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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

EXPLAINING MY PROUD CULTURE


EXPLAINING MY PROUD CULTURE
 

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 distriburion 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!”

17 comments:

  1. I can relate....mostly. The sailboat thing eluded me. My trial was learning to ride a horse. (They are particularly nasty, smelly creatures that my butt will not sit on top of comfortably.)

    And one I think you missed: WASP women don't sweat, they "glisten". :)

    S

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  2. The men may glisten, at least those in WASP romance novels, but the women glow....just ask Muffy and Bitsy, etc.

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  3. ok, that salt distribution spoon is awesome. I have never heard of that before.

    I guess I couldn't be a WASP. As a woman, I sometimes will pass gas. Sorry, I'm old.

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  4. OMG this had me rolling on the floor and the pics of the silver are just perfect. You rock!

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  5. From a Jew: I thought all WASPS were furmisht & furblundgit. Mazel tov for writing a post that cleared it all up for me!

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  6. I am a mongrel semi-WASP (Irish and French blood tainted me on the paternal side, while my maternal grandmother was Spanish. My maternal grandfather was the WASP.) Thank you for giving me the courage to stand up and say, "I'm a WASP, damn it!"

    I forgot. We don't swear. Shoot!

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  7. Outrageous and beautiful at the same time my friend! Love it. I never sailed and I'm a woman but Thank God someone wrote this. You have my unending respect. (Oh and I was laughing so hard I about wet my pants.)

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  8. I was raised WASP (although, to be prefectly candid, my dad's family were farmers, and very familiar with the concept - and the proper pronunciation - of 'horseshit'), but I gave it all up to marry a Catholic girl. . . (I hafta tellya, tho - Catholic weddings are WAY more fun than WASP ones. . .)

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  9. Fishducky that is just mishugina.

    Suldog, as 1/2 a WASP you can swear as long as you don't use the C word.

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  10. I went to church, had ponies AND we had one of those salt bowls ... I never break wind or sweat and from now on my cursing shall be reduced to saying 'crumby buttons'.

    Ok, that last one may be a lie - do WASPS lie??

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  11. Do WASPs have extra brain cells that make them better at business and making money?

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  12. Thanks for the explanation Cranky. I've always been confused about east side cultures. I come from pioneer stock. The ones who couldn't sail, had no money and were kicked out of every church. Most of us Pioneers have lots of mongrel cross-breeding so we just make up our own rules and laugh at both coasts.

    Understanding is a great big step toward tolerance. Thanks for the education. Oh, yeah. I fart and burp (quietly) but I only cuss when it's necessary.

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  13. Thanks for that. I have seen WASP so often but had absolutely no idea what it stood for - now I know !!
    Have the best day and here's to breaking down racial and cultural barriers- whatever they may be !
    Me

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  14. Joe, darling., You have performed a valuable service and done it brilliantly (as usual)

    I thought I knew what a WASP was but you have changed my perspective and I could now embrace a Wasp with a smidgeon of tolerance and a jot of sympathy. I really do wish I could hug you!

    And thanks for your huge compliment left on my blog. I have never felt so honored.

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  15. Love it! You've put a smile on my face tonight.

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  16. There's little doubt that I'm descended from WASPs. My family are renowned for making poor choices however. To my great shame one branch dis own other people. They made a fortune in the slave trade and lost it all when they chose to back the King in the revolution. They had to run from the colonists back to England leaving their fortune behind.

    In England they continued the process and made a second fortune. They ran Yorkshire Schools - the sort Charles Dickens wrote about in Nicolas Nickleby. In fact there is a story that Squeers was based upon my uppteen great-uncle. Yet again they lost all the money - this time in a series of illicit romances and a number of children Victorian councils insisted my ancestors provide for.

    My wife's family were little better. They were proud to be Irish and very much against the British oppressing them. A little digging revealed the dreadful truth that they were sent to Ireland by the English Parliament to suppress the Irish and rule them with an iron hand. The Irish were not keen on this and chased them out to the US.

    We are now busy earning a fourth fortune and considering what unpleasant act we can do to lose it. Any suggestions?

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  17. This was hilarious...I was laughing the entire time. Thanks for the witty education.

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