The Daily Banter

“Hawaii is a State,” Part One: Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying

Let’s clear something up right off the bat. There are two things that invariably irritate people who live in Hawaii. The first thing is when mainlanders forget that it’s a state. Seems weird, but these tiny islands out here in the middle of the Pacific Ocean are just as much part of the U.S. as Florida or Michigan or Delaware. There’s a governor, U.S. senators and congressmen, taxes, interstates, federal laws, elections and, yes, the same currency used on the mainland. I can’t entirely blame anyone for the gaffe, though, since Hawaii is geographically far away and parts of it are quite multi-cultural and exotic. But still, when visitors ask me, “When are you moving back to the States?” I usually reply, “I’m in the States.”

The other irritating thing is when mainlanders assume that because I live here, I’ve either checked out of the world to grow a long beard, wear jewelry made of puka shells and talk to a volleyball; or that I don’t have any right whatsoever to complain about life. My wife and I have just about given up posting anything negative on Facebook because there’s only ever one reply posted over and over from our mainland friends: “You don’t get to complain about anything in Hawaii! It’s paradise!”

Sure, there are very few locations in Hawaii that don’t look like postcards. Palm trees, hula dancers, blue surf, tropical drinks on torch lit lanais. It’s all for real… CONTINUE READING