Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Rocky Mountain High

I first went to Salt Lake City about 4 years ago when my sister moved there from the east coast. Since I live in Colorado Springs, now all I had to do was drive 8 hours full of majestic mountain scenery to the flip side of the Rockies to see her. I didn't think at all about what Salt Lake City would be like. Until I got there. And discovered, it's flippin' weird.

The first clue is on the highway when you enter town. Like most big cities, you're accosted by billboards. Which seems pretty normal, until I realized most of the ads are for plastic surgery. And that conflicts with the whole natural fresh-mountain-air-granola-free-to-be-you-and-me vibe I was expecting. Maybe that doesn't exist outside Boulder, land of elitist acceptance.

Then, I noticed the houses are humongous. Later, I learned that the houses are so big to accommodate the huge families that live in these here parts. But what's weird is for a city that has a lot of kids, you don't see them out playing in the neighborhood like you would in Colorado Springs. I know that they do get out because most huge houses have a huge RV parked in their driveway. You'd never see an RV parked in my neighborhood because the HOA forbids it.

While out and about, I noticed the general population was tan, dressed in the latest fashions with their hair and nails meticulously groomed. My sister and I, on the other hand, are pale, adorned in our thrift store finds, my hair is wet, hers is unwashed and our nails are short and naked. Completely naked. So when I take off my shoes and holey socks for dance class it exposes my callouses and the lint stuck between my toes.

Christmas lights go up promptly after Thanksgiving, like they do all over the country. Except, I'm not talking a couple of strands either thrown over a bush. We're talking huge front yard displays with lights that rival Las Vegas. I bet you can probably see Salt Lake from space too during the holiday season. It looks very professional. Probably because a lot of them are strung by professionals. Which is an even bigger expense than the big electricity bill.

It just doesn't add up. Or it all adds up too quickly. This lifestyle is way to expensive for the average person.

It's too perfect.

Stepford wives perfect.

There must be Prozac in the water here or something. So, when I got home and I researched. In fact, there really might be Prozac in the water. While Utah has the lowest illicit drug use in the nation, they have the highest rate of prescription drug abuse. They also have one of the highest suicide rates in the country. And you probably thought this post was gonna be about Colorado legalizing pot. Colorado isn't the only state that's Rocky Mountain high.


Dangerous Linda said...

Hi, Marie! ~

Interesting post. I discovered Utah when traveling on business and fell so deeply in love with the state and the people that I consider it one of my favorite 'homes-away-from home'. Ogden is my favorite, which you might prefer to Salt Lake City based on your description.

The alcohol laws are the strictest of anywhere I'm aware of in the U.S. and I also did some research and discovered what I believe to be a correlation between that a prescription drug abuse there.

Personally, I've generally found people in Colorado to be more 'different' from other American states than Utah which may explain some of your reactions to?

Cerebrations.biz said...

Ah, yes, that was the same impression I had of SLC- Stepford Wives and Hubbies... Homogeneity taken to its illogical extension.

The Loerzels said...

@ Linda-I'd be interested in your take on Colorado.

Dangerous Linda said...

Many people I've encountered in Colorado exhibit what seems, relatively speaking, hyper-consciousness in health, ecology and politics with a certain smugness about it. To be fair, I've been there many times visiting family and friends of an ex-spouse and that could skew the demographics of my sample ;-)

The Loerzels said...

I can totally see that! Was this in Boulder by any chance?

Leah Griffith said...

I could never live in that place. I'd be tarred and feathered before sunset for neglecting my lawn and kids. LOL! Thanks for the smile. I've been going through a hermit stage. Hey...that should be my next blog. Hahaha! Hows the book coming? We're due for a phone chat.

Dangerous Linda said...

Yes -- Boulder/Loveland area

The Loerzels said...

@Leah-I was writing for the book this morning. It's coming along one sentence at a time.
@Linda-I knew it!

Chantel said...

I believe I've mentioned that I was raised on a ranch, near Bailey, 9,800 feet up, 85 acres of mountain inhabited by 400 animals. I can make cheese. (but on the flip side, I never had a birthday party or a tv till I was 17)

Alas...I still have crappy nails, unshaved legs, and dammit--Christmas is still in a box. I could use some of the SLC water....

Samantha Bangayan said...

Eek! I could definitely not live in a place like that. I have a hard enough time with perfectionism as is!


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