I wish to take this opportunity to paint a more fair picture of Maryland, not just how I see it through the windshield. So, I give you:
10 Things I Love about Maryland:
#10 Chipotle. Some say their burritos are three bites too big. I completely agree…but sometimes too much is just enough.
#9 Starbucks. I'm not one for big chains…but I love being able to go for a brief walk and get an iced coffee at each and every corner.
#8 Water Polo. Learning to play water polo is actually a requirement for graduation from Maryland public schools.
#7 Big Sky. I was having withdrawal from the ocean, when I realized it was above me the whole time. I don't know why, the sky just seems bigger in Maryland.
#6 Political Discussions. Since it surrounds our nation's capital, the state of Maryland is much more in tune with the goings on of our fearless leaders. In Boston, the chaotic weather provides the baseline for small talk in any situation. In Maryland, it is the chaotic political climate that serves that function.
#5 Street Signs. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts does not like drivers to know where they are at any given time. It's in the state constitution, look it up. This is carried out in part by not putting any street signs for the road your on. In addition, they only put street signs on the cross streets when they find it will enhance confusion. For example, in Roxbury I once found myself at the corner of Columbus and Columbus. Maryland is much nicer in this regard. They figure, if your going to be stuck somewhere for extended periods of time (due to construction) you might as well know where the heck you are.
#4 Just Enough Winter. In certain areas of the country, they look to the groundhog to tell them how much longer winter will be in session. In Boston they don't bother with such superstitions, because every citizen knows that, at any given time, there are always three more months of winter. In Maryland, you only get just enough snow to make it pretty. And it's fun to watch everybody freak out when it happens. In Boston, I would have to dig out my car (see picture) to get to school. In Maryland school is cancelled if anyone even thinks the word snow. As a side note, the Japanese word for snow is "yuki" (thanks, Yoshino!)
#3 The Salad Bowl. Boston is very ethnically and racially clumpy. Far from being "a great melting pot", it is more like a T.V. dinner, with the meat, tater tots, green beans, and applesauce all neatly separated. Maryland is a lot more like a salad bowl, with lots of interesting folks all mixed in together, contributing to the overall flavor. I dig it.
#2 Crabs. In Boston, it takes about three years of intense training, culminating in an associate's degree, to learn how to eat a lobster. The process is nearly as complicated, and equally as sensitive, as neurosurgery. Each lobster takes approximately 2 hours to eat, if it is done correctly. In Maryland, they do it right: a pitcher of beer, a bucket of crabs, and a wooden mallet. Hulk smash!! I love it.
#1 The People. At first I must say I was disappointed at the lack of Mary's in the supposed Land of Mary's (I've only met one person named Mary). After that brief initial disappointment, I realized that the Mary and all the non-Mary's I have met have been totally awesome. And I have solved the mystery of the missing Mary's: Everyone in Maryland is required to have their middle name be Mary. It's in the state constitution, check it. Would I lie?