Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Learning to Yodel

****UPDATE (I should probably clarify the following post by letting those who don't know already, that The Husband is Swiss and three darling children have Swiss passports -- I didn't just pick Switzerland randomly as a possible alternative country!

Amden, Switzerland - Winter 2007

This morning dawned gray and rainy and it wasn't only the weather that gave me the blues. After dropping Sophie off at school and beginning to attack the pile of paperwork on my desk which includes five statements of benefits from Blue Cross denying one thing or another, I was doing my best to sort of ignore the headlines of the paper, the comments on Facebook thanking Massachusetts and my own rising feelings of anger.

Breathe, I told myself, keep it at bay. There's no use feeling anxiety about things you have absolutely no control over. Breathe.

Thoughts crept in:

Maybe Michael should sell his business and we really do move to Switzerland. He could get a job easily there. The kids would have a blast living there for a while. I could write. Most importantly, we could give up the American rat race and Sophie's healthcare needs would finally be taken care of.

You need to keep on fighting for what is right in your country. Even if you're not proud of it right now, you are American.

Why do you live in a country where people actually argue over giving to the most destitute persons on earth?

It's too much of a strain to live here. I can't keep doing it.

I'd miss my friends. I'd miss my family. I don't speak German.

The Healthcare Reform Bill was a bunch of shitty compromises and it's going to crater because of that. Stand firm with your belief that in a country as wealthy as ours, universal health coverage is the right thing.

To paraphrase my friend Mike, the conservative movement is genius at organizing people to band together against their better interests and consistently aid the top 1/2 of 1% of this country.

We don't live in a democracy anymore. It's an oligarchy.

It's cold in Switzerland, though, and there's lots of snow and I hate snow. And then there's that silly minaret law that the ultra-right passed (any better than the evangelicals here?)

Sophie will get healthcare coverage and respite for the duration of her life in Switzerland.

I was always good at languages.

Those were the thoughts and then I talked on the phone to my friend A in D.C. whose husband works for the FCC and she said that he was happy because the FCC is really helping down in Haiti. And then I realized that my life is good on so many levels and an incredible strain in others. And moving to Switzerland might actually be a good option and I'm blessed and fortunate to even have an option.

And then I saw this and laughed out loud.

1982 Centerfold for Cosmo Magazine

Despite the doom and gloom, this makes me laugh and if you know me, I have one dogged sense of humor and that, folks, is what sustains me.


  1. Let's go to Switzerland! I will, if you will!

  2. I love you. You, your passion for what you believe in, and your sense of humor make me happy. Thank you!

  3. The country is in good intellectual hands indeed...sigh. Now tell me, how many women in this country would you think would make the cut to be elected senator if she posed for Playboy? Yeah, that is what I thought.

  4. I vote for Australia. Better weather!
    No, I'm not ready to go yet, either. Frankly, I couldn't afford it, but I remain grateful that I have a better chance than most do getting into this country.
    Still, Allegra Smith is right. As good as we have it, we still have so far to go.

  5. I keep thinking... but dammit! At this point I'd have to move all my children and grandchild with me- so- if you're going to do it, DO IT NOW!

  6. If you have humor, you have everything.


  7. You are so smart. And thank God for that sense of humour.


  8. Yes, do hang in there and BTW you would not want to live in Switzerland. 1)It is very expensive to live there in more than California 2)They have ridculous laws but yet protect those who want to fraud on taxes 3)While giving birth there might be great the health care is not what you think it is. 4)America really does have the best health Care 5)Most women are told to abort their children if they have medical conditions. 6) you see very few people with disabilities there and they do not make buildings that accomadate people with disablities. Eventually, we will come up with something that works for everyone. I have experienced socialized medicine and it sucks. My mother-in-law lives in Germany and her friend has an eye condition that could be treated no problem here in the states. Her insurance in Germany told her she could not have the surgery because she is over 65 basically stating that she is no longer contributing to society, so therefore why would she need to see. Now she can no longer drive.

  9. I imagine the tug to pack up and get the hell out of Dodge is pretty strong. If we all had citizenship somewhere else we might just split...

    or maybe not

  10. My heart went out to you, and I am going to send you an email you might like to see, a Youtube yodeler... xxoo

  11. likes chocolate -- thanks for your concern and comment, but my husband's family is in Switzerland and refute each of your points. Their healthcare is superb; advising abortion in the case of disability is arguable and done here as well; there is a beautiful home for adults with disabilities down the street from my mother in-law's house, and while their country doesn't have disability law (pioneered by TED KENNEDY and championed by the Democrats, here, historically), it has not been my experience AT ALL that Sophie's disability is accepted nor well taken care of in the United States. Your claim that healthcare is the best here in the United States is just not true. Finally, both U.S. political parties were very involved in studying the Swiss healthcare system during the whole process recently given its excellence. I'm sure it has its problems, like anywhere, but they are nowhere near the abyss that the United States currently is in.

