Okay, so I’m not exactly going to St. Louis. But people in the whole of Missouri are die hard St. Louis Cardinals fans, so it works. Serious on the die hard thing. I had a student once that was from Chicago and, therefore, a Cubs fan. Whenever he wore his jerseys to class, I was afraid he would get killed. So yeah. Don’t mess with baseball fans.
But, beside the point.
One of the guys at lunch asked me what I was doing for the weekend and my answer “Missouri” was met with “Why? What are you doing there? What’s there?” which was met with responses of “Nothing’s there. No one. What are you doing there?” This is not surprising, as they have asked me if everyone in my Tennessee hometown wears “Davy Crockett hats” and laughed hysterically when my friend Lydia visited and used the word “podunk,” apparently greatly amused by her Southern-ness.
Fun tip: Davy Crockett is actually from Tennessee and made his famous speech where he said “You may go to hell and I will go to Texas” in my hometown.
But we still don’t wear Davy Crockett hats. Or all drive trucks.
So, they may not think there’s anything to be found in Missouri but, for me, there are a lot of things. I’m visiting the town I lived in for two years while working on my first Masters for a conference. But, in the same weekend, I get to visit with the people that befriended me as I learned how to grow up.
When my friend Ashley visited me in Cape G within my first two months of moving there, I couldn’t even make a pizza or brownies without burning the bottom. Over the next two years, I not only got infinitely better at cooking for myself, but I learned how to live on my own, make friends on my own, essentially do everything on my own. I guess you could say this was my first experience with what it feels like to be an adult.
But, I also made some of the best friends I have ever had. You know how a lot of TV shows are centered around groups of friends? Well, Cape G was the first time I could honestly say I felt like I had such a group of friends. These were people I did everything with, from grocery shopping to homework to complaining about our students to cooking together to bar hopping to domino nights to bike rides to many, many more things. If one of us felt like getting a drink on a random weekday, we could count on at least one other to join. If one of us needed a sub for a class, we could always count on each other.
Working together and taking a lot of the same classes added to our friendship, but it quickly grew to way more than just co-workers. This was also around the same time that Mickey told me I needed to stop introducing them as co-workers unless I started referring to the TV show “Friends” as “Co-Workers.” Never before had I had such an incredible group of friends, and I was in a sorority, y’all, so that’s saying a lot. (Don’t get me wrong—I love my sorority sisters.)
Naturally, these friends also provided an amazing support group, and I feel like these people probably know me better than most.
There were other parts that were awesome about living in Missouri, and you can read about them here. Some of them may not resonate with you, but that’s okay. All you need to know is how much I value these people in my life. I would not be where I am today without them. Much like my parents, and sister, Rahul, and a few friends from high school and college, they have shaped who I am today.
To sum up, they will ALWAYS be on my Christmas card list.
In other news, Rahul and I had our year and a half anniversary today. I love anniversaries! Getting to celebrate with the person you love the most, what more could be better. : )