Finally I am on my way to being an official resident of Sweden!! The Viking and I went down to “Skatteverket” (which is a way more fun name for the IRS) to ‘sign me in’ so that I can get a personnummer which will allow me (among other things) to take Swedish classes which might eventually lead to being able to get a job, and the whole dominoes of settling in… !
It was a pretty straightforward process. Years ago I worked with a guy who married an Australian woman, and getting her to the US on the basis of their relationship involved all sorts of proving that they were truly in love, but, as far as I could work out (not being able to understand the conversation between the Viking and the lady at the booth), he was pretty much like, “yo, this is my girlfriend, I’ll make sure she doesn’t commit crimes or run up debts,” and they were like, “cool.” At least, the lady in the booth was like, “cool,” but I guess it’s not really up to her so she doesn’t care; maybe we’ll get a letter in a couple of weeks saying, “please.”
However, apropos of my post yesterday about my feelings on feminism, this whole “signing me in” thing made me feel a little bit weird. It’s not actually a feminism issue as a Swedish woman would sign her American boyfriend in, but the fact that I am kind of officially his ‘dependent’, gave me a minor freak out.
I’m not planning on running out and committing any crimes or anything, but if the urge ever took me I don’t like feeling that the consequences would come back on him. I’ve been basically on my own in life since my Grandma got Alzheimer’s when I was in my early 20s, and I’m used to the buck stopping with me – I don’t always make good choices or do everything right, but if I screw up it’s only me that’s affected and as I did the screwing up I’m fine with facing the consequences.
But suddenly, I’m tied to the Viking. I don’t think it’s quite to the extent that if I did something bad he would be arrested or anything, but that’s how it felt a little bit, and I couldn’t help but think, “buddy, you sure you know what you’re getting in to here?”
In eighth grade, we had a school trip to the Grand Canyon. There was one look out point we stopped at, where the barrier was pretty much just a chain strung across some fence poles. I was mad at the teacher for some reason, can’t remember why now, and I walked away from the group to the barrier and I stood with my toes touching the very edge and looked down. I remember standing very straight and just looking down with my eyes, because if I leaned forward I would fall. And I was curious. I got this weird urge to jump. Of course I wasn’t suicidal, I was just a weird twelve year old: I was curious to do the very worst thing I could do while standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon.
All my life since then, every once in a while, I get urges to do the worst thing I could do in any given situation. Mostly I just smile to myself at the stupid thought; once or twice I’ve acted on them (clearly not the ones to jump off cliffs). I once made out with a groom purely because it was the worst thing anyone could ever do at a wedding, and felt horrible and have regretted it ever since.
As we walked away from the tax office and the Viking kidded around about how he would have to pay off my debts, I couldn’t help but think, “buddy, you sure you know what you’re getting in to here?”