Is this the real life? by Sam M. '07
Guest writer for Sam's Blog, Ruth '07 goes home to Georgia, gets ditched by most of her friends, and writes a scathing blog entry about how much they suck.Just playin'.
Good evening. This is Ruth Miller, field reporter for Sam’s blog, coming to you blogged from the Athena cluster in Building 12. While your usual author is at home in H-burg, I get to tell you about my recent adventure down memory lane. And for those of you who I haven’t told a billion times already, I’m almost an international student. I’m from Hazzard County, Georgia.
Ok, actually, there’s no such thing as Hazzard County, Georgia, but the Dukes of Hazzard TV show was filmed in my hometown of Covington, as well as In the Heat of the Night, certain scenes of Remember the Titans, and countless other things you haven’t seen.
At the risk of sounding like a bad Xanga entry, I’ll warn you, gentle reader, that thar be complainin’ ahead. So I’ll summarize the life lessons contained within the rest of the story, so with easy browsing you can avoid all that mess.
1) Enjoy your hometown before you leave
2) Say everything you wanted to say to everyone before you go
3) Once you leave, don’t look back
4) Don’t throw diesel fuel on a fire
5) Don’t invite someone to something, even if you don’t think they’ll go, unless you want them to come
As for the members of the class of 09, preparing to leave thier respective wombs, ye be advised to bolster your courage and read on.
Much more interestingly, the actual Duke [(Georgia Southern) ’07] of Hazzard was in South Alabama a few weeks ago, and decided to see how big of a fire he and his step-brother-in-law could make using dry wood and diesel, and landed up in the hospital with third-degree burns. He’ll be ok, Mobile, AL has the country’s third best burn unit, but this just goes to show that any and all mistakes you make will be richoted again and again within the corridors of gossip in a small town.
So for the telling of the tale, I’ll set the scene: I’ve had difficulty re-acclimating to the slow-paced Georgia environment before. I felt bad that I hadn’t made any plans to go home since Christmas, so when a friend of mine, Cathie (UGA) ’07, invited me to a free concert with Garbage, my most favoritest band ever, from Atlanta’s Alternative Radio Station – 99x, I placed a few calls and bought plane tickets home. I work Monday through Thursday for the MATCH school, so I planned to leave Thursday afternoon and return Sunday night, maximizing Georgia time. Better yet, my dear friend Coop (Eastside High School) ’05 invited me to the football game Friday night. Better yet, Waites (UGA) ’08 offered to pick me up at the airport, which assures a good time to be had by all.
Waites (UGA) ’08, Brandon (Georgia State) ’08 and Aundre picked me up at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, and our first stop was Waffle House. I love Boston, but there’s almost no place to go for food late at night, and certainly nothing as cheap as “WaHo” (except Despina’s, but it’s a pizza place, so no comparison). Suffice it to say, that my body has lost the ability to process Waffle House food, so the rest Thursday evening saw me kind of cranky. The night almost ended in a sketchy, sketchy way, except that I am significantly “lamer” than my friends and put an end to their fun.
The next day involved getting my eyes checked, a new drivers license, and a haircut, but can be summarized with one observation:
In other words: dating = mom gets to be a grandmother
Far, far too many people are way, way too blunt about the issues of marraige and reproduction, especially as they pertain to me. You’d think by the number of “Protect Families: Ban Homosexual Marraige” bumper stickers, marraige would be something to take seriously and not rush into. So because I’ve been dating my boyfriend (readers, you may remember Matt ’08 from Sweet Transvestite) for a little under a year, that means grandbabies for my mom. Clearly.
The rest of the weekend was similar. The football game turned out to be a scrimmage, which I missed, and we lost, and then Coop (EHS) ’06, who had insisted on meeting up in the first place, ditched us at WaHo. I was ditched again by Cathie (UGA) ’07 for the Garbage concert, my primary motivation to fly to Georgia in the first place, and again for dinner by Robin (Emory) ’06, except his girlfriend Noreen (Alabama) G was in town, which happens rarely, and everyone forgot his birthday, so it’s a legitimate excuse. Those that didn’t ditch me moved back to school on Saturday, so the weekend was rather anticlimactic. Additionally, new smoking regulations have made my favorite resturant, The Vortex, now 21 and up, and that was the final straw. [Georgia law defines life as beginning at conception, so technically I’m 21 already, but as in most things, just being polite can get you very far.]
So aside from a few magic moments, the weekend was a bust. The major feelings I have boil down to:
* There’s no one I can relate to.
Last Christmas, Matt ’08 came to visit and used the word “viscous” in casual conversation, and no one else at the eight-person table at WaHo knew what it meant.
* Life has progressed easily as if I was never there.
For example: the changed locks at my house, the remodeling of my bathroom and bedroom, the selling of my beloved car, and the continuation of everyone’s lives in a way strikingly similar to their existence when I was present.
* Most people never left high school.
Most of my friends live very close to one another at UGA, so their world is just an extension high school. While I’ve moved on a created a new life for myself, they have the same opinions, views, and level of maturity as ever. It’s frustrating to try and interact with someone you’ve respected as an equal, but see them behave like something else.
* Everyone forgot about me.
This might just apply to people from small towns, there’s a certain warm-fuzzyness that comes with knowing people where every you go. I knew people that worked everywhere. Brandon (GS) ’08 would bring cheese biscuits from Red Lobster to Waites (UGA) ’08’s house, and we’d go hang out with Andrew (Dekalb Tech) ’06 at Subway. Now, it’s like I’m a stranger in town. I don’t see people I know anywhere. Being a big fish in a small pond kicks ass, but now being there makes me just another fish out of water. I expect anonymity in Boston, but it’s hard to have it thrust upon you where it wasn’t before.
This all sounds like a bad Xanga, and I admit it. I don’t think, however, that I’m the only one that thinks these things about their homes. Leaving was hard – not that I wasn’t excited, but it seems certain people knew that it was the end of a way of life that can’t be re-entered. My boss (UGA) ’74 cried when I left after four years, and thinking about him now, that image gives me a funny feeling. My dad is a pretty reserved and introverted guy, so it’s on me to keep conversations going. One-way is hard, and I’ve gotten horrible about keeping up, with him and tons of other people.
It wasn’t all burn victims and abandonment, though. There were two major highlights. Friday night, I sang Bohemian Rhapsody a cappella with Waites (UGA ’08 and Noel (DT) ’06 in the car on our way to the pool hall. As an official Georgia-best friend, Waites (UGA) ’08 has the uncanny ability to sense which part of a multi-part song you’re going to take, and then sing counter, so it actually sounds really cool. It helps that we all know the words, and that Waites nailed the instrumentals, so it all turned into an awesome six minutes and 34 seconds. I should mention that it is Waites (UGA) ’08’s ambition in life to be a rock star.
Futhermore, I had a real heart-to-heart with Brandon (GS) ’08 at WaHo. He apologized for giving me grief last summer, and said he understands why I “went a little crazy.” Coming to Covington after a year in any big city will drive you a little nuts. I told him that at one point, it was so bad I had the physical sensation that if I were to sit still and stop thinking, I could literally feel myself suffocating. No joke. I thought I was going crazy at the time, but Brandon (GS) ’08 said he understood, but to him it was more of a “hair-pulling” negative pressure differential. He didn’t call it that, but it’s what he meant. Waites (UGA) ’08 felt more of a spinning-dizziness action. So at least if I’m crazy, they are, too.
So thanks to Waites (UGA) ’08, Brandon (GS) ’08, and Andrew (DT) ’06 for keeping me sane on another trip to Covington. You may all hate math, but you still understand me a heck of a lot better than anyone else in Georgia.
Hmm… sorry your trip home was such a mondo bummer. I must say, however, I like the names of your surrounding towns–Hephzibah, Bamwell, Eatonton. It almost competes with Pennsylvania–Nesquehoning, New Hope, and, of course, Intercourse.
Heh. I’m a Southerner too. Georgia (Dunwoody, where my Dad still lives) and Kentucky. Not a small-towner, but I can still relate to certain things you’ve said. *grin*