A Midwesterner in D.C. | The Washington Center

A Midwesterner in D.C.

I'm from Ohio, which is synonymous with things like the Browns, LeBron James, Skyline Chili, crap weather, and using the word "pop" instead of "soda." As somebody who's been a resident since birth, I spend a lot of time throwing shade at Ohio and the people who live there, and - if you've spend 15 minutes there - you'll know why.

 

Image courtesy of Creative Commons

 

So, I'd usually rather drop dead than admit I'm what some people call "homesick," but I guess I feel more like one of the Beverly Hillbillies than I do Sandy from Spongebob when she's missing Texas.

 

Actual picture of me on the left, courtesy of Creative Commons

 

As it turns out, a lot of TWC students are also from Ohio, so I guess this one's for all of you, too.


For whatever reason, most of the people I interact with at TWC are New Englanders, which means I have no clue what any of them are saying 99% of the time and vice versa. What is hockey? What do you mean you've never been to Bob Evans? Why is everybody so excited about Dunkin' Donuts? What do you mean there's no such thing as drive-thru liquor stores? Is my Ohio showing?

 

The trash in my apartment on any given day, courtesy of Creative Commons

 

There is a significant lack of camo clothing in D.C., which means unlike when I stroll through town in Ohio, I can actually see everyone. I'm not saying I'm broken up inside about the difference in fashion trends, I just kinda miss knowing exactly who drives a jacked-up truck and shoots pheasants on the weekends at first glance.

 

Speaking of glances - almost nobody in D.C. says "hello" or even smiles when they pass another person on the street. Granted, you see a lot more people on the streets here than you do virtually anywhere in Ohio, so I guess by the time the day is over people are just sick of being pleasant. I've had strangers tell me how nice I am for just smiling or acknowledging their presence here, which is just habitual for me at this point. Being recognized as "nice" without any conscious effort is pretty sweet.

 

"Hi how ya doing?" "...wait, you really care?" Courtesy of Creative Commons

 

I also miss driving. This isn't an Ohio "thing," but living in a village made me really lazy. If I needed to get across campus, 9 times out of 10 I'd hop in my car. My average step-count at home often topped out at 1,000, and that's if I'd gone to the grocery store that day.

 

Last Saturday, I walked 23,000 steps. My feet don't even know who I am anymore. Sometimes I miss driving my car 0.3 miles to pick up a taco, or to see a friend who literally lives down the street. But, I would've had to sell a kidney to pay for parking in the city, so I'm reluctantly becoming a less sloth-like human.

 

You know what else I can't do in D.C.? I can't shout "O-H!" in a crowded area without seriously scaring/confusing people. There may be a fair amount of Ohio transplants here, but I will in no way hear a resounding "I-O!" like I would in literally any place back home.

 

Not a lot of the "OHIO" arm thing we do, either. Courtesy of Creative Commons

 

Truly the saddest part about life outside of Ohio is the total lack of Bob Evans restaurants. No, it's not the mashed potatoes from the grocery store. No, I don't want IHOP instead. It's Bob's kitchen where you always feel welcome, and you don't pay $25 for brunch and a mimosa (sorry, D.C.).

 

Bob wouldn't charge me $10 and some change for eggs and toast, and he definitely wouldn't have me making reservations for breakfast. Imagine the emotions I felt when somebody told me Bob Evans is closing around the country, leaving just the grocery store potatoes and biscuits.

 

Courtesy of Creative Commons

 

If you're from Ohio, what do you miss most about the good old Buckeye State? For those future TWC interns, what do you think you'll miss most? Anything at all? Comment below and share your stories!

 

Read Lydia's previous blog posts

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