12 Things I’ve Learned Since Moving To The Midwest

Flickr / Carl Wycoff
Flickr / Carl Wycoff

I recently left the crass, frozen bosom of my ancestral New England for the impossibly colder Midwest—specifically Michigan. Before I packed up my car with my girl, my cat, and every possession I could squeeze into a sedan, I imagined the homogenized nature of modern America would mean my new home wouldn’t feel too different from my old one. However, the disparities between the two regions are starker than I originally imagined.

1. The people are disarmingly nice.

I’ve rudely breezed by dozens of strangers who’ve said “hello” because I had no idea they were talking to me.

2. Boredom is the number-one killer.

Many famous murder hobbyists hail from this flat, bleak (fleek?) land. And when there’s nothing to do but eat, I suppose you eventually start eating people.

3. My new name is “Boston.”

If you originate from the East coast, or any salt-water coast, you are an exotic celebrity. My new doctor refused to believe that I came here for a job opportunity and instead invented a story that was more comprehensible to him. Most people I’ve spoken with firmly believe I’m some former street tough mob informant starting a new life where only the most dedicated hitman could find me. I’m inclined to let them believe it.

4. The people here are shaped like flannel squares—in fact, everything here is in the shape of a square.

Bathroom in the serial killer capital of America.
Bathroom in the serial killer capital of America.

5. The land is so flat you’ll question Columbus.

6. Weight gain is communicable by air.

Fast food establishments were not conveniently located anywhere near my former apartment. As a result, I was a lean, muscular, tan machine. I am now fighting off the 25 pounds I gained this winter since relocating. Apparently my self-control is only as strong as the walking distance between hamburger joints. Oh, and there’s no such thing as odorless fart within city limits.

8. The accents are alarming.

As far as I’m concerned, The Midwest is just Canada’s “The South.” “Donchaknow” is only an afternoon drive away from everyone’s lips. Consequently, my own harsh accent is painfully apparent. Communicating with these rosy-cheeked folks is easy for me, but their difficulty in discerning what I’m saying is on par with me trying to speak to a native Puerto-Rican back home.

9. The housing is as cheap as the hamburgers.

Trying to get a home anywhere surrounding Boston will cost you 115% of your income. You will be working second and third jobs just to pay for the smug satisfaction of telling your friends you live near Cambridge’s alarmingly white multicultural mural district.

10. Religion is something young people are into.

In the past ten years Christianity has gone from the iron arbiter of power and good, to perhaps the most oppressed group of people throughout the world. And since most people love kicking others when they’re down, Christians are easy targets for blame and ridicule because there aren’t many younger ones left. The foundation of that belief was cracked when I started hearing youths layin’ down some phat riffs about the enemies of Christ in local diners. Hip-hop churches are also a thing here. Unfortunately, this makes the local atheists even more annoying than usual.

11. White people are having children.

I thought all of my skin kin had abandoned rearing children so as to remain forever children themselves. In the northeast quadrant of America, white people have chosen to be carefree teenagers instead of breeding, committing voluntary genocide in the process. Yet here in the Midwest, they’re all married with multiple children, save for the occasional single weirdo—there is no in between. In fact, I’m fairly certain I’m the only one in a relationship at work that isn’t officially hitched under the eyes of Yahweh.

12. The men are women.

From my neck of the woods, a male having an effeminate accent is an undeniable indication that they are gay. In a place such as Grand Rapids (at least in the hip neighborhood we live in), it’s just an indication of a being a white guy. I’m used to bending elbows with brash bros, so being surrounded by dudes who sound like they did nothing but suck the helium out of balloons all day is unsettling.

As I continue to acclimate to my new Michigan home, I’ll do my best to enrich the locals with my unique, imported culture without drawing too much attention to the disparity between the Lions and Patriots. TC mark

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