Don’t Follow Me, I’m Lost Too

We were waiting in the Social Security office in Hudson to arrange for Eric to receive his official card and number, now that he’s fully legal to work in the US. There was a poster up on the wall of Patty Duke and the Asian guy from Star Trek in space outfits. I studied their pictures, glad it had their names underneath the photos, or else I might have thought they were just anyone’s grandmother and grandfather doing PSA’s for Social Security, and wondered why had the man been allowed to dye his hair but not the lady?

When we got up to the desk and there was another poster with two Patty Dukes, this one saying “Even my cousin’s applying online”, Eric looked questioningly at it and said – cousin? To a foreigner trying to make sense of America, perhaps it had a hillbilly ring to it, and what with gay marriage recently legalized in New York state…

Having gotten the idea from the other poster that Patty Duke was now a spokesperson for Social Security, I was all primed to tell him how she was one of the first American teenagers on television playing not only herself but her British-bred “cousin”. How the Patty character had been so kooky and mischievous that a hot dog made her lose control while cousin Kathy had been sophisticated and posh, having lived most everywhere from Brooklyn Heights to Berkeley Square. To help bridge the cultural gap, I even threw in a little tidbit about how Herman’s Hermits had been in an episode.

“Ah, Peter No-one,” Eric said, getting the idea quickly that for moving the culture forward, Patty Duke Show was a step or two below the Beverly Hillbillies.

In France, it had been Eric explaining how things worked, or didn’t. Here, it’ll have to be me who provides simple, reassuring answers to questions like:

“I know ‘ground beef’ is what you call mince, but what or who is Ground Chuck?”

“What exactly will the children do to us if we don’t give them treats on Halloween?”


“The snow won’t come until late November or around Christmas, right?”

october snow

So – sometimes you have to lie.

5 thoughts on “Don’t Follow Me, I’m Lost Too

  1. a

    Ah, yes. we've heard about the snow. Our central heating hasn't kicked in yet. it's not often you get to feel smug about the climate here. Tell Eric we went to see Baxter's gig at the Komedia with Japhy and Jemima. Good reviews so far.P.S. I once asked a hotel receptionist in Beverly Hills where I could get hold of a pair of cheap trainers. I needed shoes. She looked at me for at least a minute while she made the translation.Glad to hear you're settling in…

  2. Amy

    I know Fly, the word "flank" always makes me think of some kind of romance fiction for cows or horses only.Showed Eric your comment Adrian, he was happy to hear it.Now as for the trainers, I thought for a second you were going to say she sent you twin over the hill musclemen in shabby gym clothes, dyed blond hair and spray tans?

  3. Warhol Superstar

    Re: Halloween candy… I always put a note on my door saying something to the effect of 'No candy tonight' (I can't be bothered to answer the door every five minutes…I'm watching wrestling!). Tell Eric that the kids'll just go on to the next place.That photo is beautiful, by the way. Good luck at your November gigs… Hope you're both well – E

  4. Amy

    Thanks Erica, in the end I was desperate for them to knock on the door – "wait, are they walking past? Are they shunning us?" Because apparently the last people who lived here did a huge display in the front yard and we had two little pumpkins. I gave until the candy ran out, playing creepy "Tubular Bells" on the keyboard in between answering. And Eric was in shock at the number of kids, and thrilled.

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