U.N. Moments and the ABCs of Me.

(<–The U.N. and friends in Canada:  Sec. Gen far right; Ninja/China 3rd from Rt; stylin’ Denmark 4th from Rt; and U.S., 5th from Rt)

Note for new readers:  Our family took in two foreign exchange students this year. Denmark is a 17 yr old girl. China is a 16 yr old boy. The U.S. is our 15 yr old son (Little Man). Israel, when home, is our 22 yr old daughter (Principessa), and Canada our 19 yr old son (Middle Man). I am the Secretary General. Together, we are the U.N.: a home where laughs come daily, chaos reigns and borders fall easily, as we live like a real family.

Things at the U.N. have been wild and wooly these days. After the winter break, all nations came back to the table with new attitudes. The honeymoon is long over, and it has become clear that sister and brother nations, will be… siblings. The gloves are off.

China and the U.S. are united in the conviction that Denmark enjoys favored nation status with the Secretary General. This is not true, it is a simple fact that China and the US do not follow through on world expectations, and thus receive more “advice.” Nothing personal; facts are facts.

Nonetheless, both China and the U.S. have been very helpful in letting the Secretary General know each time Denmark leaves their back pack  out, when Denmark needs to do a chore, or does something wrong.  Two former divided nations (China/U.S.) brought together for the common goal of bringing down another nation:  Denmark.

Denmark continues to struggle with the simple verbs “put,” “get,” and “take,” causing confusion with all involved. “I’ll take my shoes…” versus I’ll get my shoes. Two different things.  Is she coming or going?  Much of the time, no one knows.

All three countries have joined the high school track team, requiring daily showers when they finish. This has led to some very funny moments, as some nations continue to struggle with English:  Denmark: “I’m going to take my shower now.” China: “I wanted to take a shower now.” Sec.Gen: “Well, there are several showers here, but if you take too long, you may run out of hot water. DK: “Well, I said I was going, first, so I’m going to take my shower now.” CH: “Wait, can’t we take a shower together?”  All nations freeze. US: “I don’t recommend that China!”  Denmark and the U.S. begin laughing hysterically, always the clue to China that he has confused English again. CH: “Oh! I don’t mean together… I mean together in different…never mind” Sec. Gen: “At the same time?”  CH: “Yes ma! Not together, at the same time.”

Via Skype, Canada said: “There’s someone you should meet.” He turned and called “Gracie?”  To a corner out of skype view. Secretary General admits to some excitement as she thought she was finally going to meet a VIP for Canada.  Nope.  A moment later, Canada introduced “Gracie,” a brown and black dachshund-chihuahua (mixing German and Mexican, and two difficult to spell breeds), with a tiny pink collar. She is an illegal resident of his dorm, who Canada intends to bring home this summer. Uh, wow.  What’s a leader, who’s losing control, to say?

China has proved the ultimate negotiator in the daily battle for “shotgun,” or front seat. As the Secretary General pulled up to pick up all three nations from track practice, Denmark and the U.S. fought fiercely for the front seat, making a very public scene. I pulled the car forward a few feet, each time they reached for the door.  As Denmark and the U.S. continued to physically wrestle for the door, China waited until I pulled forward again,  stepped around them and sat down in the front seat. “Oh yes!” he yelled. “I will let them fight it out and simply take what I want!”  High fives for China and the Secretary General, as amused bystanders laughed and Denmark and the U.S. took the back seats.

China recently posted on his Facebook status: “Today on the bus I was jerking, and then it was the worst day ever.”  As Sec.General I approached China about this posting carefully, asking about his day first. “It was a bad day Ma.”  Sec. Gen: Right. Well, do you know what this status means?  You might want to change your wording. I think could cause some teasing when people read it.  I continued carefully, but received only a confused expression in return.  U.S. entered discussions, and I quoted the FB status. “Wow! You have to take that down right now China! Do you know what that means?!” U.S. expressed strong concerns.  Sec.Gen: No, he doesn’t. I’m going upstairs and I’d like you to explain in very clear terms, the meaning, so that China can decide whether this is a good status to leave up on FB.   “Why me?!” the U.S. whined asked.  Do you really want to hear me explain it?   “No! I’ll do it.”  I went upstairs and waited, where I heard quiet mumbling, and suddenly and loudly from China: “Oh my God!”  On my lap top, I saw China’s FB status disappear, and five minutes later, the following status popped up: “In English, jerk can be  a noun or a verb. Stupid American slang!”

Choosing where to eat out:  China: “Let’s eat at New Peking; mmm, Chinese food.”  Denmark: “I’m really tired of Chinese food!”  U.S. “We don’t really eat that much Chinese food.” DK: “It’s a lot more than I usually eat! I’m sick of Asian food.”  CH: “Ma’s fried rice isn’t really Chinese food.”  (What!) DK: “How about the Korean place!”  Sec. Gen: “That’s Asian.”  DK: “Oh, right.”  CH: “Korean!  It’s not like Chinese at all.”  Sec. Gen, teasing China:  “They’re all kind of the same as Chinese: soy sauce, meat, noodles, some vegetables, cooked together… eaten with chop sticks.”  CH: “What! It is totally different!”  U.S.: “It’s still Asian.”  DK: “Ok, let’s get sushi.”   Settled.

