Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Small Town, Big City

You’ve lived in a big city all your life but for circumstances beyond your control you have to move to a small town…

You’ve lived in a small town all your life but for circumstances beyond your control you have to move to a big city…

You are not prepared.

Here are a few tips for you…

Big City to Small Town Guide:

- You don’t have to get to the theater 30 minutes prior to movie. Chances are there won’t even be a theater! But if there is, it probably has more seating than the town has people. The movies are going to be last seasons movies…don’t expect first runs or sneak preview showings.

- You’ll want to go out for a night on the town around 10pm and ending up in that all night club until 3am. Don’t! First of all, the town shuts down at 8pm anyway unless it’s county fair week. Secondly, there are no clubs to stay up until 3am in! You’re only option is about 10 miles up the highway at the truck stop.

- Do not sweat your daily commute to work. Those audio tapes on learning the Chinese language in 2400 easy CDs are not necessary. You won’t have time for them because your work office is only three blocks away. In fact, you won’t have much need for your car at all. Invest in a battery charger to keep the battery from running down through lack of use. Buy a riding lawnmower instead. They're much more practical and can be used for transportation in a pinch.

- You won’t need to call the security company to arm your home. There aren’t any. In fact, don’t be surprised if the home you’re in doesn’t have locks or keys at all. You won’t need “the club” for your car. Instead, just get a baseball bat and leave it in the car should you need to shoosh off the local raccoons or pack of dogs.

Small Town to Big City Guide:

- You’ll need proper etiquette skills to survive in the big city. When in an elevator, space yourself as far away from everybody as possible. You’ll need skills to access where that position is immediately upon entering. It’s sort of like playing a game of Twister but opposite…

- Proper eye contact is important. When in an elevator you need to learn to find a spot that avoids all eye contact or the mere possibility you are engaging in eye contact and then focus on that spot until you are to your proper floor. Consider watching the floor status above the doors. This is a preferred technique because it makes you look responsible…as if you’re ensuring the elevator does it’s job and not try to sneak by a selected floor.

- You cannot walk to work. Only those that can afford not to work live close enough to actually walk to work. Big city blocks are actually the equivalent of 72 small town blocks. If you go out at lunch, bring a calculator for the first couple of weeks so you can do the math to ensure that 5 block walk to the deli isn’t actually 8 miles away and will make you late getting back.

- If you’re expecting to take the family out to dinner at 5pm, forget it. First of all, no good restaurant is open that early. Second of all, anything that is open is full of people taking advantage of ‘happy hour’ after work. Thirdly, they will hit on your wife if you go to the bathroom. And finally, you'd never get there during rush hour traffic anyway.

53 comments:

Chris Wood said...

Very helpful advice. Especially as the big city I live in is now downgrading itself to a small town to help save on taxes.

It's a daft idea, but we're all committed to it now.

yellojkt said...

My suburb is the worst of both worlds. I have to get to the movies a half hour early, but all the restaurants close at 10.

Jacki said...

And just think how crazy it is to live in the suburbs of DC! But even though I complain about it a lot....millions of people...tons of traffic...ridiculous cost of living...I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Well...maybe a villa on a beach in Bali...

The Incredible Woody said...

You mean I'm not supposed to start a conversation on the elevator. Being from a small southern town, not speaking just goes against my grain.

Matt-Man said...

As I live in a city of 62,000 or so people (with a metro of 142,000) I don't know how to feel. Just like being born in 1965. I am not a Baby Boomer and I'm not a Gen X-er. You have left me with more questions than answers. Man, I am frickin' confused. Cheers VE!!

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

But isn't Your Portland the best of both worlds? I hear they have great micro-breweries there.

Jaime said...

i love it! going from a big city to a small town is definitely culture shock.

next time, you may want to add that small town "late night" excitement is the 24 hour walmart

Gladys said...

I have done both gone from small town to big city and vice versa.

These are excellent tips.

I moved from podunk town to Overly Crowded city. No one informed me that I wasn't supposed to talk to people in line at the grocery or on the street. Oh and another thing don't wave to people in their cars. This was a small town practice that no one told me not to do on L.A. freeways.

Quirkyloon said...

Oh and don't forget if you're living in the small isolated town, that bat will come in handy in beating off Big Foot when he comes to call on you. And you know he will! Without a doubt!

