Living In Olympia, Washington Versus New York City

So I’m probably not going to shut up about living in Olympia, Washington for a really long time, because it’s so new and weird to me. Every morning I wake up, freezing cold because my new roommate won’t let me put the heat on, and think “I don’t live in New York anymore. Weird.”

I have been here for a week now and things are good, but … different. The first major difference I came across is the fact that people don’t get up before 11 A.M.. I don’t necessarily consider myself to be some sort of fancy business woman, or professional adult worker, but I have pretty much been waking up at 6 A.M. since I was 13 years old to spend a few hours worrying about going to a job, and then going to that job. Having lived in New York for awhile really put this into overdrive, and now I can’t break the habit of waking up before the sun has even risen with a chest clenching anxiety like, How am I gonna MAKE A DIFFERENCE today???? Am I LIVING MY LIFE to its full potential??? What can I be DOING BETTER??? What DOES MY HAIR SAY ABOUT ME AS A PERSON???” While living in the home that I’m currently living in, I have to do all of this very quietly, because I’m pretty sure I’ll get yelled at for flushing the toilet before noon.

My second day living here, I got made fun of for shopping at Ralph’s. Have you heard of Ralph’s? It’s a grocery store, just like, a normal grocery store. I have literally no idea how to feed my body, so I go there and buy Hot Pockets and taquitos and stuff. The other night after work I had a plan to buy something “grownup” and after making a few laps around the store, randomly picking up fruits and vegetables and being like “well, what goes good with a carrot? Spray cheese?” I got a sweaty headache and just bought a really big container of cold pasta salad from the deli, which I ate with a plastic fork in my room. So anyway, my roommate has made several comments about how Ralph’s is “the most expensive store in town,” and the other day I tried to sneak in with a bag of groceries (generic brand cereal and some random cookies) because I had an actual fear that she’d slap me across my face if she saw the bag. Everyone keeps talking about this co-op, and how it’s great and healthy, and how one of them even has a salad bar, and I don’t really have an excuse for not going there, other than I’m just sort of being a brat about it. Plus you have to buy a membership, and probably bring your own shopping bag. I’m just not ready. On a side note, whenever I’m in the grocery store standing behind someone who brings out their smelly little canvas shopping tote with chunks of granola in the bottom, I kind of want to kill myself.

I’m also starting to piece together some clues which lead me to believe that people live in tents here. Rent here is cheap, not like in New York where living in a tent would be a logical solution to not being forced to have 10 roommates. While walking to work, I saw that some people had set up a little shanty town of tents in an empty lot between two houses. There was even a handmade wooden sign stuck in the dirt that I looked at, but somehow wiped clean from my memory slate. I think it said “ride on the peace train” or something. If I had to guess a reason as to why people would choose to live in tents here, I’d say it’s because having a house is like putting a dog collar on a bald eagle? I don’t know. I was trying to speak on behalf of my people, but it doesn’t sound right when I do it.

In conclusion, and I saved this for last because it’s the best. I went into a shop near here and saw they were selling something called a Happy Rag. Can you guess what a Happy Rag is? (pause for a few minutes and try to figure it out. Don’t jump ahead until you’ve really mulled it over.) It’s a soft cloth, made out of organic materials, intended to be used for wiping up cum.

Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. TC mark


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  • Madison Moore

    YYEEEEEEESSSSSS. i shopped at ralph's when i was in L.A. and everybody in new york was like, eew, why are you shopping at a grocery store called RALPH'S

    • rilez

      The Ralphs in Olympia is not owned by the same Ralphs of CA.

  • Kimberly-UR WELCOME

    OMG Laughing so HARD right now Kelly! LOL…. I certainly cannot wait to see you. LOLLLLLLLL

  • Brian McElmurry

    Happy Rag! Too funny

  • calvinrosscarl

    Welcome to Cascadia. We're just a little too isolated over here, and Happy Rags just seem like the perfect little Neo-Hippie answer to a common problem. Have fun with the drum circles in Olympia! Seriously though, Olympia is a gorgeous town.

  • Hobbs

    I live in Olympia but am confused as to where you heard you need to have a membership to shop at one of the two co-ops in town. Last time I went to the co-op on the Westside part of town I wasn't asked for a membership card when I went to make my purchase.

  • ppp

    Like putting a dog collar on a bald eagle. Hahaha.

  • heartcity

    i know nothing about Olympia but this cracked me up.

