Please feel free to hum along to the tune of Maryland My Maryland while reading.
Sorry Virginia. I’m just not that into you. It’s not you – it’s me. There are parts of you I love. Seriously. But the parts that genuinely make a difference…the ones that can make or break a relationship. Well. They are what makes you. YOU. And being the realist that I am – I would never ask you to change what ultimately cannot be changed. My husband’s Hokie roots will always have us coming back for football games and tailgates with friends. And I suppose that’s what it’s come down to, Virginia. We can still visit each other but we can no longer live together. It’s just not working.
It turns out that I’m allergic to your tall pines that surround our house. Ironically, one of the traits I found charming about you at first. And every time my husband or I step outside, your most vile “no-see-um mosquitos,” or as I like to call them…vampires from hell – attack us through our clothing. The first mosquito bite sent me to the doctor’s office, certain that the flaming hot boulder on my leg was a horrible spider bite. Only to be told, quite matter of factly, that – nope: it’s nothing but a mosquito bite. Not classy Virginia, not classy!
Maryland, as polite as she is, has been dropping hints for awhile; sending her proverbial messages into the universe for us to see. Initially, I was too blinded by your beauty, Virginia. But now, with my rose-colored glasses off: after having spent much time with you and your nasty mood swings, after I’ve seen you in the harsh light of dawn – I must admit…Maryland’s beauty and charm is undeniable.
My husband recently asked me what Virginia taught me. Hmmmmm. (Note to self – keep it classy). Got it. Virginia taught me that building mini Saks and Nordstrom “stores” is a senseless act that needs to be stopped! I’ll never forget how traumatized this city girl was the first time I began “shopping” in this mockery of a store, only to realize that the walls were closing in on me as there really was no where to go. Nowhere!! This is cruel, Virginia. Really cruel. Virginia also taught me that, as much as I complained about Maryland snow at times – I missed it terribly. I missed looking out my window at the pure untouched beauty of a world blanketed in snow. I craved making hot chocolate and sitting by the fire after coming in from a walk in the snow. Virginia absoposilutely taught me that this neck of the woods IS the south and without a doubt y’all, things really do move sloowww down heaah! One word prompt: HOUSE. As for the house, please refer to the quote at the bottom that best encapsulates our particular house story. (Still keeping it classy). And lastly, the most important lesson of all. I miss our family and friends. I realized that the preciousness of our history together is invaluable. I can’t make enough trips up the road, nor they here, to keep on creating enough new memories. I’ve often questioned why we continued to make new Maryland friends that fit while Miss Virginia thang surely seemed to be an utter MISfit. Insert lesson here… The universe speaks and eventually we learn to listen.
And due to the fact that you are so. big. (and by big I mean beautiful and grandeous in stature), we are forced to travel hours in between many of the places we do like to visit. And don’t EVEN get me started about my husband’s commute.
Maybe you’re just too big for your britches, Virginia. Or for ours…
We like little Maryland. She has such an endearing quality, what with her quaint little towns that beckon you in, her seaside villages, her inner harbor, antique shops, her blue crabs, her lakes and rivers, her rolling farm fields and mountains, and her Ravens who we love. I know what you’re going to say, Virginia. While, yes, you do have some of these attributes – it’s simply the remarkably, impressive way Maryland presents herself in one tiny package that makes her glisten so splendidly in our eyes.
I suppose there’s a reason the Black Eyed Susan has always been one of my favorite flowers. I’m just a Maryland girl at heart.
I hope we can remain friends, Virginia. It’s not that I don’t like you – it’s just that I like Maryland more. We get each other.
It took us moving away to realize that the ordinary, the mundane everydayness of Maryland is exactly the stuff that extraordinary is made of. So thank you, Virginia, for pointing that out to us.
I honestly did leave my heart in Maryland. And now it’s time to go back and reclaim it.
So I guess for now, there’s only one thing left to do. If you listen closely you will hear my heels click together three times as I say.
“There’s no place like home…there’s no place like home…there’s no place like home.”
“Life is infinitely stranger than anything the mind could invent.”