1. Downloading apps like Tinder or Yik Yak.
You click the “install” button and then you realize, “I’ll probably just be talking to my cousin. Or my next-door neighbor pretending to be my cousin. Or my science teacher. I guess that last one’s okay. …Oh god, did I just think that?”
2. Running into someone with the same RAYGUN shirt as you.
Between the two of you, it’s 150% vowels, 200% awesome.
3. The odd time the tenderloin fits on the bun and you feel existentially underwhelmed.
You turn the plate one full revolution, stare at it for a second, lean back, and go to your happy place. Your friends will nudge you when it’s time to go. They’ve all been there, too.
4. The flight attendant mispronouncing “Des Moines.”
OMG you get paid to go places. The least you could do is know how to say them. You can understand why the pilot says, “And now, ladies and gentlemen, we’re about 20 minutes away from landing in…[coughs]…Cedar Rapids,” but utter disrespect for not only Des Moines but anglicized French? Tsk, tsk.
5. Never knowing what to wear to the fair.
It’s seriously keeping me from getting some apple-pie-on-a-stick in my mouth right now.
6. Car accidents happen because the corn is too tall.
It’s better to just get out of the car and check beforehand.
7. It’s not worth watching TV at least a year before the election.
It’s all ads. It’s all mud-slinging, negative attack ads. On top of that, we’re bombarded with images of Hillz clearly not digging her pork on a stick, Trump causing traffic jams, and yard sign after yard sign after yard sign just busy taking up green space and being ineffective. Our roads aren’t immune, our yards aren’t immune, and our homes are definitely not immune. The Iowa State Fair is just an escape, people.
8. Alternatively, trying to figure out which candidate is causing the hold up on 380.
…or maybe it’s Amish rush hour?
9. Seeing your favorite bartender at Wal-Mart and not knowing if you should apologize or not.
At least this time your shirt’s on the right way and you’re not yelling at someone who doesn’t exist, so he knows you’re not doing that all the time…right?
10. Having to bring a jacket, umbrella, stocking hat, shorts, and sunscreen to any function outdoors.
If you have a tornado kit, bring that, too.
11. The mosquitoes being so bad you forget about your allergies.
It’s Mother Nature’s way of putting in effort to make you feel better about life, which is okay, because you have bug spray in your bag at all times if there isn’t snow on the ground. It can double as mace, which is a perk?
12. Asking about vegetarian or “lite” options…
In this situation, a few things may happen. A) You get told there’s a turkey burger on the menu, B) you’re given a haughty and self-satisfying “Nooooope,” or, my personal favorite, C) “We have Miracle Whip?”
13. Having to explain to everyone where Iowa is and that, yes, it exists.
And no, it’s not Idaho. Or Ohio. Or EE-owa, bless your little heart.
14. When the guy in front of you just grabbed the last slice of Casey’s breakfast pizza.
On a good day, you’ll wait 10 minutes until they bring out some more. On a really good day, they haven’t seen you yet, so they have a piece for you in the back. On a really really good day, you run into Mila Kunis. …Kutcher?
15. You just want to see some goddamned water.
I got 99 counties but a beach in none. Which isn’t true, technically (lake beaches! River beaches!), but you feel super street saying it.
16. There’s just too much safety, affordable housing, progressive thinking, and delicious food here. It totally stifles my starving artist creativity.
I just want to start a protest already! Maybe a peaceful sit-in or a march. How about that too-small tenderloin? No, no, not quite right. The fact that gay marriage wasn’t passed quickly enough? That’s better. Not enough things on sticks? No, that’ll just make our reputation worse. More baseball movies? More Trader Joe’s stores?
17. Only having one bread sack for your feet.
Kidding. We don’t actually do that. Everyone knows that right?