I realize that Chicago is still located in the real Midwest, even in my most-conservative definition of “Midwest”. In my definition the Midwest is limited exclusively to the states in the Central Time Zone north of Arkansas and no farther west than the Dakotas. This includes ND, SD, KS, NE, IA, MN, WI, and IL; but does not include IN, MI and OH. Those states I historically lumped into “the east” until I moved to Ohio. Now it’s in a weird no man’s land – they aren’t snarky enough to be on the East Coast but they aren’t nice enough to be Midwestern – so I’ve started referring to them as the “Mideast”.*
But sometimes it feels like the urban-ness of the big city overwhelms our innate Midwestern practicality. Food critics talk of restaurants serving entrees made our of lobster-bisque foam, the yuppie girls go on and on about some name brand of impractical clothing they found “in a little boutique on Damen”, and children’s entire play schedules are carefully arranged for maximum exposure to intellectual stimuli with minimal exposure to failure or loss. Thereby ensuring that another generation will grow up to be completely unsuited for parenthood and in need for more “You Suck Mom and Dad” reality shows like Nanny 911, Shalom in the Home, Honey We’re Killing the Kids, and Showbiz Moms and Dads.
Days like this I am grateful for the internet, which let’s me read stories like this from newspapers from Minnesota. I can only hope this was front-page news, even if they did spell “associated press” wrong. The funny thing is that I had a conversation with my mom on the way into work this morning about this very topic. Yep, the farmers are gonna be in big trouble oute dere if it doesn’t dry out for a spell.
Sort of puts the heated contest for “Chicago’s best margarita” in perspective…
* Besides, anyone who lives where you can stay up until 11:00 watching “ER” obviously doesn’t have to get up early enough the next day to qualify as having a “Midwestern work ethic”