05 May 2011

You Can Take The Tomgal Out of The Midwest, But You Still Can't Bring Her to South Beach

           It’s true what they say—you can take the girl out of the trailer park, but you can’t take the trailer park out of the girl.  I think there’s a white trash joke here somewhere, but I’m not smart enough to think of one. I’m from the Midwest yo!
            In my case, you can take the tomgal out of the Midwest, but you can never take the Midwest out of the tomgal.  That's right; I'm a tomgal, not a tomboy.  I'm not manly enough to be considered a tomboy, but I'm definitely far from feminine, hence the tomgal.  Either way, neither sex wants me on their team, so I'm happy being somewhere right in the middle as a tomgal.
            I moved to South Florida from Wisconsin three years ago, and to this day, there is nothing about me that screams South Beach or Florida, unless you consider my nearly empty wallet and odd tan lines.  I’m not even sure I’d be welcome in South Beach.  After all, I wear jeans and t-shirts and drive a Saturn.  I don't know my Louis Vuitton from my LA Gear and for the longest time I thought Gucci was either a French dessert or a Caribbean fruit.
            I’m damn proud of where I come from and refuse to conform to the plastic and rich lifestyles people lead here.  Or on the other end of the spectrum, I refuse to become a heroin addict and make a cameo appearance on Policewomen of Broward County. Now that is a quality show.
            Everyone (especially Southerners) all claim they’re special, simply because of where they come from.  Well, the same can be said for Midwesterners.  We are a special group of simple-minded people who lead simple lives.  Midwesterners are smarter than Canadians but sometimes dumber than the cast of Jersey Shore.  Ironically, most people in the Midwest can’t even get cable or satellite at their house to even understand this reference.
            The Midwest is full of small towns that aren’t even considered towns.  Sure, we have cities like Milwaukee, Chicago, and Minneapolis, but if you don’t live in an unincorporated area, then you live in a college town, or at least a town near a college town.  If you want to see a concert, go to a fancy restaurant, or see normal people, it’s at least an hour’s drive.
            Growing up in Rhinelander (home of the Hodag; Google it), a small town I’m not even sure is on the map of Wisconsin, I was spoiled into thinking everyone in the world was nice, friendly, and simple.  My town is like Cheers; everyone knows everyone.  Gossip travels faster there than Malaria travels in Africa.  For years I was convinced Kmart was practically like Macy’s and Burger King had the best burgers in the world.  The most exciting time of the year was the 4th of July parade where two fire trucks, an ambulance, and the local 4H float would cruise down Brown Street in a matter of minutes and the fireworks later that night lasted for thirty-six seconds.
            We even have a special neighborhood in Rhinelander called “Divorce City” where all the single pregnant/young moms live out their twenties surviving on welfare and the paychecks of the summer carnival workers.  I have a cousin who lives there and she’s a damn proud Divorce City-zen.  As long as the rest of you Wisconsinites keep working, she doesn’t have to.  Sweet deal if you ask me.
            The summer I turned 18, I moved to Oshkosh and spend the next five years and over $30k in student loans reading, writing papers and studying (read: pretending to be a student while partying heavily) to only learn one thing: everyone is a drunk (myself included). Then I move to SoFlo and realize everyone is an asshole (again, myself included).  Although my partner Emily and I do love living a mile from the ocean (that’s right folks; 1 mile) and having our choice of food, arts, entertainment, and strip clubs at our fingertips, it’s just not the same as the Midwest.  It’s just not home.
            Back in the Midwest, parties take place in a field or in someone’s basement, not in an overpriced club on the beach where there is a plethora of fake tits and Extacy tablets available for sale.  Grocery bills are a fraction of the cost, as are speeding tickets.  Licensed Midwest drivers aren’t afraid of driving 65 MPH through eighteen inches of snow on icy covered roads. Florida drivers (with or without said licenses) are afraid of a few raindrops and slam on the brakes the minute they detect moisture in the air.  Bitch, please.
            Midwesterners aren’t afraid to kill a hog, throw it on the grill, and have a pig roast to celebrate a wedding, divorce, or just for shits and giggles.  In Florida where the Jewish population reigns supreme, pigs are not considered Kosher because they do not have cloven hooves, or some dumb shit like that.  Every time I sink my teeth into a baby back half rack, I count the days until Yom Kippur so I can atone for my sins.  And I’m not even Jewish!
            Here in SoFlo, there is an obvious difference between the male and female sexes.  Most women have fake tits and rock hard tan bodies.  Men have the exact same, minus the tits, unless they’re gay men and have peck implants. 
