Monday, November 17, 2008

Reactions

There are days when I wish I had one of those special sets of spy glasses that have a camera in the brige...just so that I could capture the looks of astonishment, dismay, and confusion that inevitably appear on the faces of people who hear I am moving to Kuwait. Case in point...on Friday evening I went to the optometrist. I have found that the moving process can be incredibly expensive- wellness physical, lab work, vaccinations, medications, dentist appointments, year-supply of contact lenses, new glasses, etc etc. You almost have to work a few extra months to save up enough so that you can pay all the medical bills when you want to relocate internationally! But I digress. So on Friday, I went in to see our local friendly Target optometrist. I was sure that it would be a quick in-and-out (who else schedules an optometrist appt for a Friday night?), but apparently they were backed up and I ended up waiting 30 minutes. While I was sitting in one of their oddly comfortable red plastic chairs, the licensed optometrist came over to keep me company (he's the guy who orders glasses, as opposed to the guy who does the medical exam). He was friendly, and asked me what I did. When I told him that I just accepted a job as a career counselor in Kuwait, his look was priceless. Now, I've had enough of these conversations over the past few weeks to anticipate the line of questioning. After the first few seconds of astonished silence, the subject (in this case mr. licensed optometrist) begins to stammer out a variety of responses. First comes, "Kuwait?!" This is closely followed by, "wow! Really? That's...(long pause)...interesting!" I provide the appropriate facial responses, smiling and nodding and waiting for the inevitable next questions- "you're going...ALONE?" This question is sometimes revised to indicate the assumption that I could not possibly be going alone, with questions along the lines of "are you going with family?" or "did you husband get a job there?" After I assure the subject that yes, I am indeed going alone(!), there is usually a somewhat uncomfortable silence followed by another "wow! really?" After we have gone through a usually long series of astonished utterances from the subject and smiling nodding on my part, things usually calm down. People ask about what I will be doing, where I will live, why I am doing it...

These kinds of interactions are a daily occurence now. I don't mind. It keeps life interesting. And I keep thinking that this would make a fascinating sociological experiment for some Soc 101 class. There are times when I stop and really think about people's reactions and wonder for a moment, "am I really crazy?" And the answer is sometimes yes, I'm a little crazy. This is crazy. Moving to Kuwait by myself is crazy. But is crazy necessarily bad? When one feels a calling...there are two options: ignore it or answer it. Answering a calling to the crazy things in life makes for a great adventure...and that's good enough for me.

2 comments:

Donna said...

Great post! I don't think you are crazy at all--you are pursuing a call, an andventure and what you love--living internationally. And the kind of people you really enjoy are others who are choosing to do a similar thing so I think it is going to be an amazing experience. Certainly not perfect but amazing for sure. Thanks for sharing your reflections!

dd626 said...

Good luck with the move. I recently just moved back to Kuwait from the States after being gone for 17 years. It's much, much different than the States that's for sure, but it's a nice place. You're in for a shock! OK, maybe shock is an understatement. A HUGE shock!