (all three of them, one of whom is actually Irish and probably doesn't want to be lumped in with the English).

In the interest of performing some unbiased market research, I decided to seek out the guidance of a former publishing colleague on striking the appropriate balance between the Reluctance and the Anglophilic. I quite liked the encouraging advice she offered up:

"You do try, but are usually stopped dead in your when you went to that outdoor movie. Besides, it's too early to be Anglophilian--it will happen organically. When, or should I say--if--you have the epiphany that you are a full-fledged Anglophile, it will be and should be a BIG thing! You're there for awhile--you don't want to peak now!"

So until this organic moment of divine conversion transpires, another friend proffered up an idea which may serve as an interim solution to appease those who prefer a side of Anglophile with their Reluctance. We will soon be implementing intermittent "Guest Postings" written by both visiting guests and other expatriates living in Blighty, who may (or may not) have a sunnier perspective to offer up than the R.A., but who at the very least will provide readers with some alternate viewpoints, ensuring an accurate and unbiased lens into the British culture, such as it is.