Me and My Husband Roger
I met Roger through a family friend. He was visiting Warsaw for a few weeks and my parents had been trying to marry me off every since I was twenty, so they paired us up somewhat uninhibitedly. Roger was tall, mysterious, from America, which was a big deal back then, and I found him oddly interesting, even though I knew my parents were whispering about wedding plans as soon as we left the flat. Our first date was a winter walk through Nowy Swiat and Stare Miasto, the old section of Warsaw. Together we visited Warsaw's patriotic symbol the Syrena, a statue of a mermaid holding the shield and sword to defend Warsaw from any attacks made by the main river, the Wisla. We watched the wood carvers, musicians and I admired the jewellery shops in the little cobbled streets. Roger was amazing. My English was not very good back then and he listened carefully to what I was saying and spoke slowly so I could understand him. His accent was delightful. I never intended to fall in love with a mysterious tall American, let alone to end up living in America together.
As our attraction slowly grew I could tell my parents were excited. It was amazing that all this happened over two weeks and Roger had to extend his holiday by an extra week. We were to have the wedding in Poland and Roger's parents and sister flew over for a week. The wedding was extravagant and lasted for three days which were packed with speeches, dance, vodka and plenty of Polish food. Roger's family were very accepting of me and even though they spoke no Polish, I acted as translator for my parents. It was difficult leaving Poland because that's where my roots are, but America was the land of dreams and opportunities. After a month, I followed Roger to America to begin my married life.
Although life was difficult to begin with and I often felt a little lonely and isolated, Roger showered me in love and as my English improved so did our relationship. Roger slowly learnt a few Polish words like "kocham cie" and "piwo"! His sister, Margaret, has been a great help. She has shown me all the practical things like bargain shopping, how to sort out bills, where the sports facilities are close by. We have become good friends and she has helped a lot with making me feel accepted in America. After five years I now feel very settled in our house and have even met a few other Polish girls, who like myself married an American and have come over to live. It is good having this small network of friends and we have plans to start up a small Polish club for anyone Polish or wishing to learn about Poland. Although it might be better to leave Poland in the past and accept where I live now, I feel that this small group of friends help to build a bridge between the differences in culture between Americans and Poles. Now I am five months pregnant with our first child and plan to teach it Polish and visit my parents in Warsaw. Both Roger and I feel it is important to teach our children their origins, which in our cases are Poland and America. I am very happy with my husband and his family and without such support and love, I feel that my life would be very different in America, not because of the people, but because I still consider myself as a foreigner.