Thursday, June 26, 2008

trying to find negative things so it's easier to leave

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's a plate lunch! A uniquely Hawaiian meal! Play some reggae'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 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.


Sunshine said...

I think that people who live in "awesome" areas and have done little traveling outside their own home are totally the most clueless about thinking there could possibly be anything great about another location.

Like the vapid person in to-be-unnamed-state who assumed Iowa was ALWAYS COLD.

Dude, we have droughts. Those are hard to come by if it snows 365 days. Dummy.

Dianne said...

well I live in NJ and we know we suck

Kerry said...

Haha, Dianne, I grew up believing that Jersey sucked...but then I lived in Louisiana. Jersey doesn't seem nearly as bad anymore. Sorry, folks, the only thing good about Louisiana is the food. The food is pretty damn good, though.

Dianne said...

kerry I know it doesn't really mean anything other than sheer chance but my father and his entire family are from Louisiana

so - not only does my home suck but half my background does to LOL

Kerry said...

insert foot in mouth.

I met plenty of nice people there, btw. I just hated the place.

Mother Hoodwink said...

Please, New Orleans weather was the suckiest I have ever lived in. It's hard to like weather that drenches you in sweat when you leisurely walk to the mailbox at night. But you're right. The food? Freaking fantastic!

You seem to find some of the funniest written things in Hawaii. Hey, there's something they can proudly claim. Hawaii: The nation's leader in bad grammar