Every region has their stereotypes...as a teenager in the 70's, my sister had a friend from Michigan who actually thought Oklahoma still had tee-pees and Indians riding around on horseback scalping the white people. When he came to her wedding in 1985 he wondered where all the Indians were. Here in Arkansas people from other places tend to think we are all "hillbillies," you know the barefoot and pregnant stigma in a dilapidated home with dirt floors! Texans like everything larger than life and isn't everyone a movie star in California? And then there are those Damn Yankees, everyone knows they are self-centered, impatient and say things like "coffee" really weird. (I found the picture below at you.gov and it gave me a chuckle.)
In my life, I've been crazy blessed to have many friends (and even some family) who were Yanks-of course in my backwards Oklahoma mind the Yanks primarily hail from the purple area above! Last fall one of those Yanks had the nerve to set foot right smack dab in the northwest corner of Arkansas and begin to call our state home. Right away I was inclined to like this particular person because I could tell she was smart, mature and worldly...all the great things from the purple zone; I could quickly see she was just a little "snarky"-in case you're not familiar with the term snarky I'll share my favorites from several online sources: snide, crotchety, and sarcastic-whew! My kind of person! I hoped we'd be friends.
Soon we were Facebook friends, messaging and texting then came the big day she suggested we take our friendship to the "next level" and talk on the phone. I haven't laughed so hard in years! This friend and her family have definitely been a blessing. Along with all those silly things above, I've come to know a dependable, trustworthy, kind and compassionate human being. One who can read on my face what I thought I was bravely hiding. One who is willing to put aside her dislike of hugging someone not in her immediate family as she springs out of her chair and throws her arms around me because "your eyes screamed I need someone to hug my worries away!" One can never have too many friends, especially the kind who can see inside!
I absolutely love living here in northwest Arkansas, an area where the "newbies, outsiders and new folks" outnumber the "natives" at least 2:1! I've learned that stereotypes rarely hold true and friends can come from all over the world! Just trying to #keepitreal by sharing some thoughts from my crazy blessed life!