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Things I learned while in Vermont

As I sit here in my hotel room in Saint Johnsbury, Vermont, getting ready to pack up and head to the airport in Burlington, I ruminate on the things I’ve learned:

  • Amaretto and ginger ale is a great combination, and while it may not have a lot of alcohol content, if you drink enough of it, it will knock you on your muthafuckin’ ass.
  • There are full-service gas stations here and if you hop out of your car and start pumping your own gas before the dirty, unkempt homeless man gets there, he will come up to you and insist he pump it for you, then charge you a premium for the “privilege”.
  • The only nail shop in Saint Johnsbury is still staffed by Asians, and they will look at you like some fat bearded alien if you walk in with bright green toes and ask for a pedicure and polish.

    New fall colors thanks to the Saint Johnsbury nail salon
  • AT&T’s 3G Network doesn’t mean dick in the state of Vermont. Neither, for that matter, does Verizon’s.
  • The security at Burlington airport takes themselves way too seriously given the cute, tiny size of their widdle aiwpowt. Awww. Goochie Goochie goo.
  • Weddings outside, under the trees and the grey-blue sky, can feel equally, if not more reverent and special, than ones in a church.
  • The state slogan is “Friendly but suspicious.”
  • People drive really, really, really fucking slow – not just the people looking at leaves, either. The ones with the Vermont plates were some of the worst offenders.
  • I really cannot dance and I should not try to do so ever again.
  • The signs that simply say “Moose” are warnings, not free word association games.
  • It’s so white here that I’m the blackest person here. Fo shiz.
  • It’s hard to be naked all the time when it’s 38 degrees out.
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69 Replies to “Things I learned while in Vermont”

  1. Kimberly

    Hmmm, are those your pants rolled up in a ball on the floor of the Saint Johnsbury nail salon? You know you don’t have to take off your pants to have your toes done…just saying.

    I went to college in New Hampshire – very similar with the moose and the driving slow and the smallness of things. It’s funny, but kind of nice at the same time.

  2. Dave2

    In general, I find that ALL small airports are much more serious about security. I kind of don’t blame them, because the pressure is probably a lot greater (the perception being that smaller airports have LESS security and are an easier target for terrorists). Even so, my biggest problems with security have all been at larger airports, so I’m happy when I can use the little ones.

    • Julianne

      @Dave2, the only time I flew out of Worcester (MA) airport – going to see Adam actually – there were people with Uzi’s everywhere…Worcester has 4 gates, 3 for non-passenger and 1 for (at that time) Pan Am…strictest I’ve seen anywhere.
      Though it being 10/11/01 may have had something to do with it

  3. CrazyColtrane

    I saw some picture tags on Facebook of you at that wedding in VT and to be honest it looked like a deleted scene from “The Village” sans the period costumes!!!

  4. Blondefabulous

    Did you at least get some maple syrup while you were up there??

    Nice shade on the toes. Have they ever offered to wax the tops of your toes? I had one salon ask me, and ever since then I shave my toes before I go. I don’t have a lot of hair on my toes, but now I’m always wondering….

  5. mapsgirl

    If we make assumptions that black guys are good dancers, then by your statements, you were the best dancer there. And if you also say that you can’t dance, it must have been a very humourous reception.

    Oh, and I’m not sure orange is your colour.

  6. Marie

    I’ve been to the Burlington airport many times. And yes it’s small but easy to navigate, and you don’t have to run for your flight. But seriously they are way too hard on people. The only one that’s worse is the one in Fargo, ND. I just think they have wayyyyyyyyy too much time on their hands. When friends and I flew to Jamaica for a wedding I had my passport. No one else did. A birth cert. was the only requirement. But one of the group got put aside because her birth cert. didn’t match her driver’s license. Well ya, she’s married now!!! lol We almost didn’t make our flight because of that. And yet, everyone else was married too, except the bride.
    And speaking of toes…….orange?? Why not just get a man-icure? Which is nice too but they just buff your nails and they are nice, shiny and colorless. It makes men look so well groomed.

    p.s. Did you get any fudge????

  7. Grant

    I thought only rural Tennessee still had full service stations. I’m glad another state is still preserving the proud tradition. You should have told him to check the oil and clean the windows like they did in the 70’s.

  8. Kizz

    I’m from NH so I feel I can speak to some of this.

    The network coverage is because of the mountains. Networks cannot fight mountains. Vermonters seem to like it that way. So. Frustrating.

    Burlington airport is probably just trying really hard not to become the Portland, ME airport, which was the originating airport for a number of the suicide bombers on 9/11. It was targeted because it was a small airport that no one would really care about security for.

    That state slogan? Actually it’s for all of New England and we take it pretty seriously. Sorry.

    And as for your last point? Had a lot to do with why I moved South out of NH. Of course I only made it as far as NYC where it still gets pretty cold but I did move South!

  9. Poppy

    No, the state slogan is “Welcome to Vermont, now go home.” With a shotgun in their hands.

    It’s not everyone that drives slow, it’s the person in the front of the pack that drives slow. And everyone behind that person will tailgate you like they’re trying to mount your ass.

    I’ve been trying to explain to people for years that Vermont is the whitest state in the nation. If you go to Burlington you’ll find the most diversity, but only because it’s a college town with a high percentage of out-of-state students and educators who come there from elsewhere.

    I had 3 friends of diversity in all the years I grew up. I moved to 7 different school districts while growing up… but still only even knew that many people who weren’t white. And those people tried as hard as possible to be white. It is sad, in retrospect.

  10. Issa

    Is it bad that my first thought was, what’s the name of that polish?

    I have decided that I’m seriously spoiled with cell service. I spent the weekend in the boondocks. I only had service for about an hour. Not a consecutive hour, either. Also? I tried to download an app and it took two days. No joke. At my house? They download in seconds.

  11. Julianne

    #1 I will take full credit for introducing you to my Amaretto & Gingerale amazing-ness…not only tasty, with a hidden knock-you-on-your-ass quality, it still seems classy in the Disaronno Bottle
    #2 Those nail people ‘moisturized’ my mother’s arm with lotion so enthusiastically, she left with a nasty bruise just below her elbow. And kept yelling at them for moving from below the dryer too soon
    #3 My Palm Treo had no issues with ATT 3G reception *in* St Johnsbury…my only issues were passing thru the White Mountains in NH
    #4 That was one of the most sincere, personal, moving ceremonies I have ever seen. Especially the vows (I promise to try to understand the Business world/I promise to understand the Art World/I promise to never leave you standing in the cold…oops). Completely unbiased opinion – being sister of the groom has zero influence..
    Oh, and SOOOO glad you made it, can’t ever see you often enough cuz!

    • Avitable

      @Julianne, thank you for introducing me to that magical drink. I had reception as far as making calls, but couldn’t connect to the internet as easily. It was a great ceremony – one of the best weddings I’ve been to! And now you have to come down to Florida again sometime. 🙂

  12. Lisa

    Amaretto and Ginger ale sounds yummy! I love amaretto but don’t drink it anymore. Too much sugar.

    I have to say I’ve liked all your other toenail colors so far except for this one. I’m not a fan of orange. But I dig that you do it. You’re not afraid to do something you like just because it’s outside of generally accepted male behavior.

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