Dear Sweden/ Hej Sverige:
What I have felt at a cellular level, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) has confirmed; that in terms of ‘happiness’ my co-habitation with you would be one of synergy. There are, perhaps, a thousand reasons why it makes perfect sense for us to passionately embrace the other but to earn your reciprocity and an invitation Sverige I will confine myself to a handful.
First, how many people wishing to make Sweden their home actually enjoy cold weather more than hot? I mean R-E-A-L-L-Y P-R-E-F-E-R spending six to eight months out of the year in a wool sweater drinking hot chocolate instead of donning a bathing suit and sipping drinks with parasols and fruit sticking out of the top of their glass?
Second, especially important to our relationship working at every level, I am just as nice and happy as your 9.5 million citizens. HONEST! I have even written a book about happiness and mindfulness that has some lovely reviews (considering how few people take the time to say thank you, let alone write a personal note of gratitude these days that’s saying something!).
Let’s be practical here. In a country where quality of life ranks so high there are nearly 100,000 more single men than available women. OKCupid’s metrics indicate that Sweden is one of my five ‘hot countries for finding love’ – that I could become the source of further happiness for one man seems of considerable benefit not only to ‘us’ but Swedish society on the whole. I already love the ideology grounded in Swedish culture, your history of innovation and your antiques, practice your example of hot baths and cold plunge, and, swoon at the sheer scope of your physical beauty, why not a tall Viking man to cap it off?
Third, mutual emphasis on integrity (see honest!! above, you might want to my read book). Now this is important – why would I want to live anywhere that had corruption tied to it? When I make a promise I keep my promise – my word is my troth. Life is just too short to be looking over your shoulder and wondering who is going to fleece your pockets (okay, well you do seem to have a little problem with rent gouging and so forth in the ‘staden inom tullarna’ areas of Stockholm but it’s almost excusable given how very pretty your very old city is). On the whole Swedes aren’t just happy they are ethical, integrity is something we can all do more with – don’t you think?
Fourth, as a woman ‘of a certain age’ I am not going to have children so your generous policy of maternity leave is not going to be needed. Maybe someone else can use my allocation? (See? I told you I was nice!)
Whilst seemingly unrelated, my 1989 Saab 900T convertible “Duncan” is kind of like a colicky baby and can be a little demanding and seriously high maintenance – but, you knew that already (see opening sentence). Overall he is an 11 (that’s him in the picture) so you can see that he’d only further enhance how handsome your country is, the land of his birth, it’ll sure be easier for me, his mommy, to get spare parts for him there then it currently is. He thinks it would totally rock to take a long boat ride ‘home’!! I don’t think seasickness is going to be an issue for him as he’s handled multiple ferry boat crossings on Long Island Sound with ease; how can I deny him such a grand adventure?
Fifth, as an award-winning marketing communications professional (largely in emerging technologies but also, more recently, as a social entrepreneur) I am capable of adding to your economy – not placing a drain on it. MarComm people are behind the scenes folks, most of us loathe being in the spotlight. Since I am accustomed to making other people look good this (hopefully) negates the inherent American tendency of ‘taking up a little more space’ than anyone else (least of all a Swede) and be assured I take up far less than the average American. I give more than I take, am VERY GOOD at playing nice in the sandbox, sharing my (most of) toys, not screaming “look at me, look at me!” or having a tantrum when I don’t get my own way (unlike the sulking that Duncan periodically exhibits).
I understand that your population is largely multilingual but I believe in assimilation so I PROMISE to learn Swedish. Acquaintances in Stockholm have indicated it’ll be a lot easier if I am there and are confident that immersion will make me fluent within 3 months.
And, if someone will let me, I am a ferocious gardener of some talent – give me a go at some related volunteer project and we’ll both be very pleased.
As refugee status generally isn’t accorded to Americans, I need to find a turnkey solution (a job, contractor role with working papers) that would allow me to PROVE my worthiness of becoming a Swede over the next three years. With all this in mind, Poolia just re-posted their search for an experienced head of communications (erfaren kommunikationschef) for the Nobelmuseet for which I had previously applied – as your most highly regarded musical export, ABBA, perfectly expressed – “take a chance on me”!
With much affection and a hopeful heart,