I have moved around quite a bit in my life and due to my constant need to travel, I find myself answering the question “Where are you from” quite a bit. This question can be a bit complicated because I was born and raised in Kansas, but have since lived in Florida, Vermont, and Rhode Island. (Nomad status!) I have been answering this question for years now and it always results in an instant comment of “Oh, you’re not in Kansas anymore, dorthy” (I even once had a woman in Spain say it to me). So here it is, the five most common (and dumbest) questions I have had to answer
1. Did you grow up on a farm?
No, not everyone who lives in Kansas grows up on a farm. Contrary to what you have seen in the oh so famous movie Wizard of Oz, there are actual cities and suburbs where people live.
2. Have you ever seen a tornado?
Yes, I actually have. I was camping with my mom and sister and a tornado arrived in the middle of the night. We had to take shelter in the outside bathrooms and when we came back our tents and belongings had been blown away never to be found again. Tornado’s for Kansans are like hurricanes for Floridians- just a part of daily life. I can’t begin to say how many times in my life work/school has been interrupted and completely stopped for a tornado warning and we all had to run for cover- it certainly made the day go by faster!
3. Do you have cars there?
I was legit asked this question once when I was visiting a friend in Ohio. First of all, of all the places I would even think to be asked this I never thought it would be from someone in OHIO ( I mean really, you are only a few states away?!). Answer: Yes, of course we have cars. Not everyone who lives here is Amish and chillin’ in their horse and buggy.
4. What do you even do out there?
Check out this video and see just how boring Kansas is…
5. Why don’t you have an accent?
Oh, you sound surprised that when I opened my mouth and a slew of redneck did not come out?? Yes, sometimes I will slip up and say ya’ll or use a slang word from the midwest, but for the most part I have a pretty neutral accent and way of speaking. Yeehaw!
Bonus: “Well Dorthy, it looks like you’re not in Kansas, anymore huh?”
Congratulations. You have seen the one movie about Kansas, just like everyone else.