Midwest is Best

by Julie on June 25, 2012

in Cleveland,Deep Thoughts

{Note from Julie: Happy Monday, everyone! Kate from Suburban Sweetheart is one of those bloggers who writes so well that blogging should be her full time job. Please stop by her blog and put her in your Google Reader! I am so excited to welcome her to Wearing Mascara today! Take it away, Kate!}

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I love my life, but if I could trade places with anyone, it’d probably be Julie. She’s living my dream!

OK, OK, not totally. I’ll let Julie keep her boyfriend (hi, Todd!) because I happen to think mine is pretty cute. And although Julie loves & is great at her job, I feel similarly about my own. Like I said, I love my life – but the one thing I’d love to trade her for is her location!

Let me explain: Julie & I went to college together in Northeast Ohio but didn’t actually meet until we were both living in D.C., blogging about life in the big city. Since then, we’ve both left the Capitol, her for Pennsylvania & me for New Hampshire – but as you probably know, she’s now back in Northeast Ohio, where I long to be! Unfortunately, with a boyfriend in the Coast Guard, I’m stuck moving to New Jersey next month instead of back to the Buckeye State, but a girl can dream, can’t she? I’m holding out hope that my man will someday be restationed to the Great Lakes region, & I’ll be able to call myself an Ohioan once again – for good.

Until then, I spend a lot of time reminiscing about Northeast Ohio & thinking about all the things I love & miss back home. You can take the girl outta the Midwest, but you definitely can’t take the Midwest outta this girl! Here are a few of my favorite – and most missed – things about Ohio:

  • Rockne’s: This Northeast Ohio burger chain is possibly my favorite place in the world, & every time I visit home, I try to eat there as many times as possible. I maintain that if you’ve never been, you’ve never been truly satisfied with a meal!
  • Four seasons: In D.C., it was almost always humid; in New England, it’s almost always freezing. I miss having a nice balance, where each of the seasons takes up its allotted amount of time and not much more than that.
  • Talking to strangers: In the Midwest, strangers are happy to chat about the weather, their kids, the news, or any old thing to pass the time & brighten your day. Try to strike up a conversation with a grocery store employee or barista in New England & you’re liable to receive such a horrified stare that you’ll wonder if you suddenly sprouted a second head & a pair of tentacles.
  • Affordable living: In D.C., I paid $975 a month to rent a studio apartment with no kitchen. I spent a year & a half subsisting on cold-cut sandwiches & on Lean Cuisines made in the microwave that was stored in my bedroom closet. In Ohio, that’s unheard of; I could’ve paid a good chunk of my mom’s mortgage with what I was spending on my crappy Capitol digs!
  • Being a Cleveland sports fan: I know I can still be a fan of the Indians, the Cavs, and the browns from afar, but there’s something unsettling about being surrounded by fans of teams that are, you know, successful. When it comes to sports teams, no one understands heartache & unrequited love quite like a fellow Clevelander.
  • People with no accents: Everyone living in New England sounds like they’re straight out of The Departed, & I’m about to move to a place where everyone talks like a real housewife of New Jersey. I desperately miss the land of accent-free speech, save, of course, for the occasional “Akron A.”
  • Cheap beer: Dollar drafts? SAY WHAT? Outside the Midwest, all you can drink for $1 is about a shot glass worth of Miller Lite. If it seems like I’m drunk every time I visit Ohio, it’s probably because I am. Nowhere else can I get a tall Yuengling for the cost of a Snickers bar!

I love New England, I really do, & I have high hopes for my new life in Jersey (save the Snooki jokes, please) – but home is where you hang your hat, and my hat has a Chief Wahoo on it. They may have changed our state’s license plates to say “first in flight,” but for me, at least, Ohio really is “the heart of it all.”

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen @ Why CLE? June 25, 2012 at 8:20 am

What a great list of things to love about Midwest living! When I lived in DC, a lot of these things were what I missed about home.
Jen @ Why CLE?´s last [type] ..Why? Weekends!

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Crystal @EatDrinkCleveland June 25, 2012 at 10:23 am

Great post! Thanks for sharing your love of Cleveland with us. It’s nice to hear all the GOOD stuff about our often ridiculed town. And I’m a big fan of Rockne’s too : )
Crystal @EatDrinkCleveland´s last [type] ..Indians Townhall Meeting with Mark Shapiro

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Sandy a la Mode June 25, 2012 at 10:36 pm

i’m a midwest girl too and love it!! yes, totally cheap beers here haha!

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Jill (Lady Lazarus) June 26, 2012 at 9:59 am

Great post! I grew up in Northeast Ohio then left for a few years and was surprised how much I missed it! So glad to be back :)
Jill (Lady Lazarus)´s last [type] ..sometimes you feel like a nut

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