Perpetual Chocoholic said...

I'm going to print these off and carry them with me always.

VE said...

chris - I've downgraded my residence for tax purposes too...it's now classified as a mud bog. Good rates...

yellojkt - Yes, I avoided suburbs because they HAVE NO SOUL! I rest my case...

jacki - Plus you get to rent out your sofa for $10,000 a night during Presidential inaugurations

incredible woody - Use your inner voice and talk to yourself. Don't scare those poor trapped helpless souless elevator people...

matt-man - You're unique...and we celebrate that fact every day! ha!

prefers - They convert old school and prisons here to microbrews. Yes, we have that going for us. But while we aren't super big or super small, we also aren't super warm or super cold. This time of year I have to watch TV to see what the sun looks like...

jaime - I have a feeling a 24 hour Walmart provides no end to blog material...

gladys - Ha! They probably thought you were the crazy lady when you tried to talk to people. As far as waving, I'm sure they thought you were flipping them off in some subliminal new method they weren't aware of yet and that you really just had road rage and would be dragging out the semi-automatic at any moment...

VE said...

quirkyloon - I live in Big Foot country. Those legend type creatures are such a nuisance. Always supposedly "out there" but never having the guts to maul somebody for real...

perpetual chocolate - You should have them laminated.

unfinishedrambler said...

I live in a small town:

1. False. Movie theaters. We actually have one, and actually has first runs and Oscar winners and everything. Gasp!

2. True. Shut down at 8 p.m. A few bars stay open though to accommodate those who want to drive while intoxicated, and we have plenty of them.

3. True. Although my wife has to drive a whole 12 miles, she never encounters a traffic jam, except for in the winter when there's an accident on the icy road.

4. True. Except for us, it's the bears.

As for the big city, been there once for a gun show, wasn't that impressed. All the people seemed pretty damned unfriendly -- wouldn't wave to me or talk to me or even, like you said, make eye contact. ;)

VE said...

unfinishedrambler - Hey, three out of four is not bad. And I know there are towns without theaters too! As for your big city experience...you probably would have had a better experience if you weren't carrying that assault rifle with you to the gun show...

Hale McKay said...

Although it has been 40 years, I moved to the big city (Boston) from an Appalachian town of 3600 hicks.

I was one of those stereotypical rubes who developed neck cramps from gawking up at the tall buildings.

Saying things like 'howdy, y'all' and 'where can I get some victuals?' was met with many a raised eyebrow.

Yep, my arrival in the big city was indeed a cultural shock. 40 years later my watered down drawl still yields 'You aren't from Bahston, are you?'

Great post idea.

Kurt said...

Useful big city phrases:

"No, fuck YOU!"
"You better get out of my FACE"
"Asshole!"

VE said...

hale - Ha! Victuals? Big city people don't even know what that word means. They probably thought it was left over body parts from your victims!!

kurt - Ha! Perfect. Yes, that first one is so NYC. The last one is very universal big city though. Excellent additions to the guide.

freetheunicorns said...

Ha. I always knew I could never live in a small city, this confirms why.

Elizabeth said...

Why do people in the city eat so late? I can hardly make it to 5:30!

ReformingGeek said...

So that's what I have to do to get hit on? Send Hubby to the potty. Got it. ;-)

Around here, if you eat at 5:00 PM, it's families with evening activities planned or old-folkies.

Mrsupole said...

So are we having elevator problems, just look them in the eye and smile and ask if they have any barf bags in there. That is how you empty them out and force them to get some exercise.

Big city, Little city, it is all relative. Everyone is related in the little city and in the big city they are screwing your relatives.

Drinking seems to be the same, it is universal, in little city they should be closer to walk, in big city they should be closer to walk.

Who gives a rat's ass what show is on at the movie's, Net Flix delivers everywhere. Get some chcoclate popcorn and you are set.

Who cares about a restaurant, cooking at home is the "in" thing, those microwaves do wonders.

Yes, keep the baseball bat to beat the crap out of anything you don't like. Big critters, little critters, makes no difference, just bat 1000.

Ah the good life - priceless.

