Only in America
I’ve been back in the United States for a year now, but sometimes I still see things that just make me think “only in America!”
While some are funny, others are just sad. Let’s take a look at 5 recent “only in America” realizations.
Only in America can you…
Purchase a chainsaw at Goodwill.
I love thrift shopping, but are there no limits? A few months ago Pedro and I decided to go to the largest Goodwill store in St. Louis. Possibly the US, who knows. It’s a huge warehouse with a nice fancy sign, so we figured this would be a fruitful venture.
Wrong. So wrong
As soon as I stepped inside, I wanted to run back out. This massive warehouse was just filled with rows and rows of blue bins. The bins were being filled at the loading dock, then just shoved onto the floor. Zero organization. No price tags. No rules. It was just a free for all of people digging through bins trying to find something worth buying.
Pedro and I gave up on this adventure quickly, but on my way out, I saw something truly amazing. A woman had a cart full of a random assortment of things such as clothes, knick knacks, a vacuum cleaner and a chainsaw. Wait, what? A CHAINSAW? I couldn’t get over how amazing this was. Was it more amazing that Goodwill had an old, rusty chainsaw or that this woman was impulse buying it? It’s not as if she could have planned that. She simply saw an old chainsaw and thought to herself “You know what? I do need to cut some shit up at rapid speeds.”
Have both a hunger and obesity problem
This one is both serious and sad. Thanks to all of our “innovative” engineering, so-called “food” can be made for pennies. Things like boxed Mac n Cheese, canned food, and frozen dinners are all crazy cheap. This means the people on food stamps or anyone who is just scraping by will purchase these cheap but horribly unhealthy items. These are also the types of foods that get donated to food pantries, so anyone in need of food will have no choice but to eat overly salty, processed food. Where does that leave us? Hungry people who are seriously overweight.
Purchase 32 ounces of soda for 69cents
While traveling, I was always annoyed by having to pay for water and refills of any other beverage I ordered. However, I do realize that this is because I am an American, and I am accustomed to gluttony. Here in St. Louis, we have a very popular gas station chain called QuikTrip, or QT. Their 32ounce fountains sodas cost a mere 69cents. While QuikTrips may not be nationwide, these budget soda prices are pretty widespread.
I must confess, I never keep soda in the house, but I do occasionally indulge in 32ounces of Diet Mountain Dew. I know, cancer is inevitable.
Pay $35+ for an Ugly Sweater
Ugly sweater parties are a big deal in the US. We just love them, especially around Christmas. I’m not quite sure when it started, but I know it is now a Christmas tradition for my friends and I. This past Christmas, I was excited to take part in this tradition once again. That is, until I discovered there is a website called Ugly Sweater Store. This online store sells you hilariously hideous items – for about $35 bucks a pop. Are you kidding me?! The whole idea of the party was just to make fun of stupid, ugly sweaters. You go to thrift shopping, pay 3 bucks for something awful, and head to the party. Only Americans could be convinced to pay $35 for something they admit is ugly.
You know how much these outfits cost us? Three dollars. Both the sweaters, the boxers, headband and earrings were from my mom’s closet. I spent 3 bucks at the dollar store buying my stripped socks and Pedro’s santa hat and tie.
Buy anything at 3am
I don’t know if this is awesome or terrible. While living in Argentina, I was constantly annoyed by early closing times and shops not even opening at all on Sundays. Here in the US, you can buy pretty much anything at absolutely any hour. Need some paintbrushes at 2am? No problem. How about a margarita? Let’s do this! Feeling the sudden urge to hang up some photos at 4am? Let’s get you a hammer and some nails!
24 hour superstores keep Americans happy 365 days of the year. We don’t believe in closing our doors. Because Americans want stuff and they want it NOW!
Can you think of any notable “only in America” stuff?