Monday, September 7, 2009

Flashback Friday: Chester Arthur and House Hunters International, Malta

I am afraid I am making my husband question his decision to marry me.

We were recently watching House Hunters International.  House Hunters International is a show that is particularly intriguing to us because, really, when will we ever shop for real estate outside this country? We might as well live vicariously through others.

The couple was Italian, apparently. I am not certain of this, but the woman's name seemed very Italian to me.

They were looking for a home on Malta in the "multi-million dollar budget"   range. This intrigued us even more as it is not very often that House Hunters participants have a multi-million dollar budget.

The people who generally participate are average, middle-class folks who are just trying to eek by.

 When I come across House Hunters that involve jet-setters and millions of dollars in their budget, I get sort of a sick voyeuristic curiosity that washes over me and I take notice.  .

The show also caught my attention because I wasn't sure exactly where Malta was.

 Geography has never been my strong suit.

(Addition: It hasn't gotten any better.  Three years later, I just realized that the Cayman Islands were WEST of Cuba.  I always had believed them to be somewhere East of Puerto Rico.  )

I mean, the last House Hunters International show I watched was in Panama. I could vaguely picture the Panama Canal, although I couldn't tell you much about the country itself, except it has strip of land that was highly contentious during the Carter administration.

Even more perplexing, though, was that the man-half of the couple mentioned that he had children in Belfast, and the Malta didn't look anything like I believed Belfast would look like.

I could tell by the architecture that Malta must be Mediterraean, though.

I considered the options: I could sit through the entire show and not know where the hell this House Hunters was filmed, or I ask my husband and risk him making fun of me.  

"Honey," I asked.

"What," he said distractedly, playing Angry Birds

"Where is Malta?"

"Seriously, Mary.   Where do you think Malta is?"

"Greece?" I asked. The look on his face wasn't encouraging. "Italy?" I continued. He didn't say anything. "I feel as if it is an island," I carried on. He nodded a bit. "Off the.....coast....of.... Italy?" I questioned.

"Malta is where Maltese come from," he explained.

The light went on,  although the intellectual respect had been greatly diminshed.

 In his mind, it was sort of like in 1992 when his sister asked where, exactly, the Star Fleet Academy school was since she had been seeing so many stickers on the back of cars recently. Was it a new college?

So it was with great horror that tonight the husband witnessed another error in judgement as we sat and watched "Antiques Roadshow."

It came in the form of a signature in a book about Indians that dated...well...before any of us had been born.

The signature was that of Chester Arthur, to which the commentator referred to as "President Chester Arthur." Really? We had a president named Chester Arthur? I made a mistake saying this aloud.

"Are you freaking serious," he asked. "You don't know who Chester Arthur is?"

"Well, they just said he was the President, but I don't remember him at all." My husband prattled off some sort of trade agreement fact that only a history major with a photographic memory would remember.

According to Chris' little Iphone,  that he whipped out to demonstrate his coolness, Chester Arthur was the 21st President of the United States.

 Add that to the list of "Things I Don't Know," I guess.  Such as where Malta is, or that the Cayman Islands are farther west than I had always believed.

Combine this with the fact that I haven't taken a shower for the past two days, I have gained a considerable amount of weight in the past month or so. Oh, and I'm a bad housekeeper.

I am really quite a catch. Really. Quite a catch.


Christian said...


Malta doesn't "belong" to another country!!!!

It is A country. IT.... IS....A..... COUNTRY. Malta. Not "Malta, Ireland" or "Malta, Italy."

Malta. M...A...L....T...A....

Not "Yalta" (Stalin, Churchill, Roosevelt).

Malta. The country.

Like Mexico. It isn't Mexico, Texas. Mexico. It's a country. So is Malta. They are Roman Catholic and live longer than us.


And..... CHESTER ARTHUR. ARGH (otra vez)

.............................................................................................................................................................We've only had 44 presidents!!!!!!!


I love you anyway. Christian.

M.A. said...

I'm so glad you married me before you realized how little I know.


Kyla said...

OK... so I didn't know ANY of this. Actually, I'm still quite confused of this Malta you speak of. Is it like Wyoming... one of those places that we know actually exists yet no one knows anybody who ACTUALLY lives there?

Oh... and I'd never want to play Trivial Pursuit against your husband; unless, perhaps, it was the pop culture edition.

Anonymous said...

My child (Chris) spent his youth reading the Encyclopedias for fun! I don't try to compete with him!!!

Love you guys!!


Anonymous said...

I was laughing my ass off anyway, but the comments made it even better. Thanks you two. :)


M.A. said...

Kyla, please don't make me mention that your husband had to explain that the "Ped Xing" signs weren't in Chinese to you!


Trivial Pursuit is not fun with my husband, not the regular kind, at least. I think you and I could rock it with the Pop Culture edition, though!

Kyla said...

HAHAHA. Well, I did know that they meant people were crossing. I also thought I knew a touch of Chinese.

Tom and Margit said... first of all, it wasn't in 1992, rather when I was a junior in college that I asked about Star Fleet Academy and my roommate didn't know either...and Chris is just mean :)
Chris, why do Priests wear Yarmulkes?
Where is Malta? I don't know either. Apparently, after Googling, it is South of you were close MA!!
Love ya!

Mark said...

I am Maltese-American as both of my parents immigrated from the tiny sun-drenched island in the Mediterranean. It is an incredibly beautiful island that many Northern Europeans enjoy as a vacation spot. Americans, on the other hand, have little knowledge of the gem. Oprah brought her entire staff to the island during her annual vacation in 2009! Gladiatior was filmed there and it is often a movie filming destination whenever beautiful blue waters are needed. Malta has always been a supporter of USA and was the recorded heaviest bombed country per square mile during World War II (beyond London and Berlin). In fact, Winston Churchill awarded the entire population of Malta with the George Cross for bravery (which now proudly graces the Malta national flag). The island-country is part of the E.U. and has one of the highest literacy rates in the world. Most citizens speak English as well as their native Maltese (an Sicilian-Arabic-Italian dialect).

M.A. said...

Thanks, Mark!!! I love it! I hope to visit one day; it looks absolutely beautiful!