In honor of my first visit back to the Tar Heel state this Friday (Charlotte, aka Katy’s get-weird-capital-of-the-world) here’s the first of many musings about tearing up the Dirty South worse than Sherman (too soon?):
I misunderstood the assignment by moving to North Carolina at the ripe age of 25. You see, it was too good. Too easy. Too pleasant. Too sunny, too hilarious, and too cheap to possibly stay forever, right? Wrong.
Living anywhere else now is kind of a disaster – everything pails in comparison. Old farts retire down there because it’s f-ing awesome and NYC will corrode your soul, age you like the curious case of busted up Lohan, and make you look like you have a nut sac under your eyes. I’m not kidding. 5 months back in this hellhole and I may or may not be going gray. Insert discrete sashay down to Bumble and Bumble, stat.
I miss North Carolina. And not in a normal, healthy way. I miss the things that would terrify and repel most people. I miss insane Republican bozos. I miss getting subtly – but charmingly – sexually harassed by Bourbon-drinking, suspender-snapping goons. I miss waterparks with overly-tan toddlers. I miss illegal firework stands on the side of the interstate.
I miss delicately consuming “a meat and 3” instead of GODDAMN QUINOA. I miss being asked how to pronounce my last name. I miss cornhole, beach music bands and shagging (also known as Myrtle Beach, aka “The Squirt”), everyone flipping balls over Christmas and totally non-ironic Christmas sweaters. I miss Belk.
But seriously. Raleigh was just starting to blow up, at least from a cultural perspective. Full disclosure, it’s 50% FOMO over some of the bars that have popped up after I left. A beer garden near the NCGA? Thanks for nothing, God.
Yes. The political situation has gone totally Gary Busey def-con-FUBAR and I could ramble on about some of the more limiting factors of the Triangle area, but that shiz in no way overshadows what I miss most: the people.
From colleagues that became family to the rando hobo in front of the courthouse on Fayetteville street who hollers literally everyday about the impending apocalypse that’s all because of Yankee Jews (I mean, yes I sold my soul to Satan for some sharp wit and a great rack but we’re not ALL bad)…
I miss the characters. The friends. The bartenders. The accents.
Sometimes on my way home to my nanny (Beezus) and my boyfriend (a glass of Chard the size of my dome) I’ll be walking down Fulton Street and come across a group of tourists sporting that giveaway freshly teased/curling-ironed ombre weave, fannypack, and cheerful disposition. Instead of dramatically grunting at them or tripping them like I do with most slow walkers and mouth breathers, I wait till someone drops a y’all and I throw myself into the middle of their conversation and willfully volunteer directions to whatever typ typ tourist trap they’re trying to find (Read: Stanton Social, Sushi Samba, Freedom Tower, Bob Durst’s office, etc.) and slip seamlessly back into my old drawl that is SO believable, it works 90% of the time on strangers.
Why Yes m’am, I am NOT from around here.