It isn’t very often that I’m willing to admit to being American. As a confirmed jet-setter, living a gypsy-chic lifestyle along the coasts and cities of Europe, I play chameleon between ethnicities. It’s very disheartening to be trapped in a taxi with an anti-American-ranting driver, or on a tour bus with the guests and guide rallying against the stars & stripes… or criticized by customs because of my navy blue passport. But it’s excruciatingly painful to be brought home to “meet the folks” and begged not to let on my nationality. Thank god I speak 5 languages…
Yesterday was the first time I risked unveiling myself. Before I left my apartment in the morning, I pinned a bright blue HILLARY button onto the side of my purse, a black epi Louis Vuitton. For a dreary March day in Paris, the colorful button was a welcomed twist – – and the burst of energy much needed… I kept staring at the button while walking down the sidewalk, ordering my café au lait, sitting on the Métro… Would I receive any negative feedback? I was worried.
Upon checkout at the supermarket, the man ringing up my bill was staring. I looked at him quizzically, and he smiled REALLY BIG. Having lived in New York for too many years, I returned a very skeptical expression – why was he being pleasant and friendly?! He pointed at the HILLARY button, gave me two thumbs up and said (in French), “Good luck, she’s great!”
I exchanged an equally big smile, patted the button and responded, “Thank you, WE need her!” Not only had I received very unusually good-hearted support from a working-class stranger in Europe – I was proud as a peacock, at that moment, to be an American in Paris.
Hillary, the WORLD needs you.