The Displaced Nation

A home for international creatives

DEAR MARY-SUE: Reconnecting with old friends (the year in review)

Mary-Sue Wallace, The Displaced Nation’s agony aunt, is back. Her thoughtful advice eases and soothes any cross-cultural quandary or travel-related confusion you may have. Submit your questions and comments here, or else by emailing her at

There’s chestnuts roasting on an open fire (well, baking in my Jenn-Air 48″ Pro-Style gas oven) and I’m sipping on a glass of eggnog while listening to Michael Buble’s take on some Christmas classics Yepsiree, it’s a Mary-Sue Christmas!!
Christmas is an important time for the ol’ Wallace homestead. Hubby really goes all out with the Christmas lights and we’re now something of a seasonal event in Tulsa. People come from all over the state to see hubby’s lights. Must say, I’m not happy when I see the electricity bill.
Anyhoo, on with the final column of the year (time hasn’t just flown this year, it’s broke the sound barrier. It’s like that Austrian Lee Majors who fell from space in a Red Bull balloon).
Now, I know from you regular readers that one thing you’re always asking me about is what happened to those who wrote in to me. Did they follow my advice (yes, if they had any sense). Well, as it’s the end of the year, let’s see, shall we?
First up is Sharon who wrote to me for advice on whether spending time at an ashram in India was necessary for her spiritual enlightenment. (She had just read the book Eat, Pray, Love.) I advised her to go for a hike or take up watercolors (she lives in Texas), or if she just wanted to escape, sure, take a plane trip to India. Here is her story since then:“A lot has happened since I sent you that letter in January of this year. I took your advice and went on a hike rather than going off to an ashram. Unfortunately, during the hike, I got a nasty snake bite. After eight months in a deep coma, I finally woke from it at the end of August. Every day is now a blessing, and I’ve come to the realization of what I want to do in my life. That’s why in the new year, I am off to India where I WILL join an ashram. Why, I figure, let my fear of what other people think get in the way of me living my life.” 
Lot of snakes in India, Sharon … a lot of snakes
* * **********************************************************************************
Another letter that received a lot of votes was the one from Lars in Los Angeles. He couldn’t fathom what it meant when someone in that fair city wished him a Happy Anti Valentines Day. I told him it was a sign he should get the heck out of LA and move to Tulsa. Did he take my advice? Let’s hear his story:

“I did come out and visit Tulsa to see whether I could make a life for myself out there. I had a look round … let’s just say it gave me a whole new perspective on life in LA.”

Your loss, Lars.* * **********************************************************************************
There were also some votes from Patti in Plymouth who wondered what she should do with a gift of a jar of Marmite from her host family. I told her not to worry as it probably wouldn’t make it past customs. But is that what happened?“Actually, I did get past customs with my Marmite jar. And you know something else? Everyone hated it. I however douse it all over philly cheesesteaks.”

They’re going to run you out of town, sweetie.

That’s it from me this year, dear readers. Here’s hoping your misery and confusion keeps me occupied in 2013 as I was in 2012! God bless us all!
STAY TUNED for next week’s post, some more Random Nomad highlights.

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