10 Reasons to Be Cheerful About Living in the U.S.

February 28 is National Pancake Day … really, any day can be pancake day! (BBB)

It’s nearly Christmas, people! So put your fingers in your ears and hum loudly every time someone mentions the fiscal cliff or tax hikes and think about all the positives that come from residing in America.

1. Keeping that youthful glow
It’s not the fancy lotions you can buy over the counter at posh U.S. department stores, or the smooth baby-face that accompanies extreme obesity that keeps Americans feeling so young. It’s the obsessive ID checking by bar staff and bouncers. As a rapidly withering 33-year-old, I’ve taken to thanking anyone who harbors a suspicion that I could be under 21.

2. Everything here is a health food
Americans are masters at convincing themselves that their grub choices are wholesome. They’re aided in this by food manufacturers, who plaster their cereal and yogurt with slogans that scream, “Fat free!” but neglect to mention the sugar and additive content. This does, however, make it extremely easy to feel good about what you eat.

3. Life expectancy
An analysis by the University of Washington earlier this year showed that people who reside in America will, on average, live MONTHS longer than folks from – drum roll, please – Qatar. This is, of course, excellent news. Just don’t read too much into the fact that the same study went on to say that America actually has the second lowest life expectancy – 78 years – of all the industrialized nations. Pah! What do academics know anyway?

4. It’s a beautiful country. No, really.
America is home to some of the world’s prettiest landscapes and breathtaking natural wonders. I could list them but then I’d go way over my word count.

5. Every imaginable climate is available
Want to top up your tan at Christmas? Head down south. Or if it’s billowy snow that gets you all blissed out, visit a state up top.  America is like a giant weather pick and mix.

6. Great service
Complain about anything in the U.S., and you’ll be taken seriously. Shop and restaurant workers might secretly be imagining your slow, drawn-out death, but at least they’re smiling and saying sorry to your face. This is what happens when your take home pay depends on tips and commission.

7. Petrol is cheap
The locals don’t realize it, but car juice here is absurdly economical. Of course, you will likely have to travel further to get anywhere you want to go, and the pitifully slow speed limit (rarely do you get to go above 60mph) means it’ll take you ages.

8. Boasting is considered a GOOD thing
Trumpeting your achievements, in person or on social networking sites, is encouraged and lauded in America. So let rip, expat Brits. Tell all your Facebook friends that your nine-year-old just got straight As on his report card. And please, repeat to everyone you’ve ever known the nice thing someone just said about you at work. Just don’t expect other Brits to congratulate you on any of it. They will, most likely, be too busy vomiting into their own mouths.   

9. Delicious breakfast food anytime
In Britain, we get special dispensation to eat pancakes once a year – for our tea on Shrove Tuesday. And they’re not even the fluffy kind. Here, you could munch them at every mealtime, slathered in butter, syrup and crispy pig strips, and no one would care. That’s my own personal American dream come true.

10. You get to see TV shows before everyone else
By “TV” I mean American stuff, and by “everyone else” I mean your British friends and family. Plus, we get a handy ad break every time a character finishes a sentence, so there’s plenty of time to pee or make pancakes.

Feeling more chipper yet?

Ruth Margolis

Ruth Margolis

Ruth is a British freelance journalist who recently swapped east London for Brooklyn. She writes about TV for Radio Times and is working on her first novel.
View all posts by Ruth Margolis.
  • expatmum

    Great post. Number 5 always blows me away. I’m going skiing in frigid temps while some of my friends will be heading down to Florida for a completely different break. I know it’s a huge country and if you fly the same distances in Europe you’ll get more or less the same temp changes, but still……. Amazing.
    And number 4? It’s no wonder 80% of Americans don’t have passports. It would take you a lifetime to see this country.

  • gn

    11. In America, people don’t grow up in an environment so saturated with sarcasm that they are incapable of turning it off and simply being positive once in a while.

  • Brittany

    It’s better to live here than a third world country…

  • Joanna Banana

    Don’t forget Americans have better smiles and straight teeth. (For a price if course.)

  • Amy B.

    I have to whole-heartedly agree with number 9. The availability of breakfast food at all hours of the day, particularly pancakes with a side of bacon, is a great pleasure of living here. There are places that serve just pancakes (okay, IHOP has branched out into omelets and so forth). Basically, the availability of cuisines from hundreds of different countries, and from haute cuisine to down-home comfort food…well, it’s no wonder a lot of us have to lose a few pounds/kilos.

  • Red Howler

    More pointless whinging from Ruthie. And what does a Margolis know of Shrove Tuesday, anyway? Goyishe kopf!

  • kasjflsafj

    I’ve read handful of your articles here and arrived at the conclusion that you’re a rather bitter, spiteful, angry, petty little person.