Somehow, even though I'm not even sure who will read this, blogging feels like a mass email, like a "LOOK AT ME/I HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY" thing to do. Like, who cares what I have to say? Well, there's a good chance my mom does, or at least pretends to, so that's something.
But, in the week that I've been in North Carolina, I have a) started a list in my head of WTF things (sorry for swearing, Ma), b) come to find nothing more depressing than searching for jobs and therefore want to avoid that activity at all costs, and c) found myself completely unsure of how to get myself to write on a regular basis. Voila, le blog.
I'd like to avoid the cheesy "midwestern girl in the south" thing, although I suppose that's what I am. And I know the Triangle area in NC is not quite Jeff Foxworthy "you know you're a redneck when..." territory. But, here are my observations, questions, concerns of being some kind of a resident of North Carolina so far -- be they cliche or stereotypical or generalized or stupid or even untrue:
- Southern Hospitality vs. Minnesota Nice. In my very first trip to Target on my very first day here, two groups of people in the parking lot asked/offered help. Granted, stools were toppling out of my cart, and I lost a mattress pad somewhere in between two of those large red Target balls that I really wish were for sale. "Wow, they really are nice in the South!" my mom and I exclaimed, although we probably would have said this in response to a "you dropped something." Of course, I'm trying to assess after a minute, but I want to know if people at registers will call me "honey" and what Southern hospitality's translation of Minnesota's "you betcha" is and if it's possible that the people at the DMV here might not make me cry.
- No, for real, there really are no sidewalks here. In the interest of full disclosure, a) I made this realization several trips to North Carolina ago, and b) I know there are some sidewalks. But seriously, the streets on which Willie's parents live in Carrboro, and the street on which we'll live in Durham have NO sidewalks. None. Zero. Just the street. And those country mailboxes on the street. Put this in the category of not being in Kansas anymore.
- Deers are like squirrels. At least in Carrboro, and, well, I'm sure billions of other places in the country. But not in Chicago near the Popeye's Chicken at California and Diversey! But, the deer are still way cuter than squirrels -- especially those babies with their Bambi spots -- and there have been at least two times in the past week when I have considered going to live with the deer. They never have to look for jobs.
- There are so many friggin' bugs, jesus christ. Okay, I know I haven't even scratched the surface of this one (um, pun intended?), but at any give time of day, at any given location, I just get a bite. Just like that. My legs are now polka-dotted, and I don't leave the house without my After Bite. It's the new Chapstick. Willie has been watching this black and yellow spider who has been residing in a large web right outside his dad's living room window. "So cool," he says. And I'm only not freaking out because it's on the outside.
- People pee outside. Well, at least Willie does, and I'm sure he's thrilled that I revealed that. But, hey, when it's only you and the deer....
- There is a conspiracy going on in North Carolina. Unless you live in Fayetteville or Carrboro, you cannot get the channel Bravo with any cable package. If I had known this before we moved, I might not have agreed to this whole life change thing. And since we are not allowed to install a dish in the house that we're renting in Durham (this after spending an hour on the phone with my new BFF Cynthia at ProntoDish), I seriously don't know what I will do. It's like Time Warner Cable found out the one thing I watch on tv, and laughed evilly as they did away with it. Hate Time Warner Cable.
- There's a flea problem here. And now my poor white cat has these little black bugs crawling all over and under her hairless hair. Poor Scouty. Damn fleas.
- It's too hot. And everyone else calls this humid sunny 90's-ish weather beautiful. Oh dear and deer.
- Some things are a little cheaper. So far, gas is a little cheaper, movies are $8, insurance premiums are a little less, and staying at your boyfriend's dad's place while you wait to move into your house with the weird Sept. 9 lease date is a huge savings (especially when meals are included).
- Everything is housed in a house. Such as all businesses. Such as the Statefarm agency in Durham. It seems sooooo Southern.
- Does slower pace of life really just translate into old computer equipment? This topic, like the how-are-things-cheaper question and the Southern hospitality inquiry, is one of the big ones for me. So far, my only evidence is Barry at the Statefarm agency. I was told I needed to come in to sign some forms about transferring my insurance from Chicago to here. Signing forms turned into an hour with super nice Barry, and then phone calls from him later that day, the next day, and the day after that. I learned about Barry's best friends who live in LaPorte Indiana, and especially about Peggy, who couldn't get used to those cold winters. Barry was definitely super nice and definitely not in any hurry. But, then there was the issue that the Statefarm agency in the house in Durham had no evidence of my renters insurance in Chicago (and that would take another chunk of time to figure out) and that the computer Barry was using had a screen that reminded me of my dad's Kaypro (is that what it was called?) computer from the 80's. Huh.
Now time to go apply more After Bite....