Saturday, March 31, 2012

Ya'll Ain't from 'Round Here - Are Ya?

It was like not wearing green on March 17th in Dublin. A sea of blue flowed through the Wal-Mart in Florence, KY, and I was one of three people in several long lines queueing at the express checkout not donned in Wildcat gear. In less than six hours, UK will battle Louisville in the Final Four - and yes, the other two people in line are wearing red.

I should have known what was up when the lady giving me a pedicure scoffed at me when I told her, no, I didn't want a "UK" on my big toe.

"Ya sure?" she asked.

"Yeah, I'm sure."

"Ya want a flower at least?"
LORD LADY. She would have been 10x better at selling CUTCO than I ever was.


"You mean you just want a plain color and that's it?" she asked in a voice of 3/4 cup of shock, 1/4 cup of disappointment.

"Yeah, that watermelon color would be great, thank you."

We spent the next 15 minutes in complete silence. She clearly had nothing in common with me and didn't want to waste any time with small talk. If my feet had lips, they'd totally be smiling. They always wanted to bite the bitches who talked too much.

That was today. Rewind to yesterday, I had encouraged the huz to a 2 mile hike to an awesome market in downtown Cincinnati. We set out just before lunch, hoping to grab veggies and meat for dinner, along with some tasty lunch treats. The babe leaned back in the jogging stroller and admired the sights, we were all excited and fueled by adrenaline as we made our way across the bridge for the first time. We made our way up the hill, cutting through the guys in suits.

Trudging on, we admired Zaha Hadid's design at the Museum of Contemporary Art. We were stoked to see a gastro pub, theaters and boutiques all populating a busy downtown. Q squeaked intermittently, but nothing that caused a pause in the step. As the foot traffic began to thin, she started throwing things. We probably let her toss the bottle of sunscreen four times before finally taking it away.

We stopped for coffee. She wailed.

I gave her the cap. We toiled on.

The sun popped out of the clouds and started blazing down on us.

I got out my phone, trying to map our directions.

We had .5 miles left to go.

"Let's go down this street," I suggested, trying to vary the route to keep it interesting. We walked more quickly as the boutiques turned into cash exchanges. Anyone who has seen The Wire would be able to recognize the almost immediate proliferation of corner boys who occupied the streets.

Coming from the worst neighborhood on the north side of Chicago, we were FINE, I reconciled. And at the end of it, we were fine. We made it to the market. We ate. Q saved her meltdown. People just looked at us, shaking their heads as they shouted drug orders across the street or to drivers stopped at a red light - knowing full well that we were just trying to get through there as quickly as possible - clearly not from around those parts.

The best anecdote comes from earlier in the week. The huz goes out to get a plunger at the hardware store about five blocks away. He wants to get there quickly, so he hops on his bike. Again, as a well experienced rider on the streets of Chicago, the huz feels confident riding on the streets. Any Chicago biker can tell you that if you can ride Clark Street downtown, you can ride anywhere.

Approaching an intersection, he sees a big F-350 stopped at the light itching to turn right. The huz takes his green light, acknowledging the man with a head nod for not turning in front of him.

The guy is in awe of his blatant disrespect for his diesel-powered black beauty. He turns behind the huz and slows, turning down his latest Blake Shelton jam before shouting out the window,

"You ain't from Kentucky, are ya?"

We moved here to be closer to family. And we'll get there, but we feel like we jumped countries moving here. But I'm not ready to turn in our Toms for socks with sandals yet.


  1. Shock.....cultural diversity centers us. Walmart reminds us of the short journey mankind has made from the muddy swamps to mud racing.

    I love your style always colorful but frank, we travel with you on these adventures and the journey is always appreciated.

    My thanks,

  2. Call me before you think about turning in your Toms for socks with sandals. I love the Kentucky files...keep 'em coming.