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Have you always assumed you’d return to the homeland when the timing was right? Take note: many expats love their new American life so much they decide to stay put. Read on to find out if you’re one of them.
1. Americans are your new best friends
You rarely call the few Brits whose faded names are still on your Rolodex or defunct UK mobile, and the Christmas cards on top of your pile won’t require airmail delivery. That’s because your closest confidants – the people you’d let babysit your kids or bail you out of jail – are the folks you met since moving to the U.S.
2. You married an American
If him or her indoors is a Yank then chances are you’ll be here for as long as the relationship lasts. I’m in an optimistic mood so let’s say that’s forever. You’ll buy an American house, have American kids and invest in an American pet that, decades later, stubbornly refuses to die. For one reason or another, you’ll never find yourself in a position to make that big move back home.
3. You called your child Chuck, Chase or Chad
Should you decide to burden your anchor babies with classically American first names, you’re probably best off staying in the U.S. Move back to Britain and your kids’ new classmates will throw rocks and point.
4. Your same job back home would pay less
Possibly your top reason for moving stateside was to take an American company up of its offer of a great position. If swapping to the equivalent British role means cashing a slimmer check every month then you have very little incentive to repatriate.
5. You’ve started understanding – and enjoying – American football
Oh, the horror! And when you say “football” you no longer mean soccer. You wouldn’t dare mention this to other Brits but you’re starting to think that perhaps rugby players should wear padding.
6. You’re friendly to strangers
You’ll know you’ve morphed into an American when you have the urge to speak to people you’ve never met before. And by this I mean you’ll want to say something pleasant and unprompted, not remind someone to move forward in a queue or meekly request that their child stop kicking the back of your seat.
7. You miss major events back home without even realizing it
Did the FA Cup final pass you by unnoticed? After the last election, did you not even know there’d been one? “That Tony Blair looks younger than I remember him,” you thought, glimpsing David Cameron for the first time.
8. You think in Fahrenheit and cups
If you can’t remember the last time you worried about the weather in Celsius or your weight in stones then, sorry to say, you’re an ex-Brit. Measure yourself a consoling cup of tea.
9. You crave Bud and Miller Lite
Is beer that tastes like insect urine starting to appeal? Do you want your under-sized pint of stout or ale served in a frosted glass? If you answered yes to both of these then I doubt you’ll be taking up residence in your country of origin anytime soon.
10. You speak and spell in American
Has the letter “z” becomes a regular character – rather than occasional interloper – in your scribblings? It’s time to admit that you’re more American than British. If you also say, “I’m good” instead of “I’m very well” then the metamorphosis is complete.
See more posts by Ruth Margolis
Ruth is a British freelance journalist who recently swapped east London for Brooklyn. She writes about TV for Radio Times and is working on her first novel.