You've done it again, America.
The image that you've created for yourself in the movies and TV shows that are shown all over the world, has brought about confusion and dismay when people from the rest of the world come to our country and realize that American life isn't exactly like its Hollywood depiction.
The Atlantic Wire reports, based on personal stories collected on Quora and on anecdotal evidence, that when foreigners come to the US, their expectations of what America will be like are often dashed into the ground.
One Iragi refugee "was so surprised to see a homeless woman in New York's Central Park that he called 911, assuming that she must be sick, wounded, anything but homeless in America." Yeah, when the Iraqi refugees are shocked and concerned, it's probably a sign that things aren't so great.
More interesting than this is the confusion that occurs when people visit New York and see that it isn't one giant cesspool of sperm and slobbery kisses, like it seems to be on prime-time television. The author of the piece writes about a Chinese friend of his who "once insisted that of course 20-something Americans all get news boyfriends and girlfriends every single week: she'd seen it on Friends, and Seinfeld, and Sex and the City, and a half dozen other TV shows. They couldn't all be lying."
They couldn't all be lying?
Ummm...not to bring up a long dead point here but did you SEE the size of the apartments on those shows? The promiscuous dating life was the most believable aspect.
Luckily, not all of America is a disappointment. There is one thing that we do right.
"Years before Senisha Millavanovich came to America, he watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation with his wife. When the 1989 comedy showed Chevy Chase's satirically prototypical American family stringing up an over-the-top Christmas lights display, Millavanovich laughed, but not just because of Chase's slapstick antics. The entire idea of blanketing the front of your house in Christmas lights, he told a reporter with public radio's This American Life, had to be a joke."
And then Millavanovich came to America and what did he see?
"Some people had not only the lights, but they also had the lights," he told the radio reporter of his jaw-dropping first Christmas in America. "And we said to each other, they really do decorate their houses as Chevy Chase did."
America, fuck yeah!
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen