Maryland’s Identity Crisis

“Virginia? Can you help me, please?”

Maryland was standing in my doorway, biting her lip nervously. One of her tiny hands was fluttering around the tie of her frilly dress, and the other was pulling at a curl of golden hair. I held my breath and kept silent, hoping she’d take the hint and leave.

Of course, being Maryland, she didn’t. Instead, she simply stood there, looking pathetic, until I could take it no longer.

“Yes?” I asked, swiveling around and adjusting my spectacles.

“V-Virginia…” Maryland whispered, tugging her hair even harder. “Can I ask you a question?”

You just did, I almost said, but caught myself just in time. “Shoot.”

“Um… well… I was thinking, you know-”

I fought to keep myself from rolling my eyes. Maryland, thinking? Amazing.

“And, well, I was wondering… Am- am I…” Her voice trailed off, and she flushed a delicate pink.

“Are you?” I prompted.

“Am I Northern or Southern?” she blurted, her cheeks reddening even more. I blinked.

What?

“I mean- well, I don’t know! I asked Georgia, and she said Southern, but then I asked Massachusetts and he said Northern!”

“I really don’t know,” I said. “Look, Maryland, if that’s all you wanted to ask, then-”

Before I could finish my sentence, I found myself being violently shaken by the shoulders.

“You- don’t- understand!” Maryland  shrieked. I gulped. The look in her eyes could only be described as… disturbing.

“I didn’t even take a side in the Civil War!” she continued, shaking me harder. “Oh, Virginia, what if I don’t belong in the Union at all? What if I’m just an outcast?”

“Maryland,” I said as calmly as I could, “every one of us belongs in the Union, you included. Now please stop shaking me.”

Maryland stopped and blinked rapidly. “You- you think so?” she sniffed.

“Absolutely,” I said, looking up at her from my current position on the floor.

“But Virginia-” Maryland started, looking unsure.

California chose that moment to walk in, dripping wet and clutching an oversized umbrella.

“Virginia, man, it’s hella raining out there, I- um, you know you’re lying on the floor, right? And- Maryland…? Am I interrupting something? I can, you know, leave-”

“Wait!” Maryland had gotten that psychotic look in her eyes again – at least this time it was directed at someone else. “California, you have to help me!”

California smiled at her. “Sure, what do you need?”

“I need you,” Maryland said, leaning forward and directing an intense stare at him, “to answer my question.”

California gulped nervously. “Oookay…?”

“Am I Northern… or Southern?”

California stared at her. Maryland stared back.

“Dude… I don’t know,” California finally said, shrugging.

Please!” Maryland hissed, grabbing his shirt collar – no mean feat, considering California’s immense height. California’s eyes widened.

“Seriously, dude, I don’t know… I’m Western, I don’t know how things work out East… Maryland- Maryland, please don’t- Virginia, man, help me out here!”

“Hey, I brought peaches!” Georgia chirped, strolling into the room and swinging a large basket. “They’re- oh my God, Maryland, why are you throttling California? And why is Virginia huddled in the corner?”

Maryland turned to Georgia. “Georgia…” she said faintly. “No one’s answering me…”

Georgia sighed. “Is this about that North-South thing again?”

That’s when Maryland broke down and started sobbing hysterically. “Y-you said I was Southern, but Massachusetts said I’m Northern, and Virginia didn’t know, and California started acting weird!”

Georgia glanced at California, who had evidently found his own corner to huddle in.

“Honey,” Georgia said softly, placing a hand on Maryland’s shoulder, “honestly, it doesn’t matter.”

It matters to me!” Maryland’s death glare was now directed full force on Georgia, who took a few quick steps backward.

“Honey, I’m sure we can figure something out. Why do you want to know so badly? It won’t change a thing…”

“Because!” Maryland wailed. “Everyone else has a national identity! You and Virginia are Southern, California’s Western, there’s the Midwest and the Southwest and the Northwest and I don’t fit in any of them!

“Darling-” Georgia started tentatively, but was abruptly cut off by Delaware, who had just entered the room. Normally I would be irritated – I had never particularly liked Delaware – but now all I felt was relief. If anyone could snap Maryland out of her fit, it would be her brother.

“Virginia, I- Mary? What’s going on?”

