More than once, I have been told: “You are so East Coast.” Does this mean I speak too directly? Or, that I am pale? That I eat too many bagels?
I am from Connecticut and few from Southern California have a concept of what that means. What they do know is that Connecticut has four seasons and is as unremarkable a state as say, Delaware.
Being from Connecticut is not a conversation opener. When on a first date with a hot person, don’t mention you are from Connecticut, unless you want dead silence.
Putting aside the stereotypes that I wore LL Bean flannels, drove a Jeep Cherokee with a golden retriever in the backseat and went to Dunkin’ Donuts over and over, I do uphold certain Connecticut affectations:
- I am good at racquet sports.
- I cut my hair into a no-nonsense bob, like Diane Sawyer, every three years. I also wear glasses and ask a lot of questions (just like her), which is gosh.
- Shoveling snow is an essential part of adolescence.
- I can name 17 different varieties of apples.
- A crisp white t-shirt, white Tretorn sneakers, a supportive bra, and an appropriate bathing suit cover-up, are always in my closet.
- I love the sight of Colonial-dressed fifers playing atop an open truck bed.
- I hung out in empty fields followed by diners.
- I know people who were arrested for tax evasion.
- I have a peculiar grasp of American History.
- There is no such thing as a house that is not haunted.
Creepy ghost stories are ubiquitous in Connecticut. Every neighborhood has a beloved haunted house, or worse, a haunted patch of woods. Five minutes from my bedroom, just up the road was the…
“The White Lady”: a woman who wears a nightgown and bonnet and wanders along Route 59, terrifying motorists. There are countless police reports of her.
I was terrified to babysit at people’s homes that dated back to the 1800’s or worse yet, the 1700’s. There weren’t enough America’s Funniest Home Videos re-runs to pacify me on those dreaded Friday nights.
A friend and I used to play in the secret passageways behind the walls and closets in her home. Her home was altered to help slaves escape the South during the Underground Railroad.
And more than once in my hometown, a home was torn down and bones of “witches”, or Indian arrowheads or buttons from Revolutionary soldier jackets were uncovered. Creepy-central.
Although Connecticut in my opinion is gorgeous, I am relieved to not live there. My accent-less self and liberal leanings might not be in step with SoCal, but at least when it comes to ghost stories, I have a bunch. Thanks, Connecticut for scaring the bejesus out of me!