So to break the bad spell, I offer a little ode to Carolina. I love it here. True, we produce teen beauty queens who can barely speak, but I don't blame the state. Not even the state schools. I could argue the point with fancy rhetoric, but I'm not in the mood. The human race is responsible for the Wilsons, the illiterates, the Sanfords, the perverts. We're all a mess.
But here, at home again in the South, I'm back in the midst of some beautiful things. I drink sweet tea everyday. The fish and the chicken are fried. Strangers and professionals greet me with a drawl and a joke. The in-laws are nearby, and they have a pool. The sun shines almost all the time. Temperatures have dropped to the high 70's, and sitting outside is a joy. Everywhere I go, there are green lawns, palmetto trees, and crepe myrtles that never lose their pink. Architecture is red brick, archways, white columns, and black wrought iron. I love archways and iron! Homes are more affordable here and, hence, we live in a lovely neighborhood with winding roads, lots of trees, and adorable houses. I teach at a private school in Columbia, where polite and neatly dressed teenagers say "yes ma'am." My two best friends in the world live five minutes away. Crickets chirp when the sun goes down.
I'm OK with sharing Carolina with a handful of famous idiots, so long as the beauty doesn't fade and the tea stays sweet.