February 13, 2012 § Leave a comment
A bald eagle flew overhead; his white tail seeming so close to the hood of my car as he quickly soared up towards the top of a tree. A mere second later and the Freebird guitar solo was making its way through the speakers. It was at that moment that I knew God loved me…and I loved America.
Norway, Michigan was 22 miles away. As I passed the small road that led to the even smaller town, I kept my eyes wide open in hopes of discovering an American male closely resembling the real, and incredibly attractive, Norwegians I had the pleasure of meeting some time ago.
By the time I reached Denmark, Wisconsin I was still thinking about the Norwegians (the real ones). Somewhere around this part of my road trip “God Bless the U.S.A.” was playing. I belted out the lyrics, “And I’m proud to be an American!” as I thought about the God-given good looks the tall, blonde-haired folk of Norway possess. Their language is both lovely but confident; their beautiful features even more attractive by the fact that they can put up with such fierce winters.
But I am far away from that cold country and its unusual brown “cheese.” I am nowhere near any dashing Norwegian men and their thick, wool sweaters. No, instead, I am in the “Midwest” of the U.S.A.; a part of the U.S. that is unusually deemed the Midwest even though it is neither “mid” nor “west.” Sure we like hockey, wool sweaters, and snow almost as much as the Norwegians, but our accent is not at all appealing – sounding a bit more Canadian than anything else. On average our BMI is probably higher, our blonde hair color more “dirty dishwater” than “bombshell”, and we tend to look more “republican redneck” than “Norse warrior” when doing anything outdoors.
Or maybe I am just romanticizing their people. I have never been to Norway. Besides a rock band who’s foreign lyrics I cannot translate, one tattooed gentleman I conversed with by the name of Sven, the horrible brown “cheese” I tried once, and a couple of yellow-wrapped bars of chocolate deliciousness I savored, I don’t know much about that country. Possibly I have just created an idyllic Norway of my own that is far from its actuality.
I love the United States. We may be overweight and loud. We may not have the skin to withstand the bone chilling temperatures of Norway (Alaska aside), we may have to spend a lot of money to get our hair that glorious shade of blonde, and our version of chocolate may not be anything but a dismal, sugary mistake. But at least we have really good cheese the color of the sun. And while I may spend a decent amount of time wishing for a Prince Charming from another country to whisk me off of my feet and take me to a fantastic land full of cultural wonder, at the end of the day that song is still stuck in my head – “’cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land…” – and I am reminded that I am proud to be an American.