How We Define Ourselves

Americans tend to take sides.  Over everything.  Sports.  Politics.  Race.  Ethnicity. Religion.  Food.

Like baseball in New York.  You’re either a Yankee fan or a Mets fan.  And never the twain shall meet.  If a Yankee fan marries a Mets fan (that would be rare), babies that they have will end up with huge wardrobes of Yankee and Mets clothing.  Families get into it too.  I’m a Yankee fan.  My son-in-law is a Mets fan.  I’ve chosen to stay out of it and let my grandson wear Mets clothing without saying anything.  He’s 5.

Then we have politics.  This year’s craziness not withstanding, most people in the US define themselves as Democrats or Republicans.  Like it’s a team sport.  Loyalty to a team.  In my opinion, the majority of my countrypeople don’t learn a lot about policy. Or are one issue voters (which I used to be).  Big divides are abortion and gun control.  Lots of people I know vote only for Democrats.  Or only for Republicans.  Not a mix.  And some people get annoyed at friends or acquaintances who disagree with them.  Forget families.  Politics can make for horrible dinner conversation.

Religion is such a touchy subject that I’m afraid to even broach it here.  Christianity vs Judaism vs Islam.  And then subgroups.  Protestant vs Christian.  Versus other religions. Many people are defined by their religion.  Go back just to 1941.  My mother was Episcopalian, my father Catholic.  They were married twice.  One day they had the big wedding in the Episcopalian church, the next day they were married in the Catholic rectory.  Many times that they argued, their religion would be thrown in the other’s face. Today, they are considered almost the same.

Now ethnicity.  The United States is a country founded, by definition, by immigrants. Every generation brings a majority of immigrants from a different country or area.  The English came.  Then the Irish, whom the English-Americans discriminated against. Then the Italians came and the English and Irish discriminated against them.  But Italians are mostly Catholic and so are the Irish so they had that in common.  The Chinese came but didn’t try to integrate, so they didn’t count.  Now the Latin Americans are coming and it seems most people hate them, although they all hire them.  I’m being very superficial here, of course, but I think I’m making my point.

Race?  Forget it.  Nothing has been so divisive in our country than the race issue.  If anyone has even a thought that this is not still an issue, look at the American History books.  European-Americans get 400 pages, African-Americans get maybe 3 pages. Lots of Americans still think that President Obama wasn’t really born in Hawaii.  John McCain was born in Panama (still a citizen because he was born on a US Navy base). But no one questioned him.

However, nothing, and I mean NOTHING, divides Americans more than coffee.

Dunkin’ Donuts vs Starbucks.

Ask any American you know, which coffee they prefer.  Usually, you will get an answer followed by a justification.  Not just “I’m a Yankee fan.”  “I’m Catholic.”  “I’m a Republican.”

You will hear “I’m totally for Dunkin’ Donuts.  Starbucks is so bitter.  Yuck.  How can anyone drink that.”  Conversely, “I’m Starbucks all the way.  If I wanted watery coffee, I’d go to Dunkin’ Donuts.”


I drink Dunkin’ Donuts.  Exclusively.  Obviously.  Why would I drink anything else?

I’m 100% Dunkin’ Donuts.


About Barb Knowles

The things that are important to me are family, friends, teaching, writing, languages and using my sense of humor to navigate this crazy world. Please join me on this blogging adventure...
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49 Responses to How We Define Ourselves

  1. I don’t like either Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts. Homemade Hazelnut or Highlander Grog is the only stuff for me!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bea dM says:

    I’m hard to pinhole when it comes to politics, religion and ethnicity. But I do agree one needs to define oneself somehow. So I’m a A.S. Roma (soccer) fan 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Barb, Your post is relevant and a good commentary, however, Americans’ Constitutional Rights are being infringed upon as we speak, whether we are conservative or liberal. Yesterday, Trump named Bannon to permanent status on the National Security Council and banned the heads of all the other security personal from attending and that Bannon will inform them at a later date. Bannon – for heaven’s sake.
    He is an alt-right conspiracy theorist, with strong Putin ideology. We are headed for or at least threatened with an authoritarian government. Teachers, like yourself, me, my sister, my daughter, and my friends see what is happening: denigrating teachers, professors is just the beginning. We are being told what we can think and teach. Here, in north Georgia, the NSA has told the professors that what they were teaching their students are things that they should not be teaching. Thus, freedom of thought is in the beginning stages of be controlled by the NSA, which is now controlled by Bannon. Sane? Not a chance!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      I don’t disagree with your views. The purpose of this post was to make a humorous point about Starbucks vs Dunkin’ Donuts. I gave some examples of how we tend, in my opinion, to take sides, such in silly things, like sports, as well as serious topics, like religion. That was a backdrop to my joking about coffee. Again, while I agree with a lot of your views, my blog is not a political one (I did dip my toes in a little with the election, but while there are blogs devoted to politics, mine is devoted mostly to memoir essays and humor). I’m so glad that you commented and took the time to read my blog.


