Why Meat And Potatoes Are Good For You By Liz & Lisa

2946692798_265b0c727cWe’ve been friends for *cough* more than twenty years, so naturally we have a lot of things in common. We went to the same high school, same college and joined the  same sorority. We even kissed the same guy once–but don’t worry, it was NOT at the same time! We even have similar names. But we’re rarely called by our own. Lisa is often Liz, Liz is often Lisa. And our personal favorite is Liza. So, it’s not surprising that after all the So Cal surfer boys we dated (many of whom thought their big board gave them game) that we’ve both ended up with Midwestern Men. And with Lisa’s recent “shmove” to an Illinois suburb, we thought it would be the perfect time to write about what happens when a Cali girl falls for a Midwest boy.


I love my corn-fed man.  For years I searched, dating men from all around the country and never quite finding what I was looking for.  Little did I know that my knight in shining armor would be a brawny blonde who wears Cubs t-shirts and had never tried sushi.

As a native of Southern California, I had always thought I’d end up with a cool surfer dude that drives a BMW and had better fashion sense than me.  That’s just how the guys are out here.  In fact, I had not even stepped foot onto Midwestern soil when I met my husband.  I had no idea about the stockpile of nice, collared-shirt wearing men that were being hidden from the rest of the country!

And I had worn the rest of the 50 Continental states out!  I dated an insecure coffee drinker from Seattle, a wannabe Goodfella from the East Coast and had even made out with a muscle head from Miami.  So when I met my Midwestern knight in shining armor I almost couldn’t believe my eyes!  A sweet, secure man who always opened my door and loved his mom?  I could deal with the fact that he thought carrots and corn were the only vegetables that existed and had never heard of guacamole because this guy was the most genuine person I’d dated in years. So I closed the deal with my heartland hunk and we were married two years after our first date.  And ten years and two kids later, I still smile to myself like I have a little secret when I think of how lucky I am to have landed a man from the middle. (of America that is.)


I was thirty-four. Recently dumped. And wondering when I was finally going to meet a man I could laugh with, who shared the same values and wanted the same things out of life. I felt like Charlotte from Sex and The City when she screamed, “I’m tired of dating. I just want to find him. WHERE is he?”

Suddenly, it occurred to me that I didn’t really care where he was, I just wanted to find him. He could be the literal boy next door, (well, not my actual neighbor, a short, married 65-year-old balding guy, but maybe the one on the other side?) or he could live in the next state. I’d never crossed the border for love before.  Well, unless you count that fling with the Vegas guy…which ended abruptly after we discovered that *shockingly* we only had a love of vodka red bulls and black jack in common!

Cut to six months later when my friend announced she had the perfect guy. But…

“He lives in Chicago!” she said apprehensively. “I know what you said about being open to dating someone long distance. But this isn’t San Diego, Lisa. This is a four-hour flight! Maybe longer with head winds!”

A sly smile crept across my face. Aside from the lack of legroom, recycled air and $10 pre-packaged deli sandwich, it sounded perfect to me. I’d fly the friendly skies for a chance at romance with a Midwestern Man. I’d always heard they were great catches-good old-fashioned family values, corn-fed and most importantly, hot!

Well it’s a good thing I didn’t let a little thing like 2,000 miles deter me….because two years later, it turns out that this West coast girl is quite smitten with her clean cut, orange Illini shirt wearing Midwestern Man.  In fact, he and his perfectly grilled steaks are the best thing that’s ever happened to her.  (And yes, even though she comes from year-round 75 degree sunny weather, she’s fine with six inches of snow falling in MARCH. Really, she is.)

So, in honor of our Cub and Bear loving men we heart from the heartland, here’s what two Long Beach girls consider to be the top ten greatest things about our Midwestern men:

1. They think girls from California are exotic! (At least that’s what we tell ourselves!)

2. You can cook them meat and potatoes every night of the week for the rest of their lives and they’ll be happy! (Although their personal trainer won’t be!)

3. They love animals, really they do. Just have to be Cubs or Bears! (Sorry Sox fans!)

4. They’ve never even heard of a metrosexual. A huge benefit because they let you buy all their clothes and do all the decorating!  It’s like having your very own Ken doll!

5. They’re fiercely loyal to their friends and Big 10 sports teams. We highly reccomend you don’t get in the way of them spending time with either!

6. They can spend hours snow blowing, snow plowing and snow shoveling and never get tired of it-If only we could get them to apply that energy to some of the INDOOR chores!

7.  They like to take walks with you whenever it’s nice out. And by nice, we mean ten degrees, a hint of light behind a cloud and no wind!

8.  If you give them a grill and a beer, they’ll say yes to anything! (This is how Liz secured her Louis Vuitton purse, guinea pigs  and tickets to Barry Manilow!)

9.  With the exception of a mullet here and there, they’re clean cut. Taking a walk on the wild side for them is not shaving for a day or wearing a baseball hat that’s not broken in!

10. If you need them to run an errand, just tell them you also want Whitey’s Ice Cream. It’s amazing how fast they’ll run out the door!


24 Responses to “Why Meat And Potatoes Are Good For You By Liz & Lisa”

  1. D. D. Scott

    Liz and Lisa — This post is a hoot! And being as I have my very own Mid-West corn-fed man, I soooo hear ya and love ya! My hero didn’t ride up and rescue me on his big white horse, though. Like any good Mid-Western man, he drove up in his Sheriff’s Dept SUV! Ohhh yeah…I’m a big ‘ole badge bunny…LOL!!!

