Monday, June 17, 2013

Music Monday - "Have you ever been to Indiana?..."

If a criss-crossing the state innumerable times in the car counts, then yes. But the lyrics to this song makes me think I had my eyes closed.

This country is so big, and has more places to visit than an average person could hope to see in a lifetime. Sometimes after I've been away somewhere, someplace more "exotic" (California, which has more temperate weather) or "foreign" (anyplace outside the borders), coming home to the "boring ol' Midwest just seems so...bleh.

Way back in the olden days (2000), my family took a weekend vacation to Cincinnati. We went to a water park, went on a dinner cruise on the Ohio River, saw a baseball game (the Cardinals weren't playing, so the quality was lower), and went to President Taft's house. We also saw the movie The Patriot. During the scene when Lord Cornwallis is telling Colonel Tavington about all the land he could get, a map is shown on the table. The Colonel looks at it, then says "Tell me about...Ohio."

What I remember is the entire audience in the theater roared with laughter. Including us.

Ha ha! Boring old Ohio (or the Midwest), with its wonderful allergies and mundane suburbia! Who would ever WANT to live here?! Ha ha ha!!

No one said this out loud, of course. But the gist is what we all were thinking. Why else would we laugh?

This is not to say that everyone in that theater hated Ohio, or the Midwest, and would argue against anyone moving there. I think it was more of a general "grass is greener" mentality, and the influence of our culture at large. Really - how often in popular culture is the midsection of this country portrayed in an inherently positive light? Rather, it is the cities, those cosmopolitan beacons, that are held up as the standard of living an "experienced" life. It leaves the assumption that to live in the vast swaths of map is somehow to be confined to a narrow, provincial existence.

I now live with my wonderful husband in a large (suburban) college town, close to a city. Culture and experience, as our general culture describe it, is at our fingertips. And yet, and yet, when I hear the plaintive voice of a country singer asking if I've "been to Indiana", I remember to thank God for this place where we live.

And it makes me want to take a ride.

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