The U.S., Denmark and China are still completely at odds over pop music… music in general. Ever since we all discovered that China had never heard of the Beatles (let alone Coldplay, U2, Elvis), his views are quickly dismissed. He is coming around however, and now recognizes some Adele.

Ironically, “girls” seem to be good, when it comes to tv, among nations. Denmark records Gossip Girl; China records 2 Girls; and China, Denmark and the U.S. are in complete solidarity regarding New Girl:  It’s hilarious!  When watching an episode, peals of laughter fill the house.  Unity is good.

Mayhem  and laughs continue…

I was given an Awesome Blog Content Award this past week, and I’ve waisted far too much time, while I try to think of ABC answers.  For the record, these blog awards probably strike some readers as: odd, silly, fake?  It’s not like an Oscar, which is tangible and and solid, with some history and protocol. I couldn’t really tell you where some of these awards come from, but each time I get a notice from another blogger, telling me that they’re honoring me and my writing, I am touched. I feel very grateful and honored, in the truest sense of the word. There are hundreds of thousands of bloggers out there, literally.  Wordpress alone has 413,000 bloggers. There are several other sites; so many other writers out there. As much as I want to succeed in writing, I know how truly high the odds are against me.

The eight months I’ve been writing this blog have been so wonderful and rewarding. I started out wondering if anyone, other than a few good friends, would even read what I wrote. I hardly understood what Freshly Pressed was, when I found myself Pressed. I didn’t know how to work the buttons and links; I wasn’t sure who would read it, if anyone would read; I just knew that I needed to start channeling the things that were stewing upstairs. So awards: they mean a lot to me. I appreciate being acknowledged by other writers who I admire and respect; and I’m always surprised when they feel the same way toward me and my writing.

So an overdue, but heart felt thank you to Sweet Mother for sharing the Awesome Blog Content (ABC) award with me. Who is Sweet Mother? Sweet Mother of hilarious writing!  A lesbian humor writer, who is sharp, frank, witty, and brilliantly funny. She reminds me with nearly every post that straight and gay marriages are very much the same: filled with love, work, commitment, minutia and, if we’re lucky, humor.  All the more reason to just make it a legal option for all.  To be honored by a blogger who has 5,000 followers and puts out great writing on a regular basis, is seriously kick ass!  Thank you Sweet Mother; I appreciate the nod.

The Award rules:

1) Thank the person who gave it to you. Again: thank you, thank you!  (check)

2) Recommend as many bloggers as you would like to honor-  Please see my Blogroll, to the right of this post for that part. This is not because I don’t want to take the time to give you the links, but I really can’t choose. One recipient simply wrote:  “whoever wants to claim it.” I’m not that vague, but I love the blogs that I read, for lots of different reasons, depending on the blogger and the day.  It’s really hard to make a few selections, and I feel badly when I leave someone out.  Some of the blogs I read are beautiful to look at, with simple, good writing (Domestic Simplicity); others are funny and make me smile (Me 2.0, How The Hell Did I End Up Here?, etc); and still others just give me a regular dose of “food for thought.” (The Year I Quit My Life)… But, I would recommend any one of the blogs listed on this blogroll. These are all writers who I respect and admire. I hope you’ll take some time to check the sites/links listed.

3) Say something about yourself with each of the 26 letters in the alphabet. (below)

THE ABCs Of ME: (hit this link and listen while you read!)

A- Artistic. I’m a writer, painter, photographer, collector… wannabe.

Mercedes Ad. I'm a righty!

B- Brave. I’m willing to work through most things, no matter how scary or daunting. I’m scrappier than I look.

C- Colorful. I love color: in my house, my closet, my life.   My brain. —->

D- Determined. Once I’ve set my mind on something, I rarely give up. I always get back up. Dog. Bone.

E- Effusive. When I’m grateful, happy, excited- it spills all over. Really!

F- Fuck. Sorry, but it’s one of my favorite words. I’m working on this. Sort of.

G- Gratitude and Grapefruit.  Love my grapefruit cocktails, and grateful for many things.                                                              

H- Humor & Huntington’s Disease. They do NOT go hand in hand, but both play enormous roles in my life.

I- India. I’ve been twice, and will go back. It’s a place that moves me deeply, on so many levels.   —>

J- Judaism. I’ve raised three Jewish kids and it’s played a bigger role in my life than I would’ve predicted.

K- Kids. I have three of them, and don’t love anything in life more.

L- Letting go.  Hardest thing I’ve ever worked on. Letting go, on so many levels.

M- Married & Mother.  I just celebrated my 25th anniversary and I’m the mother to 3 amazing kids and 2 exchange students. These two words have defined me for half my life now.

