Something that has always kind of bothered me about Hawaii is the general attitude that not only is Hawaii better than everywhere and everyone else, but they invented everything, too. It's one thing to claim things from other cultures (or even things that are universal) and put your own spin on it, but you should at least acknowledge that it isn't completely original. The ukulele? A simplification of the guitar, which was brought to Hawaii by Europeans. Take a burger, or chicken teriyaki, or SPAM, slap it on a plate with two scoops of rice and some potato salad...it's a plate lunch! A uniquely Hawaiian meal! Play some reggae music...it's Jawaiian! No difference, really, except that you're in Hawaii when you play it.
Another example: when we first moved here we saw a local commercial for...something or other...the first line of which was "Baby's first birthday...a uniquely Hawaiian tradition." Uh....what??? Oh, right, because babies don't have first birthdays anywhere other than Hawaii? Now if they had said "Baby's first Luau," that would have made sense. I guess maybe they were referring to the tendency to make a really big deal out of the first birthday party (rent a hall, hire a caterer)...but ya know what, they do that in other places, too. One of Brian's cousins had a first birthday party for her daughter last month that involved a magician, a face painter, and not one but TWO professionally decorated cakes - one of which was a fondant-covered three-tier creation. They live in South Jersey. Somebody should tell the Hawaiians that their uniquely Hawaiian tradition is spreading!!
Well anyway, what set off this rant was a letter that we got from the housing office (civilian contractors, by the way) a few weeks ago, letting us know that they will install the Guardian Angel Window Guard in our child's upstairs bedroom if we call and request it. This letter has been hanging on the side of our refrigerator for a while now, and I'm absolutely dumbfounded by it every time I see it. The first two sentences read thusly:
"Dear Valued Resident, Many of the homes here in Hawaii are two story homes. A resident of a two story home has different responsibilities than you might have had previously as a resident of a single-story home."
Okay, let's ignore the fact that they hyphenated "single-story" but not "two story"...which is a minor annoyance to me, but whatever...anyway. What exactly are they implying here? That we never lived in a two-story home before we lived in Hawaii? Isn't that a little presumptuous? Do they think that other bases don't have two-story housing? WTF? These two sentences just seem completely unnecessary to me. They totally could have skipped their condescending BS and gotten right to the point.
To be fair, there was a similar attitude in New Orleans - the "our town is THE BEST and everyplace else sucks...no I've never been anywhere else ever in my life but I just KNOW". Take, for example, the conversation that Brian had with one of his coworkers, who was from the New Orleans area:
her: "I hope I never get stationed in Newport (RI)!"
him: "Why not? It's beautiful there."
her: "It can't be beautiful, it's too cold!"
A place can't be visually beautiful if it's not 95 degrees with 98 percent humidity 9 months out of the year, apparently.
5 hours ago