when i moved to texas three years ago, i was humored by ALL the state pride and rivalries everywhere you go. hook em? sic em? gig em? to me, it’s laughable and i don’t get it…or do i?
after moving here….a certain iowa pride started to bubble up in me. whenever i see someone wearing an iowa hoodie, i feel like i NEED to stop them and exclaim, “are you from iowa?!….i am TOO!” and then that’s about as far as the conversation goes. the same excitement holds true when i see an iowa license plate while driving….i have to hold back the urge to wave at them wildly as i pass (but only cause my car, tony, has a dumb texas plate now…and the wave just wouldn’t make any sense unless i could drive and slowly mouth i’m. from. iowa. too! but that’s just too dangerous in dallas traffic) and you better believe i enforce “purple pride day” at work whenever UNI (my alma mater) makes it into march madness.
and it’s not just me. i’ve been stopped before by strangers, when my car’s plate still read iowa, to exchange excitement over our common iowa bond. we instantly click because we understand each other and are probably tired of having to explain our roots. just cause we’re from iowa….it doesn’t mean we grew up on a farm and played in cornfields all day. it doesn’t mean we drove around town on tractors. and it certainly doesn’t mean we know a thing about potatoes…..cause idaho and iowa are NOT the same thing.
i’m not certain my path will ever lead me back to iowa…but i am certain, that leaving iowa helped me to love it more. the first couple snows (before it gets messy and annoying), the long looong summer days, the way it cools off at night, the beautiful colors in the fall, the smell of burning leaves…the way you can leave your car running at the grocery store while you run in (so you can keep the heater running) and it doesn’t get stolen….or being able to walk right in to your friends home…cause no one locks their doors….oh and sweet corn….mmmm…..that you didn’t even have to buy cause your neighbor brought some over freshly picked.
it’s true….i heart iowa….and i’m probably going to need this necklace. cause i’m from iowa, and i’m proud of it!
oh, and i heart this little guy too….his name is norm. hah!