I've just been described as 'perky, cheerful, happy-go-lucky, and probably American' and you dear reader - and, she-who-shall-remain-nameless could not know how happy this makes me feel.
I'm not American, but I had an Austrian Jewish grandfather who lived the last 35 years of his life in the US having fled from Vienna (via London) and marrying (and divorcing) my Granny along the way. The US was his saviour. Suffice to say, his mother (Florence) and sister were killed in the Holocaust. Anyway, Grandfather Harry was a great man and when we were together in New York people would question what this young English girl was doing with this foreigner in New York. Cool. We used to laugh at that.
I have had other interactions with American people over the years, and by and large have found Americans to be warm, friendly people. So there ! For example, the beautiful Candace, we were *thrust* together by a friend of mine, and Candace's mother. I was 'tasked' with showing Candace London. Well, that was the beginning of a beautiful and long friendship. Candace, as only a corny person (Brit or American) would say 'I love you and I'm glad you are in my life'. One of my best holidays was spent at a wedding in Michigan as I watched an English Rose marry her Septic Tank. Michigan is a beautiful state. I would love to go back there, and what a ball I had in Florida and Miami on a girlie road trip all those years ago.
More recently, (although not that recently actually) we ventured to San Fransisco. I want to go back there RIGHT NOW ! So different to all the other parts of the US I have visited. I also enjoyed a trip to South Carolina, although that was even longer ago still. Washington is still beckoning... One day my Washington friends, one day.... and then there's my good friend in Atlanta who I keep saying I will go and see. I doubt I will go back to New York without my Grandad there any more, well... enough said. Although, I know I have a great aunt in Florida, (who I have never met). Yes, I should go there next ! :o)
I guess (that's an Americanism isn't it ?? I guess) one of the overwhelming features of the American people that I have gained generally is a sense of optimism, a positive outlook and the, ironic as it sounds, the pursuance of the American Dream. Let's face it, us Brits carry around the burden of the world on our shoulders, and have a very pessimistic view of the world. Basically, I grew up 'depressed' and as my mother would say 'moody'. How miserable is that ? Well, I'll tell you, at times I felt like I spent my days walking round with someone holding a black, grey cloud over my head, that was reserved especially for me. It was invisible to others, but I was forced to wear it like a garish costume and I could feel the weight of it at times like a ton of lead. I can happily say that I have seen the back of that in the last few years. That grey cloud has been replaced more frequently by flashes of blue sky, and dare I even say it .... sunshine.
You know what, I'm not American but if over the years their ways have rubbed off on me a little, and I am now more optimistic, and 'perky, cheerful, and happy-go-lucky' then I can only say that I am the better for it.
God Bless America :o)