Monday, October 29, 2007

Tricks or Treats?

Senior Year of College, late October

Michelle: Hey Melody, what do you think I'm dressed up as?
Karen: I wasn't sure what she was supposed to be.
Me: You look like a 1800's prostitute.
Michelle: Um...I'm a pirate wench.
Me: 1800's hundreds prostitute.
Michelle: Yeah.
While little kids are out begging for candy, teens and grown-ups are using Halloween as an excuse to dress up - and occasionally just to wear lingerie out in public. But in defense of my friend, she didn't look quite as skanky as this...twelve year old?

Newsweek recently published an article about how risque little girls costumes are getting. They note:

"Halloween costumes that used to say, Isn't she cute? now scream, That's hot! with an increasing array of halter tops, bare midriffs and miniskirts... If you think we're exaggerating, note that they're actually selling something called a "Child's Chamber Maid Costume." And, many of the tween girls in the photographs are wearing more make-up than Christina Aguilera on awards night. More disturbing may be their expressions--they look as if they've been told to give the camera their best "sexy" gaze."

No doubt they have been told the give the camera their best "sexy" gaze. And since Christina Aguilera and comparable artists have music videos that appear on The Disney Channel and other child focused channels, I'm certain that these girls have plenty of practice with their sexy gaze.
Actually, the pictures that Newsweek chooses to show and wonders if they are actually kiddie porn are not the worst of the bunch.

In Mean Girls, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress however she wants and none of the other girls can call her a slut. The hard core girls just wear lingerie and some kind of animal ears.

But don't these girls look a little young for lingerie?

Is Little Bo Peep precious or is there precious little difference between her and the Little Bo Peep Show (yes, the actual name of the outfit)? As far as I can tell the main difference is about an inch of lace and the shoes, which don't come with the outfit. There's even less difference between these two Miss Muffets.

I actually find this "Maid Purfect" costume even more offensive that the Child's Chamber Maid Costume featured in NewsWeek. That little girl might just be a maid. This one really doesn't leave you in doubt of her intentions. And who's that to her left? A bar tender? Actually she's Heidi, but it's kinda hard to tell isn't it?

I'd like to hope that parents wouldn't let their children go out door to door as little hookers, but given the fact that they're letting them play with toys that look like little hookers and they watch shows where people dress like hookers, this hope would be a somewhat extrordinary one.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Super Slides and Super Headaches

Fall youth retreat. I have mixed feelings about how it went.

First night - very good. The message was about how we talk about Jesus being all we need and Jesus talks about giving us life to the full, but in reality we tend to chase after other things to make us feel alive and most of us don't really know what it is like to be so satisfied with God that we don't have room for the sinful things. We talked about all the things (relationship, image, partying, cutting, pornography etc.) that we might run to instead of God. Some of the kids were pretty upfront about how they felt on the subject and that was pretty cool. You don't often see that in youth groups.
But - even though it was agreed on that while we talk about pursuing Christ we seldom know what it means to do so - we never got to the point of answering it. Answers, it was said, would come.

Then we went out and played on the superslide.
Day two - we have a new speaker who was not there the night before.

We talked about how the church tends to focus on what horrible awful sinners we are and how we don't deserve grace, rather than rejoicing in the fact that we have grace and are now children of God. He said that when we focus so much on sin it makes us more prone to fall into it because what are we always thinking about? Sin.

I sort of think this is valid. Whenever I read information about Self Injury there are warnings in front of sections that describe SI in detail. People who SI find it hard to read about it without wanting to do it. I have a friend who hasn't smoked pot in over 20 years, but discussion about pot can leave her craving it.

We also had a chart with three columns: Nobility, Testing/Temptation, Sin. Underneath "Sin" we wrote various sins (simple so far). Under "Testing/Temptation" we wrote situations that might make the listed sins seem like a good plan (ex. all you can eat buffet - gluttony) and under "Nobility" we wrote what the better option was (ex. contentment, self control). Then we talked about how instead of focusing on staying out of trouble we should be focusing on good things we could be doing.
I grant that a change in perspective can often be a healthy (and occasionally life altering) thing. However, in light of the previous night's declaration that we were going to learn to pursue Jesus and have life to the seemed a little trite.

Afternoon - low & high ropes courses. It was fun and mostly uneventful. I got good pictures.

