Are you a born-and-raised country person dealing with big city life? Or are you a city slicker dealing with local yokels? What surprises you the most about the differences in attitude/atmosphere/culture? I grew up in a rural community, and currently live in a suburb and work in a city, plus I married a city dweller, and sometimes the differences in the way we were brought up and view the world surprise me.
Reading in the “Peanuts on the Premises” thread that Flora McFlimsey remembers only one child from her school days dying reminded me that I can only think of 2 from my school days dying. I went the same school from K-12, and we probably never had more than 65 or so kids in my class. In the 4th grade a boy drowned while inner-tubing down a river, and in the 10th grade a girl was in a drunk-driving accident. And I remember their names and the ways the teachers broke the news to us. My husband, on the other hand, went to elementary school in Sacramento, and middle and high schools in Salem, and his senior year book alone commemorates the deaths of about 4 or 5 students. In one year! Yow, to me that was a shocking number of kids! Especially since Salem itself is a relatively small town, pop. 200,000 or so, and those were from just one high school out of about 4 or 5 (or more?). Even more surprising to me, he didn’t know them before they died, didn’t know when or how they died, just didn’t remember or care. But then again, his graduating class was bigger than the entire enrollment of my high school, which seems bizarre to me, too. How do you get to know anyone? At least half my graduating class I’d known since Kindergarten.
I guess another thing I haven’t gotten used to is the way a lot of people don’t really know their neighbors. My little community was situated between two towns (each had their own elementary school, and the middle and high schools were in the bigger of the two towns–if this helps illustrate anything in the above paragraph), and we considered the people in both towns as well as our specific area “neighbors.” And everyone knew each other, we knew entire family histories, and just about everyone was related to just about everyone else. In the city, it seems like people only consider the families that live on their same street or block to be “neighbors,” and even then they aren’t always very involved with or close to those people. When my dad would come home from work and say, “I heard such and such happened to one of our neighbors,” he could have meant literally anyone in a 20 mile radius. But when I called someone who lived a half a dozen blocks from my husband’s house (when we were dating) a neighbor, he said, They aren’t my neighbor, they live too far away, they’re just a friend. Bizarre.
Those are just my observations and opinions. Does anyone else have anything in this vein they’d like to share? Anyone else a fish out of water?
“I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it,” Jack Handy