Wednesday, March 25, 2015

You Can Find Me in St. Louie

Most people hold a certain place in their heart for their hometown. Then there are St. Louisans. Try as they might to leave their beloved Lou, the only ones who have ever successfully made a clean break for it are Jon Hamm, Andy Cohen and Karlie Kloss. Even they have a hard time not donning their proud and true Cardinal red through the streets of New York and L.A. Those of us who have tried to make home elsewhere usually come back for a myriad of reasons. The most overarching being that we have a difficult time making friends with NSLs (non-St. Louisans). Because all we do is talk about St. Louis, and evidently that comes off as "annoying" and "elitist" to those who hail from cities lacking a tall and beautiful silver monument of architectural beauty that was erected in 1963.

The ones who move away only to come back to St. Louis, and I can say this being that I am one, we are the worst type of people in this world. We're the ones who had to get away for the high flying adventure of a bigger, more cosmopolitan city then decide to move back to "be the change we want to see in the city." So we pack up our bags, call up our old crew and demand a welcome back party, not at the trendiest place in town, because it's really not that trendy in comparison to the Chicago spots, but the most dive bar place we could find. St. Louis is grunge chic, not trendy chic. Once back we make a lot of comments like that. It takes over a year and a half, or perhaps eternity (time will tell) to claim full-heartedly that we are here for good. Sentences often start with "I just moved back from Chicago so I'm not sure..." Alternatively, they could also start as the inverse of that precursor by saying "I'm pretty sure after living in Chicago for a few years..." St. Louis replants can never fully disassociate themselves from their fleeting mistress city because that would be in a sense admitting we didn't seize the opportunity when we had it. When in fact we did take it, but came here in the name of goodwill and loyalty. Two things people in this world could use some more of. In St. Louis though we're bred to realize those traits. Especially if you went to a private school (hey!).

In a tad more serious tone, moving back here truly has its hardships.  You come back ready to instill your knowledge and culture on everyone and then you find....things remain the same. Nelson Mandela said it best: "There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered." Of course the city has changed, maybe slightly in some places and more drastically in others. The people who come back here though, in my opinion (and again I say this as one), have the most responsibility on their shoulders. We are the ones who have to constantly remind ourselves why it is we wanted to be here and not where we were, then do those things. Most importantly, we need to lean on those who never saw a reason to leave in the first place. It's a tricky task as "home" often remains exactly as we see it, year after year and even move after move. I can't put into words exactly what it means to me, nor would I be willing to try even if I could as it would not be representative in the least of everyone else who calls this city "home." I will say this though: despite all its pitfalls and mockeries, you won't find a home base get more starry eyed and giddy when they talk about their hometown. I'm pretty sure after living in Chicago for a few years that I can say that with all certainty.

{Image via Pinterest}

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Case for Cell Phone Distraction

Cell phones, and perhaps more so technology in general, get a bad rep.  They cause people to become distracted, disengaged and even disgusting in cases where Tinder has gone bad.  Is this really such a bad thing though?

I'll be the first to admit that patience is not my best virtue.  Nowhere can this be better illustrated  than at the grocery store.  Especially when it comes time to go through the checkout line.  In times of distress (i.e. the guest in front of me arguing with the cashier over a .33 cent price discrepancy), I have taken to pulling out my phone, catching up on my text correspondence and then scrolling through my Instagram feed where usually I can find a good laugh or two.  Some 17 minutes later when the .33 cents and probably some change more, finally is resolved I've all but completely forgotten why I was seething through my teeth with anger at the cheapo from aisle nine (paper products).  In fact, when they offer their insincere "sorry," not for holding up the line but for having to reach over my head to grab their last second gum, batteries and water, I even am able to smile with ease and say "don't worry about it."  Two things I rarely am able to combine.

Which then begs the question: are cell phones making us nicer?

If the receptionist at my doctor's office notorious for 45 minute waits has anything to say about it, the answer is a resounding "yes."

