Small Town Living



Garden gnome with wheelbarrow

Garden gnome with wheelbarrow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


When I was young, I harbored plans of small town (Gilmore Girl-esque) life with porch swings, lemonade and fireflies. However, as I’ve grown older, I realize that I’m better suited to joining the circus as a trapeze artist than I am to live in a small town.


In small towns…


8. Things close at Five. I like to do things in the evening. I like to run to the store and get peanut butter M & Ms at Ten PM when I get the craving. I like sitting at a coffee shop for a few hours after work sometimes, but the good coffee shop closes at Five.


7. There is a strict dress code that is not flattering to females, and I nearly always feel judged fro my clothing choices. The shorts are long and worn up around the rib cage, as are the skirts; the dressing up clothes are frumpy Walmart purchases with terrible prints on them; extreme casualness and fancyness are avoided (which is really all I like to wear). There is no leaving the house without doing your hair.


6. Outsiders are guilty until proven innocent. I was out walking once in a small town, and I smiled at a lady who was working in her yard, and she frowned at me, then asked a series of rude accusations… “What are you doing here? Who are you? Who are you related to? … Oh, you’re related to Clara, well hi there!” Her demeanor went from rude and hostile to sugary and fake the second she realized that I would be accountable to someone if I kicked her garden gnomes.


5. No one knows how to drive. There are two extremes: the fast and the furious OR Sunday morning meanderers. Also, no one uses their turn signals, which makes them unpredictable and dangerous. Also, they don’t adjust to the situation… they expect the situation to adjust to them. In a super-crowded parking lot, I was being really careful not to run over any children or old ladies, but everyone else was flying through there as if they were on a four-lane high-way.


4. Pets wander freely. People often have such huge yards that they let their creatures out into unfenced areas and they do what they want. This makes me believe I’m going to run over them. Also, I just generally don’t like animals showing up unexpectedly. Animals are stupid and sometimes hostile. Therefore, I prefer them to be leashed or fenced in.


3. People like to be lax about time and plans. They like to sort of mosey through the days with a vague sense of this needs to be done, or I might do that today. I like plans and schedules. I don’t enjoy sitting on the porch as a social activity. I like to sit on the porch as a no-pressure activity, but it seems like porch-talk involves social expectations that I don’t understand.


2. There aren’t very many tattoos or piercings. This probably goes along with the dress code, but I hate that having tattoos and a nose ring somehow gives people cause to question my character. Usually, they come to the conclusion that I’m a perfectly fine and normal girl, but there’s that initial moment of, “Is that a tattoo?” [Brow furrows in disapproval and concern… if she’s got a tattoo, just think of all the other shenanigans she must be getting into!]


1. There is veiled gossip and judgment that hurts my feelings. There is a lot of, “Well, I told so-and-so that doing it that way was a bad idea. You just can’t trust BLANK TYPE OF PERSON (homosexuals, Mexicans, blacks, etc…).” Or “Did you hear about Stevie Joe Freebush? I could have forgiven him once, but he just keeps on a-doing BLANK SORT OF ILLEGAL, IMMORAL, or A-TYPICAL ACTIVITY.” And sometimes, unfounded assertions that, “I think she must be doing drugs.”



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