Things I Miss About America, or as I should say Amurrica!
I’d forgotten what it was really like to be an American abroad. Over the past few months (yes, it’s been that long already), I have been experiencing the raised eyebrows, smirks, inquisitive looks and every once in a while heated conversations when I tell people “I’m from the States.” People are intrigued by the US. They’ve heard quite a lot about it. Some opinions good, plenty bad and mostly just people curious to find out of the stereotypes are true. That being said, so far from home, I’ve been spending quite a lot of time thinking about America – all of the things I love and all of the things I now question. I never considered myself to be a patriotic person…but this happened the last time I was abroad…the further away, the more pride I feel for where I came from. It’s like that rule where you can make fun of your sibling, but if someone else did you’d kick ’em in the shins. I feel that way about the good old US of A, and the city of Philadelphia (Every once in a while you run into a New Yorker in London and they still feel the need to belittle Philly).
So, here’s a wee list of just some things I’ve been missin about the land with those Purple Mountains and their majesty:
PEANUT BUTTER. Seriously guys, I don’t know what the shit this stuff is. I will shamelessly take a jar of Skippy or Jif any day of the week. I will never graduate to “organic” peanut butter. Give me that sweet sweet molasses. And then put it on a banana.
Hoagies. Long rolls, not these too-often stiff baguettes. Preferably Amoroso’s. And sandwiches need not be smothered in mayo and sprinkled with yellow corn.
People who are genuinely nice. Seriously London, would it kill you to smile every once in a while? Actually, that’s one American stereotype I am in no way sorry for. We may be a bit loud, but if being overly nice is something I’m being judged on, judge away. Please, and thank you.
Making fun of Canada! Everyone here loves Canadians. Sure, Americans’ hatred for the Great White North is very along the lines of Michael Scott hating Toby…but still! I appreciate your contributions to the world of hockey and maple syrup, but I stand by our bacon. Also, I’ve been told on multiple occasions that Brits will ask someone from North America where they are from because Canadians are insulted when they are confused for Americans. You have national healthcare, so I really don’t know what you’re yapping aboot. Also, Canadians are afraid of the dark. True story.
People who get my Arrested Development, Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother, Wet Hot American Summer, Simpsons, Wayne’s World, Tommy Boy, Dumb & Dumber, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I Love You Man, Modern Family, Can’t Hardly Wait, 10 Things I Hate About You and Clueless references. I am a pop culture junkie and I needs my fix. NEEDS IT. I haven’t met a single person over here who knows who Conan O’Brien is. UPSETTING.
Toilets that flush and don’t splash a bunch of water up your bum. If you’ve ever been to the UK, you know what I mean.
DRYERS. They are few and far between. What I would give for a nice tumble dry.
Target and all of its low-price suburban glory. Red and white, I’m comin’ fer ya.
Wawa. Say it with me Southeast PA, NJ, DE and some of VA. Wa-wa.
Sweatpants as acceptable outerwear. Because some days, it’s just that kind of a day.
Pumpkin Spice lattes. Starbucks a-plenty. Gingerbread, toffee and mint mocha. BUT NO PUMPKIN SPICE.
PBR. This one’s for your Tiff and Hen.
Three-hole punch. They only do two’s over here and it’s weird. Because people who do things different from Americans are WEIRD. (Ok, ok. You guys know I don’t really mean that, right? I’m in a masters that’s all about inclusion in practice, after all)
Bars that don’t measure out every ounce of every drink. Just pour, please.
Drugstores/ one-stop-shops. Try finding a notebook or a roll of tape in a Boots. Impossible.
Trader Joe’s. Or as Ronnie says, TRADER Joe’s.
Mexican food made by actual Mexican people.
Fountain soda. And refills.
Crosswalks that don’t make me fear for my life on a daily basis. These yellow blinking things do little to make me feel like these cars are actually going to stop for pedestrians.
Late night pizza.
The art of a good house party. Red cups, and all.