I don’t subscribe to the chest-thumping nationalism that makes people shout ‘Merica and say we’re the greatest country in the world when they’ve never even vacationed outside it. I don’t love it here because my life would have been a tragedy anywhere else. I would have grown up poorer, probably, but then I grew up pretty poor here. It might have been harder to get a college degree, but I had to struggle pretty hard here too. I would have had different things had my parents moved me back to Argentina, like the love of an extended family, which I sorely missed here.
So, no, I don’t love America because its the only option. I love it because it’s my option, complicated and flawed, great and beautiful but also sometimes sad and frustrating. I love running my mind over the bumps of its quirky political system, the contradictions of its people. I love it as an experiment that beacons to people with a promise far too dazzling to always keep. I love the movies and the songs, the way an American voice sounds too cool to enunciate everything. I love the brash entitlement, the irreverent humor, the pure smarts, the episodic reinvention. I love what America was before political correctness. I also love what it is after. I love America celebrating Christmas. But I love all the silly brouhaha from the pseudo “War on Christmas” too, a country so self-analyzing and cynical and idealistic all at once, all casseroled together in one pot of prejudices and myths and gumption.
Even when it drives me crazy, I love it, honored and humbled that it let me stick around.
So how does Maria Andreu feel about her life in America? Dazzled and grateful every single day.
Thanks for asking 🙂