Friday, May 14, 2010

I am a City Girl at Heart.

I grew up in the city. By all definitions of the phrase, I am a city girl. Although, I grew up in a city, that is in a state, that is mostly country. So… sometimes that can be confusing. Those of you that live in Chicago, NYC, or LA may think Who is this crazy country girl kidding, Fargo is no city. And I understand your point. This may not be the size of previously mentioned communities but sure isn’t the country either.

 I grew up with rules like Come home when the street lights turn on. We lived on a road where you truly had to watch for cars, in a neighborhood where every other house looked the same. I am not kidding; it was like one of those cheesy movies (think Stepford Wives or Pleasantville).

When I was about 8 I ran away from home, I took my My Little Pony Sleeping bag and headed to the park that was located a block or so away. It was probably not 20 minutes before my parents showed up and I lied, I just said I wanted to go to the park. They had to so kindly explain that you have to ask if you are going to the park and you surely couldn’t bring your sleeping bag with. Lesson learned.

 My brother also ran away, he and my cousin (I believe they were 5 and 6), took a Red Flyer wagon and ran away to the ice-cream store. They were obviously much smarter than me; I ran away to a park, an ice cream store seems like a much better idea. The ladies at the store asked them what they were doing and they explained why they were there. Get this, they fed them ice cream until the Police got there to bring them home. Free ice-cream, hats off to those boys.

Thanks to Little House on the Prairie and Wranglers ads, I thought I knew everything there was to know about the country. Tractors, tight jeans and country music. I went through a stage where I wanted desperately to be a country girl. More than I wanted to be a country girl, I wanted a sexy, green tractor riding, boot cut jean wearing, country boy.. or so I thought.

In high school, my friend Beth and I did everything in our power to make that happen. We had stickers in the windows of our cars that said ‘Country Girl’. We tried to rub elbows with the country kids and go places we might meet guys of that liking. Once we went to a party, in a garage, that had a truck in it. If that wasn’t enough to rock our 17 year old worlds, this truck couldn’t be moved because there was no engine. To top it off, everyone was drinking Old Milwaukee or PBR. We were fairly certain that no one in our high school of 2,000 people would choose to drink that stuff but these boys did. Jackpot, this is where I am going to find my sexy, green tractor riding, boot cut jean wearing, country boy.

They wanted little to do with the life in the city, they kept asking us what our ‘home-boys’ thought of us coming to a country party. It didn’t seem to sink into their heads that we weren’t from the hood, we didn’t have home-boys, and although our friends in the city would probably laugh at the situation we had gotten ourselves into… they surely weren’t going to grab their ‘glock’ and go all gansta on their ass.

We had brought in a CD to play and it was full of Top 40 hits in 2001. It was like walking into another era, they had never heard any of it. We were only 40 miles from our home and these people had never heard Lady Marmalade or Get this Party Started. It was like we were from two different worlds and yet … we were still interested in being country girls.

Then the moment that defined my life forever as a city girl…

I was a tough cookie and had tried a couple of the Old Mil’s while chatting up the farm boys. Soon, as my underage drinking self would learn, those beers needed to be released. I tried to be sly, I pulled Beth aside, I have to pee!

We toughed up asked where the bathroom was, and the room erupted in laughter. I am sorry I don’t see that as a funny question. I guess… country girls don’t need bathrooms. Seriously, you have got to be kidding me, these people don’t use bathrooms. What kind of backward town are we in? Oh wait, it’s not a town, we are 10 miles from the closest town. Ugh!!
Wait, we were in a garage, which meant there was a house ... sooooo why couldn’t I go in there? They explained someone was sleeping in there and I needed to go outside.  Beth and I went outside to assess the situation:

Beth was sure I could do it, You will be fine, just squat by that tree.

No you don’t understand, if I go outside, I can’t go back inside.

What, Why?

I explained how as a child my parents had tried on road trips to teach me to go outside and it always, always ended in soaking wet pants. I just wasn’t a squatter. I was born in the city and wasn’t ever meant to go outside; it just wasn’t in the cards for me.

Good little city girls that we were, we explained that they had two options they could let me use the bathroom inside or we would have to drive to the nearest town for me to use one. And if we had to drive 10 miles towards home we would probably just head home. Well these boys weren’t about to let the closest thing they had met to Brittney Spears (Beth not me, she was blonde and gorgeous) walk out that door … although I am not even sure they had heard of Britney Spears but you get the point. So I had to be extremely quiet but our negotiating worked and I got to use the bathroom inside.

City girls prevail!

Later in life I did master the art of peeing next to a car and have utilized the skill numerous instances. Although, every time I do, I cringe and ask the God of Embarrassment to please grant pity on me.

I also got over my obsession with country boys, although I still think boys in Wranglers are attractive, we just don’t have much in common.

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