I hate to break it to you, but it’s going to happen. Sooner or later you’re going to start recognizing people on the street, and not long after that happens they’re going to start calling you by name, and before you know it they’re going to be all “oh, hey! How’s your second cousin Jimmy-Lucas? I heard he caught a big fish over the weekend! And how’s your Ma?!”
Okay. I haven’t gotten there yet. Truth be told it’s because I’ve been avoiding church like the plauge. Not because I’m tired of Jesus or anything (love Him) but because so far, my little posse of 6-ish is suiting me just fine. I can still be realiatively annonymous, and like I mentioned to a friend the other night, this is what I miss the most about living in a big city. I never needed to worry about running into my exes if I didn’t want to (except for that one time), I could go and eat a meal by myself and not have to feel awkward that someone I know would see me and pity me, I could dress up like Maddonna in her ’Like a Virgin’ video & walk down the street without being scrutinized or snickered at. I miss this a lot. Not because I frequently wore lopped off wedding dresses and ate alone, but because I could if the fancy struck me. And sometimes it did.
So I’ve been lucky in my first month or so here. Sure I’ve been introduced to new people daily and I occasionally have to duck behind a pitcher of beer in order to avoid the “Why are you in town? What have you been doing since high school!” conversation, but in the scheme of things, I’m still pretty annonymous. Thanks to being unemployed, I get the bonus of being able to do what I want, when I want (so long as it’s free) and this is great for my ‘I just wanna do something alone’ moments.
So for those of you who frequent small towns or who just moved to one, I’ve compiled a list of things you should do before anyone knows who you are. Because once they do… well, they’ll either come and join you or tell everyone you’re the sad lonley one who strolls around town in mismatched outfits whistling dixie (and if you happen to live in a city and don’t do these things on the regular… why not?)
1. Go and see a movie alone
I’m a big fan of doing this. The first time, it was such an ordeal I left the theater half way through the movie due to a panic attack I had in regards to weather I should take my popcorn with me to the bathroom, but every time since then I have just loved life. No sharing popcorn, no looking around to make sure that part you laughed at was acctually funny, and no arguing over which movie to see. Bliss.
2. Date two people at once
I don’t mean double date in a night and I don’t mean promise them exclusivity, but if no one knows who the heck you are, pick two people from two different circles (skateboarder & a firefighter? OK) and let them both take you for dinner. Right now you’re safe. Sooner or later you’re going to learn that there’s do’s and don’ts surrounding the people you’re interested in and you’ll realize that (oh shit) they all know each other.
3. Elbow someone in the bar who keeps ordering shots when all you want is a bottle of Bud
Do this before you know her name and that you hooked up with her recent ex-boyfriend. Because once she knows that about you, you’ll either be waiting the whole night for one drink or you’ll be wearing her shots.
4. Wear Jefferey Campbell heels (or a collared shirt if you’re a man)
Right now, you’re from the city and this is your excuse. Once you lose this lustre (people will be tired of it in four months) you will have no excuse to go to 7-11 looking like you’re ready to model in a Wildfox campaign. (This to-do is exempt from any small town in California. You guys know how to dress yourselves for the catwalk, even in the sticks.)
5. Skip church
Once people know you’re the daughter of the towns only Cathedrals ex-Dean, you can’t really escape it. ‘There’s the old preachers daughter, running around with her top off on Thursday night!’ ‘There’s the Reverends 24 year old only daughter, talking to greasy Bill.’ ‘There’s that mess of a girl, out so late on a Saturday, in line at the BAR… where did that minister go wrong?’ You’ll be fielding calls from your Mother left right and centre that say “Mrs. Balinsky saw you on the patio of Carlo’s at 11:15 last Sunday morning – drinking beer - she said you weren’t at church young lady.”
OK. Maybe that last one was specific to me. But whatever.
The point is, sooner or later everyone’s going to know what (who?) you did last night and you’re going to have to start justifying your actions. Might as well have fun with it while you can still tell that cute bartender your name is Courtney and you hail from Indian royalty.
xo & yw