What It’s Like to Live In…Kentucky
If Sparkler nap_attack is anything to go by, Kentucky is the land of really great writers. —SparkNotes editors
I (and pretty much everyone here I know) have had the experience of talking to someone from another state, and when I let it slip that I’m from Kentucky, hearing the question, “Do you wear shoes?” I figure there area four possible responses to this: A) tell them yes, and go into a long, condescending explanation of how most stereotypes are untrue; B) lie and solemnly tell them that no, I don't wear shoes; C) kick them with my shoe-clad foot; D) give them a weird look and change the subject. I usually chicken out and go with D, because there are enough weird rumors about Kentucky (and Kentuckians) as it is. And for the record, yes, we do wear shoes. Usually.
I once heard someone compare Kentucky to the Shire from Lord of the Rings, and it’s a surprisingly true. We have a lot of farms. We like food. (My town has three big festivals every year, and two of them revolve around food.) We live in a self-isolated world where everybody knows everybody else. We aren’t short, and we don’t as a rule go barefoot, but the similarities are valid beyond that.
Good Things About Living in Kentucky:
1. Pretty scenery: I've lived here well into my teenage years, and the amazement hasn't worn off yet. Cornfields, woods, old tobacco barns, grassy hills with cows—it’s all very pastoral and sweet. Not to mention the bluegrass in the East, which (although not literally blue) really does make me want to run through fields barefoot.
2. Stores/restaurants that are finally coming to town: These started showing up about two years ago and include Kohl’s, Starbucks, Panera Bread, and Chick-fil-A. (As a town we get really excited for these. When the Chick-fil-A opened, there was a weeklong traffic jam on its street.)
3. Cheaper movies: I spent a lot of time complaining about our six buck matinees until I went up to Boston and saw a movie for ELEVEN DOLLARS. Even our evening shows are only eight.
4. The Big Dipper: This is a little family-owned restaurant that has been around forever. Apparently it was the big hang-out spot when our parents were in high school. It is delicious and it is cheap. And I just want to give a shout-out to the best milkshakes on the planet. Hey, Dipper Shakes! You’re the best!
5. The Kentucky Derby: I may not be the biggest fan of racehorses, but did you know that the QUEEN OF ENGLAND came to Kentucky for the derby? Anything that gets the Queen of England to visit your state is a good thing.
1. Stores/restaurants we do not have (and probably will never get): There are a lot of these, including Old Navy, Dunkin’ Donuts, and (for me the saddest) Barnes & Noble.
2. Everything is hours away: I once heard a fan of my favorite band bragging that he’d been dedicated enough to drive two hours to see the band’s concert. I was like, “Seriously? I drove FOUR AND A HALF hours and didn’t even think much of it, because that is the closest venue that they will ever play at.” It’s true. Sometimes you can catch shows in Nashville (which is two hours away), but only sometimes.
3. Kentucky Fried Chicken: I guess this isn’t exactly a bad thing, but I don’t like it. And it’s no better in Kentucky than it is anywhere else.
Overall, Kentucky is a pretty good place. And I know I said we all wear shoes, but I’m secretly not wearing them now. But hey, is there a PROBLEM with going barefoot?