Recently (well, before the summer. Is that recently? My sense of time is shot) the editors at the Foreign Service Journal asked me to write a little piece for their reflections column.
Now I’m not a Foreign Service officer but my father was. He served in several countries including the Soviet Union (at the time), the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Denmark. He also took part in nuclear disarmament talks in Geneva, Vienna and Madrid.
So I lived most of my childhood overseas. From age 2 to 6 in Brussels, 10 to 13 in Copenhagen, 13 to 16 in Brussels again. When I returned to the States and began my junior year in an American high school, I walked around with huge, amazed eyes. I was fascinated by cheerleaders, cheeseburgers and chilidogs.
So it’s a bit surprising (though probably doesn’t take much pop psychology) to find myself married to a foreigner, living in another country. I obviously feel comfortable being the outsider. Though a foreign service background can have the opposite effect. My sister has vowed never to leave her chosen state of Wisconsin again.
But even though I have lived much of my life away from the States I have retained a certain Americaness. A wilful Americaness. Which, as I explain in the article, I think comes from being the daughter of a diplomat.
So without further ado here it is: Pop Tart Diplomacy.
photo by striking_photography (flickr)