Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Pros and Cons of Living in Nebraska

Reasons to Stay in Nebraska

  • Cheap rent
  • Ruby Red Squirt readily available
  • Cheap utilities
  • Vehicle inspection laws slim to non-existent
  • Nice sunsets
  • Lots of things (stores, bars, parks, etc.) within walking distance
  • Cheap eating out
  • Friends/social group provides support network
  • Leaving means time and money lost through relocation expenses

Reasons to Leave Nebraska

  • Winter is a dry, snowless wasteland of dead grass and trees, with endless views of the torn-up, broken corn and soybean fields as one drives along the highway.  Humidifiers become a necessity, and dry skin reaches its peak during January/February.
  • Summer is hot and humid as fuck, with a mugginess that sucks all moisture from one’s body and causes intolerable dehydration (see earlier note about walking).
  • Social interactions marred by people’s preoccupation with empty politeness, inherent in the idea that they can’t say what’s really on their minds and instead adopt a series of motions designed to simulate friendliness in an acceptable manner.  In situations where social norms don’t require such politeness (for example, when passing someone on the street), a posture of extreme indifference is adopted instead.
  • Prevalence of critical, internal judgment based on a person’s race/appearance/economic status, most often (in my case) implied through questions about one’s career goals and college experience (for example, “What did you go to school for?” “Is it hard to get a job using that degree?” “What are you going to do next?” etc.) in ways that mask the asker’s underlying criticism.
  • City architecture consists primarily of parking garages and bland-colored office buildings, thus contributing to an atmosphere of sameness.
  • No mountains, ocean, lakes you can swim in, or real forests within reasonable driving distance.  Hiking and walking trails minimal, and are usually restricted to prairie grasslands and urban bike paths.
  • The overwhelming feeling that everyone in Nebraska holds the same values, the same beliefs, the same life goals, and strives always to be the same, meaning that those holding unpopular, alternative, innovative, self-taught, or otherwise different beliefs will be subtly made to feel as if they don’t belong, make foolish decisions, or are otherwise just plain wrong, simply because they stand outside the majority.
  • It’s good to keep exploring new places.