Hello, Dearhearts. I’m a native Texan yanked out by the roots and transplanted to the UK and will be serving as the Unofficial European Correspondent for Relevant European Issues, specializing in Everything Is Better in Europe / Everything Is Better in the US America coverage. I have lots of opinions, a number of gripes, and a relentless capacity for superficial judgment, so you can trust that you’re getting the real deal.

My posting over the next week will be sporadic at best, as I will be in Spain for eight days, riding a motorcycle along the Mediterranean coast and flirting with dark-eyed men. And you will not be. But I wish you were, because you are my very best friend and I would love to share a cerveza with you under the stars and talk about how we wish this moment could last forever. I am also on a mission to purchase these Spanish shoes I saw in a store here called Hispanitas and marketed at 75 quid, which I am determined to find at a much lower price in Spain. Yes, I have a Steely-Eyed Purpose. This is no frivolous beachside jaunt, Friend. This is do-or-die. I WILL HAVE THEM.

I have been rigorously learning Spanish for an entire two months and am very much looking forward to mangling the language to within an inch of its life. I have conducted no research, planned meagerly, and will likely lose my passport and/or be ravaged by wild dogs. If you don’t hear from me in seven days, send help. I would prefer to be identified as a “Blue-Eyed Stunner” in the UK tabloid coverage, which takes sensationalism to a whole new level and makes the New York Post look like the Guardian. Please also reference my vivacity, love of animals, tireless charity work, and promising future as a Pulitzer Prize Winner. Leave out the whorishness, reality television addiction, and former drug-usage. “Tailfeather did everything for the children, such as,” is an acceptable quote, as you bravely wipe a tear from your eye. Improvise, and always remember my grandma is watching. I trust you.

Also, please come over to the apartment and throw out the handcuffs, vibrator, Stay-Hard Gel, incriminating photographs, cigarettes, booze, prescription drugs, and any random stuffed animals. Give it a vacuum, delete the tackiest programs from the TiVo and load it up with PBS and the History Channel, and for God’s sake clean the toothpaste out of the sink before my mother and the photographers show up. You’re the best!