Saturday, April 6, 2013

F ~Fitting In, Friends and The Flintstones

These are the continuing adventures of a Swedish immigrant during her first year as an American. She boldly went where she'd never gone before...please come along on Adventures in America.

School got better after that first horrific day. I learned the routine, I learned the rules, I got more confident in my English, no longer rehearsing each sentence in my head fourteen times before daring to say it.

I guess I should have told you earlier in the series, but both my sister and I were bilingual when we moved. DataBoy didn't talk. He was two. Growing up, we learned both languages at once. I've asked my parents how they did that, and I think I remember the answer. They both spoke Swedish to us. They spoke English to each other. Regardless, I've always known two languages, though at the time that we moved, Swedish was stronger.

Grandma Vivian had come on many visits, and we'd been to America when I was 6, so I'd had plenty of time to converse with those with whom I couldn't just switch to Swedish if I got stuck. I just had to move that file to the front of the line and open it. It didn't take long.

Making friends at school meant that I had more than the Camponellas to play with. There was one friend who lived on that big street beside our house (as opposed to the only slightly smaller, two lanes each way street that we lived on) and she was quite the bossy one. I know you're laughing – bossier than Tina? Yes, such a person exists, though her name is lost. She wasn't very kind.

I remember one afternoon I was done playing with her and said I had to go home. She couldn't leave it there.

Why do you have to go?”
I promised I'd watch a TV show with my sister.”
You're leaving me to watch TV?”
Yes, in Sweden they don't have kids TV and here they have cartoons and my sister and I want to watch it.”
What show are you watching?”
You like Scooby-Doo better than me?”

(free images from

Apparently I did. I didn't know how to deal with someone so persistent and unlistening. So I just said, “See you tomorrow!” To which she answered, “I'll think about it.” Fine.

Swissie and I enjoyed our Scooby-Doo. After all, we had to look at the TV guide when it arrived and mark out our chosen two hours of TV. If you missed what you marked, it took quite a bit of persuading to substitute something else.


Afshan said...

Gosh !

I cant stand the bossy types. U were polite enough :P
Fellow A to zer

Sally said...

I don't think kids these days would know what only two hours of TV was. Well done for keeping your promise.

Jo said...

I used to like Scooby Doo, and I was a lot older than you. Its lucky you did have English before you arrived, it would have made acclimatisation much easier.


Brian Miller said...

mmm hard choices...scooby doo is really good...ha...and it did not take long for you to fit right in...sitting sucked into the tv did it...smiles.

Doreen McGettigan said...

My husband still watches Scooby Doo:)
It was very sweet of you to keep your promise to your sister. Are you still close?
Rebecca Rasmussen's book the Bird Sisters has a character named Swiss.
Good luck with the challenge. Its been nice to catch up with you:)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Heck with her! Scooby-Doo was better.

Marti said...

What a choice for a young child! The love of family vs the excitement of something new! I remember when we had no TV, and then when my kids were growing up the excitement they had for Saturday cartoons--they would fly through their chores to watch their favorites. Visiting from A-Z

JoJo said...

you made the better choice with Scooby!!! ZOINKS!

DL Hammons said...

I spent hours in front of the TV watching Scooby-Doo growing up. Ruh-Roh!!

beachlover said...

I wouldn't imagine that kind of persistence in someone so young! I wonder what she is like now...Scooby-Doo has always been a house hold favorite in my house! I enjoyed stopping by your blog.

Jeremy [Retro] said...

going with the scooby-snacks!

M Pax said...

I wish [as Americans] we learned more than one language. It's hard to pick up another language as an adult. We had limited TV as kids, too. Who wants to give up their Scooby snack?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. I mentioned "friends?" in the previous comment and should have put it here ... she sounds obnoxious - so you were much better off without her.

But frankly that kind of lack of understanding still occurs at all levels of life ....

People ... it is interesting how you adapt.

