For the past four months, I have been living in the Midwest. In late August, I packed up all of my Lancaster memorabilia, as if I were going to use it all to defend myself from Midwesterners who put noodles in chili, and headed to Goshen, Indiana, to attend college. During my time adjusting to Midwestern life, I’ve noticed a few things.
For instance, there’s the obvious soda controversy. I grew up saying “soda” when referring to the caffeinated, bubbly beverage that is known for tooth decay. However, my new Midwestern friends refer to it as “pop,” like they were Rory Gilmore’s hunky boyfriend, Dean Forester (and Dean can call soda whatever he wants because he’s Dean. So hunky). And, others (who enjoy my suffering) call it “Coke.” I can tolerate “pop,” but I cannot tolerate “Coke.” Calling soda “Coke” is equivalent to calling all dogs “Labradors.” It just doesn’t make sense.
Another thing that I’ve learned is Midwesterners don’t have accents, but I do. Within the first few days of college, I was informed that I sound Amish. Apparently, some words more than others bring out the Pennsylvania Dutch side of me that so desperately wants to come out. According to Midwesterners, we all sound like we just hopped off the buggy.
Another thing: Midwesterners think they have the best whoopie pies. They don’t.
Something else I’ve noticed is the snow. When I decided to go to a school in the Midwest, I didn’t realize how much snow would be involved. However, I do now. In the little town of Goshen, it snows at least once a week, if not more. And, Indiana has a different way of dealing with snowy, dangerous roads than Lancaster County; they just ignore them. Salting the ice-caked roads is too much of a hassle, and what good does it do anyway? I don’t know about you, but I love skidding across an iced road into an intersection – it’s quite the thrill.
All-in-all, the Midwest is OK. Things are done differently there, and I’m accused of being Amish much more than I’ve ever been, but the Midwest is just doing its thing – eating chili with noodles and pronouncing the “h” in “what.”