Saturday, September 13, 2008

Lazy Americans...

A good friend of mine once told me of an experience she had while tutoring a Chinese student English at the University of Hawaii Manoa. They were both students and one night after a tutoring session she gave him a ride home. She was very hungry and so on their way home she went through a fast food drive thru. She proceeded to give her order to the outside mic and all the while the Chinese student seemed confused as to what she was doing. She asked him if he wanted something to eat, and because he looked perturbed, she went on to make the motions of eating food and asked him again if he wanted something to eat; he vehemently declined shaking his head. My friend drove forward to the cashier's window, paid for her meal, and as the worker was handing her her food she heard the Chinese student loudly exclaim, "lazy Americans!" She quickly flicked her head in surprise, looked directly at him, and he in turn fumbled in alarm as if he didn't mean to say what he just did out loud.

After my friend shared her story with me, we laughed and laughed. We still laugh when we mention it to each other. I enjoyed the story and laugh so much that I shared it with my sister, and we both laughed and laughed. Today we still laugh at the thought of that poor Chinese student being new to the American culture, and how we as a people must have looked to his fresh humble eyes; driving through the drive thru instead of walking in, talking to a box outside, and pulling up to a window where all you have to do is open your wallet and exchange money for your food, all of that happening without you having to set one foot outside of your car. He was so surprised at the whole process, not to mention he was probably very disgusted too :) and before he could hold himself back, the new English words he had been learning escaped his lips in the heated disapproving words of, "lazy Americans!"

Now, whenever some new convenience is introduced into our society, or we choose to do something because it is the easier route rather than worrying about doing all the work ourselves, like catering rather than cooking our own food for an event, my sister and I always give each other the eye, laugh out loud, and remind each other that we are, "lazy Americans!" :) We say this to each other in a good way of course. It is a funny reminder that we should always be grateful for what we have. We would never pass up the convenience of something just to prove we are not lazy, that is like someone purposely using an outhouse down the road instead of an indoor toilet in his or her own home. Please. :) As Americans we are truly a blessed people. We have so much and some times we forget that. :)

I mention this story because today I did my very first home improvement project. :) I found a free bookshelf on right down the road at Hauula. I called the number and it was still available so I went to pick it up. I was and still am very excited because I was just thinking about getting a bookshelf and here one was for free. I went to the store today to buy sand paper and some spray paint to color it white. When my sister heard I was buying spray paint she just looked at me, smiled, and said, "lazy Americans!" I just laughed at her and did not care because it would be easier to spray the paint rather than brush it on... or so I thought. :)

Two spray cans later... I still need more to complete the job. I should have just bought a gallon can of paint, then I would still have some left over after two or three coats. :( I did choose spray paint because I thought it would be easier, but it is turning out to be more expensive than if I had just brushed it on. And to be honest, I also chose spray paint because I thought it would enable me to get into the tiny tight little corners and go on smoother. I have found that if you are not careful and spray too close to the wood your paint will drip and leave an uneven finish :( Not only that, but now that I have sprayed most of it white, all the many imperfections of an old, cracked, and distressed :) bookshelf are coming to the fore. :) Things I never noticed before are now quite obvious. :)

I still love my bookshelf. I am thinking about sanding down the dried drips and finishing the painting of it. I may even buy a gallon of white paint because it does not look like a third spray can of paint will be enough either. :(

Oh well... live and learn right? :) Heh heh heh. :)


david santos said...

I loved this post and this blog!!!
Have a nice day.

Liz said...

fun story! time for a new post girlfriend.

Calidore said...

You know...Gladys, sometimes your insights are truely profound! I'm glad you decided to share it.

Dee said...

lazy americans I love it!