Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Born in the You Ass

The post office has the most interesting cross section of American life cycling through its doors.

I was there to apply for my passport and, lacking the foresight to bring a book with me having not anticipated an hour's wait, there was little to do to occupy myself except people watch.

Here are some things I observed:

A) Overweight women should not wear skinny jeans. The phrase "skinny jeans" is not meant to imply the jeans make the wearer appear skinny. No, in fact, they do not make the wearer appear skinny. They make the wearer look completely ridiculous.

B) Overall, Americans are not well-dressed. One woman in particular stood out to me. She was, from head to toe, wrapped in 80's stoner fashion complete with black, fringed, leather jacket, black, fringed, leather boots, and black ripped jeans. She had not bathed for, what appeared to be, several days. She was applying for a passport too. There is nowhere in the world prepared for the likes of her. I'm embarrassed to think she will be an American representative to a foreign country. Yikes.

But in addition to her, I noticed, almost without exception, that Americans wear the most ill-fitting clothing. Even if you're shopping at Wal-Mart, there is such a thing as buying the appropriate size and style flattering to your shape.

C)After all the news and hullabaloo every winter about how to protect yourself and others from the spread of germs, I noted how few people cover their mouths and noses when coughing and sneezing. Turning away is not enough, Folks. And using that phlegm-covered cloth handkerchief and then shoving it back into your pocket next to your wallet? Ew. Just...ew.

D) Americans are generally unobservant. I watched a woman stand in the regular line for 20 minutes. She finally got to the window only to be immediately directed to the passport window. You know, the window clearly marked "PASSPORTS"? Yeah, that one. The one she was facing nearly the entire time she was in line.

E) Americans are generally self-absorbed and rude. Part of the reason why it took so long to have my name called was because several people kept going up to the passport window to interrupt the passport processing clerk to ask questions of her. Questions that were answered on signs posted right where they were standing.

F) Americans are generally unprepared. An hour it took for the clerk to process the 5 people in front of me. When it was finally my turn, I was in and out of there in less than 5 minutes including the time it took to take my passport photo. Why, you ask? Because I went in there with my completed and reviewed application (paying particular attention to the part where it clearly states "DO NOT SIGN THIS APPLICATION UNTIL YOU ARE ASKED TO DO SO BY THE CLERK"), my original birth certificate, a copy of my driver's license in hand, and my checkbook ready to go.

*sigh* There are times I'm a little embarrassed to be an American. At least, now I'll have my passport and can discover whether any of the above applies to the citizens of other countries.

I hope I represent myself and my country well on my travels.


zero hour said...

OH GAWDDDDDDDDDDD take me with you!! LOL
I HATE standing on line there. Has American EVER been an iconic fashion hub...well middle American certainly hasn't even made an effort it seems.
And manners, agreed, don't get me started!

I want to go live in Europe! HA HA HA

Kristin said...

Ooh! Travel plans? How exciting! Where are you headed? And just for the record, I think you make an exemplary, fashion-sensible representative! :)