Maryland turned her tear-streaked face to Delaware and stared at him for a moment, before breaking into a run and throwing herself into his arms.

“Whoa, sis,” Delaware said, staggering back a little. “What-”

“No one’s answering me!” Maryland yelled. Delaware cocked his head and looked confused.

“What’s your question?”  he asked.

“Am I Northern or Southern?” Maryland asked, lip trembling. “I don’t know my national identity… Delly, how can I be a state if I don’t have a national identity? I should just secede now!”

“Why not be both?” Delaware asked.

Maryland goggled at him. “B-both…?”

“You said you didn’t feel like you belonged, right?” Delaware said, wrapping an arm around his sister’s shoulders. “Well, now you’ll belong double, because you’ll be part of both areas.”

“Yeah!” California said, pumping his fist. “Hella awesome idea, Delaware, man!”

“It’s… not bad,” I admitted. Dammit, why hadn’t I thought of that? My IQ is at least twice Delaware’s…

“Lovely,” Georgia chimed in.

“You-you think so?” Maryland asked. “You think I can be part of… both?”

Delaware nodded. “Absolutely. And don’t you dare talk of secession, Mary, or of not having a ‘national identity.’ You’re just as much a state as I am. And I live right next to you, remember? You don’t have to be Northern, or Southern, or Eastern or Western or anything to be part of the United States.” Gently, he put a finger on Maryland’s chin and propped her face up. “All you have to do is be yourself – Maryland, the seventh state of the United States… and my sister.”

I gaped at Delaware, utterly dumbfounded. He’d always seemed so… slow; where’d he pull a speech like that from? To my left, I heard Georgia clapping softly.

“Hear, hear!” California called. “Here’s to the United States!”

Maryland looked up at her brother through tearstained lashes. “Oh, Delly…” she whispered, before subjecting him to a bone-cracking hug. “You always make me feel better!”

“That’s what I’m here for,” Delaware said, grinning. “Now why don’t we go and get something to eat?”

“Okay,” Maryland said quietly, slipping her hand into his. Georgia, California and I waited until they had disappeared from sight before crawling out of our respective corners.

“Oh, man,” California sighed, brushing a few droplets of sweat from his forehead. “That was some hissy fit, huh?”

“She shook me,” I said. “Maryland actually shook me by the shoulders.”

“Not hard,” California laughed, lightly smacking the back of my head. “No offense, dude, but you’re kind of… little.”

“Hey!” I said, smacking him back. Georgia sighed.

“Guys, do we really want to go through this again? After Maryland-”

Our hands froze, mid-smack.

Maryland,” I said.

“Who’da thought she’d be so… psychotic?” California asked.

“It’s always the quiet ones,” I said, shuddering slightly at the memory of Maryland’s crazed expression.

Always the quiet ones.”

16 thoughts on “Maryland’s Identity Crisis

    • Neha –

      Thank you, I appreciate it. I do pride myself on my writing abilities – after all, I did learn from Thomas Jefferson… and I like to think he learned a bit from me. (You know the part about the “mock trial” in the Declaration of Independence? That was me.)

      Sincerely,
      Virginia

  1. So, so what is Maryland really…..southern or not? I am enjoying this collection of dramas personifying the states. How about including some more players….and some new fruits in future stories.

    • Impedimenta –

      According to the US Census Bureau, Maryland and Delaware are technically Southern states. However, the Northern parts of Maryland, which are in close proximity to the decidedly Northeastern state of Pennsylvania, consider themselves more Northern, while the Southern parts of Maryland (closer to me) consider themselves more Southern. You can see why Maryland’s confused (although, really, she didn’t need to shake me like that).

      Yeah, Washington has been needling me (pardon the pun) lately, and Texas is threatening something drastic if I don’t include him.

      Thank you for commenting, and bringing up these insightful questions.

      Sincerely,
      Virginia

  2. You know who i am…. 😉
    btw i like ur writing style very talented 😀
    and lol “No offense, dude, but you’re kind of… little.” wait is the narrator the same thing as the speaker? o.o just wondering cuz if that were the case i would change “little” to “cute” :DDDDDD
    and such violence… :C
    and is the end a cliffhanger? 😮 just wonderin cuz it cant…u kno…possibly stop there lol 😛
    HAH THIS IS MUCH MORE THAN 5-10 WORDS >:DDDD

    ps forgive me for ruining the trend of formal tone present in the previous comments :S

    • Hello Lil G –

      Who is Lil G? :-/

      If by “narrator” and “speaker” you mean me, Virginia, then yes, they are the same. And California used the word “little,” thank God. I am not cute.

      His face is red ~Georgia

      GEORGIA GET OUT OF HERE ~Virginia

      Anyway… Thanks about the writing. I’ve already mentioned my tutor – you’ve probably heard of him – Thomas Jefferson. He used to give out free lessons, but I’m fairly sure they stopped in 1826.

      By “the end,” I presume you’re talking about Massachusetts crying after I seceded. All I can say is – no, it doesn’t actually end there… but I don’t think anyone really wants to talk about that now.

      Informality is fine, just so long as it doesn’t go overboard. Repetitive use of the phrase “OMG” will result in your comment being deleted.

      Sincerely,
      Virginia

      • omg wait omg im gonna try that out omgomgomgomg (is it working? o.o) omg haha omg *valley girl accent* ohhhmyyygossshhh om-gush omg 😀

        • Hello Lil G :)

          If my delete key was working, I would delete your comment. But it isn’t. So consider it deleted.

          Sincerely,
          Virginia

    • Pinky –

      Hey! Virginia’s not here right now, which is good, because I don’t think he’d appreciate the fact that I’m using his blog. Anyway, I’m Georgia, nice to meet you, and I’m going to be answering your comment! Actually, I’m sort of confused. Who created whom? ‘Cause we, the original thirteen states, created ourselves, y’know. And then we created the other thirty-seven. So I take it you’re congratulating Virginia on… creating himself? No offense, but that’s a little weird.

      Wait, unless you’re actually talking about the thirteen colonies, which were created by Britain. I guess you don’t know this, but we don’t like talking about Britain. So don’t mention him. Please.

      Anyway, I think this is about long enough! Can’t wait to see Virginia’s face when he finds this.

      ~ GEORGIA OUT! PEACHES!

        • Pinky –

          Seriously? Jersey? (Or, as he says it, Joisey…) I didn’t know he had relatives…

          Aw, thanks for hoping Virginia wouldn’t kill me. He didn’t (well, I wouldn’t be typing this if he did), but he did spend the better part of an hour lecturing me about ‘personal space’ and ‘privacy’. I think he said something else too, but I fell asleep halfway through. He’s a nice guy, but a little dull (Virginia, if you’re reading this: you know it’s true.)

          Anyway, keep reading and commenting!

          ~Georgia! 😀

    • The Devil –

      (Are you really? If so, please give me your email address. I have a few people I want you to hex…)

      Regarding Delaware’s relationship status – no, he’s not hitched at the moment. What I’m confused about is why you (and the rest of the female world) chose Delaware to make googly eyes at.

      Virginia’s jealous cause he doesn’t have fangirls ~Georgia

      I DON’T NEED FANGIRLS! I AM PERFECTLY CONTENT WITH MY CURRENT ROMANTIC SITUATION! I’M JUST POINTING OUT THAT DELAWARE HAS THE MENTAL CAPACITY OF A DEAD SQUID!

      Sure doesn’t look like a dead squid… 😉 ~Georgia

      I swear… if my delete key wasn’t stuck… *cough* Anyway, I’ll, uh, inform Delaware about your… feelings…

      Maybe.

      Sincerely,
      Virginia

  3. Maryland has remained faithful to the Union, and the Union will always be indebted to Maryland for it’s support.

    Victory to the Union!
    -General McClellan

    • George B. McClellan –

      Oh, lord. I think Maryland better not see this one; we’ve just managed to calm her down, and anything could send her over the edge.

      During the War Between the States, Maryland was a divided state – she was neither completely for nor completely against the Union. When General Lee chose the location for his Maryland campaign, he was unfortunate enough to pick the western part, which sympathized with the Union more than the Confederacy. However, Baltimore was decidedly more pro-Confederacy, and if Lee had invaded around that point he might have had a higher chance of success.

      (Now, Delaware was more for the Union; although, given his mental capacity, I really don’t think that helped much.)

      Sincerely,
      Virginia

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