I Heart Kansas (and Missouri)

KansasMissouriBorderWar*750*This is a something I wrote for the Kansas City Star about the Missouri/Kansas border “wars.”

I got my feelings hurt last week over something very silly – people insulting Kansas. Yep, I was offended that in a 12-hour period two people cast aspersions on the sunflower state.

One comment I was used to hearing. It’s the general “I hate Kansas” statement (which I’ve figured out in the five years I’ve lived here can only mean “I’m beyond jealous of your great schools”). The reason I let this upset me was because the person saying it just moved to KCMO from the East coast. How can you possibly hate Kansas? You just got here. What has Kansas in the 27 days you’ve lived in the Midwest ever done to you?

Then later that evening a woman tells me that she and her husband recently moved from Lake Quivira to Missouri because they didn’t want to “die in Kansas.” WTH? Does your life insurance pay out more if you take your last breath in Missouri? Are funerals cheaper?

Someone please help me out here. I’m confused because when I can throw a rock from my backyard and hit Missouri I just consider all of us wonderful Kansas Citians. In fact, if I’m traveling and someone asks me where I live I say Kansas City and that usually leads to a “What about those Royals?” follow up question. (How great is that? Yay Royals!)

It’s not that I begrudge anyone from taking pride in their state and being all rah-rah about where they live. I just think too much state pride can be a dangerous thing and I know what I’m talking about. I’m from Texas.

May the good Lord or Big Tex (the 55-foot tall statue that looms in all his glory over the State Fair of Texas) not strike me dead for saying this, but Lone Star state folks can be way too full of themselves. It’s one thing to be proud of where you hail from. It’s a problem if that’s the only thing you’ve got going for you.

I’ve witnessed this phenomenon almost my entire life. There are generations of families that don’t embrace dental hygiene or scholastic endeavors, but they’re way up there on a high horse because they all were born in Dallas County. It’s like being a Texan gives them a pass to not do much of anything because they’ve already achieved their dream – living in a state that doesn’t believe in zoning and development codes. (Don’t believe me? Go visit Houston.)

This is why I think all of us border folk need to do a We Are the World like event. You know a whole join hands, sing a song and eat some burnt ends to celebrate the awesomeness that is the greater Kansas City area. We could call it Love Beyond Borders or Borderless or we could be super hip and just call it B as in the “B Event” Seriously, why am I not party planner because I can see the entire event in my head? In fact, brace yourself for genius. We could have the shindig in the abandoned Hy Vee grocery store parking lot on State Line.

I can already smell the aroma wafting from the artisanal BBQ cotton candy booth. And what’s a party without a signature beverage? I suggest a craft beer for the event made from pasteurized Missouri river water and runoff from the Schlitterbahn in KCK. The beverage would be a vivid buff color (kind of like the mighty Mo after a storm) with a robust, almost tornadic head and a delicate sunflower scent with just a hint of hops infused funnel cake laced with a touch of the Quik Trip’s Rooster Booster energy drink. Can you say yum? (Or not).

Imagine throngs (or maybe a couple of Scout troops if you’re not a big thinker like me) of people holding hands across State Line celebrating the unity of Kansas and Missouri. Scratch that, I just got an even better, bolder idea. What if we have a wedding? Are you with me? I think you are because I feel like we both got this idea at the same time. What if Kansas and Missouri get married? Sunflower + Show Me = True Love Forever. The reception alone would be epic. And instead of wedding presents everyone would be asked to make a donation to their respective state’s road repair budget.

This way we would all be family. No hate just sweet, sweet, state-on-state love kind of like when the Royals were on their World Series journey last year. That’s when we were all proud, beaming, borderless, Kansas Citians.

*Attencover_1.3-2tion Snarky Friends, I have a brand new book out. It’s the second in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! 🙂