So I returned home from Allison's house today to discover that I had men on my roof. They were friendly and had all sorts of ropes and ladders and tools, so I herded the children into the house and promptly called Michael at campus. Of course, he didn't answer. People never seem to answer when you really need them to.
So, I called Allison. But she didn't know why there were men on my roof either.
Around five the men came down and packed up their stuff. Then they came to the door and told me they were done. And they wanted to be paid. Now I was really wishing Mike had answered the phone.
Me: "Uhh. You will have to come back, because I didn't even know you were going to come."
Walter: "Okay, we can come back in a little bit. My friend (indicates partner standing by truck), he wants to know if you are American."
Me: "Yes... uh, I'm American." Walter continues to stare and so I continue, "I am American. I grew up in Oregon and lived there and now... uh... now I live here." My Master's level education is really shining through right now.
Walter: "Well, he was just wondering because he seen you wearing all those long dresses and no one around here dresses like that."
Me: "Well, no one but me, I guess."
So there are two possible reasonings here. The first is that when people see me out and about with my flowing skirts and posse of children, they think I am a mail-order bride. The second is that when someone in this area appears as though they care how they dress, they stand out like a freak.
Michael came home and settled the matter. After I related the funny conversation, he promptly began using a funny voice and calling me his "Foreign wife."