Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Well that clears up a lot. I'm foreign!

I found something intriguing just now as I was looking on Google to see who first said, "Facebook is where you learn to hate people you've known your whole life while Twitter is where you learn to love people you'll never meet." (I never found that. Anybody know?)

The link I clicked was a blog by a man from Ireland about why he will never live in the US. 17 cultural reasons why this European never wants to live in America. I completely agree with him. But since that's where my land is I'm kind of stuck here. But at least I have figured out how to avoid the culture. Apparently if I want to fit in culturally I have to go to Europe.

From Reason 1: Americans are way too sensitive. I have no filter between what I think and what I say. This is why I can't get along in America.
It seems that speaking your mind to individuals is a major taboo. You can’t tell a friend straight when he has fucked up, nobody will ever tell you that you look fat (oversensitivity with not telling obese people to get their act together is a major contributor in my opinion to why there are so many of them in the states), and there’s way too much euphemism to avoid the hard truth.
From Reason 3: Smiles mean NOTHING.
When I meet Americans abroad, one of their biggest complaints are along the lines of “nobody smiles on Prague’s trams!” “That waitress was so rude to me! She didn’t even smile!”
Goddamnit America – I have the opposite complaint for you. You guys smile way too much. It’s fucking annoying! How can you tell when someone means it? And why the hell would a stranger doing a crossword puzzle on public transport want to look giddy?
This section ends with this; yes this, I do this.
Despite how surly I sound in this post, because complaining is the theme of the article, the fact that I vent when I mean it, means that when you see me happy you know I’m truly happy. And that is indeed a lot of the time. But not all of it!
This is why I gave up online dating. "I want to meet a positive person!" Fuck you. Balance in all things. How can I be truly happy if I'm not sometimes irritated? Shit is irritating as hell in America! You can call me Negative Nelly if you want. My mama didn't name me Barbara Cornell for nothing.

Reason 11: Religious Americans. This would be a lot higher on my list. I have had coworkers try to save me during lunch break. Because I'm so negative. So now I don't have a job. Problem solved.
...I can’t stand certain Christian affiliations of religious Americans. It’s Jesus this and Jesus that all the bloody time. You really can’t have a normal conversation with them. It’s in your face religion, and they replace hard science with scripture in the classroom. They really need to tone it down.

Reason 14: Always in a hurry
People don’t seem to have the patience to invest time to slowly improve things, unless it involves some kind of monetary investment.

Despite all the false positivity, I find Americans to be generally the most stressed out and unhappiest people on the planet. Despite all the resources, and all the money they have, they are sadder than people I know who can barely make ends meet in other countries, but still know how to live in the moment.

This rush to the finish line, to have your book published, or to have a million dollars in your bank account or to get that promotion, and to have that consume your life is something I find really sad.
Me too, dude, me too. So I'm not doing it. This makes me a bad American? Fine. I need to just speak with an accent, get a better haircut and start saying I'm French.


  1. At first I read "I can’t stand certain Christian affiliations" as "Christian afflictions". Sounds about right.

  2. As usual Nell, when you smell a problem you knock the snot out of it. I'd be careful what I wished for though, les Français ont leurs propres problèmes...

  3. I like that list. Didn't think I would, but that's because I'm negative and pessimistic a lot of the time. Or as I've heard said, "I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist with experience."

    Personally, I like smiles. Not fake ones, of course. But I like smiles and I apparently smile a lot, which is good, because I have a face that needs to be seen smiling, otherwise children run screaming in terror and the villagers come at me with pitchforks and torches.

    Yeah, a good, genuine smile is a nice thing.

    And amen to the whole in-your-face-christianity of "real 'mericans".