Tuesday, September 21, 2010

…and I keep hearing strange music…

The Twilight Zone is a real place, and I’m pretty sure I live there. People say the Midwest is a freakish place where people smile at each other on the street and everyone is polite and is somehow home of the happiest people on earth not on Prozac. I am here to tell you that there is a land that makes the Midwest look like inner-city LA and it is called New England.

When I moved to the East Coast, I was concerned about many things but I did not consider preparing for a siege against Pleasantville pre-technicolor. Apparently, I should have.

The first thing that probably should have tipped me off is that every square inch of this part of the country looks like a freaking post card. It’s idyllic to the point of creepy; like Mayberry and Stars Hollow and Hooterville rolled into one.

Then there are the towns themselves…and the townies. They make me with my sweet, Midwestern upbringing look downright rude. Cars stop so pedestrians can cross the street, and not only at the crosswalks or at stop signs and traffic lights, but wherever the pedestrian has deigned appropriate. In the Midwest we have strict driver/pedestrian etiquette. If you are driving a car and you see someone trying to cross the street, as long as no eye contact is made, you can keep driving unless said person is already in the crosswalk in which case you grudgingly slow down trying to time it so you do not have to come to a complete stop and glare at the person who has dared to impede your progress. Said pedestrian must cross the street as fast as humanly possible, also avoiding eye contact, and realize they have just taken their life into their own hands.

New England families walk their children to school. I live across the street from an elementary school, I have witnessed this phenomenon. Whole families and the dog walk the children to school. Both parents. Siblings. Aunts. Uncles. Cousins. The man who runs the dry cleaning shop. The woman behind the counter at the convenience store. Together. Walking the kids to school. Yeah, you keep denying the existence of the Twilight Zone facing that knowledge.

Still think you need more proof? Visit New England. Spend 10 minutes in a downtown area. You will find enough irrefutable evidence that you will run away begging for the eerie tune to stop permeating your skull…

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