Culture Clash! @ 03:43 am
And this one has actually has nothing to do with me and my grandmother!
Every other year we’ve been in PHX for Christmas, we leave on the 30th in the morning, and as such, we miss the influx of bowl game fans coming to whatever bowl game is being held at the UoPHX Stadium next to the hotel. Given that I am not leaving until tomorrow morning and even though the Fiesta Bowl isn’t until the 2nd, there has been a decidedly noticeable increase in hotel guests who have decided to make a long weekend of it with pre-game golfing and such.
Not a shocking development by any means – heck, I’d do the same if GMU somehow found itself in the Fiesta Bowl. And as such, the college football fans have arrived. (Has the Fiesta Bowl always been on the 2nd? I thought it had been a New Year’s Day game – is this the BCS continuing to screw things up or am I just remembering wrong?)
So, there is an influx of fans deciding to make a drinking and golfing weekend of it leading up to the game and staying at the hotel. Can’t say I blame them, the weather is pretty decent. I will tell you right now, if there were any Stanford fans staying at the hotel, I couldn’t pick them out of a lineup, cause they’re just quietly enjoying the weekend. Can’t quite say the same for the Oklahoma State fans – several of which I ran into this evening during my postprandial Cabernet. The Quote Of The Night goes to the gentleman to my right who said, “We’re from West Texas, you have to grade us on a curve.”
No shit, Sherlock. Still, no biggie.
However, there was also a wedding reception this evening at the hotel. A Muslim Ethiopian/Somali wedding reception. With some of the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous dresses I have seen in my lifetime. Seriously – when I headed out for dinner, a half dozen ladies were walking in and I was just stunned by the dresses and I got caught just staring like an idiot and one of the ladies said, “Hi! Happy New Year’s!” and I found most of my voice and (likely sounded like an awed 8 year old) – “You have the most beautiful dresses I have EVER seen! They’re just… GORGEOUS!” They were more than happy to tell me that they were traditional Ethiopian dresses (though they really need to add “formalwear” to that “traditional” tag, cause I’m fairly certain these don’t get worn while getting dinner together.) Seriously, these dresses crossed the lines from “lovely” to “works of art”. (In talking to some of the younger gals later in the courtyard, I have now discovered that there is a pretty big Somali community in PHX. Never would have guessed it.)
Now, let’s consider the “grade us on a curve” group and “happy wedding reception”…
Yes, there were some snarky comments from the West Texas contingent as some of the wedding party went back & forth through the lobby.
In a true moment of clarity, I realized going with what would be considered the “Northern Liberal Elite” (of which I am only 2 of the 3) route would do nothing, and my brain said, “It’s time for the ‘Bless Your Heart’ approach*” – cause any southerner knows it means, “You dumbass.” When the next snarky comment came up, I just went, “Now darlin’, you just need to HUSH! They are having a wedding and everyone deserves a fun wedding and reception and they’re just all having fun. So you just hush up now.”
And damned if that didn’t work – if in no small part cause the wives then piled on to boot. +1 for basically going with “Sheldon Cooper, don’t make me call your mother” maneuver.
Seriously folks, different doesn’t mean anything but different – and if you take the time to talk to people, you’ll find more similarities than you realize, like when I joked with the first ladies I saw this evening that they outclassed my jeans, they said, “But your jeans are more comfortable!” Or when I was talking to the gals in the courtyard, I was helping them lookout for relatives that would be annoyed that they were hiding out and smoking.
We’re all just people mucking our way through the same mess. So, be nice.
*While I don’t technically qualify as a Southerner and as such cannot legitimately use the “Bless Your Heart” approach, I spent enough summers with my grandparents in Atlanta to learn how to use it…