Tuesday, August 17, 2010

No Place Like Home

I get it.

The first things that pop into your mind when you hear "Kansas" is: tornadoes, flat land, wheat fields, farms, tractors, The Wizard of Oz, and people who talk really slowly.

Yes, SOME of Kansas is like this. However, not where I grew up. Not at all.

I grew up in an actual city with over 400,000 people and didn't even see my first farm until I was like 12 years old. Farms and anything related to them are VERY foreign to me.

But I do understand how people who have never been there automatically get a vivid mental picture in their minds of nothing but windmills and wheat. Understandable. Kansas is in the middle of the country and flat as a table.

However, sometimes, I get those comments or questions that make me scratch my head and laugh. Most of these Jessica Simpson-esque comments come from individuals in a teeny-tiny little state (whose name I will not mention) where no one has ever gone west of New York City. ;)

Some actual comments:

*All individuals were completely and totally serious.

  • "Oh, you're from Kansas. That's near Utah, right?"
  • "What is it like being southern?"
  • "Out there, you guys typically go square dancing on the weekends, right?"
  • "So, it must be pretty fast-paced for you here. Is it hard to keep up?" (The answer to this is NO!!! It is NOT fast-paced here at all!!!)
  • (This one was overheard) "Yeah, everyone from the Midwest joins the military."

And the conversation from lunch today which sparked this post:

Co-Workers were talking about how school starts in early September. So, I pipe up.

Mrs. Ruby: Wow. Schools start so late here. Kansas schools usually start in the middle of August.

Co-Worker #1: Oh, really? Why is that?

Co-Worker #2: It's because of farming season. They have to tend to their crops and stuff.

Mrs. Ruby: Yep. And I fall asleep every night in my overalls and with a long piece of straw hanging from my mouth.

But I will admit, Kansas is super flat. I am sadly reminded of this every time we visit home. AND there really are lots of tornadoes - I've lived through several.

BUT, I can assure you that we do not wear bonnets and drive John Deer tractors everywhere!


Jamie said...

I love this post! I'm from Kansas too, and I get comments all the time that I'm "Southern"! Not that there would be anything wrong with that but it's definitely not Southern, at least not Johnson County where I lived. My guy is stationed in Alabama and THAT is Southern to me! Like you, I also have zero experience around farms or anything rural. I love Kansas!

Shoshanah said...

I remember someone once asked if we surfed to go places in Southern California. Ummm... not quite. You can really only surf in the ocean. But its kind of funny the things people say when they make broad assumptions like that.

Courtney said...

I'm from Kansas also and everytime I tell people that I'm from there they ALWAYS make comments like the ones you mentioned!! ALWAYS! LOL it's SO frustruating because I, too, was from a city with tons of people! UGH

Crazy Shenanigans said...

Haha, I loved your response! I hate when people stereotype where I'm from so I totally got this post!

Stephanie said...

Love this post! I'm from Kansas, too, and didn't see my first cow until college!

The worst part of it is not being able to rock red shoes without incident/comment! :)

Jen said...

OMG RIers are so ignorant! You are so right; my Mom hadn't been even as far as NYC until she was like 45!
How many times have you heard the phrase "You want to go ALL the way to Providence"? LOL

Ginger Snaps said...

People say the same kinds of stereotypical things about people in South Carolina. I just tell them to go back where they came from! lol