I live in a small country town in Queensland. It's not a teeny one-pub town. But it's not very big either. And I was born here. Sometimes it's great, and sometimes it's not, but at any rate here are a few bits and pieces about the 'small town' thing.
1. You will always see someone you know.
I can never go downtown in really crappy clothes. I mean, I look like a dag on many occasions. But it's never a good idea to go down to the shops in a shirt, pajama bottoms and ugg-boots. If I make myself look nice, it won't matter. But if I haven't bothered looking in the mirror before I run down to the shops (and really should have!), I can pretty much guarantee that I'll run into a friend, or an old teacher, or (worst of all, and always on a day when I look particularly grotty) an old classmate who I really didn't like.
2. Everyone always knows your business (sometimes better than you do yourself!)
This one is particularly bad for me. Because not only do I have three sisters nearby, I also live in the same town as my Mum, her three brothers, and their wives. My sister Jenny said that as a teenager, when she'd done something stupid, she always came straight home to Mum and told her all about it, because she'd always find out anyway.
It also has it's good points though. When I'm in trouble, like I've locked myself out of my car for instance, I know of like 15 people I could ask for help, if I needed to.
3. There is no such thing as anonymity.
"That's such-and-such's youngest daughter, she's married to the boy so-and-so, you know him and her's son? They've had a baby now, a little girl and I heard there's another one on the way."
I have actually overheard this conversation before.
4. The fact that you still live in your hometown.
I hate, hate, hate, that pitying look and tone of voice you get from an old school friend who has come to town to visit their parents. "You're still living here?" Or "Oh I'm only here for the weekend, that's all I can stand." You feel like screaming, 'Come on! I'm not a freaking leper! And look! We have ATM's, and coffee, and even electricity- it's not like I'm stuck in 1852!"
5. The shopping (or lack thereof)
Now it's not really that bad I know. We do have a Target, and a Rockmans, and far, far too many boutique-style ladies clothing stores that are horridly overpriced and stocked primarily with clothes for people of the stick-figure variety.
So yeah, I mostly have Target. Target Country.
Plus, the nearest city is four hours away, so Georgie and I are so exclusively clothed in Target, we could practically be models for them.
But really it's not that bad. Some days I long to be somewhere else. I long to not live in the street I grew up in (seriously what was I thinking when we bought this house?). I love the idea of exploring a little, seeing something I haven't seen before. Or going to a beautiful park. But this place holds some wonderful memories. I go for a walk and spot the place where Shane and I first kissed, or had our first date. And the people here are (most of the time) pretty great. It is really nice having my Mum and sisters so close. I've got some good friends. So in all honesty, the small town thing? It's okay.
Today I'm participating in Flog yo blog over at Glowless's place.