Living in America – Part Three: Creature Comforts

And I thought LiLo was having a bad week. In 7 days here I have gotten a sinus infection, a broken foot (or cracked bone in said foot.) and allergies. I am on pain killers, Z Pack and Clairatin. And, I am having a little trouble walking. Limping is more like it. It seems during a swimming marathon – about 7 hours straight diving and swimming – I somehow landed wrong and, well. now I am not fairing so well.

Luckily I am in America – land of plenty. Plenty of everything. Plenty of television channels with not much to watch. Plenty of food to eat, and then plenty of pills to take when you get that indigestion. (And please note, that I have yet to be able to finish an entire meal at one sitting. This includes the “Famous” Lucky Boy Breakfast Burrito, Shrimp Tacos and other Mexican yumminess.) I walked into a garage that had a second refrigerator full of even more food and drink. The garage also had so much stuff in it the owners hadn’t used half of it in over ten years. Are two refrigerators necessary? How about television in every room?

I have been living in a country where they do not use driers because it uses too much electricity and now I am in a country where people buy two appliances because they can.  Americans live a very comfortable life. And i used to think that I needed all of it. But, after years of living in Europe I have not only gotten used to living with less – I like it better. I like hanging my clothes to dry. I like not driving and buying gas. I like the fact that I am as green as I can be. Sure there are things that I miss – like GOOD Mexican food, or cheap tennis shoes – but I am more than willing to overlook these things for a more relaxed and chill lifestyle.

For example. When I go shopping in Prague I am left alone. Completely alone. Nobody asks if I need help, or how I am doing, or greets me with a perma-grin at the door. At first, this was off putting, but I have not only gotten used to it. I now prefer it. I went to Victoria’s Secret yesterday for the sole purpose of buying a bra, something that I have been doing without assistance since I was about thirteen. Well in America, and I gather epically in Victoria’s Secret, this is a task I am unable to preform by myself. I could not just look around and find something. I had to be asked a litany of questions by sales associate Ashley. What was I looking for? What kind of coverage do I need? I am looking for comfort or something more? What size do I think I wear? I tried to dodge all of these questions, but it seemed if i wanted a bra from this store i had to have a slip of paper upon entering the dressing room at which point a “Bra Specialist” would help me. The “Bra Specialist” pulled every bra available within the specific confines of Ashley’s sheet. I tried on three – they fit – and I left. I tried to go pull the bras I wanted from the floor, but Ashley cut me off and demanded to help me yet again. A half hour later I was being rung up, and I won’t tell you about the ordeal there.

How many of these “Creature Comforts” do we really need? Do we need a free refill on a 32oz soda? Do I need that much assistance when purchasing underwear? No I don’t. And either do you. You have just been convinced that all of these “added services” actually make your life more convenient. Having a snack food in an easy to open “convenient” size is just ridiculous. Snacks are already small and convenient – thus them being snacks. Has the American culture gotten so far removed from reality that they actually think they need two fridges and professional assistance when buying our own clothes?

I hope not. I really really do.

Now, to eat that left over shrimp taco.


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