Whether you are for or against immigrants coming to the United States, is none of my bees wax. That whole business is not what this post is about. This is simply advice for anyone moving here:
1. There is one article of clothing that is a necessity to your wardrobe: Micky Mouse. The most common is the one that I own, a gray tee-shirt with Mickey in traditional garb, hands behind his back, and smiling.
As we are a diverse nation, you are allowed to alter your selection. We even allow for various genders and animal types: Minnie Mouse for the women, Daisy and Donald represent the duck culture, Goofie no one's quite sure of, Pluto of the doggie kingdom, Chip and Dale from the underground tree rodents.
See how the 'melting pot' works now?
2. Pretend you are totally fashion insensitive, that you have your own character and style of clothing. Then, wear what every one else in your crowd is wearing. When you notice that your freshly dyed pink hair, that you paid top dollar for in the search to stand out from the crowd, is being worn by a huge percentage of the crowd, pretend you do not notice. Works every time.
3. Embrace ketchup on food. Be sure to include a puddle of it on your plate with every American burger and fries that you eat, then only use half.
4. Eat french fries weekly and do not question why they are attributed to the French--yet, I'm pretty sure they were started by our country Nobody quite knows why the credit goes to our European neighbors, and the fact that we don't really know is an embarrassment to us all. Avoid the discussion like politics, religion, and minimist modern art.
5. We are a nation obsessed with pets. Our dogs are friendly; no need for you to leap off the sidewalk in terror when you see one coming. Cats are fed foods for finicky eaters that cost more than premium wild salmon, and stinks. We have pet outfits that match the owner's wardrobe, bakeries that serve only furry four footers, massage for the stressed pooch, and aquariums that are more colorful than the Australian Reef Barrier.
If you happen to come from a background that believes in come-back Karma, consider requesting to be placed in an American, pet-loving home. You will be spoiled more than any Queen of Sheba.
6. Cars are a sign of status, smugness, culture and your world view. Practical sedans are for the efficient go-getter. SUVs are reserved for the Soccer Moms/Dads. Hybrids are for those of us who want to be sure you know we care about the environment more than you do (just please don't mention the fact that I drive twice as much as I used to because I so rarely have to buy gas). Sports cars are for those who love speeding tickets, and being pulled over by the highway patrol. Luxury vehicles let everyone know the driver has made it big in America and wants to be sure you are aware of the fact.
7. When someone asks how you are doing, they don't really want to know. The acceptable way to answer is, "fine", or "good". Then, if you are feeling extraordinarily cheerful, you can add, "and you?".
To test this one out, try saying this quickly as you walk away, "I have six weeks to live. Have a nice day." Be sure they can hear you and speak clearly. It is a rare person who actually reacts to your response.
Don't think we are being rude in not listening to your answer. We are simply following social norms.
Because, really, we are a rather friendly bunch.
8. Alcohol is drunk by types:
Wine is the classy way to get plastered.
Micro Beer is for the aficionado, the craft masters of knowledge, edgy tasters.
Regular beer is for the regular guy/gal, seen most often at BBQs and kiddie pinata birthday parties (I mean the parents are doing the drinking, not the kids, silly)
Hard alcohol is for hard people. Also rumored to be for those on a slow suicide march.
Mixed drinks are for friends, If you partake in a fruity drink alone, you border on the edge of madness.
Hope this guide to living in the U.S. was helpful. It may not have been included in your Welcome to America brochures. But it is needed if you don't want to be labeled as a Newbie Geek.