Monday, August 13, 2012

Heading Home

I'm supposed to be packing for my trip to Delaware. I'm leaving Saturday, but the last thing I feel like doing is making lists, folding clothes and trying to remember all the ridiculous crap the little one needs. I hate packing. 

I'm excited to see my family. I really am. I even joked to my husband last night that I should move back to Milford, the small town where I'm from, for a year so I can write a memoir about the experience of going back. But even though I'm excited, I'm in a mild state of panic.

It's Delaware. Not Wilmington. Most people think of Wilmington, home of every credit card corporation in the world it seems, when they think of Delaware. I am not from Wilmington. Wilmington is civilization. It has a Trader Joe's. Joe Biden lives there.

I'm from Milford. It's about two hours south of civilization. There is one store and that's a Walmart, but rest assured that it's a SUPER Walmart. I mean, in case you were worried about me having to go to a simple regular Walmart. There used to be more stores. There was a main street and a plaza, but Walmart put everything out of business and most people don't seem to mind because before there were just too many choices. Now you don't even have to think. You can just go to Walmart and get your Spam and your hunting gear and some duct tape and bungee cords to fix the rusted trampoline in the front yard of your trailer and you're good to go.

There is no Starbucks in Milford. They don't sell organic milk in the Super Walmart, but there is plenty of purple drink.

In Milford the people wearing John Deere hats are not being ironic and if you bring up hipsters, you're probably talking about what you wear to go clamming in the bay. That or something to hold your gun. 

People in Milford eat muskrat. Fried.

If I were to ask somewhere for the nearest yoga studio, they'd tell me they don't eat sour milk.

Democrats? I think that's something they have up in New York. Like Jews.

In Milford, the people driving enormous SUVs actually need them and they'll also be very quick to tell you that a combine or a discer costs a hell of a lot more than your god damned BMW.

Yella is both a color and a greeting.

But I love the place I'm from. I love the dusty stink of chicken shit hanging in the humid, dog-days haze. I love the swallows swinging through the twilight, the lightning bugs, the ponds full of otters. I love the goat farms and the gossips, the teenagers heaped into the back of pick-ups licking cones in the DQ parking lot. I love chicken and dumplings at the diners and bitching with the locals about the god damned beach traffic and the tourists. I love my family and I can't wait to see them. 

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I uprooted from DE to TX a few years ago...I grew up in Milford also, two blocks from the Mispillion on Marshall st. I couldn't wait to get out of there, but your post has made me homesick for DE for the first time in ages. I miss the smell of the marshes and the ocean...the waters off Galveston just aren't the same. Thanks for reminding me of done good things from our hometown!

morrigoon said...

It'll be interesting to see how different Baby Lawns' impressions will be.

Dawn said...

Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home. Enjoy! I am sure you will return with lots of good material. Sometimes it's refreshing to go into real America.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog on and off for years, and you come off more and more like a snob now. I'm not sure you mean to come off that way, but you do really slam small town folks and their recipes.

My family are from small towns too, but I don't make fun of them or slam their way of life.

I liked you so much better when you made fun of the other snobs. It's a shame you've become one of them.

Wide Lawns said...

Dear Anonymous, you clearly have very poor reading comprehension because I state clearly that I love my hometown and am excited to go back. I love where I'm from and I miss it and often wonder about moving back there because I miss it. Often when we love something or someone we can make affectionate jokes at its expense and it's an obvious rule of comedy that you're allowed to make fun of your own kind as much as you want. Is Jeff Foxworthy a snob? How about Larry the Cable Guy? They've both made millions making jokes about the same things I do, because it's fun to laugh at your roots and people who can identify relate and think it's funny. What about all the black comedians who make fun of black people? Same thing. Get a sense of humor.

As for the recipes? Our country is in the throes of an epidemic of poor health caused by processed food. People have forgotten how to cook and eat and feed themselves. On one hand, I find some of the bizarre combinations weirdly, ironically funny. On the other hand, I like to highlight these recipes for how gross they really are so maybe people will stop and think before they eat this stuff and support the corporations who produce it and the governments who subsidize it. And yes, I am well aware of the class issues involved in how many people eat. So if my refusal to eat a bunch of chemicals, salt and sugar makes me a snob, then I'm guilty. But I've always been this way about food and I've been making fun of my relatives and home town for years. Long before I even worked at the country club and I will continue to. If I'm a snob, then I've always been like this.

And why was it ok to make fun of rich people and not anyone else? Is that really fair? Why? Don't they deserve compassion too? Maybe a lot of them suffered abuse, addiction or mental illnesses that made them act the way they did. Sure, many of them were snobs and behaved badly but there are plenty of poor people who are violent, racist, intolerant, ignorant and rude too. Are they excused because they don't have money? That makes no sense. There are idiots and nuts in every single demographic.

I have PMS and you pissed me off.

Jean_Phx said...

You go, Wide Lawns! How can you not laugh at a casserole made of Spam and Lima Beans. I kid you, not. Saw it last week and, of course, immediately thought of you. Have a great visit in Millpond.

MH said...

My cousin/close friend died in a car accident on Route 1 in Milford about six years ago. Every time I try to explain to friends and family what the place was like where she crashed, I can't even explain it. This makes me smile because it's EXACTLY how she would have described it. :)

catherine said...

WL ^ THIS is why I love you so much!! You ROCK!!

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