Thoughts on being American

It occurred to me this morning that I really need to shop for new underwear.

I mean, the pair I blindly pulled out the drawer before my shower last night has a rather unsightly hole in the front, the fabric being pulled from the elastic leg-band like pizza dough that’s been stretched too thin. It’s not that I don’t have the money to shop for nice things; it’s just that I’m lazy. Notice how I haven’t updated this blog in two months – my brain, like my panties, having been simply worn down. But, I digress. The problem isn’t really the condition of my clearly mentionable unmentionables, it was my thought process when I spotted the hole. It went something like this:

“Shoot, what did Mom always say about wearing nice underwear? Make sure your underwear is clean in case you need to get rescued from a bomb. No. No, she never mentioned bombs. Was it school shootings? Theater shootings? Wear clean underwear in case you get caught in a mass shooting. No, no. Aha! It was ‘wear nice underwear in case you’re in a car accident!’ But I don’t drive my car everyday. And I live in a big city. So I better wear nice underwear in case I get caught in some kind of crazy act of violence.”

Did your moms tell you the underwear thing too? It’s a piece of advice that seems to forever occupy a completely unremarkable corner of my mind. Why would she tell me such a morbid thing? I doubt anyone saving my life would stop to judge me on my undergarments. I doubt anyone in Boston did. Or in Newtown. Or in Aurora.

The thing is, I feel so weary of this all. Weary of the news outlets rushing to be first to report anything. Weary of the response on social media. Weary of our Senate defeating measures to expand gun control. Weary of my own consciousness that at any moment, any of us could be caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, victims of the violent poetry that courses angrily through our streets, the veins of this country.

On Sunday night, for the first time, I went to the movies and watched a safety demonstration before the feature. If someone should come shooting at you while you watch this movie: Don’t panic. Walk to the exits. Don’t run. Keep calm. And I thought, “This is the world, now?”

And then Monday.

This is the world, now? This is my country?

After any act of high-profile terrorism, there is that feeling of being united in our American togetherness. You picked on us, we say to the Evil. But look at us! We have defeated you, simply by being good. Everyone is so quick to cash in on that good feeling, down to the New York Yankees baseball team, who emblazoned the Boston Red Sox emblem next to their own during the game. But I’ve lived through a bit of terrorism now in my 27 years, so I’m wise enough to realize that once this temporary collective solidarity passes, we’ll see people back to bickering. Yankees fans will punch Red Sox fans in the parking lot, or vice versa. Blue States will hate the Red States, or vice versa. And fans of the 2nd Amendment will cling so tightly to the barrel of their ideals, they won’t even realize that the barrel in the 200 plus years since the Constitution was drafted now no longer requires its perpetrator to see, feel, or think.

So as for being American, well friends, this week I’m feeling pretty weary.

But I still fucking love pizza. So, there’s that.

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One response to “Thoughts on being American

  1. Amanda you have the ability to make me laugh and cry at the same time. Unfortunately, I never thought the world would turn into such an ugly place.
    God help us. Madre.

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