Tag Archives: North Carolina State Fair

Where’s the normal?

17 Oct

North Carolina State Fair. Oh, how I wanted to love you. Over the last two weeks, every person we’d come in contact with here in North Carolina (cashiers, pediatric nurse, waitresses, salesgirl at Restoration Hardware) asked us the same question – “Ya’ll goin’ to the Fair? It’s a good time, you should definitely check it out.”

So we did! Because people told us to. Lesson learned? Don’t do something just because a waitress tells you to.

Some takeaways from the Fair:

  • Deep frying is the new slow cooking. What, you didn’t get the memo? It’s no longer enough to just enjoy a slice of pizza. It’s time to deep fry that pie, ya’ll! And burgers? They’ve lost their place on the protein pyramid… now they fall in dessert territory, when sandwiched between two Krispy Kreme glazed donuts! Gluttons rejoice! As if that weren’t enough, we witnessed fried Girl Scout Cookies, fried Kool Aid, fried butter, fried cheesecake, and fried coke. And that was in the first five minutes.

The Girl Scouts of America must be so proud.

  • Full sets of teeth are not necessary or even expected. In fact, it seems to be a badge of dirty south honor to have a front tooth missing.
  • Nascar  t-shirts come in all shapes. And sizes. ALL sizes.
  • Obesity is relative. One large woman, squeezed into a Rascal scooter, chowing down on a monster sized turkey leg could look terribly obese. Until she passes the gentleman drinking his fried food through a straw.
  • Toddlers will ALWAYS choose the ride you want to throw up from just looking at. You know the one that jolts you around in a monster truck you can barely fit your legs into, with zero suspension, leaving you crippled for 2 weeks?

He can’t feel his legs.

  • I don’t think they’re showing that 47 percent video on the news down in these parts. Because the 47 percent were all rockin’ Romney stickers.
  • Candy apples are a reasonable indulgence… once every decade. Any more than that and you’ll become a member of bullet point #2.

Maybe this is the snobbish New Yorker in me. I’m guessing if New York had a state fair somewhere near Albany or Buffalo, attendees would stand out too. In fact, hubby and I found ourselves wandering through the Fair, pointing out the people who looked “normal” to us. Isn’t that something? Coming from a metropolis, to feeling like the outsider for being “normal,” whatever that means. THAT is a strange feeling.

I want to state for the record, for all my friends and followers who are fearful that I’m going to turn into a southern hick, or who are using me as a test subject as they also consider moving outside of New York… I hope this didn’t scare you off. The State Fair isn’t the best representation of the Triangle area. In fact, it’s not a representation of it at all. Where I live is not exactly pig race territory, and the sophistication/education levels in these parts is pretty high, it seems. Let’s just say this will be my first — and last — State Fair visit… 

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Sooo out of my element…

12 Oct

Every time I hear a Southern accent I cringe slightly. And every time I hear a northern one my ears perk up as I try to locate the source. That’s been my week, in a nutshell.

I know it will get easier. I know it will get better. Transition is hard on everyone, and certainly aggravated with a two year old in tow, who is also feeling a bit displaced and confused. We spent every morning this week with him shrieking, “No like school!! No want to go!! No, mommmmmmmy!!” It was heartbreaking. This is a kid who’s always loved going to daycare. He loved his teachers, he loved his friends. He would race me inside the school every morning, and then practically push me out the door because he was a “big boy” who didn’t need his mama. Talk about disruption to our lives… this isn’t easy on ANY of us.

I spent a lot of this week thinking about the things I took for granted living in New York. Things like:

  • General sophistication that comes with a New York state of mind. Not that people here aren’t “sophisticated” in their own right. It’s just… different. Any New Yorker will know exactly what I mean. Are we elitist? Yup. No question. Are we apologetic for it? Nope.
  • Access to things that other people just don’t have. Like being able to sit in on a taping of “Watch What Happens Live” with Andy Cohen. Or sitting next to Richard Gere in a local restaurant. Or being in the audience for a VH1 Storytellers concert. Or getting to see the inner workings of Dan Barber’s kitchen at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. I know that sounds very “celebutante” of me, but it’s true! Those experiences are SO New York.
  • The narrow, uneven back roads. The Saw Mill Parkway. The Merritt. Seriously, the roads down here are in perfect condition, they are super wide, and it’s a breeze driving anywhere. You could probably do it with your eyes closed. But isn’t there something sort of charming about winding up the Saw Mill? I never thought about it until I wasn’t doing it anymore. And yep, I miss those twists and turns and dangerously narrow lanes.
  • Relatively easy access into creative communities. I clearly need to find my way, and figure out where the creatives hang out and work and play, but for now I’m just a little bit missing my smarty pants peeps who inspire me, make me laugh and teach me new stuff.

Hmmph. Today the North Carolina State Fair opened. This is apparently the biggest deal in the world to North Carolinians. We are thinking about hitting it up this weekend, so be on the lookout for a post about fried soda, pig races and pie contests. In the meantime, go out and enjoy New York… grit, grime, bad attitudes and all. And take me with you in spirit…