I read this essay tonight (or this morning, rather), and now it's simply just not an option anymore. I have to read American Gods. From just the briefest description of what Gaiman says American Gods is about within the essay, I'm itching to have the book in my hands right now. Alas, 'tis not so.
Reading his essay got me to thinking about this. Being a first-generation American is a strange experience. Or I would imagine so. Since it is my reality, I guess I don't find it so strange, but perhaps it would be if I was an outsider looking in. I haven't really stopped to think about it in great detail until this week, when my cousin came to visit. He was in New York on business, so he took the train up to our sleepy little town. My boyfriend came over, and it was the first time he got to meet anyone from my extended family. I've been dating Dave for over two years now. His family is in the same county, state, oh heck, country. Mine is an ocean away, and has been for my entire life. So I've met at least 2/3 of his extended family, and he's met about .000001 of mine.
All these people that I've been introducing to him as my aunts or my cousins are not, in fact, relations by blood. When you have an ocean separating actual kin from kin, you learn to make do with what you have. We carved out a family in America made up of very close friends. Do I find it weird that I probably have cousins that I don't even know about? Sure.
It just seems that we all get caught up in our everyday lives, and the people that you constantly make the effort to interact with are the ones that will continue to be a part of your life. And the ones that don't make the effort or you don't make the effort for simply fall away as the time passes. I'm not sure of whether this is negative or positive. It simply is.