The American Dream – is it the same for everyone?

My daughter Nicollette called me the other day asking to interview me and my husband about what the American dream meant to us as immigrants for a paper that she needed to write for her class in college.

“Sure. Why don’t I record the interview and stream it in my show!” I suggested

“I don’t know if that is a good idea Mom.” She answered, but in the end I won the argument.

We set up a date and did the interview. I thought it went so well! It was so much fun to talk about our views with her, and she sounded so professional! I knew the radio show would be entertaining and informative, and couldn’t wait to stream it until I started reading her paper.

It started like this:

“What started out as a simple question turned into a war of ideology; the last twenty minutes of my interview with my immigrant parents was nothing but an argument. I knew it was going to take that vicious turn when after my mother’s piece on why America is so unique and admired, my dad’s first response was, “I have to disagree with a lot of the things with Mami, unfortunately.” (Michel, telephone, 02/26/11)…”

Okay, so I guess it wasn’t fun for all of us…but how bad could it be? I finally listened to the 2 hour interviewed today…How is it possible that my husband have been together for 20 years, and I just realized how different our views are about what I though was a common dream? How can his views of what being an American can be so different from mine, when we both have identical backgrounds?

Our arguments were not just different; they were many times totally opposites! I went through the whole recording and edited for the show (as it was too long). I must say though that as I listened multiple times to our arguments, I realized the basics were the same. We are both happy and grateful to be part of this nation, admiring the good and acknowledging the bad. We both call it our home. We both adopted American culture while keeping our basic Italian and Venezuelan traditions. Being an Immigrant to us meant different things, but somehow as we both realized our own little American dream filled with our own ideas, background and experiences we realized this was home and were Immigrants no more…

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About sviolante

Author of Innocent War www.susanviolante.com
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