Sunday, February 15, 2015

If You Do It Like an American: You're Wrong!

In the current The Atlantic there is an article entitled, "Five bad American habits I kicked in Finland."

1.  I don't fear awkward silences.
2.  I don't say things I don't mean.
3.  I don't leave food on my plate.
4.  I don't take coffee to go.
5.  I don't feel uncomfortable in my own skin.

The author takes us to task because we:
1.  Are uncomfortable with lapses in conversation, and feel we must converse than be quiet at times.
2.  Say things like "pleased to meet you" or "let's get together sometimes" that confuses foreigners.
3.  Waste food, from his point of view. Naturally, he doesn't take into account the giant-sized portions in restaurants. Hey, I'm a chick; there's no way I could eat an 8 ounce hamburger with fries!
4.  Take our coffee to go. We do this because we drink coffee while working and because coffee bars have limited space that discourages lingering. [I do my best work when I have a venti-sized coffee with chicory with it.]
5.  Feel squeamish about going naked. It's our custom not to go starkers; though I can go with a certain amount of undressing on beaches. As a matter of fact, I'm okay with women going topfree; but my personal niñas remain in my top.

These interesting cultural differences are taken by the author that we are wrong. And that chafes me to no end!

Okay, instead of our chaotic American non-rituals of courtship, why don't we go in for arranged marriages? Some people would like that!

And, when we meet someone, why don't we ask them how they manage that irritating laugh, or how they see around that big nose? Hey, that's speaking plainly!

And we part company, why don't we just say, "Go **** yourself, Jack!"

And maybe the major American newspapers could have Page 3 girls. No timid hinting of what's under her bikini by Hannah Davis, even though it caused some people to have conniptions.

Humor papers could engage in crude characterizations of religious figures. After all, if artists can get grant money for that, why not cartoonists?

Bikini waxes are so timid; in some parts of Africa they go for female genital mutilation. Hmm....Canada is suddenly looking pretty good!

Ethnic cleansing? Could that be used as a solution for pesky Hollywood types?

Instead of a duly elected government and President, why don't we adopt rule by fiat on the part of a junta? Maybe this junta could also drive Fiats?

As for silence, we could introduce silence training periodically in different stages in a monastery or convent that requires its members to adopt a vow of silence. Oh, be still, my heart! Would that be a way of shutting up pundits and rabble-rousers?

Of course, I'm engaging in a little bit of heavy-handed sarcasm. But, seriously, Americans have a right to their cultures and mores too!* Yes, I am proud to say, you all!  Just because the people of England or Sweden or East Abunni do it differently, does not make either our way or theirs', for that matter, wrong.

*That includes saying "you all" or "y'all."

Captain America looking to kick some bad habits.


TexWisGirl said...

i think i'd like to go one step further and be a canadian in my next life - they're the politest people ever! :)

Duckbutt said...

I picked up a love of chocolate croissants in Paris; but I don't consider our American pastries to be wrong!

In France you enter on the RC floor, and go up a flight to the first floor.

Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer said...

The writer needed to put some words on a page, and he did without much effort. Nothing like getting to patronize people in the process.

John Hill said...

Personally, I like silence, coffee and ninas (covered or exposed). I generally eat what I take and say what I mean (or don't say anything...did I mention I'm good with silence?).
And I'm comfortable with that.

Mike said...

Differences abound from region to region let alone from country to country.

Dixie@dcrelief said...

Well there goes the cruise to Finland. I couldn't keep my mouth shut if I had to... well, I sleep.

Somewhere in the mind's recesses, I keep hearing Monty Python singing, "Finland, Finland, Finland, the place that I'd love to be..." (guess again.)

Bilbo said...

When I arrived in Berlin many years ago, my friends in the BOQ (bachelor officers quarters) took me to a local topless beach as a way of introducing me to the wilder side of local life. It was there I discovered that - while it could be fun and interesting - most people who go topless on topless beaches ... shouldn't.

Linda Kay said...

Even here in US people are different by state, county, city, town, church, neighborhood, etc. That is what makes life interesting, right?

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Mike and Linda Kay, you're absolutely correct!

TexWisGirl, can you deal with poutine and maple syrup pie?

Sorry the beach did not live up to expectations, Bilbo!

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Mike and Linda Kay, you're absolutely correct!

TexWisGirl, can you deal with poutine and maple syrup pie?

Sorry the beach did not live up to expectations, Bilbo!

Cloudia said...

You got a future in politics, Angel!

ALOHA from Honolulu