{Image Credit: via Pinterest}

Monday, September 8, 2014

Take Off

Being a loyal Southwest flyer in St. Louis jades you in some ways.  With its own separate terminal, one becomes accustomed to many thing including the shorter security lines, accessible retail fronts and the distinct cattle call of a flight boarding.  For all of its amenities, the anxiety of getting to your designated boarding position is palpable throughout the building.  So it was somewhat of a relief that other airlines wound up offering more budget friendly options for my past few flights (thank you internet of things!).  While I dread having to figure out the logistics of a carry-on to avoid baggage fees, I figured it's nice to explore what else the airline industry has to offer.

As it turns out, I was missing nothing.  Well that's not entirely accurate.  I missed the $25 I had to cough up for every flight because the logistics could never figure themselves out to carry-on my bag.  Finances aside though, I found everything is the same.  Because no matter what carrier you choose to go with there will always be obsessive flyers.  The ones that, even when having a designated seat typed on their ticket, will insist to stalk their boarding gate for Group D to be announced.  The ones that will push and shove you to make sure in no way, whatsoever they will have to engage with you, or anyone else to ensure you have the wrong seat or vice versa.  These people do not discriminate by airport, flight times or exceptional service.  They are simply everywhere and they will not go away.  So it's high time the rest of us accept that piece of knowledge, move on and keep calm at the airport bar until the last boarding call is made.

{Image Credit: This Is Glamorous}

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Stay Smart.

The most important thing you can do to improve your street cred amongst peers is staying informed.  These days it gets messy to do so with so many media channels always in your face.  Among a few sources I prefer though, TheSkimm is at the top.  It's concise, spans a variety of of interests and perhaps most importantly keeps things witty.  Start your day, but staying smart.  Sign up here, simply by entering your email here.  Seriously, that's it!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Opining On Opines

It's true, I'm highly educated on my own opinions.  Meaning, I know a lot about what I think.  Often times I will sprinkle these opinions of mine into various conversations.  On the subject of white after Labor Day: if you can spare your outfit from a pumpkin latte spill during school rush hour traffic, by all means go forth.  On the subject of the French: they gave us Chanel and crepes, so they can be as arrogant as they want.  On the subject of "just being friends":  if you have to use the word "just," it will never be.  These are short snippets of much longer dialogue I could go into, should anyone bravely offer up the soapbox.  Most of these subjects are fairly harmless though.  Mindless topics that I can easily find myself becoming very spirited over.  

I have other opinions too.  On things such as politics, religion and relationships.  Not just broad, over-arching opines, but I can get into the nitty gritty subcategories of them.  Though you probably would not want me to because they get boring quickly, especially when referencing various articles read or programs heard where many facts were stated.  These are the type of opinions I vocalize only to audiences I know very well.  Let's face it too, of the people I may "know," I could count on one-maybe two-hands those that I know to a level where I can guage what will or will not offend them.  This rather limited group of people has the sheer pleasure of hearing my more controversial opnions, should such an invitation to converse about them ever come up.  Maybe I come off being of certain beliefs now and again.  In a way, I would hope so to ensure that I have some dimension to myself.  The thing is though, I don't know where we arrived at the point where people now think they intimately know upwards of 500 people, better known as their Facebook friends.  How did they find the time to get to know everyone so quickly?  Also, why do they want to when they aren't getting paid to do so and others are (i.e. professional journalists and elected officials)?

I find it curious, this level of comfort people have to freely vocalize their strict, unwavering opinions.  Mostly because the thing is, nothing is always left or always right.   A building might be on your left going one way down the street, and on the right for the person in the opposite lane.  The building didn't change, and neither of you would be wrong of its position when giving directions from your origin.  Most people are not wrong when giving their opinions.  I know I am not when I tell Chicago Cubs fans that their team will never win a championship so long as they are still in Wrigely Field.  Almost no one's opinion is perfectly right though either, regardless how amplified they may try to make it.  At least that is just my opinion.

{Image Credit: The reluctant father}