Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Quintessentially Northwest

Last summer, my husband finally got a new car after driving a Ford Escort for 14 years.  I had to talk him into it.  He went in for a blue hard top.  We left with a red rag top.  Men, take heed, do not test drive a convertible with your wife unless you plan on buying.  Especially if you're planning to move to a warm weather place.  It's like a built in excuse...

Had we known that almost a year later we would still be here, I might have tried to resist a bit more.  Our little red convertible has only seen 6,000 miles.  It has only been top down for 50 hours (yes, it has a gauge to record this) and probably half of that time because I am stubborn and will drive in 50 degree weather with the top down and the heat blasting.  Yes, I am aware of how ridiculous this is.  But we natives of the Northwest will do anything to pretend that it's perfect here, especially when it comes to the weather.  Things like never being seen using an umbrella and instead hunkering down inside a hooded jacket.  Or wearing shorts with sweatshirts and God forbid, socks with sandals- if I never see that again, it'll be too soon...  And it's not just our wardrobes. 

We actually own outdoor furniture, and use it about 2 weeks a year, after hauling it out to sit in the rain for at least 6 months in hopes of catching just the right moment.  We use our grills in the snow sometimes, especially when the power goes out on Thanksgiving- which is does way more often than we like to admit.  We even act all cool about the days when it is actually truly warm and sunny by behaving as if it happens all the time and that we didn't just cut out of work early so we can enjoy this little bit of magic.  Oh and then we make sure that tourists know that it rains here all the time and that they definitely don't want to move here.  After all, it's getting kind of crowded and there's only so much tartar sauce to go around, to dip our fries in- of course.

Yes, we are a confused bunch out here.  It's funny to watch how the natives behave.  We are too cool to face reality and yet we really do believe we are special in some weird way.  Of course, being a native myself, I can't pretend that I don't do strange things either.  But the other night I have to admit that I was bit annoyed at just how 'chill' we "Northwesterners" can be.  I was at a Mariners game in the suite that is allotted to the company that my husband works for.  Every other year we get to enjoy this little perk, once during the season.  A couple of interesting things happened during the game.  1) Ichiro Suzuki stole his 400th base:

and 2) Ken Griffey Jr. was hanging out in the suite right next door to ours and nobody bothered to mention this until the game was almost over.  And then only by going to great lengths to act as if it was silly to be at all excited about this.  Seriously, not one person even tried to take a picture- not even in that all clandestine "I'll just sneak and take a picture with my phone" way.  Most of the people we were in the suite with didn't even peek in his direction.  Well maybe I wasn't going to make a real spectacle of myself by trying to take any pictures either, but I definitely was going to take a look.  I couldn't help myself.  I may have embarrassed every native in the house, but I was lookin'.  Come on, I don't get this chance every day and I simply could not resist!

So I did my best to act real cool and kind of just wandered out to the far edge of our little area in front of our suite and then just turned around real nonchalant and all, making sure to look right into the center of the suite where I was told Ken Jr. was standing.  OMG.  Yeah, I have no proof of this and I know that over the interwebs nothing is real without a picture.  But, this is how it went down.  Not only did I get a look for myself, but Ken Griffey Jr. looked right up from the phone he was texting on and flashed me a big ol' grin
Photo Credit:  Seattle Times
as if he knew exactly what I was up to!  I tried to act as if I wasn't starstruck, but it was hopeless.  My husband and his coworkers got a real kick out of how thrilled I was.  They had a perfect view of the look on my face!

And you know what?  I wasn't embarrassed at all.  I was glad I broke the rules.  It was totally worth it.  Heck, ever since I've realized that I'm ready to move away I have been pushing the unwritten rules of the locals.  And it's been fun.  Sometimes I even jaywalk, something that is simply NEVER done here.  I know, scandalous!  And I've even noticed how strong the scent of pine can be when you drive with the top down on a crisp Northwest day...


  1. I'm jealous! I want a top-down, read car too! lol

  2. MINI COOPER!!!! LOL. And I once saw colin powell...I do not have proof either. But I do have an excuse...It was in 1996 or so...and I was living in germany. I was on Patch kaserne and I came out of the military post office with my oldest daughter (who was 3 at the time)...we were walking back to our jeep when I saw that a helicopter was landing on the soccer field. I thought Kate would get a kick out of seeing a helicopter land, so we jogged toward the wire fence surrounding the field. All of a sudden a door opened in the row of buildings to our right and a bunch of large men in trench coats came out and then colin powell came out..he wasn't but 30 foot away. And I, being the brilliant person I am said "Colin Powell?!" lol. Not TO him...just to the air. He heard me, looked up and smiled and laughed and waved...climbed on the helicopter and took off. pretty cool.

  3. I love Minis! And waaay cool that you got to see Junior!


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