Dear North Carolina,
Thank you for keeping us full of chicken biscuits and Cheerwine for the past twenty-something years. Every hangover, early morning, sick day or stressful afternoon has been met with a greasy stomach ache, some burps and the tender, crumblin’ arms of a local biscuit place. In every small town you can find a quality Mom-and-Pop hole in the wall and know you’re in for some good eatin’. As Ron Swanson once said, the best food out there is breakfast. And North Carolina you have never let us down there.
We love how green you are as a state. But we mean literally and not as in the people are ‘green’ ~cough cough~ there’s a coal-burning plant up the road from our campus. Not to mention the ongoing question of “to frack or not to frack” along the coast. But where were we? Between the grass, trees and kudzu, every backroad is filled with green until it meets the Carolina Blue™ sky. The weeds and the wildflowers aren’t a bad touch either. You engrained the smell of honeysuckles in us as kids, and the tradition to eat at least one when we came across a patch.
Let’s talk about the landscape. Not many places have mountains and beaches. Living right in the center of the state meant either one was only a few hours away. The weekend road trips you made possible are unforgettable. And we’ll always appreciate the random towns on the way to the beach. Here’s to stopping in places with names like Lizard Lick. You keep us guessing North Carolina, you really do.
There are so many things about you we love, but so many things you need to work on as we leave. I’m sorry we’re pulling out of the fight now, but sometimes you have to follow your own path. We’ll never forget the horror that was Amendment I, or more recently, House Bill 2. And we’ll also never forget how close Pat McCrory was to being re-elected in 2016. Not to mention how hard he fought for endless recounts after losing, just to delay Roy Cooper from taking office. Or when Thom Tillis was elected and people loving called him “THom THillis” in the most back-country hick accent possible, which somehow accurately reflected his views on gun laws and immigration. You’re full of conservatives, N.C., and other types of people we don’t care to include in this letter. But we will gladly say goodbye to all of you.
It doesn’t feel right to leave out a special goodbye to Chapel Hill, Carrboro and the other places we’ve lived over the years. Sometimes you weren’t always right for us, and sometimes we weren’t always right for you. We both spent less than three months living in Carrboro, but wow we will never forget it. North Carolina you provided us with farmer’s markets, hula hoop dancers on the side of the road, and bike rides we thought would never end. You had one too many hills, and two too many hipster bars full of old men, but you never ceased to be anything less than what we expected. And Carrboro is only one of the hidden gems in this state we were lucky to live in.
There’s also Chapel Hill, sweet, sweet Chapel Hill, we’ll miss your quick business turnover. Restaurants opened and closed and opened again as fast as we signed leases. Let’s have a moment of silence for the death of Fitzgerald’s: the best bar we have ever known. Never again will we have as crazy of a birthday or break down with such ferocity to hotline bling, especially whilst wearing Christmas sweaters. Before we forget—shout out to Linda’s cheese fries and Cosmic Cantina’s veggie burritos for pulling us through the hours between one and three a.m. North Carolina you may not have given us the best nightlife, but you always came through with the drunk food.
Finally, a special goodbye to our small hometowns where everybody knows everybody. Where tractors are driven in the streets and camouflage day was a part of homecoming week. You were filled with endless midnight drives with friends and going to Sheetz to grab an Arizona sweet tea. You were where our “firsts” happened, including all the good, bad, and ugly. Your trials and tribulations shaped us into who we are, and now we’re ready to take on anything.
After 22 years, we’ve learned all we can from you and now it’s time to start our new grand adventure. We may be back, we may not, but we will always have you in our hearts. Tarheel born, bred, dead.
With love, excitement and absolutely no regrets,