Thursday, January 25, 2007

What is with the whole Country vs City thing, anyways....

What is up with that? Why is it that everything you do relates to it being either a country thing or a city thing?

People ask me these questions sometimes. It's kind of hard to answer because I think that rural people, in general, are more into taking pride in the fact that they are, well, rural. I don't often see people walking through the streets saying "Oh, yeah? Well, I'm from the city! I can handle ANYTHING! Now. Where did I park my Honda Civic?"

The fact of the matter is that the city is just different from the country. There are certain aspects of city living that I've come to love as accessories to a partying lifestyle: three a.m. shawarma, anyone? Yes. Indeed. I think so. Liquor store within walking distance? Well, slap my ass and call me Sally. Work that I can get to without having to waste the gas in my car? Work it, Girlfriend!

But the country is the country and that's just where my heart belongs. Urban people probably have visions of horror in their eyes and terror in their hearts when they think of seven and eight year old boys being given BB guns as birthday presents.

Now, before I go on, you need to know a bit about my Dad.

That is, he's kind of insane.

It's a nice kind of insane: It's just that if you ever go to do anything? It needs to be done PERFECTLY or not at all. For instance, if you want to open a bag of shavings, and you can't figure out the little tying thing? The best thing to do would be to whip out your pocket knife and slice the top of the bag off. Right?

Dear, God. NO. This is not the answer AT ALL, you nitwit.

If you do that sort of livin-on-the-wild-side-tree-huggin-hippy-crap when he's around, the vein on the left side of his head is likely to explode, and now wouldn't that be a nice mess? He, like I, has many of these little idiosyncrasies that make him the one and only Dad that I love.

So, knowing that my dad expects PERFECTION in all the tasks his children complete, know this: Nothing short of PERFECTION in behavior will land you a gun in your hands as a child of his. You'll notice, here, that no one put a gun in my hands until I was 21. Telling? Hmmm....I actually had no desire to have a gun in my hand till then. I'm sure I could have had a wicked collection by the time I was sixteen, but I was more into playing guitar. Sigh.

But when it comes to gun handling? Whoa now. Watch out. Because the first thing you get with you get handed a gun? Is a billion little instruments for finding out how you site it in. He's a safety expert when it comes to firearms, and so giving one for a birthday present to my brothers wasn't really that big of a deal. They learned how to shoot, and grew up to become excellent marksmen.

Like I said, an urban person would likely rather have their kidneys disected with live cockroaches before they'd think it a good idea to have a seven or eight year old with a gun.

One of the first times I was walking through the city, trying to orient myself to my new surroundings, I saw an adult and a child. Keep in mind that I live off of several intersecting streets that make up the main streets of this city. The child was on a sidewalk learning how to ride a two wheeled bicycle and I wanted to scream, run across the road, and go on a ten hour diatribe about the dangers of riding so close to so much traffic. I thought how horrid the mother must be to allow her child in the face of such imminent danger. WHY would anyone be ENCOURAGING a child to ride on a sidewalk of a main street?

Well, Duh. They have no other place to go.

I don't necessarily view my life as country versus city. (Because, really, we all know that in terms of who's winning in a versus competition? The country will kick the city's ass. Hands down.)

However, I've been taking note over the last three years on the vast cultural differences, the social norms here versus the social norms there, and I do have to say that I am forever amazed that a new culture, an entirely new way of life exists so close, and yet so far, from the safe little pocket of CowTown in which I was raised.

As amazing as this new culture, this new way of life that involves food from varying parts of the world while on drunken adventures downtown, is? I have to say that my safe little pocket of CowTown is calling, and no number of shawarma and samosa, sushi or feta cheese will keep me here.

If nothing else, it is wonderful to spend time knowing where I belong.



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