I have been thinking a lot about regional differences lately--particularly the differences between the East and the West in America (because really, we can just skip all those flyover states)--since I visibly offended a New Hampshire native with my vehement and rather blatant disgust and dislike of Canadians. In my defense, working at VGP, I was constantly assaulted with the dumbest of the dumb from all countries (if you cannot make your own hotel reservation, or cannot find your way into the Boeing tour facility when you are sitting in the parking lot, or you want me to find the number of rivers in Washington state for you, then you should probably just give up on life altogether), but the majority of our calls were from dense and extremely caustic British Columbians. In his defense, his family is recently emigrated from Canada, Canadian pride runs unfortunately strong in these parts, and it is mildly unfair to hate an entire country of people based off of what I consider the dregs of their society. (And here I go again, probably offending countless others...Luckily my readership is minimal. I gotta get me some readers if I want Julie Powell fame...)
Evidently, what I thought was acceptable dinner time conversation was decidedly not for this East Coaster. I didn't mean to offend. It's not even that I truly hate Canadians, but I was being very frank about my experience with the Canadians who were my customers for so many years at the call center. And that's what I think the whole issue boils down to: my frankness. I don't have a filter. I don't want a filter. Filters, as I recently told Ian, are for coffee and the meek (put that on my headstone when I kick it, will you?) I would now like to extend that over-arching generalization to include East Coasters.
A quick Google search of East Coast versus West Coast stereotypes will corroborate. And, as we all know, stereotypes found in a forum online are always accurate and based on fact. East Coast people tend to be stand-offish, more formal, and less likely to offend (although New York City natives tend to complicate this perfect binary, I should think that this is generally true for New England, at least). And those of us from the West Coast are laid back, informal, and generally honest about our opinions (complicated again by LA, where people are passive aggressive and will stab you in the back while smiling and complimenting your skirt).
This leads, evidently and inevitably, to me--poor, sweet, well-meaning little me--being made out to be some kind of bitter, caustic, and rude foreigner who has no clue how to conduct an appropriate mealtime conversation. When really I'm just being honest and direct. And that New Hampshire native probably secretly thinks Canadians are annoying and awful customers, too. Alright, alright, I'm deluding myself. Perhaps I'm not the sweetest girl of all time (I mean, I was always pretty pissed I never won the humanitarian award in elementary school...Which is probably why I never won it in the first place...) but I'm not mean. Right?
I could go on about how I think this stems from the East Coast's closer connection to original English culture and social mores--how the frankness and earnestness started somewhere after crossing the Mississippi--but I've discussed all this before. And I've just pulled a loaf of bread out of the oven. Julie Powell, I'm coming for you.