One wanted to get something down for the Fourth of July- one tried to get away from oneself and go for something like :The Ten Step Program To Becoming American but that quickly turned nasty. For example:
Divide the world into where you can safely go on vacation or where you can bomb.
Do not master another language, that tells everyone your parents are just off the boat or over the wall.
OK so one tried another Fourth of July theme: Ten Ways To Know One Has Become An American:
I. When one says "We," and it no longer refer to one's country of origin. In this one's case, England and the English, unless it's really personal. i e "We always played Tiddleywinks on Tuesdays.'
2. One yelled for Team USA though that's partly because England SUCKED.
3. One can invite 60 people for the Fourth of July and prepare almost no food or drink.
We always have a big Fourth of July party and once an old friend was staying with us from Serbia. I spent the morning dusting and tidying and Draga was a great help but she was becoming more and more agitated. I was busy getting six months worth of fluff out from behind the furniture, cursing the chairs for having so many rungs. About three thirty we did put a ham in the oven,(Our motto: let's see if our Jewish, Moslem and Veggie friends really love us for ourselves alone.) We had some chips at the ready sitting on my newly de-cluttered and polished table. We had some beer.
Draga could stand it no longer. "Sixty people! Mary! Sixty people! And you have nothing!""
"Oh, some people won't come."
Draga asked where the flour was. Draga made a big loaf of bread. (For the English it's not a real meal without potatoes, for Serbians, without bread.) We placed the bread, warm from the oven, in the middle of my newly polished, empty table. Draga's hands were still clapped to her cheeks in the familiar Serbian gesture of dismay and despair. It was five o clock. We persuaded her to go have a shower. When she came back her bread was already surrounded by food, by "covered dishes," salsa and salads, with brownies and flan and a row of wine bottles to the side.
One could remark, as one did in the Second World War and after, on the remarkable generosity of the American people.
Remember the story of Jesus feeding the thousands with three loaves and two fishes? If that crowd had been American he wouldn't have needed a miracle. He'd just have said: "Hey, it's a party. Everyone just bring something."
One is now quite excited to be off to Singapore with the esteemed Dr. Motes who has been invited to be one of the judges at the 2010 Singapore Orchid Show.