VE said...

freetheunicorns - Funny how people grow up so polarized to one or the other.

elizabeth - I went to Argentina and they eat at 11:00pm! The restaurants don't even open until 8pm. I was there for work and it's hard to eat nothing but beef at 11:30pm, then go dancing until 3am and then show up for work. I'm not 20 anymore...

reforminggeek - It's a well known fact and one of the reasons why husbands never go to the restroom when dining out.

mrsupole - Oooh, I like the barf bag trick. I'm gonna try that one!

Anne said...

don't forget in small towns they might show a PG movie at 7:30 and an R movie at 9:30.

VE said...

anne - Really? That one is new to me. Is that idea that you put the PG audience to bed and then sneak out to watch the R movie?

Uncivil said...

Small Town to Big City :

Beware the trunk thumpers! You can't shoot them and get away with it. Too many witnesses!

VE said...

uncivil - Trunk Thumpers...I've got something coming up on that...

Megan said...

I'm in the big city, but I have to abide by an additional sub-set of ghetto rules.

The eye-contact thing has many ramifications, depending on whether you are confronting a homeless person, a gang member, a lost tourist...

Serena said...

Excellent survival tips. Be sure and include them in your travel book. People need to know this stuff.:)

Thinkinfyou said...

Thankfully I live in a medium size city!

Sarah said...

You forgot to include: If you move to a small town you better get used to eating at Waffle House and the like, because there are no other "restuarants" in town.

VE said...

megan - You mean you don't go over to Compton and say "Gimme five, brother!" ever?

serena - Yes, we'll see if I have room what with all my misadventures.

thinkinfyou - Where they get the worst of both worlds! ;)

sarah - So true. I was in a small town for awhile and they had "Pig N Pancake" there

The Self-Deprechaun said...

i printed this out and swallowed it. I'm not leaving my apartment ever.

Megan said...

I had a follow-up, but Self-Deprechaun just made it superfluous...

Alex L said...

Dinner at 5.00 pm... are we all suddenly 60 years old after this move.

VE said...

self-deprechaun - That's good advice and good fiber!

megan - He beat you by an hour! Doh!

alex - Pretty much if you live there!

Janna said...

I live in a teensy tiny microscopic little town.
You are SOOOOoooo right about everything closing early.

We don't even have a McDonalds.

There is not one elevator in the entire place.

Theater? What's that?

We don't even have any stop lights.

93% of the kids are named after cows and sheep.

I moved here in 1998, from a SLIGHTLY larger town that had exactly one McDonald's and three stoplights. (Still no elevators).

Mrsupole said...

VE,

I just want to say it was the Ambien talking, must of woke up and posted while half asleeeeep, but the elevator one was good.

Thanks for the visit.

lime said...

what can i say. i am all about the small town. i'm happy living there and just visiting the big city.

VE said...

janna - Well...you're not missing much by not having a MacDonalds...

mrsupole - I'm sure most of my readers take drugs in order to read my drivel...

lime - Yes, most people are pretty polarized one way or the other...

MJ said...

From someone who has lived in both the big city and in a small town, this is quite accurate...

VE said...

mj - Funny how things work...

Dee said...

I went from small town to big, in the small town we never locked our front door ever!

VE said...

dee - And in the big city, you never unlock the door...ever.

Anne said...

re: small town theaters and two different movies, yes, really, the theater in Chincoteague, VA is like that.

Carla said...

Do you have this in pamphlet form? We need to get this information out there.

VE said...

anne - That's quite odd. One way to turn it into a qausi-multi-plex though, I guess.

carla - Many of my readers are printing it off and eating it so they always have it with them...

C said...

Nice one, my friend!
I'm a city girl gone country. Well, not really. Been here 5 yrs and still in transition! Then again, whenever I return to the city, I have reverse culture shock. Go figure!

VE said...

c - Ha! You've been reverse polarized! You won't know up from down going back and forth like that!

leelee said...

I live at the beach..none of this pertains to me. we have a whole 'nother set of rules.

But it was fun to read!

HUGS!

VE said...

leelee - Yes..there are exceptions for those that live in paradise of course

Starrlight said...

You realize this post is a compelling arguement for the Burbs, right? Which is wrong on so many levels!

Maureen said...

Dammit. Now I have the theme to "Green Acres" stuck in my head...

VE said...

starrlight - True...the burbs deserve their own post from hell!

maureen - That's not right!