I’m Not American

Which is why I:

Don’t believe that every life choice is equally valid and, therefore, feel no compunction for criticizing those life choices that I find to be stupid or ridiculous.

Don’t believe that counting everything (calories, sex partners, vitamins and minerals) improves the quality of one’s life.

Feel vicarious shame whenever I see anybody unfurl a national flag, sing an anthem, or recite the Pledge of Allegiance to any country. When people place their hands on their hearts while participating in these activities, I get more embarrassed than if they engaged in group sex right in front of me.

Don’t think that alcoholism is a disease.

Don’t think that weight and income are dirty topics that need to be covered with embarrassed silence.

Believe that unless you have a body like Beyonce’s, jeans invariably make you look horrible.

Believe that cereal is not food. Unless you want to feed it to some birds that you really hate.

Love arguing about politics or religion with people I just met.

Don’t think that being on 3 prescription medications by the age of 40 is normal.

Don’t consider “Are you OK?” an appropriate response when I see a colleague crying in the bathroom.

Don’t consider that pretending not to notice anything is an appropriate response when I see a stranger crying in the bathroom.

Don’t see the “paper or plastic” issue as a field of an important ideological battle.

Don’t consider American football and baseball to be sports.

Feel very embarrassed when people begin to argue seriously that cheer-leading is a sport.

Believe that being supportive as a friend doesn’t mean repeating mechanically, “Good for you! I know you can do it! Everything will be fine!” but, rather, letting my friends know what I really think about their situation.

Believe that it’s better to ask for a loan from a relative or a friend than from a bank.

Hate Hollywood movies.

Consider people who use the gym to be eccentric.

Consider people who drive to the gym to be very eccentric.

Eat hamburgers and pizza with a knife and a fork.

Get cranky if I have to spend an entire day without eating any fresh fruit or vegetables.

Believe that beverages served at Starbucks don’t deserved to be called “coffee.”

Don’t understand the point of going to coffee-shops that don’t have an outside terrace.

Don’t eat while walking, running, or standing.

Feel scared when I hear the word “deep-fried.”

Am terrified by the words “networking,” “support groups,” “grief counselling,” “life coach,” and “brainstorming.”

Realized that I needed to add a tag to this post to explain its intentions.

61 thoughts on “I’m Not American

  1. Similar! I’m not American, so when somebody makes a judgment about anything at all, I want to ask them, “In what sense?” “What is the context?” “What made you form that impression?” If I don’t know all of this additional information, I’m likely to dismiss their views as “strange”.

    I’m not American so I celebrate any departure from everyday procedure, regularity and order and if I’m lucky, find co-conspirators in those who find contingency interesting in and of itself.

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  2. I can almost go along with your idea that baseball is not a sport. However, if American football is not a sport, exactly what do you consider a legitimate sport. P.S. I noticed your “HUMOR” tag for this post. But saying that American football is not a sport is not very funny to me ;-D)>

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    1. If you need a full-body armour to play rugby, and give it a new and not very inventive name to justify it, it’s not a sport 😛

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  3. I Am American. Which is why I am nothing like any stereotype of any American. This country is the best country in the world, except for a few others, so I feel proud when I hear someone screw up our national anthem before a baseball game, or before I fall asleep – but I repeat myself. But let’s not go all bashy on Americans, shall we? People who overgeneralize are all idiots.

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      1. I believe I would call them Clarissa.

        See, if you go over my post, you’ll see it’s chock full of nonsense that passes for humor in my brain. I believe your tag said “humor”. I assumed that you would take the comment in the same vein, even though I’m a dirty American scum. I mean, come on – “People who overgeneralize are all idiots”? Ironic statement obviously intended to be humorous.

