Saturday, June 21, 2014
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
I’m super excited to have been invited to join a blog group alongside three talented bloggers. Each week, one of us chooses a topic and we all post a blog entry on that topic, usually on Thursdays.
Here are the links to the other fabulous blogs:
This week’s topic came from me, and I asked the ladies to write a breakup letter. Here is my take:
Dear State of Illinois:
Dear State of Illinois:
That’s it. I’m done. We? Are through.
And I’m not going to say, “It’s not you, it’s me.” It’s totally you. You are no longer the state I fell in love with. I? Don’t even know you anymore.
Don’t look so surprised. We both knew it was coming. I’ve tried, Illinois, I really have. I’ve overlooked so many mistakes, so many indiscretions. But you’ve pushed me too far, my once fair state. This time, you’ve crossed the line.
What? You don’t know what I’m talking about? Ok, how about this tidbit: you recently pushed to make permanent a “temporary” five percent income tax while simultaneously giving yourself a nice juicy raise. Who does that, Illinois? Oh, that’s right, you do. And you do it without thinking twice. Without a shade of embarrassment or regret. It’s all about you, Illinois. You couldn’t care less about people like me, your constituent, your resident. You look at me and your eyes light up with dollar signs. You lie awake nights and think of ways to gauge me for even more money. You are a gold digger. One of the best. And I’m so over it. Completely done.
It’s not like I was that into you, anyway. Ask my husband where he’s from, and he says, “Wisconsin.” Ask me, and I say, “Chicago.” My city of origin just happens to fall within your oddly shaped boundaries; hell, I’ve long been a proponent of Chicago ceding from Illinois and becoming its own cool state: Chicago – just Chicago (sort of like the Sting of the states). Of course, breaking up with you means turning my back on Chicago, too. But that’s ok. The city I grew up in lives no longer, and I’ve no patience for Rahm’s Chicago. (And I’ve no money for the city’s parking meters: $6.50 an hour?! Seriously?!) A lifelong Chicagoan, this isn’t easy. But you’ve left me no choice.
I’m not alone, Illinois. Recent news reports indicate Illinoisians are fleeing you at a staggering rate, something like three an hour, which is seventy-two a day, or twenty-seven THOUSAND a year – the second highest rate in the entire country (second to New York, per usual). Hell, I’d be moving out on you, too, if I could swing it. Don't worry; I’m working on it. It will be a happy, happy day when I unscrew those “Land of Lincoln” plates from my Jeep, replacing them with the undoubtedly less expensive tags from a competing jurisdiction, one not occupied by Michael Madigan (and one where salt won’t eat away the undercarriage of my car).
Don’t try pulling the pouty eyes on me. The innocent look simply won’t work. The list of ways in which you’ve compromised our relationship is long and getting longer. I’m sure you’re thinking, “But I’m ranked in the top five!” And it’s true – you score high points, but in all the wrong ways: highest sales tax in the nation, highest unemployment rate, worst traffic, worst baseball team, coldest winters, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera! You’re killing me, Illinois, figuratively and literally.
To make it worse, you’re foibles are public knowledge. Talk about embarrassing Internet photos – remember Blago?! No other state boasts two governors housed in two separate prisons at the same time (and none could “brag” about the last one appearing on Celebrity Apprentice). So horrible is the current governor, he was booed at a Blackhawk’s rally! And everyone there was happy and drunk! I can’t even listen to the governor’s voice; if I hear him on the radio or TV, I lunge to change the channel (much like I do when those heartwrenching ASPCA commercials come on).
Even your ridiculously expensive Super Bowl commercial was terrible: claymation? I’m sure I wasn’t alone in having Davey & Goliath flashbacks. You spent eleventy billion of my dollars to lure people here by showing Abe Lincoln making a weird “hmmmm” noise while touring you? Really? That’s the best you’ve got?
You know, I think it is. Sadly, Illinois, it’s just not good enough for me.
So don’t bother to call or text. Don’t send cards or flowers or chocolates (because you’d be using my money, anyway, and that tax rate is killer). I’ll be online researching other states, looking for one that’s at least 5’10” with blue eyes, no income tax, and warm winters. Take care of yourself, Illinois. I wish you well. I really, truly do.