Life in a Small Town – Part 1

Challenges of Living in a Small Town

Whether you are a BIN (born in Nacogdoches) or whether you are a transplant, living in a small town, such as ours, has both it’s challenges and it’s rewards.  Today I will share some common challenges that my friends and I have faced and I encourage you to share your own challenges as well.

Limited Resources

Small towns are infamous for not having the same goods and services that are readily available in larger cities.

For instance, how many times have you had a recipe that calls for ingredients that are not readily available?  I learned long ago to not even bother picking up a Martha Stewart or Southern Living magazines, because I know that the majority of the recipes are out of my reach.

And how about those awesome Farmer’s Markets that offer every veggie, fruit, and flower imaginable?  You would think a small town would have more farm land and therefore a bigger market….but not so.  I am often concerned with how many “food miles” a product has attached to it and I would love to eat local, but when I look around I see very little options for making better economical and ecological choices.

Ditto with things like recycling.  Helloooo?  We can’t recycle glass…why not?

Luckily, we do have Stephen F. Austin State University here.  This college has put our town on the map and is a great resource for various programs and activities.  Not only that, but it fuels our economy….not just with the population that it naturally creates, but with the quality of thinking that those people bring with them.  New life!  Ahhhhh….can you feel it?

Social Nightlife is Limited

As you have heard me say (a million times by now), I was not a happy teenager growing up in this town.  Well, for one, I was poor and so many doors of opportunities were simply closed shut for me.  But mostly, there was just nothing to do around here…especially once I got my driver’s license.  I wonder if this is still true for the high school crowd today?  Let me know.

But even now that I am older, I still find myself in a rut when faced with an adults-only weekend.  Movies?  Dinner?  Drinks at a bar?  (This last one just became a LOT more feasible now that the smoking ban has taken place…woo-hoo!!)

It seems the most successful nights out with my age group are informal parties that are held at someone’s home.  These end up being relaxing, fun, and much more economical in the long run.  A good friend of mine does something which I find interesting:  Instead of hosting a BYOB party, she hosts a BYOM (Bring Your Own Meat) party.  Mixing margaritas and setting out beers are easy enough to do, so when it’s time to eat, she simply fires up the grill.   The men take over from there…comparing their cuts and slabs.  (I guess it’s a guy thing.)

Dating Challenges

This one is a very sad aspect of life…especially here in Nacogdoches.  No doubt, if you want to “hook up”, then you’ll have no problem in that area.  But I’m not talking about hooking up.  I’m talking about finding a love connection.  Or at least finding someone who’s not going to stalk you and/or boil your rabbit!  Is that too much to ask?

For the men, the problem is this:  There are not enough viable females!  That’s what they say anyway.  I dunno.  Maybe the men here are too picky?  I know that most of the single men that I know have a hard time getting past the physical appearance of a woman, and that is what limits them.  Jerks.

For the ladies, it seems that the problem is finding a quality guy.  I’m sorry fellas, but it’s kinda important that you have a steady job and a clean credit history.

I have a good friend, Emily, and she has been single for about 4 years now.  I just learned she is moving away to another job.  She loves it here.  Her kids love it here.  We all LOVE her and her kids!!  But you know what?  She’s tired of being alone.  I don’t mean the kind where she’s looking for a “daddy” for her kids.  No…they already have a dad…a good one.  Nope.  She is just ready to have a companion in life…someone to feel intimate with again.  <sigh>

Damn you, Nacogdoches!!  Why do the people I love most leave you???!! <insert me shaking fist at sky>

End of Part One

So this is partial list that I, and others, have faced.  This is by no means an exhausted or conclusive list, and your miles may vary.   I will have bigger points to make later and I’m trying to think how I will make write them in a politically correct manner.  Hmmmm.  

In the meantime, please share your experiences and the challenges that you have observed, either in your own life, or as seen in others’.