Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Gone from Carolina in My Mind

When I walk out my front door, this is what I see.  I live smack dab in the most suburban suburb of suburbia, yet this is what I see every morning.  So much of SC is like this--beauty in unexpected places.  I love the untainted beaches, the winding roads through overhanging forests, and the sounds of the swamplands.  The history, though dark, is fascinating, and we have made a game of eating in places that are mentioned in novels because Charleston apparently makes for great inspiration for a good many authors.


This post is NOT about why I have loved living here for the last five years (with one more to go).  This post is about why I can not wait to leave.

Let's start here...

I have traveled all over the world and had plenty of frustrations at large airports from Chicago to Paris, but I  have never hated an airport more than Charleston International Airport, mainly because I have so little experience with it.  Ticket prices are so insanely high out of Charleston (rumored to be the 2nd highest in the nation) that we never actually fly out of here.  We have to go to Charlotte or Atlanta or Jacksonville (which means 3-5 hours of driving and often an overnight stay) just to find tickets under $600 to Oklahoma City.  (I realize that I should also be mad at OKC for this reason, too, but OKC and I have history, so I can forgive her.)  Virtually all of the bases we could move to next are cheaper to fly in and out of, which makes me really, really anxious to hit the road.

SC has really freaking fabulous weather about ten months out of the year (with really hot and humid weather in July and August).  I, like most SC residents, LOVE to wear flip-flops and other various open-toe shoes.  This is the unfortunate side effect of this freedom.  And it is RAMPANT.
People do this everywhere, but I notice it more in SC, probably another effect of the good weather .  This woman's bra straps are actually in the ONLY area of her shirt that exposes them.  WTF?  Women in SC believe bras to be an accessory, rather than a functional piece of underclothing, so it is not uncommon to see leopard print, black lace, and hot pink brassieres shining like beacons of disgusting, foul light through their undersized wife-beaters.  Also, someone needs to direct all the women wearing halter tops and tube tops to the strapless section.  For the love of God.

Folks, these are just a few of our lovely politicians that have given comedians ample fodder during our time here.  I am so sick and freaking tired of living in the butt of the joke.  Mainly because SC deserves to be the butt of the joke most of the time.  And I thought living in OK was bad.

On a related note, can someone please tell me what the hell this means?  It seems to me someone threw a bunch of words in the -ism bingo hopper and then played Bumper Sticker Mad Libs.  Result: complete nonsense.  I have seen this sticker on more than a handful of cars and have yet to see the yokels who drive said cars.  I would love to get an explanation of what they THINK this means but fear it might sound something like this "Yada-yadaism blah-blahism bullshitism."
One of the greatest delights of living in SC are these fabulous anthills filled with even more delightful fire ants.  First of all, I don't let my kids slide down slides right next to fire ants.  I just used the slide as a size reference for how enormous these anthills can be.  This was the day after the yard was mowed (so it's not like we didn't see this for a few days, and they had time to mobilize), so this happened over night.  Ridiculous.  And fire ant bites are the WORST THING EVER.  Burning, itching, pustules--dozens of them within seconds upon contact with one of these hills.  I'll take crickets and roly poly bugs in OK over this any day.
This is approximately one mile from my house (re: not in the boonies), and it's extremely common.  Generally speaking, you'll see a car out front with a bumper sticker with some sick drivel like "Heritage, not Hate."  Even after five years, I am still shocked and appalled EVERY time I see someone flying the confederate flag.  In freaking 2010.  At least this house has the American flag on top because I've seen it reversed.  True story.  
So, bottom line, I know that no place is perfect.  I'm just starting to feel we've overstayed our welcome here, and especially after so many of our friends have already moved, I'm itching (probably from the damn fire ants) to move on.  More than likely, our next stop will either be Tacoma, WA or Altus, OK (I know...opposite ends of the earth, right?), so bring on the salmon-eating, coffee-drinking hippies OR the rattlesnake round-ups!


  1. Even knowing every single one of those is absolutely TRUE...I miss Charleston terribly and would love to live there again. I'd just prefer it if my husband could be around a little more while we're there. :-)

  2. I can only imagine what misery a foodie like you must be in, Stacey, moving from restaurant heaven to Altus. I know I'll look back at our time here with nostalgia (we've met A LOT of REALLY great people, for one thing!), but I am really glad my kids will not be going to school here. =)

  3. I'm pretty sure that Tacoma could kick Altus' ass.

  4. You could always come to CO. The weather is lovely, the food is delicious, the view is amazing and our kids could meet and hang out.

  5. Molly, I would love to move to CO. In fact, I can't think of anything better. So, this is what I need you to do. Write a letter to President Obama that says you'd like a C-17 base there. Thanks!

  6. Why on Earth is there not a C-17 base here? I want my baby to hang out with your babies. :(

  7. You forgot the SC guy arrested for intimacy with a horse TWICE not ONCE. I hate the fire ants,too. SC takes OK's Fallin, Inhoffe, Kearns and buddies out of the news occasionally. Thank you.