Hey over here! It’s me! The American wearing star-spangled jorts from Target around my butt, an American flag as a scarf around my neck, all while lasso-ing a $1 American Flag plastic pendant necklace Flavva Flavv is still jealous about around my neck. I’m only a presidential endorsement away from being the next Obama Girl–except with 200% more clothes on and all of them are red, white, and/or blue.
I wouldn’t normally claim two primary colors as my two primary colors (I’m more of a fall palette, myself) London is a’calling! I have the distinct honor of cheering on my friend Sarah Trowbridge and her rowing partner as they seek out gold medals for the US Rowing Team in the Women’s Double Skull. The scene here is absolutely crazy, vibrant with the colors of hundreds of nations, millions of faces, and even those weird mascots that I assume are from Despicable Me 3: London Olympics.
The Olympics have a unique way of bringing the world together in a time of ultimate competition for glory. It’s a perfect time to meet people from different places and sing the “It’s a Small World” song while holding hands. It’s also an opportune moment to convince people who don’t think Americans are #1 to jump on the bandwagon.
WE’RE LOUD AND PROUD…
There’s no doubt we’re a proud bunch. I’d venture to say that half the t-shirts sold in the US have some sort of representation or a college we went to or a race we were in or a place that we went. At least that’s what was packed in the suitcases headed to London. Only a nation this great could consume a billion tons of guacamole on a single Sunday and high five about it. If my jean shorts didn’t prove it to you already, I love America. I have been to many countries and cities around the world, and the USA is a melting pot that cannot be matched. If our country is a crock pot, we Americans are the ingredients to the red, white, and blue stew. Gather 10,000+ ingredients into a single arena and you have one large, loud, super exited crowd that is ready to win.
…AND A DAMN GOOD CROWD.
I sat alone at the Eton Dorney grandstand watching Sarah’s first heat, surrounded by a crowd of Union Jack-waving Team GB misleadingly wearing my very own color scheme. I’ve never heard a British person yell until this weekend and still it was mostly like light shouting. With loudish Brits to my right and loud-orange-velvet-cowboy-hat wearing Dutch fans to my left, I was nervous to bring out my little flag and wave it with honor in solitude. And then Americans began racing. And then Americans began winning. And all the Americans in the crowd surfaced and screamed and cheered and blocked the views of everyone around just to make sure athletes in boats that couldn’t hear us could hear us. I’m sure the victorious fist-pumping is somewhat expected out of us now, which only makes it better.
WE MAKE GREAT TELEVISION.
For 14 days every 4 years, people watch Badminton and Judo on TV. When the nightly Olympic programming stops here in the UK, I happily watch New Girl. And then NCIS and then CSI and then Revenge and then Guy’s Big Bite and then realize that I’m supposed to be enjoying the sights and sounds of London and I go to sleep. There is no bigger form of flattery than imitation and I’m honored. Make television, not war.
OUR SWEET, ANGELIC ACCENTS.
A sweet faced Olympic volunteer approached me and asked if I was lost. When I said, “no this is how I look when I wait without a smartphone to play with,” she freaked out and told me she loved my accent. For the most part, I don’t have a particularly cool American accent so needless to say it made my day and it can be safely assumed that people love to hear us talk even if it’s consistently about Ryan Lochte’s abs.
Whatever happened to predictability? The milkman, the paperboy, evening tv? Do you miss your old familiar friends waiting just across the pond? The US is a full house of people blowing up their spot when they leave their homes. It’s the beauty of living in a big place with distinct micro-cultures. The United States is to Epcot as the World is to Disneyworld. Americans are stereotypically talkative and inquisitive and boisterous and mostly in foreign restaurants or places of business. It’s only because we care. Which makes it comforting to know that I don’t even have to ask where the man is from who is taking up all the space in the London 2012 Official Store yelling “I THINK EIGHT SHOT GLASSES ARE ENOUGH FOR THE KIDS, RIGHT? WHAT ABOUT THIS MONSTER THING? OR THESE PINS WITH THE THINGS? WHAT ABOUT THIS THING?!” to his wife in the tube station ordering a venti mocha frappachino. All I can hope is that it’s my town. We give you what you want.
WE FIGHT FOR OUR RIGHT TO PARTY.
In the words of P.Diddy and Mase “Ain’t nobody hold [us] down.” We’re a new crop of adventurers compared to the rest of the world. I’ve been sitting on well kept benches in the UK that are older than the oldest manmade thing in the United States. Americans have gypsy blood, all descending from relatives who escaped their lives on any of the other continent and sought out a better one. We all come from risk takers and goal setters. Our ancestors never settled for what they had as good enough and neither do we. I’m pretty sure it’s a fact that the main reason the Founding Fathers ventured across the pond is because they wanted to have the biggest tea party ever and the Queen was like “No” and they were like “Uh yeah. Bye.“
WE WANT TO BE THE BEST.
How can you hate people who strive for success? Every goal starts with an intention and we’re intending on living at the top. It could be worse.
Americans are an easy bunch to hate. Our politics, celebrities, fast food habits…the list can go on if you let it. If there were ever a better 2 weeks to win a gold medal for tolerance, it’s now. We can all be friends, right? Yes, yes we can. Jorts and all.