N- Noncompliant. Anyone who knows me well, knows this is true.

O- Orgasm. Better than grapefruit cocktails, and the edgy word here.                                                                                         

P- Pacific Northwest. I live there and love it!  The place fills me with joy.   (View from my kitchen, heaven!)  —>

Q- Queen of the Universe. My favorite thing to write next to “occupation.”

R- Regret. It’s easy to say, “don’t carry regrets,” so much harder to follow through.  I have many.

S- Sarcastic. Born and raised on it. I sweat sarcasm. It was added to the water where I grew up.

T- Townsend Bay Soap– The best! Check it out.

U- Urban. Love living in a quiet, beautiful place, but regularly need a dose of city. Chicago’s my favorite U.S. city.

V- Voracious. Voracious writer, voracious foodie, voracious film buff, the list is long…                                                        

W- Writer. I am a writer. I am a writer. If I say it enough, it might sink in.

X- XOXO. I still believe in Xs and Os and share them with those I care about.

Y- Yellowstone. Oh what an adventure and game changer… Love it there. (Old Faithful)———->

Z- Zealous. Not a zealot, but I have lots of zeal.

One more time:  ABC, you know you want to sing it!  Shake it, shake it, shake it baby!

Stop! Really. Read this.  Please note:  Check out the Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/TalesFromTheMotherland.  If you enjoy these posts hit “Like” and make me smile. It also helps my blog grow and that is the point. Go back and hit Like.  Thanks. Then, be a good dooby and “Share” them with others; it’s nice to share. Better yet Like them; Share them and then do something nice for yourself: “Subscribe.” You won’t get any spam, you can sign up with an anonymous name (I won’t know who you are, unless you tell me),  and you will get an email each time I post.  Think of it as a free gift to yourself.  You know you want to. Go ahead, make my day (sorry about the gun, but this is serious business).

About Dawn Quyle Landau

Mother, Writer, treasure hunter, aging red head, and sushi lover. This is my view on life, "Straight up, with a twist––" because life is too short to be subtle! Featured blogger for Huffington Post, and followed on Twitter by LeBron James– for reasons beyond my comprehension.
This entry was posted in Blog, Blogging, Daily Observations, Foreign exchange students, Freshly Pressed, High School, how blogs work, Humor, Mothers, Musings, Parenting, Sarcasm, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to U.N. Moments and the ABCs of Me.

  1. I found the way you referred to the foreign exchange students and their situations as countries — creative and humorous!


    • Thanks again Frances. I’ve been doing U.N. updates since their arrival in the fall. What’s funny is that now when people I know see the kids, they refer to them as China and Denmark too! Thanks for stopping by.


  2. etomczyk says:

    Dawn. I absolutely love the stories about your international household. Your writing draws me in and I feel as if I’m another exchange student in the background that you just haven’t mentioned yet, listening and absorbing all the dynamics. Great scene about the word-play with China and the mortification when you threatened to explain the errant word. Just delightful!

    I can’t thank you enough for featuring my blog in your blogroll and for passing along the ABC award. That was very, very kind and I am extremely honored and appreciative.

    Have a wonderful weekend.


    • ET, we need a black woman to complete the international feel; come on down! I think this exchange thing has gone as well as it could possibly go, though it has its moments! The jerking incident will be a story in our house for years to come!

      You are very welcome for the ABC… in inserted some Jackson 5 in mine. Who can say ABC and not want to sing that?! These awards are always a bit of a catch 22… wonderful to be honored, but then you have to pass it on, and jump thru’ the “hoops.” It took me forever to do that list! And then, I kept re-reading it and thinking, “Wait! T… H…” There are so many wittier things I could have written.

      thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts! and good weekend to you as well. 😉


  3. jch1006 says:

    My daughters still want to be exchange students at your house….even though we only live a few miles apart!!!!! Think about it – hahaha


  4. Thanks for the recommendation, Dawn; I’m both thrilled and humbled. : )

    Great post. The bit about China and his unfortunate status update had me literally laughing out loud! Sounded like he was a good sport about it, though. Fun times. : )



  5. Congrats on the ABC award! I love the “Queen of the Universe” reference – classic. And, the view from your window makes me so jealous! Ohio never looks that beautiful. I am right there with you on the L – letting go. It is so hard sometimes. I can’t even delete digital photos. 🙂


    • Thanks Jean! The Queen of the Universe one gets people all the time… I put it on pretty much any form that asks me that question, and I get chuckle out of doctors, insurance people, census… View from my window: makes me jealous too. I appreciate it EVERY single day! No exceptions. I don’t delete digital photos either, unless they’re totally blurred or blacked out. Welcome to the club! Thanks for reading! 🙂


  6. jillcoburnmay says:

    This one did expand that emotional place and humor place in my heart.


  7. Leo Gangloff says:

    After reading some of the posts on your website now, I seriously like your method of blogging. I bookmarked it to my list and will also be checking back soon. Feel free to have a look at my web site and tell me if you agree.



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