Evening message - He starts us off by talking about funerals and asks the kids to list the elements of a funeral: flowers, old people, dressing up, sermons, fancy words, songs. Then he asks where we see all these same elements. Answer: church services. He proceeds to ask why we, who have been saved to eternal life, are acting like someone died.

Alright, I know it fits nicely, but the reason that funerals are like church services is because they are a type of church service. He's trying to make a point, but can't we keep some historical perspective? Please?

I find these thoughts about the church focusing on sin and being like a funeral odd in contrast to people who insist that church people always insist everything is happy, happy all the time and we never confront the bad things. Actually, I find the two different conclusions fascinating, only I didn't know it till just now.

At the end then the man asks us to say what makes us feel more alive. Nature, loud music, acceptance, laughter, friend - all listed, all things that just the night before the first speaker had told the kids weren't a replacement for being fufilled by God. But this night's speaker says God's given us these things to be fulfilling.

Mixed messages anyone?

And this is what truly irks me about youth retreats - even with youth leaders that I think are great. We go and we promise kids some phenominal, life changing revelation and we never even get close to delivering. It happens all the time and the kids think it's great - until they realize that, once again, there are no answers. In fact - we don't even seem to know what we're trying to say.

I know the intention is to have more discussion in subsequent meetings - but I've been to enough of these types of discussions to know that they tend to be the same type of thing. You listen, you discuss, and the topic changes without ever getting anywhere at all.

So - I don't know. I had fun on the retreat. It was good to spend time with the kids and to play games with them and to discuss things with them. I just don't know that we gave them much to take away.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

HTML was made by Satan

If I weren't ready to strangle them, the people at blogger would make me laugh. They're oh-so cute with their, "Now you don't need to know html to alter your blog!" Are you freakin' kidding me?!

Once upon a time if I wanted to change how my blog looked or acted all I had to do was go to the website of some more learned nerd and copy the proper html into the html slot. Viola, instant coolness.

Now, if I want something other than the ten blogger-made templates I have to scrounge through techy forums trying to figure out what their "simple" instructions are saying!

I know they feel they've dumbed it down, but "open the html version of the file" is gobblety-gook. What html version?! All have is a jpg, there's no html, just colored dots!

I tried to go the easy route. Just a solid background with a jpg header. How complicated can it be? I see soccer moms with homemade headers. Surely someone who works on the computer all day can figure this out! But when I try to load the jpg into blogger's "simple" system, it chooses an arbitrary portion of it, blows it up to the size of the chrystler building and sets it akwardly in the middle of the page - instead of allowing it to spread across the entire page as I have clearly indicated it should do.

Why is this so complicated? I made my first webpage when I was 12 and all I had to do was place the stupid picture and drag it to the size I wanted! Why is it no longer this simple?!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Great America

The most interesting experience Robin and I had last weekend was standing in line for a ride. During Fright Fest things are pretty packed and the lines were incredibly long. So we were just a little annoyed when a child of about twelve started pushing his way through line.

As irritating as something like that is, though, I never bother trying to stop linejumpers when they're just one person and/or young. If it is one person they're sitting next to someone who is already way up in line anyway. They're not taking up extra space on the train because if their friend rides alone the seat will just go empty. It doesn't change the wait time.
If they're young they're probably with a group of older people who said, "You go to the restroom/get drinks/throw away our trash/call mom and we'll hold you a place in line."

Growing up near Kings Island, where "line jumping is not a sporting event", but it sure happens alot, you learn to pick your battles.

Even so, Holly and I have definately blocked people from cutting. Sometimes it works, sometimes you get pushed into a wall. C.S. Lewis wrote that you can tell people have a natural law - just cut in line in the grocery and see how many people know that's wrong without anyone ever telling them. Lewis was a wise man, but he happens to be wrong.
Despite the fact that people are waiting two-plus hours to ride a ride they will let entire youth groups cut past them to where two people are holding a spot, without so much as a muttered, "Jerks."

A little while after the kid two large men wearing goofy hats cut in line to where their girlfriends were, about a row ahead of us. We glared at them and decided the next people to do that we would block from going through.

It'd probably been another half hour when the yelling started. A row back a man started yelling that he had called the park security and he just wanted them to know that they were going to get kicked out - they wouldn't even get to ride on the ride.

An arguement ensued that was comprised almost entirely of cussing. The line jumpers denied that they had done anything and the angry man declared that he had at least 50 witnesses. More cussing, mostly it didn't make sense. That's what happens when you have a vocabularly of five four-letter words. The main gist however was that either of them could take the other if only the other would get close enough. Most people were laughing, I mean, we were a captive audience and it was entertaining. I have to tell you; however, that standing directly between those two men - I was a little nervous.

