Being a resident of a nation in which you are not a citizen, is a total pain in the ass. You are technically an immigrant and large amounts of your time is spent scouring different visa categories and looking for possible husbands who will extinguish your deportation fears. During visa renewal time, you become an insecure and frightened shell of human, complete with temper tantrums and obnoxious proclamations like, “but I’m an American!”
Now, one of my dear friends is on the verge of deportation. He has an MBA; he’s been here for over 5 years, and in general, is far more worthy than me. His possible deportation has triggered horrible UKBA flashbacks in my own head. Safely within my visa deadline, I’m suddenly wrought with the anxiety of reapplying for yet another, temporary, permission to reside in the UK. In preparation for my own possible deportation, my old habits have come back to plague me in full force making me a dreadful companion.
Here are my top 5 least attractive symptoms of the deportation blues:
1. Fear of doorbells.
Doorbells are the scariest things on the planet when you are going through the visa process. Every time the doorbell rings, you know it’s either the immigrant police there to force you back into your Princess bedroom in Upstate, New York, or it’s the mailman bringing your visa. Either way, you become just like Pavlov’s bitch and pee your pants when the bell rings, always fearing the worst. A year after I received my documents and I still hide in the closet and cover my ears when I hear that all too familiar swan song.
2. Hating all things trending on Facebook.
The other week I awoke to find everyone talking about Sharknado, like it was the coolest party ever and I only found out through tagged photos posted the next morning. This always scares the crap out of me because I know relocating back stateside would be the equivalent of sending a homeschooled kid to a SUNY school without even the slightest Jersey Shore preparation. I’ll be socially awkward and all of my references will be completely irrelevant, “She’s no Miranda” will fall on deaf, bored, ears. If I do meet one English person in America, I’ll cling to them like lice and they will no doubt hate my guts. I’m out of the American pop culture loop so I better stay here or I can kiss a shallow conversation about reality TV goodbye.
3. Becoming the biggest ex-pat snob on the planet.
Each and every day I find myself edging closer to the side of the snob. I go home to my small town and stick my nose in the air, I laugh at the poor souls still living with their parents and I genuinely think I am better than my hometown and most of the people in it. Now here in the UK, I feel like a small insignificant bug that eats a huge slice of humble pie every time I try on clothes on Top Shop. This dose of reality is good for me, but I know if I relocate back on the East Coast my ego will explode and I will become intolerable. Good luck to everyone in Victor who may cross my path, feel free to bitch about me behind my back, I would!
4. Trying to become a child bride.
I’m almost 25 but I am nowhere near ready to be wifed up. I see a baby and my face puckers up and my womb attempts to self-destruct. I eat microwave meals most nights and spend all my money on clothes and booze; clearly I’m not ready to settle down. That being said, the idea of a British husband becomes incredibly appealing when visa time rolls around. Suddenly, every guy who walks by with a UK passport becomes my new crush. I start thinking of our brief engagement and the Unlimited Leave to Remain that will come with it. I fear that my will power is just too weak to resist the urge to wed for that maroon passport. I just pray I don’t become a manipulative bitch who tries to trap them by fetus, but there are no guarantees.
5. Whining about being an immigrant.
I’m from an upper-middle class neighborhood. My Dad owned a yellow Hummer, we have an in ground pool, and there was a brief period when we had a pony named Furry-coat. I even got a $100 leather backpack when I was seven because I was entitled and spoiled, but when talk of visas come up, I turn into a cold huddled mass simply yearning to breathe free. I morph into a total victim crying into my Michael Kors bag. I admit that it’s not exactly charming and I do get my father yelling on Skype that “You’re not a fucking immigrant, come back to Victor and I’ll buy you a shop,” but still I want, and expect, sympathy for my plight from the masses. It’s a shame I can’t just claim asylum, my lawyer isn’t that good.