Friday, January 21, 2005

Reverse Reverse Reverse Culture Shock

Okay, so, as most of you know, Ed and I are in Oklahoma right now. And, as expected, I have been experiencing some weird culture shock moments:

The other day I was in Wal-Mart, and all I wanted to buy was a bottle of nail hardener for my fingernails. Doesn't sound all too complicated, right? Wrong-o, buddy! So, I'm standing there, looking at the nail polish section, and they have about three billion different kinds of nail hardener. Okay, so it wasn't three billion. Maybe more like twelve. Not twelve billion. Just twelve. And I'm thinking, "Who needs twelve different kinds of nail hardener? Why are there so many? Why can't there be just one? How long will I be standing here, staring at bottles of nail polish, while eternity approaches?" (Not "Eternity" the perfume, although I wouldn't have complained. I love that stuff!)

Yeah, so, back to nail hardener. They've got one kind with sea water minerals, one with acrylic, one with nylon, and one that says "Hard as Diamonds," and I don't know if that means it's got pulverized diamonds in it or what. So I stand there for a few minutes with my mouth hanging open, sweating buckets in my long, black coat designed for Chemnitz winter weather (and yeah, it's 20 degrees Celcius today, in JANUARY!!!), wondering how in the world I'm supposed to make a choice. I finally grabbed two bottles--the sea minerals and the acrylic, I believe--and harangued the girl stocking shelves into helping me pick one. She'd never used either one of them, but she recommended the acrylic. So I bought both. Go figure.

Okay, so I didn't harangue the shelf stock girl. I asked politely. I just wanted an excuse to use the word 'harangue.'

The most recent moment of shock came yesterday, when Ed's thirteen-year-old nephew Wes walked into the house. And yes, he was carrying a dead rabbit by its back feet. He'd just shot it himself, with a 12-gauge shotgun. Its little rabbit head was just wobbling back and forth on its little dead rabbit neck. Then Wes skinned it and cleaned it and stuck it in the refrigerator. I explained to Wes that I am a city girl, and that was probably the closest I've ever come to a freshly killed rabbit before. He grinned.

That raft in the middle of the Atlantic is looking pretty good right now. ;o)