            The genders of us Midwesterners can easily be mistaken.  Both sexes wear plaid flannel shirts, Carhart clothing (that shit is warm!), and official NFL gear and/or Nascar gear.  And that’s only during the winter! The only time you can tell the difference between a redneck man and a redneck woman is during the summer simply by looking at the length of Jorts (jean shorts) worn by both sexes.  Men’s Jorts are shorter and if you look close enough, you might even see a ball.  Or two.
            Women in Florida drive cars most consider cute, like a Smart car or a VW Bug, cars I think you have to be mentally handicapped to even step foot in, profoundly mentally retarded to own and drive.  These women carry Coach purses and wear Manolo Blahnik heels; Midwestern women don’t need purses.  That’s what pickup trucks and Carhart jackets are for.  We wear steel-toed boots and sporty sandals. 
            Florida men drive BMWs and Bentleys and are more boring than mortgage brokers and teachers. They also think their sexy, sleek cars will make up for what they lack in personality. Or what they lack under the hood, if you catch my driftwood. Midwestern men drive tractors (and yes, we do think they’re sexy) and have trucks bigger than most of the houses in Florida.
            In the Midwest (and the South), the streets and the three major highways are clogged with pickup trucks and actual smart cars like the Ford Taurus or Chevy Malibu.  Those cars can handle the two seasons in the Midwest—winter and road construction.  Pretty sure if anyone in my hometown drove a Smart car, they would be shot with a hunting rifle, tagged and brought to the DNR.  Or killed and thrown on a roaster like those poor pigs.
            There’s just no comparing Florida to the Midwest.  Sure, the weather is nicer (only in the winter; in the summer I sweat more than a hooker in a Catholic church) but the people are rude, everything is expensive, but it’s like comparing ground turkey to ground beef.  It simply cannot be done.  
            I will always be a Midwest gal (er, I mean, tomgal) even if I don’t live there currently.  Midwest gals are just as tough as the guys.  We don’t flinch when we need to use jumper cables in the winter or apply Deet immediately after showering in the summer.  We can chop wood, kill deer, throw a mean right hook, and almost all of us are professional hoers.  The only thing SoFlo women can claim is being professional whores. The words sound the same, but they are so not.
            Living in SoFlo has been an amazing, eye opening experience.  When I mention the word “cheese”, people around me gain three pounds.  I gain ten.  When I say the word “Minnesota”, people mimic my accent and let the long “O” sound in “sota” go on for an hour. I learned quickly the only thing $20 will buy you at a bar is shitty valet service or worse, self parking in a parking garage for a measly three hours.  When I say hello to the cashiers in the grocery store, they damn near stroke out in complete shock that I’m friendly.  And I’m not even that friendly; in fact, I’m an asshole who happens to be from the Midwest where other people are friendly.  It’s just in my blood.
            It is, however, possible to compare Midwesterners to Southerners because we are basically the same, just without the annoying accents and just a smidgeon classier.  I’ve been to the South several times and enjoyed it long enough for me to have credibility in my comparison.  The Midwest is still better, y'all.
            We Midwesterners are about as redneck as you can get without crossing the Mason-Dixon line.  We say you guys, not y’all.  We say ask, not aks.  We prefer baked chicken over fried; green beans over collard greens.  We drink beer, not Jack Daniels.  We eat Walleye instead of crawfish.  We have fish fries, not clam bakes. We eat corn, not peaches.  We add cheese to everything the same way Southerners add BBQ sauce.  We eat oatmeal; not grits.
            I love everything about the Midwest as a region, but everyone knows there’s no better state in the country than the state of Wisconsin.  The Badgers aren’t just a football team; they are also cute woodland creatures found in almost everyone’s backyard.  We buy our entire list of Christmas presents at Fleet Farm.              
            We know a brat is something you eat and a name you call every single one of your children.  Or other people's children. We have more miles on our snow blowers and snowmobiles than our cars.  We have accepted the fact that we can use the heat and A/C in the same day and have gotten frostbite and sunburn in the same weekend.  We’ve all seen a Hodag (haven’t Googled it yet? you really should) and we can identify the difference between an Illinois and Michigan accent.
            And most importantly, we know our ABC’s and have a full set of teeth (per person, not per family).
            Oh yes I did!


Stacy said...

I smell what you're stepping in, yo. and p.s. yesterday could have been a a/c and heat in the same day, day.

CelticLady said...

Yea, and today it was wet....

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