Nine British Things My Girlfriend Actually Likes

Harry Potter

[Note from Mark: I just got back from yet another trip to the UK - my eighth in ten years - so there is some relevance in posting this now. The list itself is written by my highly opinionated girlfriend Miki. She'll take it from here.] A few years back, someone pointed out to me that I seemed to hate all things British. It was a true enough statement: I do not enjoy Shakespeare (in fact, I refuse to believe that anyone really likes Shakespeare). Monty Python is about as funny to me as driving a nail through my own hand. And there is no surer way to ruin my french fries than to put malt vinegar on them. Recently, Mark challenged me to come up with some British things that I actually love. It was a difficult task, but here they are:

  1. A few pre-1990 boy bands. There are several British bands that I began enjoying many years ago and still listen to: Duran Duran, The Beatles, The Smiths, The Cure, The Rolling Stones and David Bowie. All music that has come out of Britain since 1990 is crap.
  2. Harry Potter. I think Harry Potter is the first wildly popular thing I have enjoyed since the Cabbage Patch Kid.
  3. Tea. Technically, this may not count. While I am a tea enthusiast with at least 70 varieties of tea in my cupboard at any given time, I admit that I do not drink tea in the British way. I would absolutely never put any kind of dairy (or non-dairy substitute) in a cup of tea. I would also rather drink a cup of toilet water before a cup of Earl Grey tea [England's favorite. -Mark], one of my least favorite teas on Earth.
  4. Doc Martens. I got my first pair at age 16. For the next decade, my feet were clad daily in a pair of black, 10-hole boots. I don't wear them anymore... not only do I no longer wear leather, but I also can't bring myself to buy a pair of shoes that costs over $35.
  5. Baked beans with potatoes. As long as there isn't any meat cooked in with the beans, I'm a big fan of this combo, which never quite made it in the USA.
  6. LUSH products. I swear I liked LUSH soaps and shampoos long before you could get them at the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica! For many years, I had to have my handmade, vegan bath products shipped to me internationally.
  7. Beautiful Thing. A delightful gay teen romance film that I saw several years ago. Why is the US incapable of making any reasonable films with decent gay characters? Every other country seems to do it just fine.
  8. Cops with big sticks. I'm in favor of a gun policy that is so strict that even the police don't carry guns. It works brilliantly... every year, my tiny hometown of Asbury Park, NJ has more gun fatalities than all of the UK combined.
  9. My friend Anna. Truthfully, she was born in Germany, but she lives in London now and has for many years. She's a fabulous lady as well as perhaps the only thing that might make me consider a trip to London.