Sunday, January 04, 2009

Minnesota - Killing Me Softly

I've started this blog post at least half-a-dozen times in the last few minutes. My current location has me feeling like one cranky bitch. I'm cold. Cabin crazy. House bound. Hungry. Bored. Light deprived. Lonely. Usually, I hit this point around February. Discontent arrived early this year.

Where am I? I live in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.

My family and I have lived here 10 years now. We've given this place and these people a decade of our lives. We're still treated like outsiders by the natives. We've lost more friends than we've made. Sometimes I felt like we did everything short of standing on our heads and shooting fireworks out of our asses to please people. Minnesota is not famous, but infamous for its fabled "Minnesota Nice". A phrase that to those in the know generally translates to "passive aggressive". We've made no more than a handful of friends, most from outside of the Twin Cities area; many however, are no more than acquaintances. I even have relatives here. Relatives that I've seen a sum total of 8 times... at least half of those were just because my mother was visiting me.

My husband spent 4 months in school in Florida this past year. In that time he made many friends... more than we had in 10 years here. Friends that he's still in contact with nearly every day. People we know here we sometimes don't hear from for weeks at a time, and usually only if we initiate it. During the 4 months that I was here alone as a temporary single parent? I heard from local people less than a dozen times.

At least folks from the Twin Cities match their climate.

Several months out of the year we spend fighting the artic weather. Believe it or not, I was born and raised in an even harsher climate, North Dakota, but I've had it. I've come to dread doing the basic necessities of life, because it involves going outside. The climate is physically and mentally draining. I've spent 40 years fighting the cold: brutal temperatures, dangerous driving conditions, wear and tear on vehicles and homes, depression from light deprivation, having entirely separate winter wardrobes, cramming all outside activities into a few good months... the list goes on and on.

This past Christmas, our "celebration" meant that out of 36 hours, 10 hours were spent in said dangerous, white-knuckled driving conditions due to winter weather. Here, that can hit anytime between November and April. While people in other parts of the country are walking around in their shirt sleeves enjoying the sun on their face, we're wrapping up in double layers of clothing until only the whites of our eyes show for fear of frostbite. Even in the house or at work, I'm cold all the time. Being cold leads to a ravenous appetite. Of course, the human body, when faced with cold tries to shore up its reserves and store fat. The result? Constantly denying my hunger just to button my pants.

Lonely. Cold. Hungry. Depressed. I'm done. I can't live like this any more.

We really wanted to leave years ago, but we have two kids. Two kids who had been moved around a lot when they were younger. We were determined to stay in one place until our eldest graduated high school. We have a year and a half to go. One more winter to endure.