Eventually the arguement ended leaving a hum of whispered conversations behind. Most people thought both the line jumpers and the angry man were terrible. I mean, I think it's brilliant that he called security, but why start a fight? Just let security come and do their thing.

Well, after a while security mosied on up. The line jumpers said they'd been there the whole time and security asked the boys right behind them if that was true. The boys said it was.
I don't know why those boys lied. They were being very friendly with the people who had cut in front of them - but it was still weird that they would lie about it. So I had to speak up.
"Sir, those boys are lying, the women were there the whole time, but the men cut in line."
Contrary to popular opinion I don't like confrontation. I know I started shaking and even now my heart beats a little faster just thinking about it. Robin spoke up too and then the angry man said, "That's right, just as her or her or him..." pointing to all the people around us.
Then line jumpers then accused the man of using racial slurs in the arguement and the security man said he'd have to leave since he'd done that. I had to speak up again, "He didn't use a racial slur, they both swore a lot, but there were no racial slurs."

Security told him he still had to come out the line and then the outraged line jumpers and their girlfriends started yelling that his wife and child had to come out of the line too. "He had a lady and a kid with him! They need to come out too!" I don't think they got pulled though and I don't think they should have been pulled. They weren't doing anything.

Some people around our age were whispering as they all got dragged out and sat on some benches, "That's right, but them all in close contact with each other, maybe a fist fight really will break out."

I just wanted those people to get kicked out. I didn't want them all up in my face if we happened to be in the same area later. For the rest of the afternoon though they were all sitting there with the security gaurd and I guess that was ok too.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What do scissors do?

Energy drinks were the only thing keeping me going through the youth retreat, so I crashed pretty hard when we got to the house. It's a miracle Robin was able to wake me up again, but once she did I was already to hit Six Flags. Thanks to modern conveniences we wouldn't even have to wait in line to buy a ticket, we could just pay online and print them from the Six Flags website.

This is a whole lot less convenient than it sounds. The printer ran out of ink on Robin's ticket. We ran to the store to buy another cartridge, which didn't work. We tried all the computer's suggestions and then waited while Robin's father tried them all again. We shook up the old cartridge and got a semi-legible ticket with a garbled barcode. Good enough.

Except for not really - because the ticket lady couldn't read the barcode or the ticket number and had to send us to the customer service booth. Normally this is the part of the post where I complain about how terrible the Six Flags people were and how no one values customer service anymore. But I can't, because they were amazing.

Ticket lady told us that when we got our tickets we should come back to the front of the line so we didn't have to wait again. Customer service lady printed us out new tickets and gave us each passes to skip to the front of one ride line of our choice.

Our printer breaks down and Six Flags give us a line jump for our trouble?

Well we thought it was pretty cool. Almost worth the two hours we spent fighting the crappy Lexmark printer.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Good Times: Angels & Demons & Jr. High

The evening before the youth retreat my roommate got a call letting us know we were going to be demons. Good to have a heads up right?

I met Robin's friends who are all a bit crazy and very comfortable being so. I really hate meeting new people. It's such an awkward process. But, every now and again you meet people that are just easy to be around and that's pretty nice.

Around 11 we went and got costumed up. I didn't know demons wore black cloaks and cowls, but evidently they do. Oh, and face paint - we had a lot of black face paint. Robin and I were just minion demons, but Bethany (Robin's good friend - not to be mistaken with my little sister Bethany) had a hefty sword. We didn't get to watch - but I'm pretty sure she smacked up the archangel pretty good with it.

This is the gist of the game. Dark church with strategically placed strobe lights and a jillion Jr. Highers wearing glow-necklaces. Their goal is to get into heaven (which, for the purposes of the game, is upstairs), but they have to go down through the basement first. They have to avoid the demons (who will nab them and drag them off to hell) and can be helped by angels who hand out appropriate bible verses (which they could use to get away), offer temporary protection and occasionaly just rip the child out of the demon's clutches. There was also a demon who was semi-disguised as an angel and would try to trick the kids into believing he was good.

No doubt some of you are already screaming "Theological inaccuracy!" I think there were a few children screaming that as well. I'm hoping that during our debriefing sessions they were having talks with the children on how games are not real life.

