Okay, so maybe I only mention this one because I am currently living in New York City for school, but driving seriously becomes a luxury in the city, especially because no one really owns a car. Whenever I come home to visit my family the number one agenda on my schedule: driving home from the airport. Of course, I’ve caused almost 98% of the accidents in my hometown airport’s parking lot, but I don’t care. I miss driving. Where else can you belt your heart out to Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles?” NOWHERE. So if your friends are treating your driving skills like Dionne Davenport’s in Clueless, tell them to be quiet and to let you drive (just watch out for semi trucks).
2. The Movie Theater
Before I moved to New York, going to the movies resembled a religious ritual for my friends and me every Friday night. Affordable and exciting, going to see a movie with your friends in the Midwest actually in a way felt like (besides TV and Tumblr) the only connection I had with artists and storytellers in Los Angeles and New York. Not only did I feel cultured, but I also had fun. My friends and I would eat Sour Patch Kids till our mouths were sore and giggle at the weird assortment of people who would show up to the movie theater (unless they talked the entire time, then we yelled at them because that’s just rude). Most importantly, we had a good time without selling our unborn children for it. I sometimes hate you, New York. Stop charging me $16 for a movie ticket. It’s really unfair, but mostly because I want money for a cab home afterwards.
Okay, so this one has to do with dressing in the Midwest in general. When I was home a few weeks ago, I went to a doctor’s appointment with my mom. I showed up in sweatpants and having not bathed all day (I wore deodorant; I was somewhat hygienic). If I tried to go out in sweatpants in New York City without showering, people would assume I was either a) homeless or b) went on a three-hour sprint around the city. In the Midwest, this is not a concern for anyone. It’s completely normal to take a day off and go the grocery store without a shower in your college sweatpants. It’s probably because you desperately need a DiGiorno’s frozen pizza at three o’ clock in the afternoon and no one in the Midwest is going to judge you for that either.
4. Soft Serve Ice Cream
Only a few things remain on my list whenever I come home to visit my family in the Midwest. Besides strategically avoiding my exes in public places where we might run into each other (Wal-Mart with my mother, for example), eating soft serve ice cream from Dairy Queen or any other soft serve ice cream place is definitely up there. New York has a lot of excuses for ice cream restaurants. Mr. Softee, 16 Handles, and other lame substitutes for soft serve ice cream will never compare to the gigantic portions and cheap prices that the Midwest has to offer. Never apologize for eating an entire large Oreo Blizzard in the Dairy Queen parking lot while listening to Top 40 on the radio; it’s a blessing, not a curse.