My hubby and I went out with some friends this past weekend and spent the entire evening on the ‘Kansas side’. Since Kansas is about ten minutes from my house, you would think we would hang out there all the time. Let me correct that, spend our free time there. I’m in Kansas several days a month for work. However, we don’t spend our time there and much of it is because of this interesting border war that we’ve never gotten past. For instance, when a band comes to Kansas City for a show, they shout from the stage about how they are in Kansas. (We yell and correct them all the time.) Or when you’re on vacation and people assume you are from Kansas because you said Kansas City. (We end up really liking the people that actually ask-KS or MO) So, when we’re invited to something in Kansas, there’s a little bit of eye rolling or ‘clear out there?’ that goes along with it.
How or where did all of this start? Is it from the rival colleges? A little (M-I-Z vs Rock Chalk). Is it something more historical? You bet. Feel free to read all about Bloody Kansas and the pro/anti slavery days between 1854~1861. (Ah, that’s where FreeState Brewing Company got their name!)
I think for me, it’s a couple of things. Part of it is the pride I have in the cool stuff Kansas city, MO, has to offer that I feel gets overlooked at times or lumped in with Kansas getting the credit. I’ve always lived in and near this awesome city in MISSOURI and enjoy its culture and beauty.
When I cross the border on the west side, I land in some of the most affluent neighborhoods in our Kansas City regional area in the cities of Overland Park, Shawnee, Prairie Village, Fairway, etc. There is a difference in incomes and cost of living, creating a massive difference in lifestyle and average real estate sales prices. I’ve heard Kansas people make reference to Missouri people as if we are poor hicks. In reality, it’s simply an old stigma. There are plenty of affluent areas on the Missouri side, too! See the stigma has gone a long way in making us Missourians defensive. But really, we do the same thing. We stick our noses in the air when we refer to crossing the border and poke our share of fun at their cars and clothes.
But, you have to admit, this identity crisis is pretty hilarious, especially the fact that we all ignore the less affluent areas we both have right at the border.
However, to our visitors and migrants, we are a welcoming lot. Above all else, both sides of the border enjoy showing off the assets of the entire region and set our border war aside to do so.
Welcome to our identity crisis!