We played past 2 in the morning, chasing screaming children all around the church. I'm sure it was kind of creepy, we looked like we were appearing out of nowhere. Then there were the children who decided they wanted to go to hell. They followed us around begging to get thrown in, sneaking past the gaurds to get in (they got tossed out again). Another little girl came up to us all and asked our names. These children got ignored. It's hard to scare someone when they're inquiring about your health.

After the game was over we watched movies and played video games. Though some of the kids didn't feel like it was time to stop running around the church screaming, so they played tag.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Good Times

I had a fantastic weekend.

I went home with Robin to help out with a jr. high youth retreat at her parent's church. I don't normally do well with groups of people I don't know, but all the insanity made me feel right at home. Everyone was really friendly and we had a blast.

After we'd finished cleaning up around 8:30 am, Robin and I went to her parents and crashed for a couple hours before going to Six Flags for the day. I love roller coasters. At the end of the day we were completely worn out, running entirely on sugar and had the worst headaches ever - but I'm pretty sure it was worth it.

More stories to come (because a lot of crazy stuff happened), but for now we're unpacking.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sugar Honey Ice Tea!

62 percent of 18-to-34-year-olds said that they swear in conversation at least several times a week. 75% percent of the population swears in public. I didn't know this was news, but apparently it is. It's also a reason for a badly written rant about how profanity shouldn't be used.
Read with caution.

And according to Yehuda Baruch, a professor of management at the University of East Anglia, and graduate Stuart Jenkins, profanity in the office is a good thing. As long as you don't do it in front of the boss.

But don't swear at your toilet, or might get arrested like Dawn Herb of Scranton, PA.

Tangible Boredom

Office meetings are mostly pointless for me. My input consists of saying, "What should we put on the cover this month?" and then agreeing to run around town for an hour taking pictures of seasonal decorations. On the other hand - I am getting paid to doodle for an hour and a half.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Window to the Soul?

Most communication is non-verbal. Tone of voice, gestures, facial expression. Very little of what you say is actually about what you say.

Unfortunately non-verbal communication is dependant on other people to interpret it correctly.

Facial expressions, for example, have always posed a problem for me.

When I'm confused or surprised people frequently mistake this for irritation or hate. Most often it's when I have no idea what to say. I guess I frown when I think - I don't know.

When I was in Jr. High a girl four years older than I was told me I looked at her like I hated her. I didn't hate her, but she was kind of intimidating and outrageous and frequently left me speechless - so I wasn't sure what to say. "There! Like that!" she said.

In highschool my bestfriend's boyfriend felt the same way - which I knew and told my friend, who later called me back to say, "Guess who just called and told me he thinks you hate him! He said you looked at him like you hated him." (Again - I really just didn't know what to say) He got mad that I could tell what he was thinking when he didn't know what I was thinking - and started wearing sunglasses so I wouldn't have an unfair advantage.

Today someone started talking to me who I didn't even know knew my name, then they stopped mid-sentence and left. I can only assume that my confusion once again translated into, "I hate you"!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Too Cool for School

My mother called while I was out shopping this morning and informed me that she had a question on Daniel's behalf, but he was afraid I might be too old to understand what was cool. I could hear a distressed, "Mooom!" in the background.

My brother is nine years younger than me and generally operates under the dilusion that I haven't the faintest idea what is going in the teenage world. I wasn't cool as a teenager and I'm certainly not cool now, but that's an entirely different thing than being able to pick out cool for someone else.

A few months ago my mother and I went clothes shopping and she informed my brother he was getting new shirts. "Don't buy brown or red!" is my brother's eternal cry. He looks wonderful in both colors, but hates them. "Oh, you're getting brown and red shirts," I inform him, "Green ones too - army green."
When we got home I made him try them on and he stared at himself in the mirror, "I - I do look good in brown!"

Today's dillema was the dreaded semi-casual event. They're calling it a homecoming, but it isn't exactly.
My mother felt my brother should weary kacky pants and my brother wanted to wear nice jeans.

Back when I was a highschool freshman the only thing guys wore were light kacky pants. I'm fairly certain that this is why my brother thought I would side with my mom - but tan kacky's are not dressy anymore, they're actually kinda trashy.

I voted for kacky pants with big, flat pockets in dark green or brown, with top stiching if possible. Or nice jeans - stiffer denim, not loose.

My mother is baffled, but my little brother cries out, "Melody, you're amazing! You're amazing!"
They'll have to go shopping of course, because my brother doesn't own any of those things, but I went online and found them some good examples from nearby stores.

