Since I moved to California, people have asked if I'm English (answer: nearly), Swedish (answer: it's dyed), Irish (answer: close but no Guinness) and German (answer: huh?). No one has ever asked if I'm Scottish. In fact, a few have even argued with me: "You don't sound Scottish." "I'm from the same city as Sean Connery." "Isn't he Irish?" "Argh."
Most often though people say: "I thought you were British." I say: "I am." Then there's a puzzled silence and so begins the great Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Southern Ireland, Great Britain, United Kingdom explainathon. As follows:
Ireland is Canada, Europe is Mexico, Britian is the USA, Scotland is New England, Wales is Hawaii, Northern Ireland is Alaska, the 49th parallel is the Irish Sea . . . it couldn't be simpler. Puerto Rico is Gibralter, the Virgin Islands are the Falkland Islands . . . okay, so it could be simpler.
And maybe, just maybe, it's about to get a lot simpler.
Some history: Scotland and England joined in 1707. there was a . . . skirmish . . . in 1745, then a quiet spell, and Scots have been muttering about independence pretty much non-stop since 1880. Or in domestic terms: they've been married for 300 years and considering divorce for 140 of them. Not a fairytale romance, clearly.
Bless you, Awkward Family photos.com
The latest bout of indie fever kicked off in 2011 and I found myself cast as constitutional law expert and chief tea-leaf reader for my new American friends.
"It'll never happen," I said. "Unless they extend the vote to 16yr olds, who're all Braveheart daft. Ha ha. No way."
"It'll never happen,' I said. "England won't give up the North Sea oil revenue and Scotland couldn't survive without it."
Guess what? Scotland gets 80+% of the oil money for keepsies.
"It'll never happen," I said. "Not without a UK government in London that's less popular than a raw chicken leg at a moonlight barbecue. With ebola dipping sauce. And a side of roach."
Guess what? I'm not getting into politics here chez les femmes fatales.
So, I'm really begininng to think that in a few years I might be saying: "No, Scottish. Nope, not even close. None of the above. Scottish, that's me."
Until then, though, I'll just agree that I'm pretty much English, Swedish, Irish, German and British. It's easier that way.