Monday, June 2, 2008

"Born In The U.S.A."*

My most recent visit to London seems to have brought out the Scandinavian side of me, which is funny because I didn't even know I was Scandinavian. Just to be sure I looked it up. It turns out Scandinavia refers to Norway, Sweden, and Denmark and more recently can include Finland and Iceland (who knew?). I know I have Irish, English, and German heritage; there's possibly some Scandinavian thrown in there, but it's definitely not present in large doses.

On the airplane ride over to London, my seatmate asked if I had Scandinavian roots. Now he knew I was from America, so there was no thinking that I was actually from Scandinavia myself. Later on during my trip, I was in this little souvenir shop and the cashier asked if I was Scandinavian. I don't think I've ever been mistaken for a Scandinavian before, so for it to happen twice in the same week was strange.

It is possible the cashier in the souvenir shop was flirting with me (who can blame him there?). It was easy for him to tell I wasn't from London. Aside from the sneakers (a dead give-away that I'm not from London because women from the city wear the most uncomfortable-looking shoes imaginable), I think the mere fact that I was in that shop meant I couldn't possibly be from London. Still, why Scandinavian?

I think it might be my blond eyelashes and eyebrows. I don't think it's my hair because while I used to be a real towhead, my hair is more dark blond now. (Notice I didn't say it's dirty blond--some jealous brunette must have thought of that term! How rude to imply that I don't wash my hair!)

When I told the cashier I was from America, he said, "Maybe your grandfather is from there?" Well, not really, but who I am to burst his bubble? I just said, "In America, we're all a little bit of everything." He replied, "That's nice. Everyone is equal that way." If only that was the truth, but there was no reason for me to destroy his idealism. I simply smiled and thanked him for his help. At least someone, somewhere believes in the great words of the Declaration of Independence.

*Bruce Springsteen