Southerners, let me tell you something you may not know. We Midwesterners, especially those of us who either grew up near the Chicagoland area or who have family there have a secret barb we throw at each other. Say you are somewhere where you would not expect to meet another Midwesterner–in this case, we could say, right ahead of you in the checkout line in Kroger.
And the Chicagoland person might not recognize you as being from the Midwest, so he or she will say “I’m from Chicago.”
We then say, “Oh, really? Where?” You might not recognize this, but this is how we signal, “I suspect you’re being a douche.”
Now, here’s the important thing to know. At this moment, there is a non-douchy reply. A non-douche right then is either going to ‘fess up to the city he’s actually from–“Well, I’m actually from Aurora, but it’s been so long since Wayne’s World, that I usually just say Chicago” or they’ll give you a neighborhood or a set of cross streets (which may be in Chicago or in the suburbs)–“I grew up on Michigan and 119th.” or “My Grandma lives off of 151st.” And you have a general idea then of where they’re actually from, with all the attendant stereotypes that go along with that. But right away, they’re going to respect that you asked “Where?” because you have some familiarity with the area.
But there’s always some asshole who will still try to just say “Chicago” or worse yet, “It’s too hard to explain. You wouldn’t have heard of it.” These folks always seem to think there’s some great cultural cache to living in actual Chicago, which they want you to believe they have, but they’ve moved out to the suburbs (or have always lived in the suburbs) and are just borrowing your opinions on Chicago for their own cred.
If you press them, they will eventually confess to being from, say, Lockport. And then they kind of sulk, because now they know you know they’re not actually from Chicago.
I mention this, because it may be necessary to start this nonsense here. I read this in The Tennessean this morning:
“I certainly explored the idea of going on Music Row, but it occurred to me that people don’t really care where your office is. Not everybody is on Music Row anymore,” O’Sullivan said. “There might be people that will say it’s not a good idea to be there, but to me, Franklin is Nashville. It’s just another ZIP code.”
I like Franklin a great deal. It’s not Nashville. If people want to live in Franklin, more power to them. It’s charming and has a lovely, walkable downtown and is full of history stuff I love to go look at. If people want to work in Franklin, again, no problem. I drove down to Franklin at the height of rush hour on Friday morning. It’s a lovely reverse commute if you live in Nashville.
But it’s not Nashville. It’s its own lovely place with a lot to offer.
You start calling it Nashville and I’m going to laugh, openly, at you when I realize that’s what you’re doing.