Which leads us to the terrible beauty of Midwestern Rage
The thoughts about how our thoughts will be perceived lead me to the second point about our repressed anger: the refinement of its eventual expression. Not for us, the gauche heavy-handedness of Long Island mothers. No, our patois is about saying only what is necessary, and actually even less than that. The Midwestern dialect is so subtle that people not immersed in it for decades can’t hear it. I’ve lived outside Iowa for 12 years now, and two weeks ago, though I felt guilty as I said it, I insulted one of my Connecticut neighbors. I got tired of her preening about her oh-so unique life and job, and I told her -- again, against my better judgment -- that not everyone can make it as a snowflake. She thanked me for the kind words.
This happens a lot, which is ironic because the people who miss the subtlety often consider themselves far sharper than big, dull, flown-over pig-eaters like me. In his book, Draper describes how the Midwestern phone etiquette of, “Well, I better let you go,” a euphemism for “Leave me alone now,” is consistently misread by people outside the region as a way to beg more time out of the conversation. David Letterman, a gap-toothed kid from Indiana, dined out for years on a post-modern comedy that mocked comedy itself, but only became famous when East Coasters picked up on the joke.