I forgot the bi-lingual bit .. you just absorb as a kid don't you .. so you probably didn't think about it - I'd love to be bi-lingual .. still I have an interest - but not a smattering!!

Cheers Hilary

Barbara White Daille said...

Enjoying your story!

It sounds like you made the right choice with Scooby Doo.

Kids pick up language easier than adults, anyhow, but I'd imagine that must have been a great natural way to learn them.

F is for Fiction, Freedom, and Flagman's Folly
The Daille-y News

Laeli said...

I had a bossy "friend" like that too, took me 20 years to get rid of her :P

Deb Betz said...

Yabaa Daabaaa Doooo!

Loved the Flintstones too!!!

Banker Chick said...

When kids are young, is the time to train them in languages, so good that your parents though you should use both languages. I am always amazed how quickly my grandsons can turn from English to Serbian.
Katie atBankerchick Scratchings

klahanie said...

Fred Flintstone meet Scooby-Doo.

Yabba dabba...Scooby-Doo!

Sue McPeak said...

As you remember much of the details of your friend and her attitude, but not her name, I'd say keeping your word to Sister the right choice. Not to mention learning a lesson about the importance of being on time and keeping to a schedule.

Another Chilren's Story Book Chapter.
Sue CollectInTexasGal
AtoZ LoneStar Quilting Bee

Su-sieee! Mac said...

I was raised with 2 languages, too. The parents had immigrated from the Philippines. I was a typical American-born Filipino of my generation. Understood the parents' language, but just could not speak it. When I did, the parents had a big question mark above their heads. What is she saying? they'd ask each other. LOL I do go on. Will come back this way again. I'm AtoZing at
Take 25 to Hollister
Don't be a Hippie

Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca said...

Oh my... quite the tale, Tina.

I don't know about your level of 'bossiness', but I do know about childhood interactions, and I couldn't help but smile at yours.

Kids tend to be a strong reflection of their parents/peers, it seems you were raised pretty well to deal with persistent unlisteners :)

Lady's Knight said...

A good friend should understand
she made the right choice to spend the time with her sister

Delightful subject to cover for A to Z

miss uncertain said...

This brings back childhood memories :) I love Scooby-Doo! Who wouldn't?
You must be a very loving Ate for keeping your promise <3 (Ate-/äh-teh/=Tagalog word for big sister). I speak 3 languages but I really suck at speaking English =_=

Happy A-Z-ing!

Sincerely,Miss Uncertain---sidetracked

Amy "Lyre" Turner said...

I'm intrigued by your family's system for approving TV watching!

This just goes to show that not all friends are true friends.

And Scooby was an excellent TV show choice!

Amy "Lyre" Turner said...

I'm intrigued by your family's system for approving TV watching!

This just goes to show that not all friends are true friends.

And Scooby was an excellent TV show choice!

Lyre at Lyre's Musings

suesconsideredtrifles said...

I grew up without TV and never became a habitual viewer. Find out the effect this had on me in my pachyderm post.


ayjay said...

What an adventure! Glad you found other people to hang out other than the bossy one..

Rachel said...

I knew a few people like that when I was little. They always made me feel horrible when I had to do something besides focus my attention on them, which was not fair at all. They never stayed my friends for very long.

P V Ariel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
P V Ariel said...

Hi Tina,
This is really an interesting piece from the childhood memories, What happened to the poor little friend of yours, still in waiting! Hey the habit of watching TV is still there! Or gone forever due to the busy schedule in life. LOL
Keep cracking
Best Regards

Mark Means said...

*Waves hi from the blog hop*

I really like the theme you have going here and always nice to see the 'other side' of the coin. As Americans I think we, sometimes, take the simple things for granted.

And, as a kid, you have to have priorities....Scooby Doo is totally legit as one of them :)

Love your perspective and thank you for co-hosting the challenge :)

Left and Write

stacybuckeye said...

It's hard to go wrong with Scooby-Doo!

Jolie du Pre said...

Another fun post!