10 things I learned about myself in the Mid-West.


1.  I’m extremely practical when I want to be.

As we step up to the Rental Car counter at the airport in Minneapolis, the husband says, “So, what are we getting?  A sports car?”

I smirk.  there’s almost an edge to his voice, as though he believes this could actually be a possibility.

“Nope. Something economical,” I say.

the kindly gentleman at the desk asks us, “Would you like a GP-”

“No, thanks. We have one.”

“Would you like insurance on the-”

“No, we are covered.”

“For just a small amount you can be covered,”

“No, thanks, we are covered.  Already.”

“So you don’t want the insurance?”

“We’re all set.”

“If you pay for your gas now -”

“Nah, that’s okay.”

“OK. Step right this  way. Follow me.”

Hubby scowls.  “We’re not gonna have ANY thing in the car.”

“Nope,” I say.

As we walk out to the myriad selection of cards, a silver mustang speeds by. Hubby glares at me.

“SO, will a Ford Focus work for you?”

Unintelligible mumbles come from the direction of my dear husband.

“Sure!” I say.

Kindly gentleman hands us the keys and I sign on the dotted..well…the ipad.  (Weird, right? technology!)

As we drive away, I am vaguely, aware that for the next 4-8 hours, all I will hear about is my terrible, no fair, no fun, selection of vehicle.

See Mom and Dad?


2.  I am obsessed with NPR.

OK, so I sort of knew this one already.  But I can’t tell you how excited I would be throughout our drive from Minneapolis to Fargo, when I found the NPR station.  It was also the first time hubby listened to “Wait, Wait, Don’t tell me!”

3. I hate. Fast Food.

Poor husband.  He tried so hard.  You see, we found ourselves in a big box town, after driving for God knows how long.  We were in need of something to hold us over before dinner.  there were many meat-centric fast food places.  We did manage to find a health food store, but there was nothing ready-to-eat available.

We saw something called taco john’s.  I figured, because a) I was desperate, and b) I had never heard of it before, it would be “ok.”

We walked inside and I immediately saw the one vegetarian item on the menu.  they were called mini oles or something..but in reality they were tater tots.  So I ordered those. with a side of guac.  Next I ordered a “salad,” with no meat, cheese or sour cream.  I should have taken a picture of it.

Out came a large taco shell with shredded, brownish-maybe-green iceburg lettuce, some black olives, and salsa.  that was it.  While the husband began the attack on the three for one taco special, I scowled.  I made snobby, Downton Abbey inspired gestures, rolled my eyes and raved on and on about how I would never eat “fast food” again. And what was I thinking?  And what’s wrong with America?  Why are we killing ourselves with pickled products and fake vegetables and meat byproduct?  Hubby just continued eating quietly as I bitched about the salt lick tasting tater hockey puck things.  I dumped the salad.  We drove away, never to speak of john, nor his sad excuse for tacos for the remainder of the trip.

4.  I love my college friends.

time goes on, we all lose touch, but man, when we get back together…we know how to party!  In a we’ve-already-done-the-college-thing type of way, but it’s still a lot of fun.  Seeing old friends is like finding that designer dress that somehow got stuck in the back of your closet.  You dust it off, try it on, and you can’t believe how good you look in it.  And you’re like Ohhh yeah. that’s why I bought it!  Except with friends I mean it in a more non-material, less superficial kind of way.  And hubby loved my friends too, which made it even better.

5.  I don’t like mid-western hipsters that much….

that is all.

6.  I rock at Karaoke.

I may not be Mary Poppins on broadway, but I know how to work a crowd with my keen sense of actor…ability.  As Ms. Jean used to say in college, “Just act your way through it!”

7.  I enjoy “Friends” 100x more now that I am older.

When we crashed in Minneapolis, we just sat on the hotel bed and watched “Friends.” And I laughed. A lot.  Not many sitcoms make me laugh anymore. Oh, the 90s.

8.  I really like the whole, “Ladies first.”

OK on the East Coast, I NEVER EVER heard, “Ladies first.”  And I probably liked it that way, and I probably still like it that way.  Perhaps something about the short “o” and the slight lilt in the voice..but every time someone out there took my order, it was ALWAYS, “ladies first!” with a smile.  Damn straight!

9.  I like oxygen bars.

Yeah, I tried one for the first time.  Out there.  Randomly.  And it was super relaxing. Now, it could have just been the full body massage chair I was sitting on for twenty minutes, but I would tell you..Yeah, give it a shot.

10.  I like road trips with my hubby best.

He drives the entire time.  He puts up with my complaints of fast food dining.  He lets me go to every Starbucks I encounter.  He lets me stop at strange pawn shops and consignment stores (I scored a pair of overalls. Who even sells those anymore?!)   I get to pick where we eat.  He makes me laugh. He’s calm.

And yeah, I guess he’s just pretty good company overall.

10 is a good number.  We’ll leave it at that.

Oh and there’s this: