Big City, Small Towns

So, I grew up in Los Angeles.

Not downtown or anything.

More like a little suburb nestled in between two much larger (and more well known) cities. In fact, the city I lived in wasn’t even incorporated enough to use the name of the city in our address, it was just L.A.

I think I want to be a small town girl.

The idyllic images of small towns with their corner stores and front porches with people sitting outside sipping lemonade. (Lalalalalalalalalalala, join me, won’t you? Lalalalalalalalalalalala.)

You don’t really get that in any part of L.A.

Then we didn’t live in Los Angeles but moved further south to a mini-L.A.: San Diego…complete with two major freeways and five trillion people all on it at the same time you are. It’s a gem of a place, really. Beautiful beaches, lovely weather, and way too many fucking people.

So, we moved north to a relatively small-ish town in Idaho.

And then we spent a year or so in a northeast town of about 1700 people.

Hello, Small Town.

We had more cemeteries than stop signs and the only traffic light was there simply because of the newly built high school, otherwise, there would be no traffic lights.

This made me anxious in some weird I-Grew-Up-In-Los-Angeles kind of way. Like, “What the hell am I doing here?” (And for the record, I didn’t see one person sitting on their front porch sipping lemonade.)

The one cop (there might have been more but his car was the only one I ever saw driving around town and directing traffic at that one traffic light on school mornings) was also the youth basketball ref. And I was uncomfortable whenever I saw him on the court because I knew he must have noticed the new face in town (how many new people do these small towns really see every year? Exactly, none) and prayed he wouldn’t pull me aside at halftime to ask me when exactly was I going to get Pennsylvania plates and get rid of the Idaho ones? Certainly there is a law about that.

I used to cruise Sunset Boulevard, for heaven’s sake. I was born in a Hollywood hospital. I could get to the valley three hundred different ways on streets that never intersected. I used to drive 45 miles to work from Playa Del Rey to Sherman Oaks – taking four different freeways and taking me well over an hour, on a (very) good day. The Rose Parade was only a mile from my house. We spent Grad Night at Disneyland. If you needed to find anything from imported Italian olive oil to a Cuban sandwich, folks, you could find it somewhere in Los Angeles.

In the northeast town I found myself in you had to drive into Philadelphia for those things. A mere four hour drive. And here in Idaho? All I can say is: Thank God for the internet because I can order just about anything online. Okay, not if I want a Cuban sandwich.

And then while living in the northeast we decided to take a trip to New York City.

And I stepped outside the car and my first reaction to the city: “Ahhhhhhh, I LOVE IT HERE!”

The sounds. The traffic. The noise. My Gawd, who am I kidding? I love big cities!

I recently saw a show (I’m not going to admit which one, okay, it was The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, don’t judge me) and there was a clip from NYC. I said, “Do you hear that? I love the sound of a big city!”

My husband replied, “You mean the sound of crime? All you are hearing is sirens.”

Me: “And horn honking.”

Him: “Funny how you always talk about how you would love to live in a small town. You aren’t still thinking you are some small town girl at heart, right?”

I realized that I am not cut out for super small town living, despite how much I may think I would like it.

We moved from the tiny little town with the only street aptly named, “Main Street” and back to Idaho. Unfortunately, I am still feeling the bug to be closer to a bigger city. A big city with lots of noise.

Sirens, more than one freeway, and the ability to get a Cuban sandwich at midnight. 


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