I answer the "How long have you been in the States?" question at least once a week. I usually pause as if I haven't thought about it in a long while/week, count on my fingers for dramatic effect, and then respond with surprise/alarm/teary eyes (depending on my audience) "almost sixteen years."
If anyone asks me today, I will say "too long."
See, when I came across I Love Mayo's prints this morning, I spent at least ten minutes thinking it a bit odd to name a shop for the love of mayonnaise. Then, I read the "Who Are We?" section and realized that it's "a showcase for artists, photographers, and craftspeople living or working in County Mayo in the west of Ireland." I had a few drinks last night and the clocks sprang forward an hour, but still, I thought mayonnaise before County Mayo.
Thinking in the language of my new home before my old one would be a triumph if I had lived in France or Spain for almost sixteen years, and thought French or Spanish before English; thinking American slang before Irish feels like failure. So not fair.
I don't even like mayonnaise.
I do like County Mayo. I also quite like I Love Mayo's selection of prints by Jane Steger-Lewis, especially this cajoling "Aw go on" tea print (every kitchen should have one):
And these contemporary designs of traditional Irish blessings would make lovely gifts:
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