"You're not REALLY American."
This is something people tell me a lot, with a smirk on their face and a feeling of complete superiority in their heart, because I'm a TCK. I'm permanently displaced, far too independent for my own good and constantly changing. Because of this, the subject of my nationality is apparently disputable.
Do you ever feel like people were trying to exclude you on purpose from something? I feel that a lot. Conversations about American fads from 1998 were designed to make me feel uncomfortable and confused.
"So I was remembering that episode of Blossom where they wore hats, and I was like, Wow, I wear hats too!" someone will say to me.
My reply is usually along the lines of, "What's Blossom?"
Then, they'll reply with a loud, booming "WHOA!" and expect me to know why the hell they're suddenly yelling at me.
To this day, I still don't know what the hell Blossom is. By the time we get to that point in the conversation, someone just writes it off and says, "Oh, that girl, she didn't grow up in America and for that she must be punished with a lack of knowledge. Ha ha ha ha."
Ok, well no one really says that. But they might as well.
There's a lot of little things like that.
I didn't go to a high school where we had homecoming, so I don't understand it. Sometimes I forget what side of the road to drive on. I've noticed that my morals and values are slightly different then those of my peers. I spell according to Oxford, not Webster, much to the annoyance of my college professors, and I still only get my news from BBC. I've never seen or heard of certain movies since they didn't pass the censor board of the country I was living in at the time. I never styled my hair or dressed like my peers did when we were younger.
Anytime anyone notices something like this, any "non-American" quirk I may have, anything at all, they quickly tell me that I am either A) a foreigner, B) weird, and/or C) carrying some sort of disease that only non-Americans can get. I am laughed at. I am teased. I am excluded. I am told by people that my birth certificate, which pointedly shows I was born in the United States (BACK EAST, even), my state issued ID, and the fact that I've spent most of my LIFE in the States mean nothing.
One day, I'm going to snap and will end up shoving my passport down someone's throat.