Living in the Midwest and Why We Love It Here
Ah, I love the smell of turkey manure in the morning...
People who live outside of the Midwest region of the United States have strange views of the people who live inside it. We're all cowboys. We all own farms. We're a bunch of hicks. We own at least one tractor. We have farm animals, whether we have the space for them or not. We have anywhere from 3-10 children. We run around barefoot in overalls and wife beaters (the tank tops). We don't know anything about new technology.
While this may be true for some people, a lot of us are pretty advanced. Heck, just look at me! ... Well, okay, I'm a bad example; I'm still stuck on dial-up (OH EM GEE, I LIVE IN THE STONE AGES!) and I don't have the latest-and-greatest cell phone (half a lie; I just updated my phone like, a couple of months ago. My old one was 2 years old and had scratches and dents and problems up the yin-yang). But I watch the news and read the paper and keep up with what's going on in our wonderful world.
Misconceptions make me giggle every time I leave the beautiful Midwest, and, being the smart-ass that I am, I have to go and correct people who tell me them. So I've compiled a list of things that make us Midwesterners Midwesterners, and why most of us love the way we are and where we live.
We don't all live on farms, people.
Really. We don't. There are cities and towns and blips on the map, just like any other state/region. We even have malls! GASP! It's madness!
There are a lot of farms in the Midwest, and for good reason; there's plenty of fertile soil here. Those glaciers that passed through our lands left tons of mineral deposits that seeped into the ground, causing them to be perfect for crops and feed.
The only problem with farms are that they smell. And boy, do they ever! Most people who don't own farms don't generally live next to them because of this. They might live near the fields, but they're not going to be right next to the barnyard. Even being by the field can smell like mad when it's time to go fertilize the soil. And since they discovered that turkey poo works just as great, if not better, than cow poo, they've been spreading that gut-wrenching smelly crap all over the place. Trust me when I say you do NOT want to be home when they're spreading it in the middle of a 90 degree and up summer.
Y'all come back now, y'hear?
Yeah, we sometimes talk like hicks. Yeah, we sometimes look like hicks. But we're not all hicks. Oh, no, we are not.
I can't really explain where our accent comes from or exactly why we talk the way we do, but yes; we have an accent. And it does sound kind of goofy to those on the outside. Not all of us have the same accent, though. I myself happen to have a southern twang within my Minnesota lingo, but no Minnesota accent to account for. Seriously, I don't sound half-Canadian. I don't run around saying, "Ya, sure, you betcha!" and "Golly gee willickers!", though I will admit that last one makes me laugh every time I hear it.
The general hick appearance is similar to the trailor-trash look, minus the trailor and adding more space for junk. There aren't that many hick-y looking people out here. Honest. There are some places, and I can actually name one place right down the road from me, but for the most part, these people are sparse. We take care of our yards, we don't let junk accumulate on our lawns, we do our damnedest to show that we are orderly, clean people.
Not that it stops others from thinking we're hillbillies, but we're going to keep trying anyway!
The Partridge Family is not a good reference for the Midwestern home.
Plus, we don't go around singing and dancing and making money off our childrens' exploitation. :-P
The average number of kids within a simple nuclear family (meaning one dad, one mom, and kids) is 3-4. Not a very big number. Yeah, okay, there are outliers, but even then, I've yet to meet a family with more than 8 kids. 8's a lot of diapers, but it's still not 10, like some people believe.
One of the nice things about the Midwest is the fact that we're just nicer people. Our divorce rates aren't as high as other places. Our crime rates, while they're still not pretty, aren't as high, either. We're just nice people all around. This tidbit of information seems to have leaked out to the general populace, so we're at high risk for being taken advantage of by those outside the Midwest, but we tend to take that risk anyway because we believe in the mantra, "Oh, they can't be all bad!"
I'm fat. So what?
Notice I didn't say Obese. I'm not obese. Obese, to me, is a girl over 200 lbs (with a few exceptions, i.e. my best friend Cassie is over 200, but she's seriously beautiful! Remind me to get you a picture of her) who doesn't try to work on her health and is that weight solely because of her laziness. And that's icky.
A lot of us are fat. Whoop-de-doo. The nice thing about our fat, and why I laugh every time I hear a skinny girl complain, is because it gets COLD. IT GETS REALLY REALLY FREAKING COLD. The winters are NOT nice to us. Due to this fact, we have built ourselves a protective layer of fat that helps our core body temperature from dropping low enough to induce hypothermia. As my father and I told my mother a few days ago, "We're fat because we go outside in the winter and prefer to keep our fingers and toes attached."
Okay, so that doesn't entirely make sense, but MAN, she complaines too much about our weight! >.< It's not my fault I have the Shimko build!
We are made to survive our harsh winters. We protect ourselves with an extra layer of warmness. We're a little chubby. Stop whining about it.
It's beautiful here.
It really is. There are hills, and valleys, and lakes, and rivers, and forests, and gardens, and parks... It's enough to make an artist cry with joy.
Our beauty is part of what keeps us here. Why would we go off to New York City or San francisco when we can have all the luxuries of life AND the beauty of nature? We've got gorgeous birds and fantastic animals and shimmery-shiny fish. We've got tons and tons of flowers and vegetation that help accent the wonders of our region. We've got it all, man.
We've got our share of ugly, too. There are landfills and dumps and junk yards, polluted cities and factories, seagulls flying around with plastic can holder thingies stuck to their necks. That's humanity for you. We're still human, just like you are, and we still have our faults. The grass isn't always greener on the other side, but I will say our grass is pretty dang green, and we try very hard to keep it that way.
The job market may suck, but we've still got places to work.
It's hard to find a job nowadays. I'm not going to argue that. One of the best things about the Midwest is that we have a ton of jobs that need to be done. They're not all pretty jobs, but at least they'll pay you to do them. There are county, state and national parks that need to be taken care of. There are houses that need repair when tornadoes and other storms hit. There are farms that need a little extra help. There are temp agencies. :-P
If you're looking to work in the big city, you're going to have a hard time finding an opening anywhere unless you've got a special skill they're really looking for. But we've still got factories that need workers and old people who need taking care of and hospitals looking for nurses. The best thing is, we have colleges. Yay college! They'll teach you anything you want to learn (for a fee, but that's just life) and help you find a job in the field you want to work in. There are a lot of fields that need people, too.
Worse comes to worse, there's always Wal-Mart.
We may be a bunch of crazy hillbillies, but we love where we live and we live where we love, and that's all any of us really need in life. The Midwest is a wonderful place to live, and we wouldn't trade it for anywhere in the world.
... Well, okay. I would. But I'm weird and hate the cold. >.<
Thanks for taking the time to read this hub, and "Y'all come back now, y'hear?"