Photo: Nikole Handel
1. “Iowa is just so…flat.”
That women’s t-shirt that says, “Not everything in Iowa is flat,” isn’t just being cheeky, they were being serious. Before you go assuming that we’re nothing but flat cornfields, please drive through Florida. Or Ohio. Or Indiana. Or Louisiana. Or half a dozen other places. We’re actually rolling hills of green and gold, thanks.
2. “Are there stoplights there? Clubs? Airports?”
I grew up in a town of around 70,000 people, and yet I’ve had people ask me if my town had stoplights. To which I delightfully reply, “No, sorry, it’s just me and 69,999 others crashing our tractors into each other haphazardly until sunset when we go home and light our oil lamps to write letters to each other.”
3. “Ugh, it’s all corn there.”
We’ve got meth and soybeans, too, okay?
4. Or worse, “It’s all potatoes.”
Speechless. I don’t even know who to blame for this one. Idaho, I guess.
5. “Tell me, how do you milk a cow?”
Yes, I went to college. No, there were not corn fields out my dorm window. No, I’ve never milked a cow or fed a pig. Have all my friends and I’m just the weird one? Nope, sorry, most of them haven’t either. Am I shattering your entire belief system?
6. “The food there is so unhealthy. It’s all fried. And on sticks.”
I wish someone would’ve told Hillary she didn’t have to eat pork on a stick to get our approval, but what’s done is done. For the record, Hillary and everyone else, the rest of the year, we go back to our homes and eat pretty much just like everyone else. But with slimmer options when it comes to Vietnamese food. And more options when it comes to Maid-Rites. And scotcheroos. And walking tacos. Okay, so maybe it’s not super healthy, but it’s definitely not all on sticks. Someone grab Hillary a fork for her Doritos.
7. “Iowa is east of the Mississippi River, right?”
Even people from Illinois do this. Seriously. C’MON Illinois, a little Midwestern camaraderie would’ve been reasonable, no? I get it, California, you don’t give a damn, but everyone else? We’re the chef’s head; it’s not that difficult!
8. “You know so-and-so, yeah?”
FYI, the average person has relationships with something like a couple hundred people. Iowa has more than a couple hundred people, we swear. When you get a blank stare of disapproval, this is why.
9. “Iowans do not deserve to have the first presidential caucus.”
Just back off, ‘kay? Name one state that would be as patient and open-minded as Iowa is. One that has as progressive as a record. One that would take this whole years-long process as seriously. Oh, you didn’t know we were progressive? You didn’t know we were open-minded? Huh. Imagine that. See below.
10. “Iowans just aren’t creative/talented/worldly/open-minded.”
I’m just going to ignore the whole creative/talented thing because sure, let’s assume talent is dependent on geography, yeah. But worldly and open-minded? A) When you’re from Iowa, you’re kinda forced to go other places, and B) You may find it hard to believe, but Iowans, if not most Midwesterners, are some of the most open-minded Americans there are. You don’t need the right pair of Sperrys to fit in. Or to be from “old money.” Or to be a farmer or a hipster or a cowboy or a Southern belle. This is how we voted for Barack before everyone else, this is how we embraced gay rights years ago, and this is why we are so over these stereotypes.
And that Iowa Nice thing? Yeah, we’re over that, too.