MidwesternessPosted: January 27, 2016
Belly laughs are considered good things in most venues, and volunteering is a given.
dievca is rarely on Facebook, it’s not her thing. Once in a while she does a fly-by and looks at odds and ends, etc. she checked out the page of a New Yorker she knows and read through a post about their snowstorm experience.
dievca’s first thought?
They are so not Midwestern…
The post made a point about helping a friend who owns a Brownstone with apartments rented out, shovel all day. A commendable activity indeed!
But don’t forget:
- You could be looking at a lawsuit if your sidewalk isn’t clean in NYC and someone gets injured in front of your building (place of business or apartment building). While snow is falling, complaints are not accepted for snowy or icy sidewalks. After the snow stops falling, if you are a property owner, you must clear snow and ice on your sidewalk to create a path for pedestrians. You must also remove snow and ice from sidewalks next to bus stops and hydrants. www1.nyc.gov
- If you hire local kids or a person in need — they could use the money.
- dievca’s Midwestern practicality kicks in here: if you aren’t in shoveling shape or do it wrong- shoveling is dangerous. Mixing in alcohol throughout the day isn’t the best idea.
dievca was also fascinated that the person was so:
- proud that they helped shovel.
- proud that they helped shovel a needy person’s sidewalk and had to mention that they weren’t even paid for it.
- amazed at the camaraderie that shared work offers.
Welcome to being Midwestern.
This is an absolute basic tenet of human expectation for where dievca came from… Things don’t have to be set “mitzvahs” (a meritorious or charitable act) to be valuable. You just do the doing because it needs to get done. And Midwestern good manners in the form of a sincere “Thank You” is usually the reward. No need for money or the promise of future good will.
The post made dievca a little sad to think that a basic human kindness had to be documented and shared as the exception and not the norm.
Even though she is in NYC — dievca is Midwestern and that drives her behavior. she does for friends, because they need, she doesn’t want payment — being appreciated is enough.
To have known Midwesterness is to have looked at the sky, to read the clouds, and know the screech of tornado sirens. It is all the contradictions of passivity and sometimes self-indulgent ignorance, as well as knowing the meaning of loyalty, kindness, and unspoken anxiety always at the corners of life. It is to know awe; genuine, gob smacking awe at the greens of a dragonfly, the belly of a hummingbird, the taste of a fried tomato, as well as the sight of a Calder or an Oldenburg sculpture occupying the grass.
It is a built-in patience with many things, and open-faced impatience with that which seems time wasting or superficial, irrational, or especially unjust. It is also dumbfoundingly strange from time to time; creative, silly, and sometimes pointless.
dievca is proud to be Midwestern and she brings her own slice to the melting pot of a city. hers is a blunt, direct honesty that is sincere and clear.
This has gained her a steady and loyal following, befuddled people who thought they were God’s Gift – leaving them shocked to learn that dievca wasn’t interested and repelled potential ne’er′-do-wellers. It’s lost her fame and fortune, but saved dievca stress, headaches and gives her good health. It has allowed dievca to be loved, love in return, help herself and others become better people.
You are the company you keep and dievca keeps very good company. People of all colors, nationalities, sexual-orientations and ages she considers friends are honorary Midwesterners. (They might balk at the title–though they may reconsider it after they visit a State Fair.)
Here is a lovely piece of writing about “fly-over” country, dievca’s home.
C.A. Rooker: Why We Need the Flyover
Italics excepts and link from C.A. Rooker’s blog post — click the link for the full post.
Would you be willing to be called a Midwesterner?