Bets I’ve Won

Becoming An American

I remember the first bet I made with myself and won. I was 17 and I had just watched my parents and my brother become U.S. citizens. This was something that we had diligently worked for 11 years to obtain. I remember my parents receiving a letter in the mail of how the ceremony was to take place. Since there were many people to be naturalized it was to be done in a civic center/auditorium. It asked that young children to be supervised and if all possible to be left a home (under care of course), also if a child began to cry it must be taken outside.

When my Mother was being Naturalized there were 3 columns of seats. The two on the outside were for family members and the column in the middle were for the people being naturalized and there was a set amount of chairs for these people. Soon the middle section was filled to capacity yet there plenty of people still needing to be seated. An announcement was made that if you weren’t being naturalized then you needed to move to the outside aisle of seats. This announcement was repeated in other languages…no one moved. Finally like a kindergarten teacher an INS official went person by person asking to see the naturalization certificate. Those that didn’t have the certificate were made to move and some still wouldn’t move!!  None of these people would follow the rules!!!  Did they really think they could just sit there and no one would notice??

One of our friends was videotaping the event and stood on a chair to get a better view. A security officer told him to get down since he was a “distraction” meanwhile two infants were screaming their heads off. This officer did not make them move even though an announcement was made at the beginning telling all that once the judge took the podium this auditorium would become a “court room” and crying babies must be escorted out! I was appalled at the lack respect for this event. I swore then that I would not take the oath of citizenship.

After my parents were naturalized I was still a minor and I received a special certificate. I did not have to go through the naturalization ceremony with a bunch of disrespectful people.

The Fucking Titanic

The year was 1998 and a terrible film Titanic was out in theatres. I thought this movie was the biggest piece of trash to hit the screen yet all my classmates thought it was equivalent to The Godfather. I hated the hype I hated Celine Dion’s voice on the radio every half hour. I swore I would never see the movie in the theatre and I got my wish. However, three months later I was on a airplane and trapped the in-flight movie was Titanic. During the climatic scene of Rose and and Frozen Jack I mumbled a little bit too loudly “Let the bugger sink”. I was then shushed frantically by a dozen teenage girls. I’ll never get those 3 hours of my life back. While I did win the bet of not seeing it the theatre I was ambushed by the flight…call it a draw.

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