      • Hi Barb, I know and it was a great post and I loved. I love coffee and especially “Dunkin Donuts”…I am drinking right now. It is the best coffee ever! At the moment, I just learned that Bannon, by a Trump executive order, has permanently supplanted the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CIA, and the National Intelligence Director, with Bannon, a student of Alexander Dugin’s Putinism and Eurasianism from attending all national security briefs. Bannon will inform them what he thinks they need to hear. This is unprecedented act and right out of Putin’s playbook. I checked numerous sources and their is no doubt. Just put in Alexander Dugin’s name anywhere and you will get multiple sources from Conservative to Liberal. We need to understand what is really going on. Thanks for listening. I have lived in China, Saudi Arabia, And England. To me this is a red flag. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thoughts depicted nicely

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Barb, sorry about the misspellings! I am a little upset right now…more coffee is needed. 🙂 Dunkin Donuts – that is!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Val says:

    I drink tea. And this is a great post. 😀
    I wonder how many people will ‘get it’?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      I think some people are taking it more seriously than I meant it. But I do think that Americans are fiercely loyal and divided without much thought to any number of topics. But we are VERY vocal when it comes to our coffee. I feel that in the UK as well as other countries, tea is the great equalizer. Coffee is not here, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. mikeykjr says:

    I saw the humor in the post right off the bat. Honestly, I skipped to the bottom when you began to talk about coffee, then I was like, “Yes!”. This post made my day LOL. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. peckapalooza says:

    I don’t like coffee… But, to be honest, I would much rather see my Facebook news feed filled with people arguing back and forth over what kind of coffee is best than continually deal with the political posts that are the norm.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. any1mark66 says:

    We relish the opportunity to group ourselves. The crazy part is we only learn from differences.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Paul says:

    I feel like Starbucks is a drink for people that like to brag about what they’re drinking, mainly millennials. I could be wrong. I don’t drink coffee.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m a Duncan girl, not “tar”bucks. Of course Cumberland Farms is consistently good for a buck! Working the night shift as a nurse, we drank any coffee that would go through the filter!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Patsy Porco says:

    My husband and son are Yankee fans, but they’ll root for the Mets if the Mets make the World Series and the Yankees don’t. However, the Red Sox are the true enemy. They will never root for the Red Sox, even if they’re the only team in the World Series. Same for the Patriots. If you live in Fairfield County in Connecticut, you’re either a New York fan or a Boston fan. There’s never any crossover. At least in my house.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Almost Iowa says:

    OMG! You are product of a MIXED MARRIAGE!! 🙂 Gosh, remember when that used to be a HUGE deal? Nowadays when we tell our kids about how traumatic that was, all we get is puzzled looks.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. “Politics can make for horrible dinner conversation.” And, apparently for some, for horrible blog post conversation. Barb, you mentioned enough raw, sensitive, opinionated issues to start a furor of political, ethnic, religious and sports fan witch hunts. Too bad the entire coffee aspect almost went down the drain, so to speak! Always love your wit and humor. Keep bringin it, sister! PS. I’m Dunkin, baby.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m the lucky one. No argument for me when it comes to donuts or coffee. I don’t eat donuts. Coffee? I have paid to buy coffee for many years. I might have, just a few times a year. I read a book about 10 years ago. One point he made was that, if you spend $1.75 for coffee, $2.25 for a pastry, that’s $4.00 a day x 365 days. How much money do you spend in a year? After I read that, I stop buying coffee and donuts. I don’t know how much I saved, but……..

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ahhhhh Now I really miss Dunkin Donuts!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Ann Coleman says:

    I’m one of those oddballs who don’t drink coffee at all. I drink Diet Coke, much to my daughter’s disgust (she’s on the Starbuck’s team). So once again, I’m not good at joining….. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

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