I have always wanted to live in a small town, so I was excited to move to a small town for my boyfriend’s job. I pictured myself the romantic interest as the local general store’s eldest son, who I always rejected, but he gave me free candy dots anyways. Very Nicholas Sparks meets Runaway Bride. That was before I realized the UP in its entirety was one giant small town.
For anyone lucky enough to not know what that means it is the Upper Peninsula, still Michigan, just not the hand part. It’s the kind of flaccid part dicking out at an elderly wilt that should probably belong to Wisconsin. There are more Green Bay Packers fans than Lions fans. To me that means Applebee’s is mostly green and yellow, instead of blue and silver.
My boyfriend has a bear costume he wore a couple years ago in college. If he wore it from our apartment to the mailbox he would get shot- and our mailbox is indoors. The apartment below us is an illegal daycare with an iTunes playlist about 12 months behind the Billboard top 100. Yesterday they discovered “Wrecking Ball,” I don’t know if they have short-term memory loss or genuinely enjoy the song, but they listened to it on repeat for a solid 3 hours. The only other person who enjoys that song as much as my neighbors is Liam Helmsworth, although I am sure he calls it “I Dodged A Wrecking Ball” and laughs into his shitty Australian beer.
I would describe the general fashion sense up here as breaking every high school dress code rule to ever exist ever. I have never seen more bra straps, public displays of pajama pants, and camo. There are more bleach blonde highlights on brown hair than a Christina Aguilera music video. People in the UP are the target audience for any product with an “as seen on TV” sticker. Like the man who invented pajama jeans though shit, no one is going to wear these, and then he went to the one grocery store in the UP and realized he was a genius. Collared shirts are reserved for funerals and baptisms- people going out and coming into the world. If you haven’t shaved in a couple weeks and have a hooded sweatshirt you’re bar ready. Extra points for steel toe boots or a fitted hat. It’s not that the UP is a trailer park, in fact it’s beautiful, just seems forever stuck on a live TV 3 second delay. Like everyone walks around a little anxious that Justin Timberlake is going to jump out and expose a boob.
The UP has its charms though. Like one time I overheard an elderly white woman rocking a waist length side ponytail explain to the only Indian man in Northern Michigan what a skunk was. One of the three fast food places has mashed potatoes on their drive-thru menu. The only Chinese food restaurant has an entirely white wait staff (which I kind of don’t trust), plays a Michael Buble Pandora station, and puts sake in their cosmos.
It’s basically Canada. Only substitute Tim Horton’s with Subway. The folks up here love their 11-inch bleached bread foot longs. Now I understand why my mom was afraid I would start doing drugs out of boredom after we moved. I am tempted to snort anything under our sink just to feel something other than cold. KIDDING MOM.
PLEASE SEND SALT AND VINEGAR CHIPS AND PUMPKIN SPICE COFFEE FLAVORING BEFORE THE BASIC INSIDE ME DIES.