OP-ED | ‘Galluping’ Out of Connecticut
They never call me to ask about the Yankees, taxes, the president. . . How many times a year I go to the dentist. (Connecticut leads the way!)
So, it stands to reason, that between June and December of 2013, they didn’t call me and ask, “Regardless of whether you will move, if you had the opportunity, would you like to move to another state, or would you rather remain in your current state?”
You’ve seen the results of this poll.
Someone shared them on your Facebook wall. You responded on a forum thread somewhere, “Why DO you want to leave?”
You posted it on Twitter, gleefully rubbing your hands together, “I told you so! I told you so! 49 percent of Connecticut residents want OUT!”
It’s happening in other states, too.
New York. 41 percent. I used to live there. Upstate. Practically Canada. I don’t miss the lake effect.
Illinois. 50 percent — half of the polled population. I used to live there, too. Visiting my mother. In Cicero. Down the street from Al Capone’s old place.
Some 47 percent of the people in Nevada want out. What happens in Vegas wants out of Vegas. (I blame Cliven Bundy.)
Anyway, here’s the thing — it doesn’t suck here. And you don’t really hate it.
Taxes, cold weather, expensive food. Politics, the gun laws, too many trees . . . (They’re taking care of that, aren’t they?)
You are still here.
Because your family is here or the education is excellent.
I moved to Connecticut with my daughter in 2005 from Greensboro, N.C.
She’d been attending a magnet school for the performing arts? I thought it would be a good idea. We like art.
Then I learned that there were combined classrooms at the school. So my daughter, who had excelled in private kindergarten, was basically in kindergarten again during her first-grade year — because the school maintained that every student should be taught on the level of the least developed child in the combined classroom.
Just to spell that out, in one classroom there was a class of kindergarteners and a class of first graders. So they taught to the “slowest” kindergartener.
Later, also in one classroom, there was a class of second graders and a class of third graders. They taught to the “slowest” second-grader.
By the time third grade came around, she was so bored she was bouncing off of the walls — but no one understood why I wouldn’t medicate her . . .
And welcome to Pomfret Community School. We’re not in the trailer park or in combined classrooms anymore, Toto. And it shows.
I like living in Connecticut.
Maybe you’ve forgotten some of the great things about our state. For instance, we live in a state that NEVER RATIFIED the 18th Amendment. (That’s right.)
Guess what else?
The first FM radio station was WDRC in Hartford, we get the hamburger, Frisbee, and, for you anti-government folks — we even set the first car laws. Setting the speed limit at a lofty 12 miles per hour.
Every year, CNNMoney lists a few towns in our state as “best places to live.”
It’s pretty here, too. There are no seasons in Greensboro, NC. They have cool and hot. The in between is just brown.
You’re still not convinced. You hate it here.
You want to move South.
Are you sure?
Thinking about buying a house?
Double-wide trailers with spa tubs are the way to go.
I didn’t have it so good, I guess.
Folks up here seem to think that everyone in the south is just living it up, raking in all that big money and buying cheap food.
In Connecticut at the end of 2013 there were 437,131 receiving SNAP. In Alabama, there were 908,168.
Connecticut has an approximate population of 3.6 million. Alabama, 4.8 million.
Do the math. I did.
Are you suuure you want to go?
Maybe you were just mad about your oil bill?
There are no oil bills in the south.
Just BIG electric bills — because of the central air . . .
Don’t even get me started on racism, politics, or women’s rights.
Think things through, my friends. Grass is greener, and all that.
I myself have lived in a dozen or so states. And I kind of like this one.
Sarah L. Hamby is a photographer, non-profit press coordinator, and practitioner of politics. She lives in Pomfret Center.