This is how the universe works. If my in-laws were really annoying, they’d live on the first floor of my triple-decker. But they’re really cool people so they live 1,000 miles away. We just got back from Louisville, KY where we made our annual visit.
Every time I go there I wish I could stay a few months. The differences between KY and RI are not superficial, but profound. The longer I am there the more I feel that I am in the South (the North of the South, my husband says). For example, Rhode Island is not famous for the small courtesies and social graces, y’all. But honey, we love you anyway. A guy asked my husband where Rhode Island is, what’s it near?
Flying over Lake Michigan, I saw a huge triangular penninsula that was a patchwork of perfect squares, rectangles, highways as straight as Roman roads, perfectly flat. It looked like the Borg had dropped by to visit. Factory wheat farms? Some kind of farms, a few houses widely spaced, and a line of houses on the Lake shore.
Approaching New England was increasingly hilly and green. Back in Prov, the streets are narrower and people are more given to multi-family housing than in Louisville. But so much is the same. Our American culture stitches us together no matter how much our regional pride holds up our differences. So to the checkout guy in the Whole Foods, with his multiple piercings and Southern twang–wicked cool, and y’all have a nice day.