Many of the posts in this writing challenge series have been either fiction, or ficitonalized reality. Today’s prompt set me off on a rant about our actual current situation. It’s grumpy. It’s griping. It’s how I feel right now. The GIF of the naked dancing gnomes made me feel better.
22. Smoke, Fog, and Haze: Write about not being able to see ahead of you.
How can anyone see ahead of herself in the fog of this pandemic?
Our current living arrangement was supposed to be temporary. By this time, we were supposed to be house hunting and preparing to settle into our own home. It’s the first time as a family that we want to settle somewhere longer term, and here we are, unable to do so!
I must preface my rant by saying that we are extremely lucky. My Chico just so happened to be here in the States (legally!) when things started shutting down, and he has been able to remain here (also legally!) this whole time. We are together. We are healthy. We are lucky.
Even before the pandemic, the United States (the country of which I am a citizen, just in case that wasn’t clear), made it damnably difficult to get my spouse into the country.
As anyone who has experience with these things will know, the U.S. immigration process is one of the most opaque and exasperating in the world. It is really, really hard to come to the States. The pandemic has made it worse.
This is not our first move. We’ve moved to Canada, to Germany, and to Spain before this. The process to bring our family to the U.S. has been hands down the most stressful, the most complicated and the most convoluted immigration process of all.
The process of moving the spouse of a U.S. citizen to the United States (I emphasize this so the absurdity of it can really sink in) has taken us more than one year. And we’re still not done. We’re not even sure if we’re half-way done.
Talk about fog!
Each time we think we’re a step closer, we learn of another step we have to complete.
We are constantly anxious about what the next phase is, as it’s never quite clear how we have to move forward. Not to mention further barriers thrown up in the meantime by He of the orange face and fake hair Who Shall Not be Named.
And also thanks to He Who Shall Not be Named, I now have to prove that I can support my immigrant husband financially. I have to demonstrate that I have at least $100,000 in assets and must undertake to REIMBURSE THE GOVERNMENT should he ever require government assistance (unemployment, Medicaid, etc.).
I’m a homemaker. My assets are my husband’s assets—we share everything. But can shared assets count? We don’t know. We may have to take another step to ensure they do.
Let’s let that sink in for a moment, shall we? If you can’t see how deeply disturbing that is, then you need an empathy transplant, stat.
What about the U.S. citizens who cannot be financial sponsors for their immigrant spouses? How are they supposed to live here?
The downright xenophobic nature of the immigration process makes me feel unwelcome in my own country. And frankly? This pandemic is showing such huge cracks in the laughable social support system that compared to other places we’ve lived, THIS looks like the “shithole country.”
Doubts and Questions
It makes our future hazy. It fills my dreams with smoke and fog. It makes me wonder, do I really want us to move our family here? We can go other places. Why put ourselves through the stress and pain of moving here?
I cannot see clearly the path ahead. I am stumbling through the murk, trying to move forward.
But I am so thankful that I am not alone. The best man I know is stumbling forward with me.