10 Things Even Iowans Hate About Iowa
Iowa is often times referred to as God's country. That may be owed quite a bit to that famous movie line, "Is this heaven? No it's Iowa." In addition, the people are known to be friendly, the scenery is beautiful, living here won't cost you an arm and a leg, and our education statewide is overall pretty stellar.
However, those amazing things don't come without a few caveats. Those who live or spend an extended amount of time in Iowa will come to understand and truly despise some aspects of life here. Overall, I'd say we get the better end of the deal, but here are the 10 things even Iowans hate about Iowa...
10) So, You guys are famous for potatoes/tires right?
I get it we're a "fly-over" state, but seriously; stop confusing us with Idaho (potatoes) and Ohio (tires/auto workers). We feed all of you. Literally. We also put fuel in your vehicle. We are the corn state and are also agriculture leading producers of soybeans and pork. I mean who doesn't love a nice think slab of bacon? I guess this one isn't really on us Iowa dwellers, but it sure isn't fun to be "forgotten."
9) No Professional Sports.
This one goes both ways. Yeah, we can kind of choose whichever team we'd like to follow when it comes to professional sports, but it would be way nicer to actually have some kind of pro-team to root for. Across 5 major leagues in the US (NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL, MLS) the closest we get is the Triple-A minor league Iowa Cubs. To hit up a "close" pro game were talking anywhere from 5 to 7 hours one way to Chicago, Milwaukee, Kansas City, St. Louis, or the Minneapolis/St. Paul areas.
8) Speaking of bacon... the smells. Not the bacon (it's delicious) but what it takes to get said bacon.
What's the old saying, you can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs... well essentially that's the same deal when it comes to juicy steaks and everyone's favorite: bacon. Hogs and cattle produce some of the most foul-smelling excrement around. I know this firsthand as I grew up on a hog farm. Nothing wakes you up in the early morning quite like the smell of scraping gutters in a farrowing shed (extra points for you kids that have to go to school smelling like a hog house), no one wants to be the "stinky kid."
7) What Ag state would be complete without, slow moving heavy machinery.
Show of hands, who likes to get stuck behind a tractor, sprayer, or even worse a manure spreader on the roadway. If you answered absolutely no one, you would be absolutely correct. Yes, being in an agricultural state means whether it's planting season or harvest your eventually going to be following a farmer. And yeah, it sucks, but remember those guys (farmers) are feeding the world. Maybe 35 miles per hour for a short distance isn't so bad of a tradeoff, all things considered.
6) Burning or freezing your butt off in a vehicle.
It's always that initial sitting on the seat of a vehicle that's the worse. Whether it's 100 degrees or negative 30. Leather seats will never be my favorite. In both instances you're going to suffer through a truly miserable experience. By the way, there is no upside to this one, just pure butt burning, or freezing, torture.
5) Since we're on cars; the deer!
Sure go out with a group of guys hunting and there's a chance you don't even see one. Now, strap yourself into a 1500-pound piece of metal with a horn and headlights, get it up to 60 miles per hour, and the dumb things jump right on out to their death. So, far in my life I have been involved in 3 accidents involving deer, and each time the car has been totaled. Unfortunately, Iowa is one of the states with the highest rates of car/deer accidents. Stupid, bouncy, suicidal, delicious beasts.
4) The Drive; like all the time.
Sure, the traffic might not be all that bad (unless you're stuck in a number 7 situation), but for the most part, it will take you 19 to 30 minutes one-way on average to get where you need to go; whether that's every day to work or to get those much-needed groceries. To be fair, that's still below the national average for work commutes of 26.6 minutes (one way) according to a study from TitleMax. So basically, each day you head to work, and back home, you will be spending an hour of it on the road. As the years tick by, Iowans have become more accustomed to living in smaller rural centers and driving to urban areas for their jobs, increasing the time they spend on the roadways.
3) The never-ending cycle of road work.
We're getting to the good (bad) stuff. There has never been a year that my drive has not been affected by road work. Nothing like taking a double lane interstate and turning it into a single lane 35 mph driveway. We live in a state where the extreme temperatures and weather bring havoc to our roads. Potholes, gravel roads, bridges, snow and ice; all of the above can kill your car when not properly maintained or dealt with; hence the constant state of orange on our roadways. The repairs never end.
There is a certain level of Super Mario Brothers 3 where the sun tries to kill you, that's an Iowa summer in a nutshell. And it's not so much the heat, as it is the humidity (how many times have we all said that). Taking your first steps from an air-conditioned house into full blown Iowa summer is like swimming through lava, on your way to a car that is entirely to hot to sit in, so that your undergarments can be as soggy as humanly possible before the ac in the vehicle even begins to feel like a warm fan. Iowa's high temperature record was set in 1934 at 118 degrees, but the state consistently pulls done 100+ degree days every single year and that's not with the added humidity which causes or heat index to soar up another 5 to 10 degrees depending on the humidity level. No joke, it's hot, in fact there are times in October when the temp in my car still reads 100 degrees. There is no consistency in Iowa weather, which brings me to number 1...
And there you have it, the only thing worse than summer in Iowa is Winter. Personally, I prefer the cold. I always say, you can usually get warmer if you need to (extra layers, a blanket, sit by the stove), but you can't always cool down. That's all fine and dandy if it weren't for scraping car windshields, icy and snowy roads, and something called a polar vortex. The record low temp in Iowa was set in 1912 and then again in 1996 at negative 47 degrees. Read that again. -47 degrees. In fact, we just hit -30 for air temp in 2019 when a polar vortex smashed us into submission. Even worse, it led to a negative 58 degree windchill. When that happens, car's don't even start and if your furnace goes out, it's an instant emergency.
In conclusion, living in Iowa is still better than living anywhere else as far as I'm concerned, but hey, I've become accustomed to it. Maybe my opinion will change with increasing age. To be completely honest, the above reasons were enough for my grandparents to escape to Texas each winter in their camper.
What Non-Iowans Think of Iowa
Gallery Credit: Johnny Marks