Wednesday, July 22, 2009

small town life

Living in a small town is all about making connections. I don't mean the type of connections where you know the dirt on the mayor or city council members (although I just might. . .). Life in a small town is about finding common ground with those around you. It's just what you naturally do. If a small-town citizen meets someone from Los Angeles, the first thing they'll say is, "I once had a cousin that moved to L.A." It's not that we think you might know said cousin. It's that we need that common ground. We need to feel that connection to you in some way. Why? Because life in a small town is made up of those very complicated, twisted, convoluted connections. After having lived in the same area for most of my life (and now working in that same small area), my connections are sounding something like this.

Her mother was once married to my husband's father.

Her father is the one who ****, and her mother used to work for ****.

Her ex-husband is the one who ***, and she graduated with ****. She used to work at ****. Her mother is the one who ****.

Her grandmother is the one who ***. Her aunt works at Dr. ***'s office. Her mom works at the **** school. She's ****'s cousin.

We went to grade school together. She once ***. Her little sister is the one who ****. She married ***.

These are honest-to-goodness descriptions of people I know. This is how your brain works when you live in a small town. This is also how you describe people to others. Eventually, you find a way to explain who you're talking about. Usually, it's not that they don't know the person, it's simply that you haven't found your mutual connection.

This was made clear to me this weekend when we took M and L (my nephews by marriage) to the rodeo in our small town. These boys are used to living in the "big" city. They are not used to knowing everyone at a community event. Every time Travis walked by, they would shout, "THERE'S TRAVIS!" or "HEY, Travis" or "Kyler, there's your buddy, Travis."
The only problem with this? Travis is a grown man. He was meeting his girlfriend's friends for the first time. . .who just happened to be sitting right below us. I can only hope they didn't hear the two wild hooligans sitting behind me. . . Those are connections you might not want to make.


Anonymous said...

That's the kind of small town I live in. I love it 99% of the time. I just wish that it was a little bit bigger some days. My entire family ives in the same town and if one of my nieces sneazes I find out about it. I always remind my own kids of this and that no matter what it is I'l find out about it.....hopefully not at the grocery store.

Anonymous said...

lol....i am mostly the one not used to it in our family, the kids and C are used to it.

Angela Fehr said...

We live in a town like that! I also have at least three friends from BIG (more than 10 kids) families - and making the family connections sounds very similar to that. I also have a friend who married his deceased uncle's widow - sometimes he introduces his wife as his aunt!