23 November 2009

The Newest Amreekan!

Last Thursday, V became a US citizen! It all happened so fast. We went to USCIS expecting that he'd just be taking the civics test and we'd have an interview and be given an appointment for the oath in several weeks, but after V passed the test, the interview officer told him to come back that afternoon to swear the citizenship oath.

It was a slow day, and only 10 other people were being sworn in. I had to sit at the back of the room to watch V and the others raise their right hands and swear the oath. The officer played a video of the national anthem, a welcome speech from President Obama, and a video of the song, "Proud to Be An American." That's a song I've never particularly liked (it became connected in my mind with wars I don't agree with), but I was surprised to shed a tear or two as I watched.

I asked V how he feels now that he's an American citizen and not an Indian citizen. He said he doesn't feel any different--and that a passport or a political designation doesn't change who he is. Furthermore, V can get an OCI ("Overseas Citizen of India") card and have the best of both worlds. Sensible, as always!

15 November 2009

A New Side of My Husband

Now that we're homeowners, I'm seeing a completely new side of my husband.

For the past several years, we've just been living in grad student mode in an apartment, spending most of our time watching movies, going out to eat, going shopping (V's obsessions are watches and shirts), going out with friends, etc. I've always thought of my husband as a "metrosexual," cerebral, intellectual kind of guy--not a do-it-yourselfer at all!

Now that we own our own home, my husband still wants to go shopping. But now, we're going shopping at Home Depot. Instead of ties, shirts, and shoes, we're buying tools, supplies, paint, and bags of concrete. Every time I think we've gotten what we need from the hardware store, there's something else that I didn't think of.

And furniture. We've been living for the past 4 3/4 years with used furniture and various random pieces of art and decor that we've collected. Now we're spending hours out of every day trying to find the perfect contemporary-style furniture, at the best possible price, bargaining down to avoid paying shipping, etc. It's been three weeks and we've managed to buy a dining set and an area rug.

Heating and water--forget it. In our rented apartment, we ran the heat and water as much as we wanted. But now that we're paying for it, V. is all about turning the heat completely off at night and when we're gone, no matter how cold it gets (low 60s!! Acckkkk!). I guess I should have expected this, after all the Marwari jokes he makes.

We've been together for almost 5 years now, and it's only since we've bought our own home that I've seen this side of my husband. I might get impatient with the never-ending jaunts to Home Depot, but I'm also enjoying seeing V. in a completely new light!

All that aside, we're both really enjoying settling into our own home. It's a place that we can grow into. We have room for Mummy to have her own space when she comes to stay; we have room for one or two babies to have their own rooms when the time comes; we have room to entertain or to cuddle up just the two of us. I'd have to say that the day we bought our house was one of the happiest days of my life.