Again, this doesn’t really have to do with Boys, Books or Bygone times, but many of my friends are asking for updates on my life and move.
I am a Yankee through and through. I grew up in Minnesota, went to undergrad in Wisconsin and grad school in Massachusetts (followed by a stint back in MN after grad school). But now I find myself in one of the most southern of Southern States, Louisiana. I suppose Florida is technically more southern, but it’s so full of transplants and snow birds I don’t think it counts. Anyways, I initially I planned on writing a cohesive, literary post about my observations. But I failed. So without further ado, a Yankees list of observations of Louisiana:
* Oh my goodness, how do these ladies walk in those heels? Seriously, they must be four inches high. Or more!
* Wow. I haven’t seen this many varieties or colors of Nike tempo shorts since college.
* Those are some big bows girls. We’re talking infants to middle schoolers here. Yes, I admit I did sport the ginormous hair bow in my time. I even had some made out of balloons (unblown and tied around the barrette). But I’m pretty sure I stopped somewhere in elementary school.
*I have not seen so many short, fat and balding men ever. Short I became accustomed to in Boston. Balding is a common occurrence anywhere, as is excess weight. I have no problem with a chubby guy (probably for unhealthy reasons(I prefer to be the smaller of the two)) but I draw the line at unhealthy. If your weight physically denies you opportunities to try new things, that’s a problem. If it negatively impacts your health, that’s a problem. But the triple threat, in the majority of men, is new to me. I’m sorry, but you have to have a lot of personality going for you if you’re short, fat and balding in your late 20s. Even at the gym the men are overweight. Maybe it can be attributed to new years goals. Maybe it’s because the stockier body style is what is accepted and revered down here. Yesterday at the gym a few guys came in, did cardio for 10 minutes, tops and then lifted weights. Were they overweight? Probably not. But they definitely fit the football player profile. I’m attracted to swimmers, hockey players and soccer players, or other guys who fit that body type (fit and muscular without being body builders or crazy lean marathoner) whereas the mega muscular (or just big) football player, wrestler or rugby player is form de rigor here.
* My previous point leads me into my next. OMG I have not seen so many pieces of sports paraphanlia. Ever. When I first got my apartment I compared the city to Madison, WI. I lived in Madison for a summer and was amazed by the number of business somehow named after the Badgers. Whether it was Badger Painting or Bucky Hardware. Seriously, EVERYTHING had to do with the Wisconsin Badgers. I thought I was in sportslandia then, but I only scratched the surface. Here, in Louisiana, if you don’t have a fleur-de-lis for the Saints or something related to the LSU Tigers on your car, you are the minority. Walk into the grocery store (it doesn’t matter if it’s Whole Foods or Wal-Mart) and you don’t have a LSU shirt on, I swear you’ll be one of maybe five others. My yoga studio and gym is closing early on Monday due to the LSU game. I really need to learn how to like football if I want to fit in. I have yet to fully understand and appreciate basketball and my alma mater is in the running for the final four, which coincidentally takes place in New Orleans.
* I still can’t get over the fact that I can buy alcohol in Target. Seriously I bought some on New Years. Yesterday after attending a meetup of board gamers I went to Walmart to buy ingredients for my winter veg. hash and an italian sausage risotto. These ingredients included wine (BTW cupcake wine, not good. Nor does it come with a real cork cork. I collect corks for various projects so it scores 0/2). At 10:15 pm. At Walmart. Firstly, where I come from there is a distinction between grocery and liquor. Then, while the grocery might be open till 10 or later, the alcohol store closes at 9. It does not open AT ALL on Sunday.
* My last point probably has more to do with me being a newcomer than anything else. In Minnesota I’d always start when I heard a horn honk. Was that honk directed at me? Was I doing something wrong? Even when sitting at a stoplight, behind someone else, I’d wonder if I somehow did something wrong. But being one of the few out-of-state license plates makes this behavior intensify. Anytime I hear a horn I automatically assume it’s something I did, and my hand fly to the 10 and 3 o’clock position. I turn off my radio and the cell phone, if out of my purse is hastily shoved into the depths of my bag. I’m not taking any chances if a cop is coming my way. Moving away from the big city, I expected to move a way from the blaring horns. Apparently I was wrong. At least Louisinanans (?) don’t hold the horns and blast that obnoxious noise. It’s more of a HONK! (not HOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNK) i.e. alert! pay attention! I suppose location plays a large role. Midwesterners usually wait placidly for someone to realize the light is green etc, but if you’re in Chicago it’s another story. Perhaps Baton Rouge is the Chicago of the South…
* So these are my observations. That and I refuse to turn on the heat because in my head I’m in the south therefore heat is not a necessity. Seriously. If I can live in Minnesota I should deal with Louisiana in the winter without heat, right? I say this as I’m under two blankets, a sweatshirt and a pot of tea.
I know that there are attractive men out there, hiding somewhere in the South. One of my good friends is marrying one. Maybe I can even find one in Louisiana.