18 August 2009

Ugly Duckling Syndrome

Every high school has an ugly duckling. Someone who made a reprehensible mistake in their past and cannot seem to lick that obstacle. Whether it was peeing their pants in 1st grade and being forced to wear pink sweats for the rest of the day or getting a bad case of lice in 4th, that person's name is always accompanied by a cringe. Sometimes they are the butt of others' jokes. Sometimes they are forgotten until a popular kid mentions their name by accident, juxtaposed with rolling eyes and pretentious laughter.

As you privately get to know this ugly duckling however, you realize that the condemning deed was actually just childhood folly. Yes, (s)he still has some of the quirks that has followed for many years, but overall, this ugly duckling is actually pretty cool. But how do you explain that to the prevailing high school royalty? You probably don't, allowing this ugly duckling to handle the unwarranted ugliness on their own.

This week, we met an ugly duckling. And instead of allowing her to continually receive undue mockery, I'd like to be forthcoming with the remarkable qualities that are so often overlooked. Her name is Arkansas.

Yes, that Arkansas.

The what's there to do in Arkansas? Arkansas.

The why are you making pilgrimage to Bill Clinton? Arkansas

The there's nothing but a bunch of hillbillies and racists and cousin couples there! Arkansas.

The moonshinin', corncob pipin', bacca chewin', dirt eatin' Arkansas Arkansas

Yes, that Arkansas. And (most of) it is undeserved.

Our quick vacation to Arkansas found us yearning to live there. The lakes were gorgeous and small enough to feel like wide, winding rivers. The trees which I sadly cannot identify, invited a serene ambiance to this underrated state. Southern hospitality was in full force and while we did in fact meet a hillbilly, we only met one and he was wearing shoes and had what appeared to be all of his original teeth. Sorry California, I know you love yourself (and we love you, too), but you've been harsh with our southeast friend.

Arkansas, we adore you.

(Pictures to follow as soon as the boy naps, which could be measured in hours or in days. I would suggest not holding your breath)


Kara said...

my sister, katie, lived in arkansas (jonesboro) for 5 years. she fell in love with it and was very sad to leave. there are some gorgeous places there and she talks so highly of all the friends she made.

Blarney Girl said...

It is absolutely gorgeous there!! Sad that Billy Bob Clinton is from there, but we all have little things we are ashamed of and would rather forget!! :)

Becca said...

Love this!! This is how I feel about Wisconsin. I thought Wisconsin was supposed to be middle of nowhere nastiness, but then my wedding photographer moved there (and yes, we're still in touch because I WON'T LET PEOPLE LEAVE MY LIFE!!) :) and her blog posts have made me so jealous. It's gorgeous out there! So gorgeous, in fact, that when I drive west with my mom, we're making an extra stop in Madison, Wisconsin. :)

heather said...

Oh, how I love this post. I've never been to Arkansas, but I just love your writing. Miss ya.

Michelle Judd said...

Shane would move there with you in a heartbeat. Shane grew up in Arkansas (if you couldn't tell from his appearance and demeanor) and loves it. He agrees though with all of the statements you made about it. Shane is the epitome of Arkansas. He grew up in a trailer down by the river on some land that used to be the city dump. AND he doesn't like to wear shoes. All I could get him to wear at our wedding reception was some old flip flops that belonged to a friend of his. :)

Boyer Family said...

I loved your post. With just your writing, who wouldn't think it is awesome and want to visit. What incredible writing, you always amaze me. I'm glad that you enjoyed your vacation. Even sweet Jonas.

Josh, Anne and baby Merrick said...

I'm glad you enjoyed your vacation! Arkansa sounds beautiful.