1. Our nation has finally, wholeheartedly embraced IKEA. Today Travis and Jeff (from the band) and my friends Lauren and Jon and I decided we would use our day off to carpool to our nearest IKEA simply to eat hotdogs. Yes. A twenty minute drive to eat a fifty cent hotdog; and if that's not American, I don't know what is. This place is basically Disney World for adults. Drop your kids off at the free daycare, grab a hot cinnamon role for a dollar, and then enter into Epcot Center for a look at the houses of the future and a free glimpse of Europe. It's a grown-up Disney World that doesn't clean you dry and scam your pocketbook. Brilliant.
2. Free markets. Much to the chagrin of the rich people in our neighborhood (granted, I am on the opposite side of the road from the richy rich) our neighborhood is getting an American facelift! Wal-Mart. Super Wal-Mart. The most beautiful, charming, brick fortress disguised as a new home, that you have ever seen. It will be a true mecca and will probably save me fifty dollars a month in groceries! Still, one of my best friends dad's owns a grocery store and because of this, he is adamantly opposed to supporting monopolizing chains like Wal-Mart who drive the little guys out of business. He refuses to let us shop there when we are buying groceries or gifts or anything practical that you can find at Wal-Mart; this is a rule he maintains religiously. And I am sure he would be adamantly opposed to me rejoicing over this new establishment taking residency in my neighborhood.
But, I like the competition. Because while the new Wal-Mart is preparing to open, my local Kroger is quite obviously freaking out! All of a sudden the produce section actually looks good. There are more lines open. There is one of those little things now that makes fresh hot tortillas. There is a new section of organic foods. And, most incredibly, there are smiling employees eager to help me should I need help in the grocery store! I mean they are basically offering us triple coupons from now until eternity and curbside grocery service. This would not happen in a communist country! Hurray for America, Wal-Mart, and our perhaps perverse, but effective free market, competition-driven society! You fixed my Krogers!
3. Most importantly today I love America because of men like Abraham Lincoln. Happy B-Day Abe! I have a true, if not weird, fascination with Abraham Lincoln. I will likely spend a week sometime in the future divulging all the fruitless things I know about this man and letting you in on why I feel like I am actually, alot like him, maybe even related, maybe even soul mates with him. For now, let's just say that one of the things that makes it into my "Top 100 Things to do Before I die" list is to attend the yearly Association of Lincoln Presenters Conference where hundreds of members show up dressed like Lincoln and talk Lincoln history. Is this a dream or what?
The fact that Lincoln existed and that people dress up like him 100 years later and hold conventions...well...as Lee Greenwood would say, makes me proud to be an American!
And these my friends are just three reasons today that I LOVE THE USA!