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Monday, November 25, 2013

EXPLAINING MY PROUD CULTURE - a cranky re-run

EXPLAINING MY PROUD CULTURE

This re-run is from November 2012.  I submit it again in hopes it will promote understanding during this week of Thanksgiving.

The recent election has convinced me, much to my disappointment, that this country is still not ready to accept racial and cultural differences.  As a member of a new minority this concerns me greatly.  I think much of the problem is that people just do not understand my culture and its traditions.  I will attempt here to explain my culture and its traditions in the hopes it will promote greater understanding and tolerance. 

That’s right, Cranky is a WASP!

A white Anglo-Saxon Protestant.
Cranky's baby spoon...unashamedly born with a silver spoon in my mouth! 

I will hide my heritage no longer.  I am proud to be a WASP.  Oh sure there was that little thing about slavery, but I did some research and it turns out that none of my relatives ever owned other people.  Some may have been nasty bastards that took advantage of people of lesser means, but there is no proof of that.

I often read about the difficulty and hardships that people of non-WASP heritage had to endure growing up; well let me tell you, growing up WASP was not a picnic.

At age four I was forced to ride a pony.  At age ten I was forced to learn how to sail a boat…by myself…alone! I had to know the difference between a sloop and a ketch; I had to know how to tie a bowline, a half-hitch, a figure-eight and other nautical knots.  I had to know how to spell yacht, and learn what red-right-return meant.

I have been subjected to numerous hurtful WASP stereotypes:

All WASPs do not tie the arms of their sweaters around their neck.  If you see someone who does this, he is a WASP, but all WASPs do not do this.

All WASPs have thin lips…ok this one is true but it is still hurtful to point it out.

All old WASP men say “Harrumph” a lot.  Once again, if an old man says “Harrumph” he is a WASP, but many old WASP men do not say “Harrumph.”

All WASPs are not rich; some are just comfortable.

All WASPs are not named Biff, Buffy, Mitt or Trey.  If someone has one of these names, he is a WASP, but all WASPs do not have these names.

I had to endure several WASP rules growing up:

WASPS must not show emotion. 

Crying is for women only and then only in private. 

Anger must be behind closed doors. 

Cursing is unnecessary as long as you can say gosh darn, gol dang, crummy buttons, dang, cheese and rice, shoot or flip, there is no need to curse (WASPs do not say cuss.)

Men can laugh, but knee slapping is frowned upon.  Women must hide their mouth and feign embarrassment if they dare to laugh.

Women never burp or fart. 

Men will fart, but it will be called breaking wind, and it is never acknowledged by others.

WASPs do not cry at funerals. They sniff and dab at their eyes.  Anything else is considered undignified.

WASPs traditionally prefer bland food; flavor may trigger emotion.

                                   

WASP children are not brats…they are precocious.

WASPs are never wrong…we are misinformed.   

 WASPs have a special affection for silver.  Silver is elegant, gold is “showy.” Silver is especially important at the dinner table.  Every setting has several different forks,  everyone has a butter knife and there is an array of special silver utensils like a tiny fork for stabbing olives, a giant round knife just for that Thanksgiving cranberry log, and of course a silver cake cutter.          
Important WASP utensils
Cake cutter not included...I think my brother got it.

My favorite WASP silver is the small silver salt bowl…with a cobalt blue glass insert.  A tiny salt spoon held between the thumb and middle finger, and tapped by the index finger distributes the salt.  It takes the average WASP years of practice to master this technique.


               WASP salt distribution tools                     
WASPs love antique furniture. 

Holidays at a WASP house smell of turkey, silver polish and furniture polish.

WASPs like uncomfortable clothes.

WASPs do not get drunk…we get inebriated.

I would tell you about WASPs and sex, but I am a WASP.


Most WASPs are good people.  We have a heart, we go to church, we give to charity, and we are honest and hardworking.  We love our family, and we love our country.

Kind of like you. 

I hope some of these rules and traditions have helped you to better understand my culture.  I am a WASP.  I am proud to be a WASP.  Someday maybe non-WASP people will learn to be tolerant of our traditions.

“Harrumph!”

14 comments:

  1. Hilarious post! I'm a redneck and we have a hard time fitting in anywhere in other cultures especially if it involves fancy pantcy dinner parties where wine isn't being served in a box and "here hold my beer" is really frowned on. Enjoyed reading your post!

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  2. I can identify with your heritage, friend. Just be advised that your "harrumph" of haughty derision did not migrate this far south. We still use the effective yet much less sophisticated, "Aww, bullshit". :)

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  3. I would be a wasp also, except it appears to be an American trait borrowed from England and my ancestors had to flee from Boston when they had the affrontery to back King George III a few years ago. Also, like many in the UK, not at all sure of the 'p' - maybe more a 'wasa'.

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  4. could not identify with anything in this post - except for maybe thin lips. my mom had terribly thin lips for a harsh german woman look.

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  5. The thin lips are a result of English blood.

    You just perfectly summed up my step-grandparents. I was always mildly confused at holiday family gatherings at their house. I mean I loved it and everyone was very nice to me even though I was the random stepchild, but I just... didn't get them.

    Then again, when you're raised poor-Irish-Catholic, you learn to view all other people as weird...

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  6. I started out a country bumpkin but have grown into a hybird WASP...we are an even smaller minority.

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  7. Yes BUT, do you know the difference between a Ketch and a YAWL?
    And I don't mean "y'all" either.

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  8. sigh ... I grew up with WASPS ... left the WASPS ... I understand WASPS but WASPS don't like understanding anyone other than WASPS ...

    don't mind your culture a'tall but you sure mind mine ~ heathenism... think I might write about being a heathen... yep, might do it.

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  9. When BOB said "Do you know the difference between a Ketch and a YAWL?", I read it as "kvetch"! Guess I'll never be a WASP!!

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  10. Some o' that sounds an awful lot like my CULTURE... 'cept maybe for the salt spoon.
    But I'm not WASP.
    I'm third generation SFIC*.
    So I cuss ...I used to cuss.
    Sometimes a colorful word still slips out.
    The scariest part about all of it is I know which fork to use for what course.
    Once, I heard a lady say, "I know how to set a queens table."
    I thought to myself, "_ _ _ _ you, B_ _ _ _!"
    Yeah... I'm not a WASP.


    *San Francisco Irish Catholic

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  11. Regardless of the satirical nature of this post, I am compelled to state that the WASP culture in which I was raised taught me to be charitable and understanding of other beliefs, non beliefs and cultures. I feel sorry for those raised to be intolerant or to judge all of a culture by a few in a culture.

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  12. I've never been accused of being a WASP, and based on your criteria I'm not. Still, this was a really funny post and I enjoyed it tremendously.

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  13. When I was young, they told me that I was a WASP. They made me eat their bland food and dress in their uncomfortable clothing. I never showed emotion. Then one day I learned the truth, I was an OCP. Yes, that's right, an unpronounceable acronym. But I bore it proudly, yes, I am an "OCP" - an Off-White Celtic Protestant!

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  14. I'm just an old hillbilly, and the thought of all that silver makes me shudder. It's bad enough my sons use ten forks apiece every day, without giving them all those other options.

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