1. We are born and forever will be, Greek American Princesses #GAP
So let’s face it, the sad truth of the matter is… we’re spoiled. We get what we want, when we want it. Maybe it’s the fact that our people have existed since the beginning of time, or simply because our parents have brought us up in such a manner, but we have a sense of entitlement that’s hard to surpass. Call it bad, call it sad, but at the end of the day, we find it to be so darn rad!
2. Our Daddy is our Real-Life Hercules.
Our Daddy is our knight in shining armor- our first love- our invincible, emotional and financial supporter. He is our number one. Sorry potential mates, but you’ll never compare.
3. We have HUGE families.
Huge is an understatement. We’re “obnoxious” and “loud,” which frequently gets misconstrued with the word, “fun.” We don’t understand the meaning of the word small; we do everything big and bigger. Greeks are competitive creatures; it’s all about one-upping your friends and your foes. Oh, my neighbor has two cars; well I need to have three. You can’t simply make one batch of cookies; you must make 10, so that you can give extras away to your family and other Greeks, of course. Big families are what we do, and what we know. We procreate because it is beautiful- it’s as plain and simple as that.
4. We have options when pursuing a man…
They are to be Greek, Greek or Greek. Interestingly enough, we don’t necessarily mind this requirement. While growing up as a Greek girl, you have many expectations to fulfill… One of which, is pursing a Greek man. Our parents don’t want for us to settle down with an outsider, and neither do we. We are to pursue a Greek man in order to get married and raise our future family within the Greek Orthodox Faith. Struggle, hardship and unnecessary challenge are associated with settling down with anyone who is not Greek. We pursue Greek men because we know they will treat us as our fathers have (Greek Princesses, remember?).
5. The church you attend… TELLS ALL
Upon meeting another Greek person for the first time, the following conversation takes place (there are no variations). It may sound interrogative to others that don’t understand how we function; yet for us, this is developing a new (potentially mutual) connection or relationship.
What’s your last name?
Do you know so and so?
What church do you attend?
Do you know so and so?
Where’s your family from in Greece?
Do you know so and so?
By asking #2, one is quickly informed of the following: suburb one is from (not only where they grew up, but how they grew up), socioeconomic background, who to ask that could provide you with more background on this person, and of course, how much competition they confronted you with back in the day, for Greek Olympics.
6. We are expected to return to the motherland EVERY summer. But, hey, we’re not complaining about it.
While most of society sits there, and dreams of visiting Greece one day, we have the opportunity to disconnect, transcend reality, and dream away while we are in Greece. As a child, we may sit there and mope about the fact that we are leaving our American friends for summer, yet years down the road, we look back on these moments as the most blessed, unique, authentic and meaningful experiences that we have ever had in our lives. We have learned how to appreciate the simple life, and when I say, “simple life,” I mean “village life.” We have been forced to live without Internet for weeks at a time, therefore forcing us to develop and thrive with our solely based on our ever-developing interpersonal capabilities.
7. Our parents are VERY protective over us.
I don’t think you understand the severity here…. No sleep overs, no talking to boys, no late nights, no hanky pankey, no lying… ahhhh, I’m exhausted, and trust me, the list goes on… Our parents have instilled fear within us; they have raised us to be obedient and respectful daughters. There is nothing more disgraceful than a daughter who is known for making poor choices. This represents bad news for not only the family as a whole unit, yet this is detrimental for the daughter and her chances of courting a quality Greek man. No Greek family ever wants for their child to be the center of the Greek gossip circle- that reflects poorly upon the parents.
8. We cook like it’s (oh, excuse me), we cook BECAUSE IT IS our job. And we learn to love it young.
It’s all about living a traditional and conservative lifestyle (at least in the public spotlight; what you do behind closed doors is your business and your business only). We go by the old book: men work, and women stay at home, where they tend to the home and children.
9. We are all Greek Goddesses.
So, we’re bombshells…. Each and every one of us… Ever heard of selective breeding, survival of the fittest, oh yeah- that’s us- the Greeks. How else do you think we’ve endured time?
10. We were eating Greek yogurt, with honey and walnuts, way before it was “the cool thing to do.”
Well… we were. Expect, we’d make it from scratch. Americans don’t have time to create yogurt from scratch- they’re busy working.
