Midwest musings

Okay, how glad am I that this didn't happen while we were in the arch?

Seeing that article reminded me to post about something else, though. For whatever reason, lately I seem to have been involved in a lot of conversations as to whether or not Ohio is actually in the Midwest. At the time, though, the only other option for Ohio was to be in the East. Ohio is definitely not in the East. I lived there for 26 years and now live in Maryland and, yeah, definitely not the East. At the same time, there are clearly a lot of states in the Midwest that are way more Midwestern than Ohio

So I have been doing some thinking about this and I think the issue is with trying to take Ohio as a whole state and stick it somewhere. Because really there are two parts to Ohio.

There is the area up around the Great Lakes. Let's call it the Great Lakes Area of Demarcation, or GLAD. It actually extends pretty far south, even into the Akron area, which is where I grew up. I would venture to say that the GLAD extends west at least into Michigan, if not through all of the Great Lakes border states. Chicago is definitely in the GLAD.

There are some easy ways to tell if you live in the GLAD. If you get lake effect snow, can see seagulls, and know at least 25% of the words to "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," then you live in the GLAD. You get extra GLAD cred (and possibly cancer many years from now) if you have not only been up to the lake frequently, but have also swam in that nastiness.

The GLAD helps explain things like why everyone in Northeast Ohio thinks the state stops below Canton. Also, why only some people in Ohio will get it if you make a joke about the gales of November coming early.

So that leaves us to work out the rest of the state. That part I would call the Southern Midwestern Unidentified Shit, or the SMUSh. I am taking suggestions for something better that starts with Sh.

If you live in the SMUSh, you definitely not in the GLAD, or the Midwest, or the South. You are in some odd middle ground that has characteristics of each, but no true identity. Cincinnati falls squarely in the SMUSh, but the SMUSh extends south through Northern Kentucky, until you get into the true South.

The only part of this theory I can't really reconcile is Columbus. Columbus is a freak.


Eileen said...

I've always classified Ohio as a Rust Belt state because of the GLAD. I include Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Illinois in that group.

Carrie G said...

Yeah, I think a big chunk of Ohio is definitely Rust Belt. There is a big difference between the Rust Beltedness of Cleveland and Cincinnati, though, I think.