I have to admit a secret. I tear up every single time I sing the National Anthem. I'm a dork. Please note that I have been a history teacher.
Anyway, I have been very fortunate to spend time outside of our country, in both Central America and Europe. I have seen many things. And while I love traveling, and I love being in foreign countries, it makes me appreciate my own country that much more. Despite the negativity we hear in the media, our country has a lot of great things going for it. With that, I give you my list of the top reasons I love being an American.
Separation of Church and State. I was in some public schools in England last month, and couldn't believe that their public schools can also be religious schools. I think that just opens up too many cans of worms, so I'm glad we don't have to deal with it!
You don't have to pay to use public toilets and can flush toilet paper. If you have ever been to a foreign country that charges to use a public toilet, you know that the free toilets are not the ones you usually want to use. However, it's so annoying to have to have change just so you can pee! Come on, this is practically a cashless society. I don't keep coins around! And also, ew. Not being able to flush toilet paper. Enough said.
Our landscape and geography have so much to offer. You want desert? Got it. Mountains? Check! Beaches? You bet! You can do anything you want to, without having to leave the country. It's very cool!
The variety of accents in one country. In a matter of several hours, you can be greeted with "Y'all" in the breakfast meats section at a grocery store in Texas, and then be at a grocery store in Minnesota where they'll offer you a "baeg" instead of a bag. Brilliant! How many other countries can pronounce the word "grandmother" as "gramma" or "gram-aw?"
Our Constitution. Hi. History geek here. But our constitution was extremely well planned and written. It's one of the only constitutions in the world that hasn't been completely abolished because it was written to be a living document. It covers all the important bases. It's pretty awesome!
We are generous. If there is someone or something (such as a cause) in need, we dig right in and help out others! Sure, there are always exceptions, but for the most part, we are a very giving group of people.
Sonic. No place hops like Sonic! You don't find drive in restaurants in which you can have hundreds of flavored soda options in other countries! And Sonic is great, they offer weird foods for limited times. Want some fried Mac and Cheese? Jalapeno poppers? Mini banana splits? They keep their customers on their toes while still offering old faithfuls like cherry limeaids. And we love them for it!
We are friendly and helpful. We love to help others in need, and we're generally very outgoing and kind. People make conversation with others in stores. They wave at one another. Neighbors bring one another gifts at holidays. We can be very friendly! Sometimes this has been a little embarrassing while I've been in another country, but that's another post.
The Bill of Rights. Unlimited power for people and states, basic human rights, no cruel punishment, right to a jury, jury in a civil court, right to due process, no search and seizure, no quartered soldiers, militia and arms and freedom of religion and speech...what more do you need??
California. I love this state, and clearly I'm not alone. It's also very unique and belongs to us! In one state you can go skiing, see forests, deserts, and beaches. It's urban and rural. It has fantastic weather. Lots of celebrities. It's awesome!
Wide parking spaces and an organized driving system. Parking in foreign countries makes me break out in a cold sweat. They squeeze into tiny areas that I am not good at. Also, some places seem to think that rules for the road are more like suggestions. Lanes? Who needs 'em? Brakes? That's what horns are for, stupid! While in Central America I saw people actually hit by cars. God bless you, organized road systems in America.
Showering regularly. I don't care how neurotic I sound, or how blatantly American I am in this regard. I believe in cleaning your body every day. I don't know how they can go around wallowing in their own filth. And deodorant is an American trend I wish would catch on more.
Bravo TV. It's trashy. It's gossipy. But I love me some good old fashioned Real Housewives or Flipping Out.
Our sense of patriotism. We are proud of our country and aren't afraid to show it. And that, my friends, is very cool.