Sunday, August 06, 2006

All Hail Suburbia!

I began telling people that I was from D.C. in high school. I realized that most people don't know where McLean, VA is. (C.I.A.!) But, D.C. is our nation's capital and while I now realize (having moved away) that most people know jack-poo-poo about their nation's capital ("I went to the National Mall in 8th grade and that's it"), at least they can point to it on a map.

That's saying something. Have you ever tried to point to a city in the Midwest in under three seconds? Impossible! But it certainly riles Midwesterners. One day when I was studying in b.f.e. (oh god, my initials!) Paderno del Grappa, Italy, a couple of my fellow study abroaders and I were examing a map of the U.S. that was hanging in the other cafe (total of two) of this little Italian town. They were both from Kansas (the program was through the University of Kansas and I had never met so many Midwesterners in my life, I found them to be, surprisingly, normal) and I was asking them where their school was located, "People on the East and West coast don't know anything about the Midwest, you guys just don't even care!"

I felt a little ashamed, but: Duh.

At Virginia Tech, I acutally began telling people I was from "Nova," which was troubling to adjust to, considering that in Northern Virginia, NOVA is Northern Virginia Community College, and we are major where-did-you-go-to-school snobs. (I also picked up "Y'all." I try to it use sparingly.)

So when I moved to New York, I went back to telling people I'm from D.C. and people think that I actually lived in the city ("Scary! Gun shots!") and I have to launch into an explanation on D.C.'s transient 9-to-5 nature. This inevitably causes an uproar with New Jerseyers, "You can't say that! I don't tell people I'm from New York!" (Ha. That's cause you are from Jersery. I went there once. I totally get all the jokes now.)

Really, I'm just going to start telling people that I'm from suburbia, it's pretty much the same everywhere, right? Then no one will ask me why I don't have a southern accent, "But you're from Virginia."

That's Northern. Virginia.


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