Posted by Nikki Yeager
on February 10, 2010 at 6:41 PM
I was watching Mad Men the other day and one of the man characters mentioned he grew up in PA. He sat mixing a drink and mentioned his background. Talked about the past that lead him to where he was at that point.
There will always be something different about the people who grew up in one state, in one class, in one neighborhood and then attempt to assimilate into another. They will always be slightly odd, they will always have manerisms that don't match and quirks that don't fit.
But that's why they're loved. That's why they stand out. Those little barely perceptible inconsistencies with their environment.
Because instead of being the 'model' at the Redken shoot you'll always be the 'model' who can't help but be in awe at the entire situation. The catering, the video cameras, the lights. Instead of taking it with my head up and an aura of comfort, I take it with eyes wide and jaw hanging open (of course, only when the camera isn't looking). Instead of being comfortable with fancy restaurants I act like everyone else while secretly admiring the hefty cotton napkins with flowers embroidered along the sides and debating which plate to put my salad on. Instead of being from wealth, I'm from a teacher's salary and a town in the Midwest. I think private matters shouldn't be spoken about in public and you should always be kind to strangers. I say my pleases and thank yous as needed and always smile at service professionals. Sometimes I even learn their names... that seems to freak a bunch of people out.
I compliment nice toilet seats and have an odd love for casual atmospheres. One time I even brought the soap out of a public bathroom on a napkin because I was so impressed by the foam that I needed to share it with my entire dinner table (about 3 years ago when foam soap was just getting popular), oh boy did everyone get a kick out of that.
There are parts of me that will never be a New Yorker. There are parts of me that will always be different no matter how much this place is home. I am an Ohioan on the inside, a Clevelander by nature. And although I can weave in and out of foot traffic with the quickest natives and do business with men twice my age - I will always say that thing that makes people giggle because it's just a little bit weird.
Like when everyone sat around talking about the snow storm and I asked how the school buses would get the kids to and from school since the roads in the outer boroughs suck. Everyone looked at me and laughed out loud.
"Nikki. We don't have yellow cheese buses unless the school doesn't have enough poor kids and they need to ship some in. Come on now!"
Yellow cheese buses. We just called it 'the bus' and we rode it to school until we were 18.
Along with the houses rather than apartments and parks that reach twice the span of Central Park.
Ahhhhh Ohio. You weird and wonderful place that made me who I am.