Dear America…

7 Dec

First let me start by saying that I really do love you. You are my home & always will be. You have given me so many freedoms I know I could not enjoy anywhere else. But ever since I graduated from college & moved to Europe, I have opened my eyes a little wider. I have seen just how many flaws you truly have, America, & we have a little problem. Mostly, I want to ask you…

Why do you not want me to be happy?

Why did you bankrupt myself & my family for your prestigious education, an education I could have gotten anywhere. But stupid me, I wanted to live on waterfront property in a safe neighborhood. I wanted nice things. & Yeah, you gave them to me for a price. A price I will be paying off until 2048. Do you know how old I will be in 2048? I will have already added on my future children’s debt to my own. 

Speaking of the future generation, I don’t think you really seem to care all that much about them these days. Our education system, below the bank-breaking colleges is awful. Elementary, middle & high schools are disgraceful. No supplies, no resources & you have cut out art, music & sports. To save money. But that’s where your heart truly is, right? Because we have a future generation who learned to settle for mediocre, & if you wanted anything more, you have to pay up. Pay for an impressive name & extracurriculars. But tell me, why is it that no one can point out any countries on a map? Even a map of the United States of America. Talk about embarrassing. 

It’s because they’re all so preoccupied. I mean, why wouldn’t they be? You target a future consumer right out of the womb. You bombard them with images of perfection & a world without flaws. Because that’s who we are. We’re #1. I mean #1 in teenage pregnancy, divorce rates, incarcerations & obesity. But this still counts for something, right?

It’s all about status, power & your favorite thing– money. A land of ‘The Haves’ who can afford gym memberships, healthy food & medicine & ‘The Have Nots’ who feast on McDonalds daily. Because last time I checked, Trader Joe’s doesn’t have a dollar menu.

I love you, America, I really do. But since living over here in Europe, it’s getting harder & harder to defend you. To explain that our love for violence, Big Macs & plastic surgery are all just cultural gems. To justify that paying $48,000 a year for school is totally worth it because you have a whole six months before you start paying off those loans…especially when you have all those non-existent entry level jobs waiting for you once you graduate. 

Do you know how much they pay for college here in Prague. Nothing. I guess that’s just because they want everyone to be educated enough to get a good job afterwards. It’s called a cultural priority.

We are the ones who made the Kardashians one of the richest families in the world off of a sex tape & bobbed our head to a #1 song of topless girls frolicking around the Blurred Lines of sexual consent. So guess those are our priorities these days!

Oh & speaking of jobs? What are those? Because last time I checked if you had one in the magnificent USA, you were begging & pleading to keep it. If you even wanted to work at all. Or ever had to your whole life. But I don’t blame you, if the government & my parents are paying for your lifestyle, why even get off the couch at all? What kind of society is that? An upper class full of heartless greedy puppeteers who pull the strings of the massive lower class. There’s no middle ground anymore. 

Because even if we are the norm, you tell us we’re not. We need glasses, braces & every medication imaginable to control our emotions. We need expensive clothing, cars & a flashy outer shell. A shell perfectly polished to disguise all the empty inside. Empty that will get picked & prodded by everyone until a gun is brought to school or a 14-year-old is hanging from a shower rod. America, is this any way to treat your people?!

It’s not enough to financially maul them, drown them in debt, brainwash them with sex & violent imagery, slut shame & self shame, bombard them with nightly black-on-white murder new stories, hype them up on sugary sodas & fatten them with pink-slime filled food…no, you want to take it all. 

I tell my European friends about how much I need to pay back in college loans. I talk to them about all the school shootings & violence. I tell them about the unemployment & awful health care system. I explain to them all the controversy surrounding religion & gay rights. And they are shocked. But for me, it’s all too casual. It is my future. It’s my destiny. 

Because we’re the home of the free. Free to cyber-bully, pay woman employees less & feed our infants all the high fructose corn syrup imaginable.Because of the brave. Also known as the faceless soldiers dying every day overseas for a war that lost it’s purpose long ago. But why should we care about any of that? American Idol is on!


Hiding in Europe until you make me feel welcome home again

ps: want to read even more head-shaking statistics? All the ones in this post are based off this


12 Responses to “Dear America…”

  1. Invisible Mikey December 7, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    Well said. We share the same complaints. My own solution was to quit the city. Living in a small town allows freedom from most of the economic and material traps you describe. The cost of living is less, so what you must earn is too, and work, shops, amenities are all closer to home. It’s safer too.

    The only way out of the college cost conundrum I could find was to choose an in-demand profession to be educated toward. In some states they will heavily subsidize you to become (for example) a nurse, a primary care doctor, a welder, an electrical engineer, a pastry chef etc. It’s similar to getting your education paid for by serving in the military. You have to commit to work where it’s needed for a couple years. That’s how I became a Radiologic Technologist. If I didn’t find a local job I liked, I could do it anywhere, even abroad.

    As cities go though, Praha’s very cool. I do think the more time you spend in other countries, the easier it becomes to see through propaganda and face difficult truths about your own land and people with good humor.

    • jgravesss December 7, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

      Thanks for your insights! I totally agree. I have just felt the more that I travel abroad I have these mixed emotions. Part of me wants to defend my country, part of me really no longer wants to. It doesn’t help that I went to school for journalism, so literally none of the skills I went to school for are considered viable in the US. That’s why I got my TEFL so I could teach English and have purpose. I just plan on moving from country to country teaching before finally settling down somewhere and then maybe using my writing skills for work.

  2. ronald stacy December 8, 2013 at 2:35 am #

    Wow that’s really heady. I really liked it. God bless you and God bless America.

  3. Maureen Graves December 8, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    This wonderful country, USA has somehow lost its way. This is still the best place in the world and my beautiful red, white and blue flag makes me proud but, where has justice and balance gone??? Our government for some strange reason rewards the wrong people….Any hardworking true American person realizes that we should be proud of our legal working citizens, vets and the retired elderly who have contributed to society there entire life. We should prioritize health care and proper services for our elderly,vets and mentally challenged but no….we reward and overpay the individual who wants to sit home because they have a gas bubble or 5 kids from 5 different dads and would rather take what isn’t theirs. Why work when they can have it for FREE and stay in their nice warm bed while someone like myself is leaving work in the cold at midnight. My money will keep those EBT Cards, Free food, Free rent money, Free medication and 4 Free Obama phones all paid for and also a nice manicure to go along with it..God please let Judge Judy run for president!!!!

    • jgravesss December 8, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

      hahaha I agree mom! Judge Judy for president!

  4. Aunt Katy December 9, 2013 at 1:19 am #

    Wonderful blog! Great insight girl- I just finished paying off my student loans and I’m 50!

    • Katy Kraemer December 9, 2013 at 1:34 am #

      Wonderful blog! Great insight girl- I just finished paying off my student loans and I’m 50!! We go to school and spend the rest of our days paying for an education that doesn’t even guarantee a job!

      • jgravesss December 9, 2013 at 7:17 am #

        Very true auntie katy and it’s not fair at all

  5. jgravesss December 8, 2013 at 2:35 pm #


  6. Bob Graves December 8, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    Jessi Wow you nailed it, couldn’t of been said any better. Great blog keep it up. Love Dad


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