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    1. ‘Swounds, young Hotspur. One man’s country’s another man’s hell, faith, but if in any land’s a supper’s t’ be had, there find me at last, body and blood. Come, commune wi’ good Sir Jack an’ break bread down t’ Eastcheap, where there’s less harm from a sack than’s t’ be found on any line o’ scrimmage. There’s sure t’ be found good Hal the son of his father, descended from his aery magnificence on th’ high throne of Jove, put aside his crown and become a mortal man for a mortal span, with love for all men, and holy Sir John above them all. There’s a man of miracles, whose kingly bounty runneth over into th’ cup. Say, I’m John, now you be Peter, and when you see Hal, say, lord, we walk with thee. Sure that with him you’ll be saved, good Hotspur, that is, in thy purse. If he be cheap, we’ll remind him that in th’ east, the sun rises, and he the prince riseth like the sun.

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      1. That is, in gold. In gold! you see. Ah, but let me set a moment. The great moon that is Jack’s in an eccentric orbit, on pain of the great circuit he must roll. A crown for a horse, I say. Hast thou a crown? We might get a horse.

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      2. Forsooth and begorrah, indeed upon this holy sword I hath foresworn my oath to parlay without the use of the apostrophe wherever possible. I shall, forthwith, begin thrashing this comment about the head and shoulders, whilst puzzling through the response indicated above which, it may be concluded, has precious little to do with anything but pretension and ballyhoo. How doth I detest, nay, loathe this speech which had aged so, preferring to speak thusly: Whatever, lady.

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  4. I was born in the USA. My wife was born in Africa. Homo sapien sapiens are the only members of the ape family native to the political State known as the USA and I’m one of them, even though I’m an Australian citizen. However, besides homo sapien sapiens, there are many apes e.g. bonobos, chimps, gorillas native to Africa. Just sayin’.

    Even though I’m an Australian citizen, I still prefer baseball to cricket. Maybe, because I’m an Australian citizen I prefer footy to football and that boring game of penalty kick settlements after two hours of kicking a round ball known in the USA as ‘soccer’.

    I’m with you on cereal. Yuck.

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    1. Now I really have to ask. How come I got all these fantastic readers from Australia who have a great sense of humor and are scary smart?

      Seriously, was I promoted on some Australian website or something?

      I have a very soft spot for Australia in my heart because when I was a teenager I was given a book about Australia as a gift and I read it until I memorized it. Besides, there is Mount Olga in Australia, and how cool is that? 🙂

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  5. “When people place their hands on their hearts while participating in these activities, I get more embarrassed than if they engaged in group sex right in front of me.”

    Me too. Luckily, it is not something often seen outside the US.

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  6. – Believe that unless you have a body like Beyonce’s, jeans invariably make you look horrible.

    Not always. Those godawful low-cut jeans that expose asscrack to all passersby, yes. Or 3 sizes too big/small (amazing how often I see that). But otherwise they look fine to me.

    – Don’t consider American football and baseball to be sports.

    I don’t care enough about football or baseball to have an opinion here. However, I am bewildered at how curling and target shooting are considered sports.

    – Don’t understand the point of going to coffee-shops that don’t have an outside terrace.

    Even in winter?

    I agree with pretty much everything else on the list. Especially:

    – Am terrified by the words “networking,” “support groups,” “grief counselling,” “life coach,” and “brainstorming.”

    DO I EVER AGREE WITH THIS. (What the hell is a “life coach?”)

    I’m Canadian, btw, and also technically American. Never felt any desire to move to the US.

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    1. I want to add the words “resource” and ‘program” to the above list of obnoxious words.

      Whenever someone’s going to undertake some half-baked endeavor, they talk about “developing a program” that “utilizes existing resources.” Code names for “I haven’t really thought in depth about what I will do, nor bothered to look into what people have done before me.”

      (I clearly spend too much time writing broader impact statements for NSF proposals.)

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  7. “However, I am bewildered at how curling and target shooting are considered sports”

    -I find that when I’m an a bar alone at 1 am, curling looks absolutely fascinating. Target shooting is something I always wanted to learn and still probably will.

    ‘Even in winter?”

