This isn’t really something that I noticed growing up, probably because everyone knew me, but when you live in a small town and meet someone new, they immediately want to know who your “people” are. They may not use those exact words, but sometimes I wish they would. Just once I’d like to reply with, “The beer drinkers. Those are my people.” But no, they always want to know, “What year did you graduate?” ”Are you related to old so and so?” Which I used to politely reply with “I didn’t go to school here, and am not related to anyone here, except my mom, who is not from here either.”
Now, I’ve just started cutting people off. Not in a rude way, just in a “Hi, I’m Leah. I didn’t grow up here.” Well, maybe not those exact words, but sort of.
This does NOT happen in the city. At least not in my experience. You might say, “Hi, I’m Leah, wanna have a cocktail?” Or “Yes, that’s my little hellion ruining the play, what of it?” But I never once had someone I met while living in the city ask me who I was related to. Eventually, we might get to the oh, where are you from questions and such, but no one ever led with that.
The craziest thing though, is now I’ve found myself doing it. Mostly with my girls. When they say things like, “Yesterday in class Logan did the craziest thing.” And instead of listening to what Logan did, I’m all “Now, what is Logan’s last name?” ”Oh, is his mom, Barbara? I think I know her.” And last week at the soccer game I found myself distracted the whole time by trying to figure out the family dynamic of our coach. Seriously.
And before you ask, yes, I do peer out my blinds when a car rolls down my street. And walk outside to look when someone lingers a little too long here. But to be fair, I did that when I lived in the city too.