Written on July 4, 2012
No, the title is not about the fact that today is the fourth of July, American Independence Day. Happy birthday, America. It is about the radio show, This American Life. I love the show and have a huge crush on the host, Ira Glass.
I just listened to a podcast, left by a former volunteer, called “Are You Going to Eat That?” The whole program is good but the segment that had me laughing out loud was written about one family’s rules, in a biblical way. “Of the beasts of the field and the fishes of the sea and all food acceptable in my sight, you may eat. But not in the living room. “ It goes on to talk about what you have to eat to get dessert (6 peas and 2 bites of potatoes, but all peas or all potatoes do not count.)
It could have been written by a sibling. It was so American and so funny. I was laughing out loud, snorting, while my dinner was cooking.
It reminded me once again of all the rules we learn as children in our own culture. Living in a new culture, we have a whole new set of rules to learn. How close to stand to another person. Is it ok to stand if someone else is sitting? Can you drink water while you walk? There are a million rules we all learn as children in our own cultures. Moving to a new country means learning new ways.
The fact that I’m sitting, alone, in my fale, laughing out loud while cooking food just for me? Very not Samoan. But very right for me, in this moment.