11. Gossiping is our guilty pleasure.
Greeks will talk smack about one another all day long- no problems here. Yet, the second a non-greek chooses to also take part in the banter, all hell will break loose. That, my friend, is unacceptable. Speaking poorly upon another Greek (when you, the speaker are not) is the equivalent of speaking poorly upon my family.
12. Our ideal beach duo. Carroten kai frappé.
Yup.. There’s no point in hiding the obvious. We love and adore the beach for it enables us to thrive. We apply our Carroten to our already bronzed bodies with hopes of displaying even darker shades. While we basque in the sun, absorbing as many rays as possible, we sit there and sip on our frappé. The need for water or food you may ask? Those simply are not necessity. There’s another time and place for water and food, our answer is simply not the beach (as I blow smoke out of my mouth.)
13. We’ve been to some of the most beautiful, exotic beaches on planet earth.
You know how there are certain things in life that are just too difficult to explain due to their unfathomable state of perfection- Greek beaches are one of those things. Those days spent swimming the crystal clear blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the relationships that were built, the memories that were formed are all things that we store within our little black book, titled, Unforgettable Life Experiences. We’ll revisit this little black book from year to year adding more memories with new faces and new stories. Those days spent at the beach are the moments in which you wish you could just freeze all time – stop the clock and never grow old; until one day, you do grow old, and see your children building the same beach memories that you too have, and yet there’s this internal emotion of melancholy meeting cheerful. It’s a place to live, to communicate, to play and to experience eternal youth.
14. We don’t play well with others… but seriously though.
We struggle to understand others. We try to be empathetic, yet our extreme ways of life often hinder our ability to fully comprehend the lifestyle of another individual. This is why we stick with our own. Our grandparents did it, our parents did it, and what the heck, so will we. We understand the importance of tradition, and we too will relay this on to our children one day.
16. We love to get our Greek dance on.
Kalamatiano: Hands down, the most pleasurable workout you will ever indulge in. The repetition of steps and circular movement suddenly become second nature as you’re immersed in the strumming bouzouki and echoes of the singer. This, my friends, is how the Greeks feast, and yet still manage to pull off their Adonis/Aphrodite bods and beauty. The food functions as fuel for the endless hours of dance that welcome in the morning sun.
17. We blast our Greek music on those warm, summer nights.
That moment when you pull up to a red light in the city of Chicago at 1am, and have Panos Kiamos roaring out of every open window… It’s just then when you realize 1) you’re unintentionally disrupting the peace, and 2) the neighbors next to you are staring, and are utterly confused by the fact that you’re jamming out by your lonesome. Regardless of how portray yourself to these onlookers, you just don’t care because it’s the equivalent of taking a mental vacation over to the homeland.
18. “Islander” or “Mainlander,” because you know there’s a difference.
I’m an islander and my boyfriend is a mainlander. Why would I ever do such a thing, you might ask? To put it simple, we balance each other out. While both brunette, he’s fair and I’m olive. He has brown eyes and I have green eyes. He prefers the village and I prefer the beach. He chooses SPF and I choose oil. He thrives on patience while I thrive on speed. We’re both free spirits with some deep-rooted contradictory. He’s afraid of deep waters and I’m afraid of the mountains.
There are not many islanders in the states, because they’re often too comfortable to leave. The mainlanders, disconnected from much of society due to geographical location, are often forced to flee in search of greater opportunity. Although I don’t like to rub in too often, because I obviously love my boyfriend and all, the islands are rightfully placed on pedestal.
19. We take pride in everything we do.
As mentioned, prior, were selective in our choosing. We don’t jump until were ready to fly. What we do, we don’t only do it good, yet we do it great. We believe in ourselves and even more importantly, we believe in our families – we work hard to create a legacy, a name, a sense of connection for those that come after us. Whether we own a small, local business, or a large, successful monopoly, we take time, pride and consideration in every small step of the way.
20. “Passion,” is what runs through our veins – both men and women alike. Always has been, always will be.
Our country, our religion, our culture, our language, and our lifestyle, are all still in existence and thriving today because of our eternal drive and innate sense of passion. We’re non-stop lovers, looking and spreading warmth all around. We get loud, were emotional and we do it all, with good intent. We’re protective, concerned and cautious, yet fierce, aggressive and bold. Ask any Greek what has spurred their success, and I promise you, passion will be their response.