Everyone Has One

You know what they say about opinions, don’t you? Everyone has one. Everyone. And even if they don’t come right out and TELL you what it is… it’s typically written all over their face.

As I mopped up the remnants of the salt and snow still lingering on my hardwood floors from moving day, I reflected upon the array of varied encounters I’d just had at the local grocery store. Giving Kelly Clarkson and Kid Rock a run for their money as I boldly belted out and occasionally butchered their lyrics over the sound of the stereo… I shook my head, smiled and laughed to myself.

You’ve gotta love life in a small town. Or not. I don’t really care. It’s just that there are times when this unique existence is not for the faint of heart. Like, for example, when you’ve recently (and apparently shockingly to some) quit your “perfectly good job” to run off with some guy to the big city in pursuit of a brand NEW life. Just. Like. That.

It was a perfectly normal Tuesday afternoon in the booming metropolis of Minerva, Ohio (population 3,500… give or take) when I entered the grocery store in jeans and Uggs to buy some milk, cereal and cleaning supplies for the remainder of my time here. You know… to tie up loose ends, get my teeth cleaned, have lunch with a few friends and such before Stanley and I hit the interstate in search of concrete pastures.

I wasn’t even inside the automatic doors when I received my first interrogation. The second came in the produce department, another in the chip aisle and still another in frozen foods. Everyone… Everyone seemed bent on me answering three questions: Did you take the day off from work? Do you have a job yet in the city? Have you set a date?

Did you notice in my account of these interractions that no one… NOT ONE PERSON asked me if I was happy or excited about my engagement and new adventure? Everyone just sort of looked at me with scowls of confusion, concern or disbelief. Perhaps even shock and awe as they each, one by one—in the entryway, produce department, chip aisle and frozen foods—tilted their heads to the side as if to say: “Huh. I hear the words that are coming out of your mouth but I have no clue as to what you’re actually saying.”

Now what they really said to me was some version of: “Well then, my very best to you dear. Tell your parents I said hi.” And I happily pushed my cart forward… straight into the grasp of the next, fun, little Q&A’s. The future batch of opinions that will surely be waiting for me…

… At the check-out counter… in the parking lot… at the gas pump… the teller window… the waiting room…

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15 thoughts on “Everyone Has One

  1. Billie says:

    I for one am VERY happy for you, and I believe that peace of mind is worth any job… Throw true love in the mix and How can you lose?! 🙂 I would have smiled and gave you a great big hug! Be happy!!

  2. lisa says:

    No worries, Joanna! Just one of the very small things you won’t miss about a small town. I am so excited and happy for you!

    • Thanks Lisa! I know you are. For everyone person I encounter like I did at the store, there are actually 5 more that are VERY happy for me. The post is probably a little negatively slanted and misleading in that way, but I just thought it was kind of a funny small town observation.

  3. It’s that “Mayberry Mixed Bag” and some responses are genuine and some are just plain nosey and judgmental. I am so happy for you and love the fact that you will be only 2.5 hours away and not 2.5 days away.

  4. There’s a Mark Twain quote about regretting the things you didn’t do rather than the things you did, casting off the bow lines, sailing away from the harbor with the wind in your sails, something, something, something, dream, explore and discover (I think). Anyway, I would quote directly, but my best friend, Google, is blacked out today protesting the SOPA and we have such a co-dependent relationship that I really don’t know how to function without her. If you haven’t read it, then tomorrow when all is right in the world and Google is back, look it up. If you have read it, then you know that that is very apropos to your situation. I’m so excited for you!

    • Yes Paige I LOVE that quote! I even wrote a blog post centered around it. Perhaps I should re-post it! Thanks for the reminder. It truly is a great quote and philosophy. I have always enjoyed the chances I took FAR more than when I stayed “on the map” 🙂

      P.S. I wonder what everyone is doing with their time today since Google, Wikipedia and I forget who else is blacked out due to SOPA?? Perhaps work is getting done? Oh, nevermind… Facebook isn’t blacked out. 😛

  5. Ha! I remember getting that response when I moved to Ireland. “Do you have a place to stay lined up?” No. “Do you have a job lined up?” No. “Do you know anyone there?” No. “Huh. You’re braver than I am. [By which I mean to say I think you are a raving lunatic and will probably be murdered or worse.]”

    Screw them all. It’s your life. I think people tend to just think that their way, or if not their way, the “normal way,” is the best way to live life and anything else is crazy. But it’s not, it’s just different.

    I, for one, am excited to hear about all of your new adventures. For the moment, my life is somewhat more settled than I ever imagined it being, so I shall live vicariously through your big move.

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