EuroAmerican

Perhaps it is time to specify that it is only EuroAmericans who expect to get something for nothing, to find the land of milk and honey and streets paved with gold.

Why would Europe not be appreciative of such a reference? Because it might lead people to consider that Europe has been very successful in getting rid of its malcontents and incompetents. Although Britain ostentatiously exported convicts to Australia, those migrants had to pretty much make their own way in a land whose natural abundance was nowhere near that of North America. Never mind the wealth the migrants were able to plunder from Central and South America.

Perhaps I am being myopic and extrapolating unfairly from the family members old Germany cheerfully sent off to the new world. Although my grandmother did not deserve the oprobrium of her only child, the siblings that emigrated to Wisconsin and California were nothing to brag about. Lewis and Annie Haunstetter. Lewis, at age fifty, spent most of his time sitting by the kitchen window sipping gingerale and wine. Presumably, wife Claire looked after her bed-ridden mother to keep the house, while the cottage in the back yard brought in cash rent. Rent was what mandated that my mother get a job as woon as we arrived. Their son, Norman, ten years older than I, never amounted to much and ended up dead in the trunk of his car.

Annie, my grandmother’s younger sister was deceased by the time we arrived in 1949. She had taken a job as an au pair in Milwaukee, but did not like it and made up a story about getting married and went to California. Her employers gave her a silver service as a wedding present and that eventually came to me after Lewis died. I handed it off to our daughter. The stories it could tell. Annie died in an insane assylum, supposedly from water on the brain. My mother, who knew nothing, claimed Annie had a habit of irrigating her nose.

I still marvel at how long it took for me to figure my mother’s nonsense out. Nobody expects a living fiction.

I am not a EuroAmerican. I am a European who was involuntarily removed and, having once been uprooted, did not care to be replanted.