Recently, I celebrated my 25 year anniversary of coming to America. I have lived here longer than in my birth country and I finally feel American. That feeling did not come easy nor was it immediate, in fact it took years to finally feel like I belonged here. When my childhood friends come for long visits and ask what it takes to finally feel like an American, I pour us a cup of tea (still) and share a long list. In honor of my 25 years, here's my Becoming an American list:
1. Learn English (seriously!)
2. Eat peanut butter.
3. Learn about 80s American pop culture
4. Watch football in the fall on Sundays. And Mondays. And Thursdays. And Saturdays.
5. And The Final Four in the spring.
6. Forget world geography.
7. Spend two years planning a trip to Disney World, don’t forget to create a binder full of coupons.
8. Learn every line to The Godfather and Goodfellas. Use them to make a point.
9. Stop asking why it’s “World Series” and “World Championships” when only one country is participating.
10. Celebrate Thanksgiving.
11. Never take a vacation.
12. Have a Starbucks cup permanently attached to your hand as you go about your day.
13. Wear a bra at all times and make sure the straps show so everyone can see that you do have a bar on.
14. Wear yoga pants all day long.
15. Never put ketchup on a hotdog.
16. Find the best spot to watch Fourth of July fireworks.
17. Mark your holidays with a Charlie Brown Special on TV.
18. Start your Christmas season in July.
19. Learn the Electric Slide so you can dance at weddings.
20. Get your news from Comedy Central.
21. Discover a great BBQ place.
22. Eat corn-on-the-cob.
24. Go to a baseball game (and if you’re really brave, become a baseball parent)
25. Chant “USA!” at the top of your lungs during the Olympics.