Who are true Americans anyway: a) rural citizens living in the heartland or b) big city dwellers living in high rise condos? The answer is, a, rural citizens living in the heartland, of course. That's easy. But don't ask me why it is that they are true Americans while Americans living in America's cities are not. I can't answer that. It's just one of those simple facts that we feel in our guts... right?
My own history on this topic is not so cut and dry, unfortunately. My personal conundrum has to do with the fact that I was born in a rural community in the heartland. In fact, I was born in one of the most uber true American states you can imagine: South Dakota. Furthermore, my parents had to race from a town so small there was no hospital (which made it an even truer American town) to a somewhat larger town, Belle Forsche (ooh, but that's kind of French sounding) that welcomes you with a large sign which reads WELCOME TO THE GEOGRAPHICAL CENTER OF THE NATION. I mean, how much more American can one get? I was dripping red, white and blue the day I was born!
I now live near downtown Portland in a condo with my husband, who happens to be Macaca. This definitely disqualifies me from being a true American. But I'm trying to figure out exactly at what point did I stop being a true American. What complicates the situation of my true American status, or lack thereof, is when I was twelve we moved from red, white and blue South Dakota to Eugene. Eugene isn't exactly a large un-American city. It's more of a medium sized town, but it's not a rural town in the heartland. So was I still a true American when we moved to Eugene, or did my status simply weaken? It's kind of a gray area in my life and I'm not sure what to tell people when they ask me about the history of my Americaness.
I mean if you moved from, say, Watertown, S.D. to San Francisco, that's easy to explain: You were a true American while living in Watertown, but living in San Francisco totally disqualifies you. It's a sudden change, and the longer you live there and the closer you live to the city center the less American and the more, ummm, French you become.
Maybe one day I'll solve this conundrum I've been in for so many years now. Perhaps I'll read somewhere that Eugene was never, or will it ever be, a place where true Americans live. Then I will know for certain that when I was twelve and we left South Dakota for Eugene I was no longer a true American.