Country girl, city girl

By Mari Pothier |

I still remember the day my mom and dad told me we were moving to Brooksville. I thought to myself: “Brooksville? Why Brooksville? There is nothing there.” After living in Tampa for five years, the thought of moving to a rural community was a weird blend of nerves and curiosity. Everyone says that people who live in the “country” are nice folks who make an honest living and I thought, well, it should be nice living among the kind hearted country souls of Brooksville. At least that was what I was banking on, but of course I was wrong…very wrong.

As we all know, our society has some very prominent clichés associated with city living and country living. Most people think of city dwellers as rude, pushy people who are always in a hurry and will knock you down if you’re in their way. County folk, on the other hand, are regarded as kind-hearted people who will open their homes to anyone who is in dire need of a hot meal and will say hello to everyone who passes by as if they were their brother.

But under the circumstances that occurred in my life, these clichés didn’t actually ring true. When my family and I moved to Brooksville I was still under that false pretense that people who live in the country are a nice, welcoming bunch. So when I showed up to my new high school sophomore year you can be bet I was surprised when not one of my “country peers” even tried to talk to me. I mean come on, this was a country school. I thought the kids were going to be nice. But no, I was wrong. And the friends I did make that first year were all new kids, like me, trying to blend into this rural community.

One of the major contributors to our societal clichés regarding city and country life is Country music. Now, I’m not saying Country music is bad, I actually really love it and grew up listening to it, but it does put country living in a better light than city living. Like in Jason Aldean’s “Hicktown,” he says, “We hear folks in the city party in martini bars, And they like to show off in their fancy foreign cars, Out here in the boondocks we buy beer at Amoco, And crank our Kraco speakers with that country radio.” It seems to me Aldean is basically saying that people who live in cities are a bunch of rich snobs that are not in tune with the realities of life like country people. But I’m afraid, under my circumstances, Aldean was wrong.

When I lived in Tampa, I never really experienced that typical pushiness and rudeness that is so readily associated with people who live in the city. The people in Tampa were actually quite welcoming and accepting. That might be because Tampa is filled with people of all races and religions. It might also have to do with the fact that people are constantly moving in and out of its borders. Nevertheless, the people in Tampa were nothing like the stereotypes associated with city folk. When I was the new kid in Tampa, none of my new peers had a problem talking to me and I quite literally made a ton of friends in a short amount of time. I would meet one person and then they would introduce me to their friends, who would introduce me to their friends and so on. But at my high school in Brooksville, if your great-great grandfather didn’t graduate from that institution, well, then, you were considered an outsider!

So, sadly, Brooksville wasn’t like Mayberry on “The Andy Griffith Show.” But I’m not saying that every small town is like Brooksville and that every city is like Tampa. I just happened to find the clichés associated with city and country living to be dead wrong in my own personal situation. As my college career comes to an end, I am now left with the daunting task of trying to figure out where I would like to live after I graduate. The idea of living in another small town makes me a little nervous but I would give it another shot. But, for now, I think I am going to move to another city because, well, that is where I feel more at home.

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