Hollywood dream or gun crime crazy?

avt_kapyork_large115In a comment for Peaceful’s recent post about feminism, I wrote about my future mother-in-law’s impressions of America prior to her first visit.

She had a manicure before her visit and had the most beautiful fake nails applied. She had never had fake nails before but she got them for her trip because she thought all American women would have them. At first I thought that was odd. Didn’t she know we are relaxed and casual and all “hang loose” etc… I mean the Pacific NW is known for being a hippie haven.  Her nails were gorgeous but no one would have thought any different of her if she didn’t have them.  Nor does one have to have perfectly white and perfectly straight teeth.  Nor does one have to wear perfect designer labels or even think about whether they must wear shoes rather than trainers for a night out.  I don’t even iron… pretty much ever. 

People often have this impression of America though - of a perfect hollywood life with perfect big houses, cars, and huge refrigerators – it just happened to be my M-I-L who first brought it to my attention. 

OR people completely have the opposite reaction.  “Oh you are American?  Have you ever seen anyone get shot?”  What??? Are you serious?  OH – you think America is a massive gang land. 

I spend a lot of time telling people that my American life was actually really similar to my British life.  Even the weather in my home town is almost identical to Yorkshire weather.  No really!