People in the Midwest are nicer.
I work with two women who live in St. Louis and one that grew up there and has since moved away. In addition, in finding out we were moving we reached out to friends & family who in turn reached out to friends & family that live or have lived in the STL. (Side note, that's what we're calling it from here on out... the STL. It's oh so gangstah.) The responses were amazing. For obvious reasons, I may or may not be freaking out.
At first, my reaction was church giggles - all the way, all day. We are moving where? We are moving where fast? This. Is. Hilarious. The ball & chain has been told the STL is known for its budweiser, baseball & Catholics. Correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't a catchy phrase all start with the same letter? Just saying (there goes that total bitch situation; dang, I have to work on that). Church giggles turns out to be totally fitting, good Lord, how will our adorable, Catholic by baptism, but lover of Jewish culture, people and traditions fit in? No one will think it's charming that she is the best dang dreidel spinner in her new class? Or that she knows how to sing "Dreidel Dreidel Dreidel" during the holidays and loves the menorah.
This right here is when panic, sheer fear and panic took over.
Why? Let me count the ways.
Maybe it's because we love where we live, we love how close we are to friends and family, we love our neighborhood, damn we love L's school, we love her teachers, we love her friends, we love how close we are to friends who have become family (Liza - I'm looking at you), we love our silly office, we love our jobs and working from home, we love the walk ability to our town's center. We love our town's center and the activities they put on - we love Holiday Walks, Halloween Trick or Treating, family festivals, and family friendly restaurants. We love how close we are to the beach and oh boy we love the community pool here. What do mean all of that may change? What if we don't find a good school for the kid? What if we can't make friends- it's taken me two years and I am still struggling but finally making some headway. What if I can't work from home anymore, what if my job won't support this move? What if our new house has worse neighbors than we have now (and our neighbors kinda suck)? What if there are no kids close? What if we can't find a tribe there? We can barely find one here. No one comes to visit us and we have to hold our child hostage to get someone to come over... no one will ever come to the STL. Oh for God's sake what the hell will we do for the holidays? Home for the holidays was glorious. We're keeping it, what a disaster this will be. What if they don't have good Chinese food? What about sea food? Holy crap. What do you mean we'll be landlocked and there will be no ocean?
Oh my god, in that panic I forgot... I'm. Totally. Knocked. UP. I LIKE MY DANG DOCTOR. WHO WILL GET THIS BABY OUTTA HERE SAFELY? Are there NICUs? What level are they? Will the doctor be OK with not deciding on c-section or not until a game day decision like this one is? Has he ever done a section before?
Out from the haze of panic came a beacon of light - in the way of assuring phone calls and emails. Dang the nice people of the STL. Skypes, instant messages, calls, texts and emails of support, advice and encouragement. Pages of recommendations, tons of new contacts, ideas, thoughts and help. I can't even describe it appropriately. One of my colleagues & friends has known me for quite some time heard the panic in my emails, though I can't say it was hard since as I look back I think I repeated myself with each reply back. A snippet of her email assures me, we are not alone and this is going to be a fun adventure.
My biggest message is, don't worry-we can handle this!
How can you not feel encouraged? I love the people of the STL. Besides, the people of the Northeast... man those Bs can really be mean. Example? A 'friendly' email chock full of images. Origin? Probably a google search of f'd up things to send someone STL bound and for your viewing pleasure a little mashup.
I'm looking forward to the nice.