  • Karina

    This is so fantastic. One of my roommates just moved on down to Olympia. If you meet a young man dressed as a shaman, in a VW van and about 50 last names, tell David I say hi :)

  • Ted Bundy

    OMG laughing a whole bunch right now, KELLZ! You really moved out there. That's nice. Although when you say that Olympia is new and weird, good but… different, I don't think you really mean that.

    Why were you in a store that sells Happy Rags, do they also sell vitamins for your privates? Single and loving it.

    Hope the positive visuals are helping. You could try more naps and pizza, too. Peanut arms and belly scars make me want your babies and stuff.

    Staten Island (not considered New York, darling) flipped and fucked you. DADDY'S CHECKBOOK DADDY'S CHECKBOOK DADDY'S CHECKBOOK DADDY'S CHECKBOOK UNSTABLE L.M.C. GARBAGE. Always a Butcher's Daughter fo real.

  • my own private batavia

    Q: Um, when a person is waging anonymous “cyber attacks” on you, that basically means that they want to put babies inside of you, right? I mean, if you hate me/my stuff so much, then why are you all up on my crotch with your RSS?

    A: This must have something to do with your mom molesting you. Why else would you associate hatred with sexual longing? Sorry, I'm not her!! First of all, I don't hate you, I feel sorry for you. Second, I don't like your pig face, and don't want to fuck it.

    Ummmm, don't know what an RSSR is, but it/your crotch are unimportant. Sluts McClure makes me laugh.

  • rilez

    I was SO CLOSE to going to Evergreen this quarter, but instead I chose to live in Seattle. This article kinda made me glad that I did. Also… Ralphs is way cheaper than the co-ops. I think that I would hate your roommate. I definitely can appreciate the “greener” lifestyle but Olympians take it a step too far.

  • Chris98501

    Reusable shopping totes make you want to kill yourself? You really toughened up in NYC, didn't you? Please…. save yourself by returning quickly.

  • Olygirlgone

    You’re what we call a transplant.  Sounds like the city isn’t a match.  Feel free to leave.  But be warned, with an attitude like yours, I’m guessing you’ll see the shit-stained lining no matter where you land.

    • Bajasoul

      Sheez, I was reading a lot of satire in her post. 

  • Elisiren

    I FEEL YOUR PAIN. I live in the NW as well. I LOVE saving the planet, being green and all that. But the people around here are just a little extreme in their attitudes about it. I feel it’s because most of them don’t know what its like to live in a place that isn’t as EXTREME GREEN. So to people like us they seem a little more…ahem, self-righteous and judging towards. And as much as I try to be patient with it it still irritates me to all hell.  
    Your post was hilarious, by the way. Good luck with your transition.

  • Brian Kern

    Just an FYI (I am new to Olympia, but Tucson had a co-op as well), co-op memberships are not mandatory. You can shop at a co-op without a membership, but a membership typically gives you access to member only prices (includes things like member only sales). 

    If you’re too lazy to read a few recipe books to figure out what goes with a carrot, that is your prerogative. Eating good food should have very little to do with being green and everything to do with the fact that the typical american diet (pasta salad in a plastic tub is included) is terrible for you. For someone who constantly worries about how they can do better, you’d think you’d start at the most fundamental level and nourish your body with the absolute best food available to you, but I digress.

  • newheretoo

    I’m new to Olympia too, and found your article hilarious. What I find LESS hilarious is how dang serious some of you folks take some comedic criticism from an ‘outsider’.  I thought one of the great things about the Oly culture was supposed to be how open minded and accepting people are here. Where’s your sense of humor? Jeeze, I guess joking about the co-op is off limits. Anyway, to the author, Ralphs is dang busy, and there are a massive string of fast food crappy-ass restaurants all over this city that all have at least a 15 minute wait for you to get your fries in the drive-thru lines and choke on all the car exhaust.  So most people around here are eating and shopping at all the mass market places the rest of the U.S. is frequenting. Also, except for conserving water by not showering, I haven’t found Olympia to be particularly ‘green’.  New development is horribly planned, contributing to sprawl and traffic congestion just like every other city in America. Fast food and car-dependency are the norm.  The older neighborhoods have garbage strewn around, and I’m pretty sure leaving stray mattresses around in alleys and on boulevards has got to be the cool thing to do. But I don’t really think of abandoning your old furniture in the public realm as ‘green’.  Either some people are in denial about the fact that they too have crap to contribute to the landfill, or they just WANT to give all the rodents in Washington state a comfy place to live.  Don’t let a few people who insist on going barefoot at the grocery store fool you.  In my experience as a ‘transplant’, Olympia is not really green. Definitely laid-back, and in a lot of cases – friendly, but green? Not really.

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