    -I’m from Montreal, my friend. 🙂 In winter, we have heated verandas that are always filled to the brim with customers. 🙂

    ‘DO I EVER AGREE WITH THIS. (What the hell is a “life coach?”)”

    -Good for you that you don’t know. I almost fell over when I discovered that people hire life coaches to guide them in how to live different aspects of their lives (professional, personal, etc.)

    “I’m Canadian, btw, and also technically American. Never felt any desire to move to the US.”

    -Yay from a fellow Canadian. 🙂 I never felt any desire to move to the US either but this is where I found a job, so here I am.

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  8. Edward Hotspur :

    I believe I would call them Clarissa.

    See, if you go over my post, you’ll see it’s chock full of nonsense that passes for humor in my brain. I believe your tag said “humor”. I assumed that you would take the comment in the same vein, even though I’m a dirty American scum. I mean, come on – “People who overgeneralize are all idiots”? Ironic statement obviously intended to be humorous.

    Erm, what? Who is what kind of scum? I never used this word to refer to anybody, not even the real scum.

    And I’m still working on my “I’m American post.”

    Of course, if this is just simple blog promotion on your part, feel free. I have a special Sunday blog promotion post for these purposes, and you are most welcome.

    And you are always welcome around here. 🙂

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    1. Your tag said “humor”, and I was doing humor. Part of humor is saying something outlandish and obviously untrue with a straight face. For examples, check out Monty Python, Steve Byrne, Daniel Tosh, Bo Burnham, Tim Minchin, Flight of the Conchords, and so on through just about all comedy everywhere. I feel like I’m doing more explaining here. Comedy is not pretty.

      Incidentally, studies show that six out of seven dwarves are not happy.

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  9. Edward Hotspur :

    Forsooth and begorrah, indeed upon this holy sword I hath foresworn my oath to parlay without the use of the apostrophe wherever possible. I shall, forthwith, begin thrashing this comment about the head and shoulders, whilst puzzling through the response indicated above which, it may be concluded, has precious little to do with anything but pretension and ballyhoo. How doth I detest, nay, loathe this speech which had aged so, preferring to speak thusly: Whatever, lady.

    I totally dig the lady part. But without apostrophe? My composition teacher’s soul rebels against this atrocity! 🙂

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    1. You are absolutely right on all counts. Except the last one. I’m not American because I am a citizen of Canada and plan to remain one until I die.

      I am absolutely proud of being an intellectual snob. Why shouldn’t I be? My intellect is 100% my achievement.

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      1. I’m a little surprised…Don’t you consider your intelligence a gift from the creator? After all, it seems obvious to me that there is a multitude that could not be academically “bright” if they had a million chances. I mean, it’s like taking credit for a good figure: Sure, diet and exercise are important. But if it’s not there to begin with, all the diet and exercise in the world won’t make it so.

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  10. There are too many self esteem issues tied to a vague concept of “intelligence”, especially in the West. This leads to all sorts of levels of misunderstanding and even abuse, as in, for instance, when intelligence is deemed to mean the ability to alight upon an absolutely correct answer to any problem any time without having to take time so much as to think things through. The quicker you can come up with an answer and the harder you stick to your guns, the more “intelligent” you are deemed, according to populist notions.

    This makes intelligence out to be roughly the opposite to what it in fact is, which is the capacity to take a skeptical stance in relation to populist received ideas, and to endure a period of intellectual uncertainty as one works through any evidence for one’s ideas.

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    1. “what it in fact is, which is the capacity to take a skeptical stance in relation to populist received ideas, and to endure a period of intellectual uncertainty as one works through any evidence for one’s ideas”

      -And isn’t this the perfect description of me? 🙂

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  11. bloggerclarissa :
    “what it in fact is, which is the capacity to take a skeptical stance in relation to populist received ideas, and to endure a period of intellectual uncertainty as one works through any evidence for one’s ideas”
    -And isn’t this the perfect description of me?

    It could well be, but I’m skeptical.;)

    Like

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