When I was in college, I found it vastly irritating when friends coming back from a semester in Europe made loud proclamations about "you Americans."
"You Americans just don't know what culture is."
"You Americans have such a dull palette."
The ones who had been in France were the worst. "You Americans are afraid of your own sexuality," they would declare with clove cigarettes dangling out of their mouths.
Well, I didn't spend a semester in Europe. I spent two weeks last month, a middle-aged mom with my husband and two teenage kids. We didn't even go to France. But I've come back with my own "you Americans" proclamation: You Americans, I find myself thinking, are just so behind in energy conservation and recycling.