Small Town Living

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I grew up in a town of less than 20,000 people and all of these hit a little too close to home for me. If you’re from a small town, you’ll be able to relate to most, if not all on the following.

  1. You’ve given directions based off of a stoplight.
  2. Your demeanor doesn’t change when someone mentions the Blueberry, Kumquat, Strawberry or Peach Festival.
  3. “Buggy” = Shopping Cart
  4. Everybody knows everybody, and their business.
  5. Most, if not all of your high school friends are married, engaged or working on their 3rd kid.
  6. Your entire town shuts down every Friday night for the local football game.
  7. You were friends with kids from other schools until football season began.
  8. “Downtown” is where the old antique store and southern buffet are located.
  9. Your teachers taught your parents and will teach your siblings.
  10. Your town had a bowling alley. That’s it.
  11. You had to create ways to entertain yourself because bowling fucking sucks after 50 straight games.
  12. You can basically name every person in your graduating class, and their GPAs.
  13. Pageant queens are literal royalty.
  14. You do not only know what FFA stands for, but were more than likely the president of your chapter.
  15. A bonfire is your idea of a good time.
  16. Your closest Wal-Mart was, at minimum, a 20-minute drive.
  17. You know what the Piggly-Wiggly and Freds Supermarket is.
  18. If your family was going through some type of crisis, you weren’t surprised to find home cooked meals dropped off at your doorstep by random people.
  19. When you accomplish something cool later in life and your parent’s brag about it, random people you’ve never heard of before start talking about how they remember when you were “just a youngin…”
  20. You’ve unintentionally used words like cotton pickin, dagnabbit and over younder in conversation at least once in your life.
  21. But, “y’all” is used in your daily vocabulary.
  22. Friday poker nights were cherished events.
  23. You’ve seen at least 10 different barns in your lifetime.
  24. You’ve even been to a barn party, or five.
  25. You not only know what 4-H is, but were more than likely an active member.
  26. You are somehow related to every single person in that town and you could never for the life of you figure out how.
  27. Your relatives put ‘the’ in front of everything. The McDonalds. The Wal-Mart. The Blockbuster.
  28. And let’s be real for a second, it’s pronounced Mac-Donalds.
  29. The only traffic jam you ever experienced was when a tractor was driving down the road 15 cars ahead of you.
  30. Everyone in your town went to the same church.
  31. And if you weren’t at church one Sunday, people would personally call or text you to see if you were okay.
  32. When you go back to that little town, everyone asks the same stupid questions.
  33. If you don’t leave the second you’re able, you’ll be forever caught in the black hole of that tiny town with no chance of escape.
  34. When people ask you where you’re from, you name the closest big town to you. I’m from Tampa, Florida… okay fine… Plant City, Florida.
  35. You’ve not only heard of the annual Ag Convention in Moultrie, GA, you’ve probably been to it 10 times.
  36. You have naughty thoughts about Kenny Chesney, Rodney Atkins, Dierks Bentley, and Josh Turner.
  37. You know every word to Honky Tonk Badonkadonk, Long Black Train, Where I Come From, Good Directions, and anything written by the one and only, George Strait.
  38. Your college applications looked really good because you participated in all of the clubs and won a lot of scholarships. People praised your efforts, but really, there was just nothing better to do.
  39. You’ve heard a train horn.
  40. Muddin’ is a normal weekend event.
  41. You more than likely grew your own fruits and veggies and shot your own meat.
  42. But if you didn’t, you knew the best butcher and produce stand in town to get them from.
  43. It’s not abnormal for you to see horses, pigs, chickens, cows, etc. in someone’s back yard.
  44. There are no streetlights where you live, so it’s somewhat impossible for you to sleep in a place that has them everywhere.
  45. You more than likely had a decent sized back yard.
  46. You have danced or participated in other strange acts in the middle of the street, like in the Notebook, because no cars drive through town past 8 PM.
  47. Your summer job was babysitting.
  48. It isn’t abnormal to see 5-year-olds biking or walking around the streets of your town, because it’s just that safe.
  49. If your town is off a highway, there’s a maximum of 3 exits that allow access to it.
  50. It’s impossible to explain where you’re from without referring to larger cities or big landmarks.
  51. You’re proud to be from the “Winter Strawberry Capital of the World…”
  52. When you go to college, the college itself is 3 times the population of your hometown.
  53. Every street in the town is dedicated to some important old guy that died down the road from your house some 100 odd years ago.
  54. You’ve waited on a train to pass to continue the route to your destination at least 20 times.
  55. You’ve even seen a train go past you, then back up, and drive forward once more.
  56. Every father and grandfather could be found at the local saloon or feed store after every workday.
  57. You’ve had the same hairdresser since you were a child.
  58. And on that note, the best place for all the town gossip was at your local hair salon.
  59. You’ve at least watched someone participate in cow tipping if you weren’t the culprit yourself.
  60. You had designated senior skip days in high school.
  61. You relate all too well to the show Friday Night Lights.
  62. Red clay isn’t a dirty bother, because it’s second nature to you.
  63. You give directions based on local landmarks. “Left at the old tree with two stumps, right at the church, past the cotton field..”
  64. You find a certain peace from a long, dark drive home
  65. Someone in your family grew cotton, strawberries, blueberries, peanuts, peaches, oranges, etc.
  66. You dated the boy on the football team and wore his letterman jacket around school.
  67. You’ve been to a drive-in and would sometimes prefer that experience to a regular movie theater.
  68. You or your parents had that illegal police scanner thing with the incessant beeping every time a cop was near.
  69. The town’s radiologist, primary care physician, gynecologist, dentist and orthopedic surgeon are the same person.
  70. You had a homecoming parade and were more than likely a part of it.
  71. Bro-Code doesn’t exist. It’s almost impossible to not date your friend’s ex.
  72. The closest mall to you was over 30 minutes away.
  73. You’ve stolen a speed limit or stop sign.
  74. And no one noticed, because there were no set speed limits.
  75. You want to hate that place so much, but all in all, it was a great place to grow up.

Leslie Cole

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