  12. I think about escaping to other countries too sometimes..but even though I love learning languages I can never convince myself that I could deal with the food and negotiate the healthcare and education systems. But you have real TIES to Switzerland and real DATA. We'd miss you terribly here... especially if you started blogging in German.

    And that picture! Ha!

  13. Coming! I'll go too!!

    I have completely had "I'm moving to another country syndrome" and have had similar conversations in my head. I imagine if you husband is actually FROM the other country it would seem even more enticing and possible!

  14. Wow. Good thoughts your way. I must say, however, that I do not understand why Cosmo thinks those guys are hot. They look...hairless and too "smooth"...I don't know...maybe the "hot" men in Switzerland are "hotter". That's a good reason to move maybe.

  15. That's a tough one, Elizabeth.

    Over the years my we've mulled over and ultimately turned down various promotions or opportunities that were offered to my husband from his company. While the chance to live elsewhere always seemed the answer to whatever was on the list of our issues at the time, we always chose the immediate family and ease of lifestyle as the reason to remain here.

    looking back, although we have a great life and all, I wish we had of taken the chance. We could have come back.

    in reality we hardly see my sister in law and family now that all the kids are doing there own thing all the time. But my in laws are aging and we would never leave them now.

    sorry for the ramble.

  16. Hi -- My cousin has lived in Switzerland for about 10 years. She has two children -- one was born with many serious physical problems that needed multiple surgeries and ongoing care at home (colostomy bag, etc). The care they received was excellent -- especially in-home visiting nurses that came regularly in the first few years. The in-home support seemed to be far superior to what we would have here in Canada. Housing costs are very high.

    Can't wait to hear your further thinking! :)

  17. Oh my Gosh - I am going to pee my pants!! That photo was so funny (and gross)!!!

    as long as you can still blog from switzerland, I am in full support of whatever you decide ;)

  18. Switzerland is lovely but I don't know how anyone affords to live there. I paid $5 for a banana and $9 for a glass of OJ in Zurich. Ouch.

  19. MB--I'd use the $30,000 I'd save in healthcare bills a year to buy bananas and orange juice and probably still have enough left over to fly back and forth to the U.S. first class!

  20. Round trip to Zurich from Los Angeles non-stop on an Air Bus 340 (very nice) is about $700.00. Wages seem very fair and the people are warm hearted and very open. If there is a place to escape the madness of
    Americacorp, then I vote for SWITZERLAND! I have a record coming out there next week that I produced in Zurich last year. Bread, butter, honey, cheese, and the most pristine landscape in the world! Oh yeah - and a
    health care system NOT to die for!

  21. Such interesting reflections. I think if I had more nerve, I'd try something as bold as this, even absent a bona fide rationale such as yours. I want the U.S. to be full of smart and creative and stylish people like you E. But, I know that perhaps with the S.Ct. being so full of corporatists and the 30% ignoranti, we might not deserve you. (If I ever got over there I'd certainly visit!)-cw

  22. your sense of humor will follow you where ever you go - and it really is a small world after all - and switzerland is not that far - and options are good - and eeeeew that's just plain yucky :)

  23. cw -- not sure who you are and when you'd visit! Unveil! Or are you being facetious?

  24. I totally understand you and yet fail to understand your compatriots on the Health Bill. It's been so watered down that the paper risks getting damaged.

    And yes that centrefold brought a smile to my face, too.

    Greetings from London.

  25. I'm good at yodeling, and my mother is half Austrian. Can I go with you?

  26. Haha! Eek! That centerfold scares me! As for Switzerland, go for it!! It's gorgeous... And you don't need to feel bad about leaving America... I know, I tell myself that all the time (because I'm leaving!) Just like football teams, you don't have to be loyal to them just because you attended the same college or lived in the same state. You don't need to let your future be determined by where you happened to be born! :-D Let's all move to Switzerland!

    I'm glad I found your blog, I like it. :-)

  27. This was the best post I've read ALL day... and I've spent copious amounts of time on the computer. I, on the other had have been blogging and tweeting about the need for snow... Switzerland sounds perfect.

  28. Keep on keeping on.
    I like how you sorted this all out in your head. Not easy at all.
    Laughing is good.



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