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There is nothing more adorable to me then to see the kids heading off from school in their school uniforms. Especially the young kids. The uniforms look like something out of a movie or a childhood book. In the summer the girls are in a checked dress, boys in a shirt and trousers or occasionally short pants. Every person in Britain who has gone to school here has worn their uniform. Even my own 3 yr old son has a nursery school uniform. A little polo top with the school logo embroidered on it. They said that it was so that he gets used to a uniform and so none of the kids feel left out. Oh, and its so they don’t get their regular clothes dirty. He got one. I can buy more at £7-50 a piece… seven bleedin pound and 50p for a shirt to get dirty? I can get him a shirt at ASDA for as little as 75p.  Its a good thing that this ” uniform” isn’t mandatory. It will be when he is off to normal school. This is the first drawback on the uniform. The true uniform is expensive.

I have observed that the uniform sets up a mentality here in the UK. Its supposed to keep the kids from knowing who has more money. Its supposed to keep them on a level playing field. It doesn’t. They know. They know whose blazer is  second hand. They know who has the real uniform and who has a uniform from ASDA or Matilan. The teens all do their bit to keep some from of individuality one way or another. This is nothing compared to how we dressed in the states in high school. Jeans, T-shirts, and Birkenstocks. We wore what we wanted. We wore what was comfortable. Its no wonder I feel uncomfortable in a uniform.

This uniform mentality is set in them for life here in the UK. It sets them up for the working world. This is so true. Me, personally, I actually cringe at uniforms on adults in the work force. I only even had a uniform when I worked in fast food as a young adult. I hated it. Yes, offices had a dress code. Some more casual then others, but I never had a uniform outside of fast food. Here the uniform is in pretty much every workplace. The doctors surgery have a uniform, the nursery school teachers wear a uniform, pretty much every business that has a lot of women working there will have a uniform in place. I even had gone into a recruitment agency here. I noticed all the women had the same thing on: Black trouser or skirt, white blouse, black jacket. So I asked one of them if they had a uniform to wear and she said no, but they did. The mentality has become so ingrained they didn’t realize it. Without having to wear a uniform they wore one. I was the only one in the room in a suit that wasn’t black. This is a real difference in mindset for me to adjust to. The uniform. Everyone has their place. Everyone in their station in life. It does go against my American mindset of being who I am. Dressing for success doesn’t go hand in hand with a uniform in my mind. Ah well, when in Rome as they say.  I still think the kids look adorable in them.

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Just to set the record straight for anyone who is wondering, Americans who live abroad are still Americans. We still care about America. We have the right to vote and we do. I am an American. I live abroad. I love my country and I vote.

I live my life, daily, as a living representative of America. Every time I open my mouth I am no longer a person, but the American. People don’t know my name but know me as the American lady. I am fully aware that I may be the only American the person standing in front of me has ever met, or possibly ever will meet. It was more intense when I first move abroad then it is now. Its still there. I speak, the response is always… you sound American.  Yes, I am an immigrant. I am a foreigner. I am American.

Because I am the living representative of America I have gotten the brunt of the anger from people. It has come as passive aggressive with under toned comments, or plain aggressive. I have had people glare, snarl and tell me to my face that they hate F-ing Americans. I have had people follow me, get excited, and tell me that they love Americans. It evens out. But the anger is there. America has lost its respect from the people who once held it in respect.  The world expects more from us, and frankly, so do I. More so now then ever. Fellow Americans, you may think it doesn’t matter what the world thinks about us, but it does. Very much so.

Right now I am feeling pretty blue about my homeland. This election is a pretty remarkable time. Its fantastic that a black man and a woman are running. Its fantastic that we have progressed. It looks fantastic on the surface. But what I am seeing from way over here, an ocean away isn’t so great. From what I am seeing and hearing are some pretty nasty comments, and disgusting lies.  This election is bringing out the lowest side of us. People are saying and doing things that they would never do. On forums or social sites, they are saying things they would never say to someones face. Its ugly. Its disgusting. Its un-American.

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