Tonight's post is dedicated to the fabulous Ms. M.
I thought you'd like that. This is the song my kids and I have been singing for a few weeks, ever since Disgruntled Husband,an Iowan, played it for us.
(So in the interest of not offending anyone, if you're from Iowa and don't have a sense of humor about it, why don't you go to this site and read about all the great tourist options there are for the corn state.)
Good, you're still here.
So, my husband is from Iowa. It's not a secret. He knows it, I know it; we've accepted it. I married him anyway. We don't live in Iowa, and life is good.
Except...my in-laws still live in Iowa. So does my friend's in-laws. Tonight, we were comparing notes and stories. Say what you will about stereotypes and how bad they are, but stereotypes, at least the ones we were creating tonight about Iowa, were created for a reason: because they're TRUE.
For example, tonight we discovered that both our in-laws threw a 2nd wedding reception for their son's...my husband and myself, and friend and her husband. It was kind of odd that this happened to us both. Some differences, though...while hers had a vacation theme, mine had a live accordion player.
(Let that sink in for a minute. I had a 2nd wedding reception. In Iowa. With an ACCORDION PLAYER.)
There were other similarities, but I will not embarrass her by telling them.
But that doesn't stop me from telling my own observations.
(This is a fine line here. DH gets a little persnickity when I start picking on Iowa. But really, doesn't it just pick on itself?)
There's a line from Sweet Home Alabama that goes something like, "You should need a passport for entering the state." Now, Little Miss Reese wasn't talking about Iowa, but she could have been. We go to Iowa maybe once every 3 months. DH is from the Amana Colonies. If you don't know where or what that is, don't worry. It's because you are not over the age of 50. Once you hit the AARP years, you are required to visit Amana. It's like getting a flu-shot or signing up for social security.
Now, in all fairness, I spent plenty of time in Iowa myself. I went to school in the Quad Cities (and if you don't know where or what that is, it's because you're not into John Deere equipment or like to gamble on boats floating on the Mississippi River), and because of that, much of the money from ages 18 to 22 was spent in Davenport and Bettendorf, IA. (Seriously. Say Bettendorf a few times. THEN tell me I shouldn't pick on Iowa.)
But, I never lived there. And DH had the good sense to leave. But what about the other 3 Million people that haven't made it out? I feel like there should be some sort of charity created to deal with this.
It's not that Iowa is a bad place. It's just that I feel like it's a few years behind the rest of the country. Some counties, that would be even more years. For what they have in good football teams and great schools, I've found they lack in common sense. (And yes, I realize I'm jumping back and forth referring to the state as a whole and the people that live in it. But come on. The people that live there KNOW they're "Iowa." It's not just a state, it's a state of mind.)
And yes, admitted, most of my opinions of Iowa are based on a few key people that live there. And yes, most of these people are related to my husband. It doesn't mean I love them any less. It just means I feel sorry for their geographical stake in life.
What makes it so bad? Besides the ever-present threat of meth labs (they smell like cat pee! That's a known fact!), there's the lingering smell of corn sweetener in the air over Cedar Rapids...and no it isn't sweet. It's the lack of multi-culturalness. It's that they have a whole museum dedicated to Herbert Hoover, and that my husband's high school had awesome jazz band ensembles, but the highest teen pregnancy rate in the state, plus never had my husband take a class to learn how to balance a check book.
One lady I know from Iowa, when told I was from outside Chicago, assumed I've been mugged, lived next door to the Sears Tower, and dealt with bad traffic every day. Iowans don't understand the concept of suburbs...because the word suburb comes from a sub (meaning below or little) urban area. Where's Iowa's urban area? Oh, that's right, CHICAGO.
Also, when I tried to explain the concept of a Costco to someone, I said it was like a Sam's Club, but a little classier. I was told, "Doesn't Sam's Club just have business stuff?"
Oh, Iowa, you have so much to learn. And I can't possibly teach you all.
The people that settled Iowa didn't really want to end up there, but just got tired of walking.
(I feel like the SNL skits about David Patterson talking trash about New Jersey.)
Oh Iowa. Every time I travel through Dubuque and think about how that was the location of a whole week's vacation in my husband's childhood, I die a little inside.
DH tells me in his snarkiest tone, "We feed the world, damn it." But yet last month, couldn't tell me how to figure out if it was time to pick the corn I planted or not. A lot of feeding he did, I see.
(There are cool people I know from Iowa. My husband's cousins are pretty cool. My step-aunt and cousins are too. So Sonya, Sam, Chris, Kelsey and Ethan....see what you can do to help the rest of your state.)
I'm not saying the Land of Beer and Cheese is so much better than Iowa. After all, here you can drink at a bar at any age, as long as you either have your parents or your husband with you. (That puts it all in perspective, doesn't it?) But I'm also not from here originally. I feel like I should put both these points on my resume.
Okay, okay. I'll stop. But tell me this isn't true...every person you've ever met from Iowa...they all kinda remind you of each other, don't they?