If someone were to have asked 10 years ago whether I’d become a North Dakotan, the answer would have been “northda what?” Negative. Definitely not.
Sure, it’s just a state over, but getting “stuck” in North Dakota was towards the bottom of my list of things to do. Bigger and better things were in store for this girl. It was all planned out: get an education at NDSU and then retreat to Colorado to become the master of something and live a pretty happy life as a mountain woman. What that would entail, I’m not sure.
Not long after “the plan” was put into play, I found myself at the Fargo DMV office giving up my “bendy” Minnesota driver’s license for the “plain-ole” North Dakota license. Tears were followed by a short stage of minor depression and feeling of a loss of value and identity. The DMV employees didn’t seem to notice. Or care. Or enjoy my presence in their office even to the slightest degree. Welcome to North Dakota.
Then I found a job straight out of college. My group of friends became rather solid. My older brother and his wife had a baby boy (future Minnesota Twins pitcher, folks!). I found a cute home and actually had the guts to buy it – knowing it came with 3-year minimum commitment to this area. To top it off, I met a man who is 5 to 6 notches above the rest, and not just because he’s tall.
Sure, out-of-state friends and relatives poke fun of the “unfilled” vastness North Dakota has to offer. Traveling anywhere out of the Midwest prompts questions as to whether Fargo “is anything like the movie.” Friends and family members think it’s funny to ask whether I need a boat in the spring and not-so-sympathetic sympathy emails pour in when Fargo earns awards for things like the worst weather city.
Little do they know I have the last laugh. I’m proud to live in the worst weather city. Think about it. I could go anywhere from here and there’s literally no chance of it being worse than the weather I’ve experienced the last nine years in North Dakota, which translates to a country full of tropical lands in comparison to Fargo.
Speaking of which… where is that nasty weather? Why haven’t I had to use my ice scraper yet? Have yet to fall on my butt on an icy sidewalk? Why are my boots still packed up under my bed? And better yet, with all this big news in western North Dakota, why isn’t anyone making fun of me anymore? Could it be because North Dakota has a seemingly better-than-anywhere-else economy in regards to housing and gas prices? Is it because western North Dakota has been deemed “oil country” for the time being?
Our economy, in conjunction with the severe lack of terrible winter conditions so far this year, is not helping us keep our little North Dakota secret very well. In other words, that brutal weather had better come fast, or we’re going to start to experience some population issues.
Today marking the first official day of winter, the weather will surely demolish our hopes soon, as it does every year, so enjoy the 40’s while you’ve got it, ‘cause we all know what’s coming.
Cheers, North Dakotans. Here’s to another snow blowin’ ice scrapin’ nose-hair freezing winter… I think?
Shootin’ the Wit is a column about everyday life that should never, ever be taken too seriously.