Monday, June 8, 2009
Small Town Talk
We live in a small town, so small that our baby will increase the population by 0.5% all by itself. To put that into perspective, it takes over 41,000 births to have the same impact on New York City. We moved here nearly three years ago because we could not resist buying a recently renovated church, and the town came with the church. The town is mostly cute and quiet. People seem nice and have begun to talk to us a little more than in the beginning. Originally we seem to have been viewed as quirky outsiders. One of the first questions my neighbor asked me was if “I was city folk or country folk?” I was unsure how to respond, but I am pretty sure I have unwittingly proven to be the former. I am Joel Fleischman.
We work in a college town about 12 miles away. This is where our friends live, we shop, and we often eat. On weekends, when not traveling or working, we usually hike or attend events in the college town. Therefore, the majority of our waking hours are spent outside our small hometown. This seems to be the case with many of the other younger townsfolk who, like us, were drawn to the town’s historic homes.
I am beginning to suspect that our limited presence in town has made people begin to construct our lives for themselves. Fortunately, my real life is happier than their fictitious one. In the past month two separate people have offered me sympathy over the death of my dog or Amanda leaving me. Everyone assumes small towns are great places to live because everyone knows each other. I do not deny that living in a small town can be enjoyable, but in my experience how well they know each other is greatly exaggerated.