Today marks the 30th Anniversary of my family coming to America. It is a family tradition that I will call my Mom, sister and brothers to say "Happy Anniversary". My husband and I are trying to shed a few pounds, so there will be no fancy dinner to celebrate the occassion, instead we went to our favorite restaurant, the Mandarin House on Page Avenue and I-170, for Dim Sum (a southeastern Cantonese dialect, meaning "dot your heart"). Dim sum is collective dishes of beef, shrimp, chicken, pork, in assorted small portion, steamed, fried, broiled, and served as appetizers, snacks and sweet pastries, from approximately 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the weekends. (In NYC or other big cities, dim sum is served everyday.)
I have been thinking about what I would write for this post about our 30th Anniversary. One of the blogs I enjoy reading is from David Michael Bruno, http://www.guynameddave.com/, and he wrote, "these days when a person achieves something like the American Dream (let's just say that's moving solidly into the upper-middle class), his lifestyle changes. He becomes a cigar aficionado and also starts collecting fine wines. He starts driving a sports car or a luxury car, perhaps both. He buys a larger, flatter TV and pays for access to sports cable networks."Well, I have not become a cigar aficionado or collecting fine wines (I don't consume alcohol) and though I love hockey and football, I would not pay extra for sports cable networks. We drive a sport car (well, the T-bird belongs to my husband) and recently purchase a 48" HD lcd tv with blue ray dvd player. With the current economy and the unknown future, I don't think we would ever move into the upper-middle class but I know we have achieved the American Dream.
Here is what I wrote on January 10, 2008, "28 years later, did we achieve the American Dream? Compared to some people, we did. We have achieved the level of comfortable living, earned college education, being homeowners, professional employment, and most of all, watching my nephew growing up in a country with plenty of opportunities to achieve more and become better than previous generations. Compared to others, we are not millionaires, nor owners of international companies, not well-known politicians or leaders, not movie stars or even contestant on American Idols!
We have achieved the American Dream in our own way. There are still other levels we could try to reach. I am thankful for all the people who have provided assistance, extended friendship and helping hands. I know my Dad is smiling and saying, "Good work", as our family celebrate our 28th Anniversary coming to America. To my Dad, the foundation and the guiding light, Happy Anniversary. I sure hope there is plenty of chocolate ice cream in heaven for you to enjoy, Dad."
I left Viet Nam when I was 18.5 years old, so I have actually lived in America longer. I am always proud to be an American and I appreciate all the blessings we have received living in America. Earlier this year, my sister and I planned to visit Viet Nam but it did not work out. It just occurred to me that it would not be so terrible or a disappointment if I never go back to visit my birthplace. I had many wonderful memories growing up but there were also many unpleasant incidents that I would not care to remember.
Yes, I believe we are living the American Dream, by our own definitions of hard work, paying taxes, owning our homes, taking care of our families, being active in our community, performing civic duties, making contributions for the good of society and never take freedom and liberty for granted.
(PS: My anniversary celebration was dampened when my Patriots failed badly to the Baltimore Ravens, final score 33-14 Ravens. On the good side, yesterday the NY Jets advanced beating the Bengals 24-14 and the Cowboys eliminated the Eagles 34-14. What is with all the losing teams only getting 14 points? Next game is the Packers v. Cardinals this evening. Whichever team wins is fine with me as I like both Rodgers and Warner.)