Hi guys I wanted to share one of those fascinating "life on planet Earth" kind of stories.
I grew up in RI, lived away for almost two decades, and now I'm back.
I'm not the kind of guy who thinks his parents are "the wicked best parents evah", and I had some bad (but not real, real bad) things happen to me growing up in RI as a child and teenager. So I've never had the most wonderful impression/opinion of RI.
Another thing, my parents are not native Rhode Islanders, so I always thought that the unique RI "New Joisey" accent and way of speaking sounded really uneducated and dumb.
One thing that left a lasting impression on me was the disturbing sense I gained as a youth that RI was a bit too much of a shabby, kinda run-down, lowest-common-denominator sort of place where the people in positions of authority were not the paragons of beneficent and wise leadership one might hope for.
For example, I recently realized that I was tossed from the first round of my first spelling bee competition for misspelling potato (singular) as potatoe. Already as a toddler I was voraciously reading many books (mostly fiction), and had probably come across potato spelled potatoe in printed text many times.
Did you know that only after 1900 apparently at some point the official grammarians of the US ruled that the correct singular spelling of potato is potato and that potatoe is to be deemed incorrect?
Now if told this little anecdote to a bunch of RI-ers, I'd wager dollars to Dunkin Donuts (hey, isn't that correctly spelled doughnuts? ahem
) that someone would say in response, "Ayyyyy, yooz stupid frickin' idiot. You misspelled a word so you lost the contest. Quit complaining."
Are you loyal CD readers catchin' on to what I'm trying to say? There's a sort of skimming the surface of issues that goes on here (and I've come to find out that this is endemic to the entire US and not just to Rhode Island).
But the truth of all matters always makes it's little home within the more complex world lying "beneath the surface", so to speak.
So what I'm trying to point out here is, Rhode Islanders are NOT dumb, they just sound dumb.
If you are considering moving to RI, please realize that any first impressions you make may be totally incorrect.
We're our own little world here in RI, and visitors to the state won't have RI figured out until they've really spent some time here "down in the trenches" with all of us!
Nowadays I actually like Rhode Island more and more. The proximity to New York City and Boston is great. The weather has it's faults but it's very livable (um, or liveable
). Often the weather is wonderful, like today!!
Amazing beaches of all sorts tucked in all over the place around here. The whole "ocean" thing. Plus the "rural" outdoors thing. Plus the "urban" thing (Providence) just a half-hour drive from most anywhere. Yeah, RI is pretty cool!
Nowadays when I encounter a Rhode Islander in the course of daily life, I'm patient and take a deep breath, because I know that they just sound dumb, but most are not dumb at all.
BOTTOM LINE: Spelling bees are dumb. Rhode Islanders are NOT dumb.