My husband and I were recently on vacation to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary which was in April. We spend most of our time in Las Vegas but took a side trip to Los Angeles to attend the opening of a friend’s one man show. We met a lot of great people and had good conversations with folks in both states. But we did notice one alarming trend- a distinct lack of idea where Iowa was. One very nice guy asked my husband 3 times how close we live to Akron. Another asked if we grew potatoes in our back yard. I had somewhat better luck when I started my reply to “Where are you from?” by stating I grew up in Minnesota. Go figure.
I want to stress that none of those folks meant any disrespect. They were genuinely curious about life in the Midwest, even if they weren’t 100% sure where it was. And that was was the most pleasantly surprising to me. Instead of dismissing us as hayseeds, they asked TONS of questions about how the west coast was different than home. The weather was a weirdly popular question, as was number of people in our town. I completely blew one woman’s mind when I told her my high school graduating class was 47 kids. Another had never seen snow and couldn’t believe that we go out and drive around when there’s snow on the ground.
As warm and friendly as everyone out west was, it was SO nice to come home to Iowa again. I missed my cats. I missed the ample parking. I missed $2 a gallon gas. I missed temperatures that stay in the double digits. I missed being HOME, which truly is the best feeling of all.