I forgot to renew the domain here, and for a brief moment, all my thoughts related to jamon, friendship, parenting, and making an ass of myself were locked into WordPress purgatory. Thankfully, I decided having a forum was worth at least one more year.
So. There’s that. As I begin another school year overseas, my home country appears to be either on fire or underwater. People still occasionally ask me about the current occupant of the White House, and why we are so weird.
“I don’t know,” I answer. “But it’s home.”
I think a lifetime of living in Arizona helped prepare me for awkward political discussions. We had a governor get impeached there, and then the governor after that served some time in jail. The one following that was named Rose, and had a huge beehive hairdo. I moved away at that point, but I remember one governor wagged her finger in Obama’s face. We also have the recently-pardoned Joe Arpaio, scorpions the sleep in your shoes, rogue bobcats, casual racism, and a restaurant in downtown Phoenix operated by Alice Cooper.
I tell friends that the one thing that balances the scale regarding Arizona is that DMX lives there, and then I remember he got arrested for animal cruelty.
However. It’s still my home. Much like you have that cousin who walks around with syrup on his chin, or the dog with undeniable flatulance, you love it because it’s yours. I am from Arizona, and I will always be from Arizona. I don’t like cactus because they are trendy; I like them because they are mine.
So, being an American in Europe is more of the same. I do love my ridiculous country, and no, I can’t defend all parts of it. But the rare times I see the flag, I see my country, not jingoism. I see all that came before and the promise that is to come. I see the right to disagree, and the grace that comes from listening. I see learning, growth, mistakes made.
Don’t ask me to defend a side, a political position. Ask me instead why it’s home. I may not find the words right then, but I’ll keep trying. Because if there is one thing America does right, it picks itself up, and keeps trying.