Tuesday, March 22, 2011
God Bless America and Long Live Heinz
I have suddenly be stuck with the biggest bout of patriotism. This conversation seriously just happened between my two roommates, our host parents, and I while at the dinner table:
Kerry goes to get the Ketchup from the refigorator. We were having this egg/potato thing that tastes VERY MUCH like an omlet. A perfectly acceptable reason for a bit of ketchup. Oh no, not here. Not in THIS casa.
Our host mom beings...I'll translate, dont worry...."You girls put Ketchup on everything. It makes everything taste the same. IIIII would never put Ketchup on so many things. I want different tastes. Everything you eat tastes like Ketchup. IIII'm not accustomed to that. That is so strange."
Kim: "Well in the United States I guess its just a little more common."
"But you put it on EVERYTHING." (she says with judgmental Spanish eyes. SHHHEEEE is clearly way too posh for that. We have just been labeled Spanish trailer trash) "I have had other Americans students stay with me and you use more Ketchup than anyone else" (now not only are we Spanish trailer trash, we are 100%, lounging in our own filth, calling each other bubba and kissing our own brothers, American trash)
Kim: "Well, mostly just meat. Like hamburgers. Or some chicken."
"No. you put it on everything. The food all has the same flavor" (She's not having it. We WILL NOT leave this table until we have been taught a condiment-al lesson) "I dont like it".
Me (trying SO ANGELICALLY to lighten the mood by bringing in a joke, Pat Conroy style): "Well more for us then!"
She was not amused. A few moments go by in silence. We think the storm has passed. It had merely begun to drizzle...
"And plus, it will make you fat."
We all heartily disagree with her and tell her that its just Ketchup. Ketchup will not make us fat.
"Oh, and neither will all the ice cream you eat, huh?"
Oh no she di'int. Thats it. Claws are coming out.
"Thats the problem with Americans. They say, 'i dont like food with alot of grease in it' but then they eat all this chocolate. Its all fat. It will make you all fat. I don't eat food like that. In Spain, we don't eat like that."
Now I understand that on a normal day, MAYBE, PERHAPS, GIVEN THE RIGHT TIMING, I would have POSSIBLE understood her ridiculously inappropriate bashing on American's and how unhealthy we are, let's admit, we eat some crappy stuff sometimes. But when you are blatantly bashing the food I am CURRENTLY EATING, right now, IN MY MOUTH. And telling me that I am the poster child for a fat, stupid American. Golly, lady. Then she starts in again.
"and McDonalds. You Americans eat McDonalds all the time. Children eat that stuff. As a treat from their parents. Children eat Ketchup."
In a manner at which to say 'I am certifiably done with the conversation and I'm about to squirt that Ketchup straight into my mouth in protest of your Anti-American pretentious Spanish attitude' I added: "One time I went to McDonalds twice in one day."
As we were getting up from the table, feeling attacked and bewildered at the Catillian crap that had just been flung on our Red-White-and-Blue, Apple Pie, Pledge allegiance saying, 'from the lake of Minnesota to the hills of Tenessee' singing customs, Kerry Deyo said it best:
"You can shit on me, but you can't shit on my country"
Then we retreated to our room and sang along to God Bless America via Youtube.
I am trying my hardest to learn your language, your customs, and your culture. I smile at you and try to make sweet conversation. I walk on the wrong side of the sidewalk for you. I go out of my way to avoid the kamikaze piles of dog crap you leave all along the sidewalk. I wear tights with my shorts and have retired my sneakers to try and fit in fashionably. I TRY. The LEAST YOU COULD DO was let me eat my freaking Ketchup in peace.
God Bless America,