The Great American Melting... Ice Cream Sundae
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

The Great American Melting... Ice Cream Sundae

How people-watching over ice cream changed my perspective on the demographic shift in in United States.

14
The Great American Melting... Ice Cream Sundae
Pinterest

I love ice cream, especially when it involves dark chocolate. So when I heard that the Outlet Shoppes over in Simpsonville, KY, had a Ghirardelli store, I made it a priority to eat there whenever the weather, money, time and now antique truck all cooperated (a rare occurrence). So during the April warm spell, I waltzed up stag to the counter and asked for the Midnight Reverie. Oh, man, if you love dark chocolate and don't care about the calories, then this treat is for you. Anyway, as I sat there waiting, I did something a little unorthodox: I put my phone down and turned my other senses back on. Of course, the smell of chocolate dominated my nose, but I started to look around, noticing all the patrons inside and the numerous shoppers walking past the window. I already felt a little down due to musing too long about our aging population and weak economy, and a loud, bustling ice cream parlor at first only intensified my grumpiness.

In this Ghirardelli shop in the outlet mall, I almost felt out of place. I heard at least six different languages spoken and numerous different countries represented. Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, French, Korean and I could have sworn Farsi were all spoken in the shop! Fast talking Latinas with kids in tow hurried past the window as a Portuguese family with a Russian nanny sat to the table on my left while an Iranian couple stood stoically in line. This diverse crowd seemed unified only by a love for ice cream.

Now, I come from a quiet, conservative, middle class family back in Georgia. I attended a private school for both college and high school, where diversity meant that the suburbanites recoiled when the rednecks showed up. In other words, I'm not really used to large crowds of non-white Americans. As the languages blurred together into a cacophony in the confectionery, my eyes took over, noticing that few people wore "traditional" clothing (the exception was the Portuguese family, all sporting some futbol league jersey). Shaking my head at my own ignorance (seriously, what did I expect people to wear? Burkas? Kimonos? Sombreros?), I remembered one of those old songs from Schoolhouse Rock: the Great American Melting Pot. From childhood, both parents and teachers taught me how America is a "land of immigrants" and is a "melting pot" of multiple cultures, but I just then realized what it looked like. And you know what? It was kinda awesome.

After hearing countless times that non-white Americans will shape America's economic, political and cultural future as the white population ages, I got a first hand glimpse of what that future will look like. And it looks like pretty much the same America I have known for my twenty-two years, just with more color and culture. Consumer based and middle class dominated, this little shop just became the poster boy for the American Dream and the epitome of the phrase "the land of opportunity." Scores of people just in this outlet mall all came to this country to start anew, while scoring on some amazing ice cream. If this doesn't embody the American Dream, I don't know what will. And if someone in American realizes the American Dream, well, that makes them, by definition, Americans. This realization made my treat even sweeter, and I no longer worried about the calorie count as my new-found confidence in America welled up the pride in my nation... or maybe it was my body telling me to lay off the chocolate.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

87987
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

189991
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments