by: Carrie Emge
Unless you’ve been living under a rock under the past few months, you’ve heard Rihanna’s “We Found Love.” She says “we found it in a hopeless place,” but what I want to know is who/where is this hopeless place? I’ve been to quite a few hopeless places in my life and have yet to find love in them.
Is a hopeless place a desolate location with minimal residents, no economy, and/or cruddy weather? Is it a place where I can see yellow diamonds in the light? Or, is it a place with what seems like no single, dateable men?
I’ve never been to a place where I’ve seen yellow diamonds in the light. If you have let me know, because I have been to a few [what I would call] “hopeless” places. I’ll do my best to describe them, but you really just have to be there to understand their hopelessness.
1. Hartford, CT. Until two years ago, I had never been to Connecticut. I thought the whole state was full of WASPs and big fancy houses, or towns like Stars Hollow in Gilmore Girls. Not the case in Hartford. The people who live the country club life work in Hartford 9-5 during the week, and then go home to their lovely homes and stay there during the weekend. This means that there isn’t a whole lot to do during the weekend. The sky always seems to be gray and there’s just a feeling of hopelessness in the air.
2. Various towns in Southern Illinois. I hail from a small town outside of St. Louis and haven’t dated anyone from the area. I sometimes think my hometown is hopeless, but it is that bad compared to some of the towns further south. Farmland everywhere. Nothing to do. No Goose Island beverages. Populations smaller than 1,000 people. Everyone is related to each other. Some towns don’t even have a stop light. It’s pretty desolate y’all.
3. Douglas, WY. This town is more desolate than Southern Illinois. We once stopped here en route to Yellowstone one year on a family vacation. We ate dinner at a Pizza Hut. I still remember our waitress’s name was Daisy. She asked where we were from and then proceeded to respond with “I’ve never been anywhere out of the state.” This made me wish I had a million dollars so I could give her a vacation to a city. She sounded so… hopeless. I would too if I was stuck there for 18 years. I even remember seeing a tumble weed.
4. The CTA Red Line. Sometimes you get in the car without air. Sometimes you get in the car that smells worse than the usual stench. Sometimes you get in the car that is packed to the gills with drunk Cubs fans. The CTA can be pretty hopeless, but have you ever taken a look at the RedEye’s app in Missed Connections section? It features posts on the CTA exclusively. There are people posting there all the time about pretty guys and gals that they see on the train or the bus. Who knows, your future lover could be sitting right next to you.
5. Michigan. I tell people that I’m going to Michigan and they respond with, “Oh fun!” No, not fun. My mom grew up outside of Ann Arbor and the only exciting venue is the outlet mall. No beaches, those are all on the west side of the state. I’ve had some bad experiences on visits to the area, one being dumpster diving because my Christmas present got accidentally thrown away. And the fact that cleaning is always involved.
6. DePaul CDM. I love DePaul University, don’t get me wrong. It’s given me many opportunities, including a college degree next year. But when it’s 2 a.m., you’re finishing off a Mountain Dew, and your code isn’t working, CDM can feel pretty hopeless.
7. Various 4 a.m. bars. Maxbar on Lincoln Ave. is the first that comes to my mind. It’s not hopeless in a sense that no one’s there; it’s the complete opposite. The later it gets, the more crowded it gets. People are pretty much “gone” by the end of the night in a different sense. 4 a.m. bars seem like an appropriate place to smoke that rainbow joint Rihanna did as seen in the “We Found Love” video, because there are way too many flashing lights for my taste. Also when I was there once it felt like the DJ had ADD. Perhaps a hopeless place is whatever location you happen to be on while under the influence.
8. Any town without a Starbucks. I didn’t realize how much Starbucks brought me comfort until this summer. I had gotten so used to being surrounded by Starbucks that when I’m not I feel as if something is off. Knowing that I can get a white mocha (try it with raspberry, it’s delicious) at anytime is nice. It’s like being able to get water when I need it. Ok, that’s a little extreme but you get the idea.
Now some people have actually been able to find love–and get married–in these places (except maybe the Red line, I do not have sufficient data for that one). Apparently I’m doing something wrong, or just have to find some more hopeless places.
Carrie Emge is a Chicago-dwelling carnivore who likes to eat, pray and love. She attends DePaul University majoring in Netflix and minoring in Tumblr. She prides herself on knowing the words to many pop songs and her ability to find great deals while shopping.