Akward social situation averted. I think I may have just made the world a better place. For my little brother at any rate.

Friday, October 12, 2007

A little sketchy

I suppose it borders ridiculous for my heart to skip a beat at the sight of the journal and sketchbook section in Barnes & Noble. It's just so hard to find a well designed journal.

Normally I insist on my sketchbooks being plain, I suppose so that the design on the cover doesn't influence what I draw inside, but I loved this one and it didn't cost any more than my usual sketchbooks. I also bought a little matching notebook/journal.

I'm so tired today. I'm trying to draw these sketches for a logo. Ray started to tell me not to make it anything good - changed his mind said, "Well, make it great. Just don't spend a lot of time on it." Very good.
The name of the place is Clear Spring. So they want, you guessed it, a clear spring for their logo.

This is ridiculously hard to depict in black & white.

It's worse when you're barely keeping your eyes open.

Yes. This is pretty much all I've got. Yes. I am doomed.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

When parents moved to the country my youngest sister was devestated. She doesn't believe people should live anyplace where they cannot walk to everything they need
I'm pretty sure I agree. So, for the past few nights my roommate and I have been explorering our neighborhood.

I was pretty excited about the natural food mart until I tried to buy grapes there ($7.00!). Maybe I'll be getting somethings from them - but it won't be fruit. That's expensive enough without being organic.

We are really excited about the library - except we can't get cards without proof that we live in that city. Stupid Indiana. You know in any other state it doesn't matter if you live there. My parents have cards for libraries in Florida and they haven't lived there in 22 years! In Ohio we had cards for four libraries and only one of them was the city we lived in. No wonder Indiana education is so bad, no one has access to books!

So now I have to wait for some of my mail to get forwarded to me so I can prove that I have a right to use their books.

The coffee shop is nice - we might try out some others too, but walking is always better when you know you're heading for coffee.

Yesterday it was a little wet out for a walk, but we went anyway because it was a little wet in our house (the basement flooded, again). We're going to go shopping today, though. It's also a little cold right now and I don't have a single sweater without holes in it!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Thicker Than Water

On Sunday everyone had to be back in Indiana by the afternoon for various events. Mine was a not-so-progressive dinner with the youth group.
We couldn't get enough families to sign up - so we played games and had dinner at the church before driving to a Jr. Higher's home, where his parent's had prepared some pretty tasty desserts to top off our evening.

Each of us leaders piled some Jr. Highers into our itty, we-don't-have-kids-yet vehicles. My group claimed they couldn't breathe because they were so crowded. When we arrived at the house a back door handle got ripped off in their desperation to be released. Fine workmanship.
Chevy must be proud.

In Jr. High it is a measure of one's coolness that they can quote the latest music and movies. Actually, for some people this never changes. But while some of the girls were happily rattling off material from PG type programing, two sisters had to sing the "We're not allowed" anthem.
The tune hasn't changed from when I was a kid. It still makes everyone cringe. The kids who can't do what most people are - the kids who don't understand why anyone wouldn't be allowed to say, "Shut-up!" Adults who are silently grateful that they never have to sing that song again.

I understand why parents place restrictions on what their children can say/do/watch. When I was in college the awfulness of what was shown on television made Ashleigh and I decided we weren't going to let our children watch anything but TVLand, Nick at Night, and the news. Sometimes not the news.

On the other hand, explaining my parents' rules to my friends was like trying shove a basketball through a strainer - it didn't even make sense to try.
More resourceful than I was, the girl sitting next to me confided that she uses the rules to shock her friends. When life gives you lemons...

I assured the girl that my parents had the same rules for me when I was at home.

There's a bond between people who have been in the same situation. Especially when they've been through a trauma: cancer patients, people who have experienced the loss of a loved one, math students - the survival bond is always strong.

I think this accounts for the fact that after my comment the girl's face lit up and she notified her sister that, "She had the same rules as we do! She's family!" Her sister looked a bit confused - but it's like meeting someone in another country and finding out they're from your hometown. Instant friend. Instant family.

Monday, October 8, 2007

A Wrinkle In Time...

...or we just went to the Renaissance Festival in Ohio.

We left Friday after bickering with the people from FedEx about why they hadn't dropped my package off at my house as they were paid to do.

Robin was all cute and dressed up since her outfit was shipped UPS and arrived on time. And Jen had a home-made outfit, which was later adorned with daggers she purchased at the festival.

