Mainly though, it's because I'm growing increasingly aware that I haven't lived in the UK for nearly fifteen years now, and the England I rhapsodise about may or may not exist anymore, so it would be a little dangerous to say 'we Brits don't have plastic surgery before going out for breakfast', when for the last 14 years people in Rotherham may have been doing just that. Although, Jesus Christ, tell that to any American who - to a man - still expects us to have tea at 4pm, wear bowler hats, shirk at showers and flee from physical intimacy. Not me! I love intimacy, particularly in showers! wearing bowler hats! at 4pm! - which is probably how I ended up with the whole gestation/birthing/newborn thing.
Legitimate comparisons can be drawn though when you have real-live Brits visiting (seriously depleting my stocks of tea bags and marmalade let me tell you.....). It's only then that you realise things oh, for example, like there are no commercials for erectile dysfunction on at three in the afternoon in North Yorkshire.
Not judging by the stunned look on my Dad's face anyway.
Visitors to the US come prepared for endless commercials, for adverts running between the opening credits and the show starting (WTF?!), for 'this show brought to you by the makers of ' - but then I'd noticed Coronation Street was 'brought to you by Cadbury's' last time I was home. Clearly the UK is making up some ground with gratuitous advertising. What I hadn't considered, was the difference in content, the appropriateness of material that is shoved down your throat (pun intended) each time you turn on the TV. Erectile dysfunction (ED), male enhancement, that itch you can't scratch, embarrassing odour, frequent urination, may not protect against sexually transmitted diseases - thanks to DVR and a heavy work schedule I've been blithely unaware of how many really inappropriate messages are being launched at us during daytime TV. Perhaps not so inappropriate if you're watching Oprah whilst experiencing embarrassing odour - probably quite common - but, not so good if you've got a houseful of relatives sipping tea, having some ginger lemon cremes and playing go fish with your 3 y ear old.
"Please see your doctor if you experience an erection lasting longer than 4 hours" counsels the TV, - "Well, yes, I would hope so" answers my Dad. Obviously I've been tuning these adverts out, but to Mum and Dad they are new, so they're picking up on it, and asking why there isn't a watershed for this kind of advertising - after 9pm perhaps? - which makes me more aware of my 3 year old sponge sitting there, soaking it all up. She's already asked me 'if I want to get more for my money', and whether we 'use Chlorox', I suppose it's only a matter of time before she starts asking her paediatrician about that 4-hour erection she's been experiencing.