Thursday, August 1, 2013
Yay, Murlan! Maryland, my Maryland! Buzzfeed, journalistic summit that it is, recently published 20 reasons why Maryland is the coolest state. Go there now and read it. We'll wait for you. It's a pretty cool list. And all factually true, if perhaps a bit biased. "Where are you from?" means very different things depending on how it's asked, but for me the reality is, although I was born in Detroit, I moved at 2yo and simply don't remember living there. I grew up in Maryland, or as we say it, "Murlan"1. 1Bawlmer, Murlan, as opposed to Warshington, which all good Murlanders call Dee Cee. I have a colleague who's from Montgomery County and who cheers for the Redskins and Nationals. I'm from Howard County (HoCo) and cheer for the Ravens and Orioles. Not to say that there isn't crossover. But as we live smack dab inbetween Eagles/Phillies/Flyers Philadelphia and Steelers/hey the Pirates are worth talking about this year/Penguins Pittsburgh, any time we see anything sports-related in purple or burgundy it makes us glad. (And yes, sometimes I spell Murlan/Murland with and sometimes without the D. Deal with it.) This month actually is a turning point for me. As of the tail end of August, I will have lived in Pee Ay 2 longer than Murland. But I'm always asking people where they're from, and it seems to me that all transplants to PA identify themselves as from somewhere else no matter how long they've lived in the area. 2Is PA the only state3 that self-identifies by its postal abbreviation? Pee-Ay? Pennyslvania is a really long word. When I lived in Mechanicsburg, my mom always commented on its having so many syllables, too. 3 It's a commonwealth, actually. Not a state at all. But in Harrisburg most everyone seems to work "for the state", not "for the commonwealth", which I suppose also is saving syllables. But every time we cross into Murland and see the big "Welcome to Maryland" sign, subheaded with the governor's name, we count off and yell "Hi, Martin!" Leaving, we yell, "Bye, Martin!" Or whoever is the current governor. Parris... Bob... Martin... this time next year they'll be voting for Anthony... The sign tells us what we should yell. We actually don't do that leaving/entering PA, because recently I literally had to look up who was the current governor, despite having driven past his house twice this week. There's no place like home.