A lot of people dress up for RenFest - not everyone quite gets the hang of it. There are usually a few people think that "Renaissance" is synonymous with "Victorian" or occasionally the 1920s.

In one particularly long drink line we noticed that the two young men in front of us were dressed as Roman soldiers with the feather duster hats and long red capes...and pretty much nothing else. They did have some sort of leather jock-strap deal going on - but that was about it. Sorry - no picture.

Mostly it was too deathly hot to do much of anything. RenFest is better experienced when you're not dying of heatstroke.

These are my lovely siblings who also did not dress up.

And this is my bother with the sword that I bought him for his birthday (it has to stay sheathed at the festival so no one dies on accident).

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Immortal Genius of...

"As she strolled through the family rose gardens watching the sun rise, she felt happier than she had ever been. 'Not only am I perfect,' she said to herself, ' I am probably the first perfect person in the whole long history of the universe. Not a part of me could stand improving, how lucky I am to be perfect and rich and sought after and sensitive and young and...'
The mist was rising around her as Adela began to think. Well of course I'll always be sensitive, she thought, and I'll always be rich, but I don't quite see how I'm going to manage to always be young. And when I'm not young, how am I going to stay perfect? And if I'm not perfect, well, what else is there? What else indeed?"

-William Goldman, The Princess Bride

When I was 15 years old I horrified the leader of the girl's bible study by telling her that I wanted to die before I was 40. I didn't want to get old. I have no idea why we were discussing this.

Amy assured me that in a few years forty would seem young. Ok, so it doesn't seem young yet, but dying rather than being forty has lost its appeal.

Even so, watching the old Amish people cycle around the parking lot this afternoon, I couldn't help f eeling that being old has to be pretty bad. I feel the same way whenever I visit old relatives. They just seem so disconnected from everything even when, as these people did, they live near their families and friends.

Yeah, that's it. Just that some Amish people made me feel scared of being old and that reminded me of a book quote.

Monday, October 1, 2007

If something can go wrong...

The SUV we borrowed broke. The internet only half works. The hot water doesn't work at all.

There was more drama, but I think I've blocked it from my memory. So in the interest of keeping it blocked I'm going to list all the reasons why a medium-sized city kicks the snot out of living in the country.

1. The country is scary. There are an infinate number of places for bad people to hide. No one can hear you if you scream. Even if there are no bad people - animals attack you and steal your trash.

In a medium sized city there's just enough drug activity & protestituion to keep the police patrolling the neighborhoods, but not so much that they won't have time to pick up the drunk who got lives next door and mistook your house for his own.

In the country the man will be all sobered up before the police even find your house.

2. 24 Hour Everything.

Somehow country/small town business owners operate under the delusion that it's still 1952 with housewives running all the errends during the day in their pretty floral dresses and high heels.

It's the only explenation for why nothing is open past 5 when all normal people get off work.
In a city there's always somewhere open that sells that must-have item.

3. Better selection of anything.

From your phone service to the grocery store you simply have more options. And since there's more competition you're more likely to get what-ever-it-is on the cheap.

In the country the selection is so scarce that you might just end up in a bidding war with some farmer. And since the farmer makes more money than you this can only be bad.

4. Everybody knows your name

Or at least what you buy.

In a city there are neighborhoods and yours will be where you form a pattern of activity. Grocery, convenience store, gas station, park, restaurants - you have your favorites and so does everyone else. You get to know the people who are there the same time as you or who work in those places. You might be on a first name basis, but probably most people have handles - "The bird lady", "Coffee guy", "Mullet man" etc.

Ok, not exactly deep friendships here, but it makes the neighborhood your own and you feel welcome.

The small town on the other hand you will never belong to. You are an outsider. You didn't have Mr. Lakowsky for tenth grade English. You weren't around for the great flood of '92. You don't remember when the Shell Station used to be Dairy Queen. If you can't stand around for an hour talking about nothing with the locals you can't be their friend.

5. Wildlife

In the city there are cute animals like squirrels, chipmunks, & sparrows.
In the country there are racoons, possums, and loose dogs.

6. Sidewalks

7. Traffic

In the country the only real excuses for being late are, "I was caught by a train" or, "A rabid dog chewed off my arm."

In the city anything might happen so you can make up whatever excuse you want!

No doubt there are many other reasons why cities are better - but these are definately topping my list.

template by flower brushes by