Tell me one good thing about Americans

The fourth of July in New Zealand was actually yesterday. We celebrated with chocolate bars and nachos, mainly because the red solo cups are only sold at the American store here and driving down the road to that store seemed like an especially grandiose effort to exert for another country’s independence.

Tell me one good thing about Americans | Lindsey Talerico-Hedren

Tell me one good thing about Americans | Lindsey Talerico-Hedren

I also took the liberty of celebrating the fourth in the most American way I know…

Tell me one good thing about Americans | Lindsey Talerico-Hedren

I know somethin you don’t know. And I got somethin to tell ya… You won’t believe how many people, straight doubted the flow….

Now today is a completely different story. It’s the true fourth of July in the U.S. so the celebration must go on. I have received multiple “congratulations” from people here who I can only guess are congratulating me because they think I’ve had a hand in our freedom. It’s a fine assumption because I really want them to like me. But it has gone horribly wrong today and I’m now considering grabbing a pack of red solo cups that could hold something nice for my solo night of emotional self-pity.

It’s Andre Agassi’s fault. Our team was having one of those moments where our inner thoughts hang out on the street together and banter until they don’t make sense and one of us feels we’ve been kicked in the mouth by someone else’s inner thoughts. It doesn’t always end like this. Sometimes we share chocolate bars or they help contribute to my celebrity crushes Pinterest Board. Such was the case yesterday.

Today Andre Agassi ruined the zen.

(Adele) Andre Agassi. I really like him.

(Poppie) Oh, Andre Agassi. He’s still such a heart throb.

(Me) Who’s Andraye Argarsee?

(Poppie) How do you not know who Andre Agassi is? And you call yourself American!

(Me) Is he American, too?

(Poppie) He’s American. And he’s a tennis championnnnn!

(Me) Oh, tennis…? Well, that’s why.

(Poppie) His a 50+’s dream. Like Harrison Ford. The shining boy from the magazine covers of 1994.

This conversation sounds nice. But then they brought up Pete Sampras, another lame tennis star that I’ve never heard of because he wasn’t in the NFL. Stone me. Next we discussed the American dream. I was informed that the New Zealand dream is something about owning your own quarter acre of land and a flock of sheep. Poppie says the New Zealand dream is to leave New Zealand. That made a lot of sense to me.

Then my inconsiderate American mouth had to say something stupid because the conversation was already going so well: I think Americans act like they are more proud. But Kiwis are actually more prideful.

Picture now: Slow turning heads from around the room. The new guy (who really is new… started two hours ago) says, “Are you kidding me??!!!” A recap of what happened next:

Tell me one good thing about Americans | Lindsey Talerico-Hedren

By this time, I’m very sad. Prideful is a real word, it means to have a lot of pride. Even with dictionary.com on my side, I’m being eaten alive. Kiwi water-boarded. It’s terrible. So I beg all my colleagues to do me this single favor, if I ask them nothing ever again….

(Me) Suzi, can you tell me just one good thing about Americans?

(Suzi) It’s really scenic in America. And Americans embrace success — you are happy when other people are successful.

(Poppie) Yeah, we’re not like that here.

(Me) Poppie, tell me one good thing about Americans.

(Poppie) The decadence… and New York.

(Me) Matt?

Interrupted with a Skype from Matt who saw this on my plate of homemade brownies for whanau day (if you don’t know what ‘whanau’ is, Google it along with “Andre Argassi” who you’ll see is a total cheese):

Tell me one good thing about Americans | Lindsey Talerico-Hedren

It’s true. I did put this note on there for Matt. Because I knew he’d eat at least 4.

[3:09:23 p.m.] Matt: “Why are you putting that note on there, Lindsey?” “…because Matt will see it and just help himself!”

After giving Matt a brownie:

(Matt) I don’t like generalisations. And I cannot generalise 160 million people. But if I had to… I like the parts of America that tackle bullying. And… you don’t care what anyone else thinks. Like the red-neck Olympics.

(Poppie) Oh no. That’s a terrible thing about Americans. (*Editor’s note: It’s better if you try to hear these words with a Kiwi accent, they are much more like sharp daggers instead of marshmallows)

And more answers.

(Xena) Some of the movies you make. Not all of them, but some.

(Liz) Alcatraz… I loved it when I visited there.

(Me) You mean… where we used to keep our prisoners? That’s the only good thing about Americans?

(Adele) You are so overly friendly. And just helpful. I love America!!!

And the answer that redeems all the other answers and restores my faith in this entire country and my own country…

(A random passers-by-er that I forced into giving me his own answer) You are all the most fascinating people in the world. You walk down the street and you see 58 people doing 58 different things. The sense of individuality is strong, but the sense of belonging is equally as strong. And the York peppermint pattie.

Happy birthday, America. We love you!

*Also, I don’t have a colleague named Xena. She said she’d like to be nameless. So I named her after a warrior princess. And Matt would also like to be called Jason Bourne. I don’t have many issues with it so in future posts, I’ll refer to him as J. Bourne.

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  • Matt

    I’m hurting. I will never eat two of anything ever again. I’m hideous.

  • Two of anything is good. Three of anything is pushing it. Four of anything makes you fat. Hard to resist when things are so flavourful, aye mate? *Also, if you want your name changed to Jason Bourne, I can do that.

  • This is by far the FUNNIEST post ever. My sides are still hurting from laughing so hard. Peppermint Patties? Alcatraz? Tennis? Really? My sides hurt….

  • It’s really telling about what the rest of the world thinks about Americans, huh? I learn so much from the extra lovely people here. Tomorrow I’m going to the macaroon shoppe where I can get me a meringue filled biscuit. And the Peppermint Pattie thing, it’s hard to disagree with that. xo.

  • Matt

    I’ve got it! The USA are reigning Olympic rugby champions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rugby_union_at_the_Summer_Olympics

  • Adams Matt

    Love the comments. I roomed with a Kiwi for a year and never got a straight answer out of him about his thoughts on Americans.  Thank you for forcing the passer-by to answer.  Very American!

  • Did you manage to convince him to wear shoes outside? hehee I’m just kidding, sort of.

  •  I’m sorry we all tried getting you kicked out of the Olympics in ’76. Forgive us, please?

  • Laura

    I agree. York Peppermint Patties are one of the greatest American inventions. : ) Thanks for this unique perspective on the 4th of July Lindsey!

  • Living here makes everything a unique experience 🙂 Miss you.

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