    P.S. My hero is currently out on the shooting range doing his monthly gun qualification…how hot is that?!!!

    Sexy, Sassy, Smart Corn-Fed Wishes — D. D. Scott

  2. Matt

    Yes, the weather CAN be a bit much at times. But all the rest is tried and true–esp the Whiteys ice cream in the Quad Cities!

    And even though you schmooved here, I will always think you’re exotic Lisa. :)

  3. Lisa

    D.D. Scott– you go girl! A midwestern man in uniform takes it to a whole other level! From two cornfed men loving girls from the West, thanks for your comment! Liz & Lisa

  4. Lisa

    Matt– a bit much?? Um, yeah, that’s the understatement of the year. But the funny thing is, it gets you down way more than it does me! I’m still looking at the snow through rose colored glasses–telling myself that I really, really needed the four seasons–which includes the ZERO DEGREE weather in February and March. And having been to the Quad cities, I can attest to the fact that Whitey’s is the star attraction. I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or not though?
    Thanks for calling me exotic. I’ll pay you back for that later :) Lisa

  5. Catherine

    Wearing a collared shirt was a must…meat & potatoes every night was an essential…loving your mom was a “given” & #10 is tried and true!!!

    Cali women are not only exotic but also wise! :-)


  6. Amanda Edgell

    LMAO! So true about the metrosexual comment. I don’t know how many times I have had to explain this to guys. Also, even in Ohio the guys feel like it is still cool to have business in the front & a party in the back with their hair style. I think you forgot to add that midwestern men also like to wear socks with their sandals.

  7. Lisa

    Catherine– you did a good job raising a solid Midwestern man! And I really have come to love meat and potatoes! Xoxo

  8. Lisa

    Amanda– oh I wanted to write about the mullet and “questionable” fashion sense, but I was overruled. Matt wants to maintain his Midwestern street cred! Lisa

  9. Mark

    Thanks for your observations about relationships with Midwestern men.
    I enjoyed reading it. Once again you were right on. Hope some SoCal women will wake up and smell the coffee about the benefits of dating us Midwesterners.
    I also applaud Matt in Chicago for just being Matt. You have done every Midwestern man proud !

  10. Liz


    Midwestern Men Rule!!! All So Cal women should get themselves one!!! xoxo

  11. Lisa

    Mark–You’re very welcome! What can I say? Family Values! Love their mothers! Know how to grill a perfect steak! Who could ask for anything more! Go Illini! (My college didn’t have a football team and I never went to the basketball games so I’ve adopted his school as my own) Lisa

  12. Jenny

    Huge shout out for Whitey’s & Harris Pizza!!!! Matt, have you introduced Lisa to the wonders of Harris yet? If not, what the heck are you waiting for?! Great post Liza’s :)

  13. Liz

    Thanks Jenny! xoxo

    She has yet to have Harris, but is VERY well-versed in Whitey’s. Her BF grew up in the Quad cities! How cccrrraaazzzeeeee is that?

  14. Lisa

    Jenny–Matt was so excited when you brought up Harris Pizza!! We’re definitely going to go now! :)

  15. Mike

    This was a tremendous post! An oh-so accurate portrayal of my kind. I will eat meat and potatos every day. I would wear a Cubs T-shirt everyday if I could. Whitey’s has always been good to me. I do feel a little crazy if I skip shaving for a few days. It’s all true! I am guilty. And by the way, Harris Liquor Pizza has been a family tradition for decades. My family has been known to mail a frozen pizza to other family members out of state although I am not sure how that works. Anyway, I am so lucky that you took off the California glasses and branched out for some Midwest lovin’!

  16. Lisa

    MF-I was wondering when I was going to hear from you on this one :)
    I’m very intrigued by this Harris pizza… And I probably already know the answer to this..but–Can they make it without cheese? :)
    Probably one of our biggest “food” issues is Matt’s love of pizza and my, well, inability to eat it– if it’s slathered with cheese. And as you know, all the great pies are!
    You should be proud of your MW roots! They don’t make ’em like you guys everyday!

  17. Tiffany

    So that’s what this fellow California girl has been doing wrong all along! So what are the hunting rituals? Keep a sharp look out for one for me, I’ll pay ya back! ;)

  18. Liz

    Tiffany, Look for a man wearing a collared shirt and a broken-in Cubs hat eating a burger! And I”ll keep an eye out for ya for sure! xoxo

  19. Nikolett

    This is such an adorable post! Unfortunately my man’s from Hungary rather than the South, but he’s got some of the same traits, haha :) And I received Emily Giffin’s book in the mail today, thank you so much for your amazing giveaways ladies!

  20. Liz


    So happy you got the book! Hungary? What are Hungarian men like? Do tell! xoxo

  21. Sarah Pekkanen

    I’m still laughing at Lisa sizing up the elderly neighbor… my hubby was born in Virginia, but he’s a Midwesterner at heart, right down to the love of sports, steaks, and grills! And good for you, Lisa, for taking a chance on long-distance love. Could this be a plotline in the next book? :)

  22. Lisa

    Sarah–Love that your hubby is a Midwesterner at heart. I think every good guy is. I’m not sure what influenced my decision to move here more….The fact that I’m in love or that I was simply tired of flying! As far as the plotline, you never know! xoxo ;)

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