So, in case y’all didn’t know this– Alaskans are put on display in the Midwest. Kind of like polar bears. Or the zoo. Either way, just know that if you’re an extrovert that is desperate for new connections but can’t find any (because you’ve made it your mission to know everybody) just use this one simple, magical phrase:
Hello! I’m from Alaska! You shall have instant friends. As well as instant groupies. It’s great. You should try it. After you try it, you may send me royalties for giving you such a splendid idea. I’m not kidding, this works. (*Cue infomercial background music*) On a campus that has 3,000ish people- all 3,000 and their Mothers know me.
The problem is, I really, really couldn’t care less about being known by everyone. Walking the campus that takes up an entire block, I randomly hear, “Hi! Cassie! What’s up?!”
What’s up, sweetheart, is I don’t know who you are. But you know me. That’s weird. Stop… Or at least realize that I’m not a horrible person for not remembering your name; seeing as I’ve never met you.
If Alaskans reacted like this every time we saw someone from Texas, Florida, Maine, Hawaii or even Louisiana, we’d never get anything done. Nor would our brains be worth much because instead if remembering procedures for our jobs, our minds would be on overload trying to remember about 30,000 different names and their places of origin each year.
Plus, to make it worse, we’d never get a serious conversation out of the way. Here in Indiana, I say I’m from Alaska, and the most common reaction is a gasp, squeal or comical 30-second stare. I’m not even going to attempt to mock that… I have no idea how to be shocked when someone is from Iowa and they’re standing on my Alaskan soil. I’ve tried. It’s pathetic.
I realize I’m not the only novelty in this town. We have certain students from Haiti, Nigeria, and Switzerland. But in 24 years, I’ve never had my place of origin be a constant recipe for instant overreactions. When the conversation lulls in a new crowd, all my friend has to say is, “Did you know Cassie is from Alaska?” Let the 20 questions/drama class auditions begin!
Heaven forbid that anyone introduce me as, “Cassie from Alaska, Brain surgery survivor.” If they do this, I may never, ever, ever ever get through this semester alive.
Buck up, Dearest. Learn to laugh anyway.