Wisconsin tends to have a reputation among those who don’t live here, and sometimes among those who do, of being a flyover state. That’s there’s not a ton to do. And the fact is, on the face of things, it’s not necessarily wrong.
When I moved here just over four years ago, everyone was trying to “sell” me on Wisconsin.
“Oh, you’re going to love it. There’s the farmers’ market and concerts on the square.”
“Has anyone told you about the concerts on the square? Or the cheesy bread at the farmer’s market?”
“We have this big farmers’ market! And concerts. They’re on the square.”
“I mean, you’re going to go to the farmers’ market, right? And the concerts on the square? Right? You’re going to go?”
Guys. That’s only two things. That’s not that many things.
And do they count as two when they’re both on the same square? What happens when you leave the square? Political discourse? Quiet reflection on the changing nature of time as you get older? Everyone eats cheese in silence?
Needless to say, I wasn’t convinced. And also I was pretty insufferable to be around, but that hasn’t changed.
It was about a year later that I was sitting on a flight to New York, listening to a young woman in the seat behind me complain about how boring Wisconsin was, and how she couldn’t wait to be back in the city after spending two weeks here.
She “literally” couldn’t wait, which must have been a real bummer considering we were stuck on the runway for two hours because of air traffic in Chicago, our connecting city. That’s really bad timing for literally being unable to wait.
It made me angry. Not because I hadn’t said similar things, because I had. But because I could tell she hadn’t tried. And because she was talking loudly enough that the whole plane could hear, but mostly because she hadn’t tried.
And really, there are things to do in Wisconsin if you’re willing to dig. And only most of them are on squares!