You know how you can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl or same with the city (I assume)? We spent Saturday night at a cornhole tournament in the Civic Center. At said tournament, we met TC, who just moved here from D.C. (Okay, his words not mine. I say if you’ve been here a year, you are no longer new to town). He was a really nice guy but he made us realize just how much of a culture shock it is to move from a big city like he did to a little place in the sticks like Ranson.First off, I will say that yes I am from Maryland but I spend so much time, have so much family, and just know so much about West Virginia that I am actually from there in my heart (I love Maryland but there’s just something special about being from West Virginia). I love Charles Town and Ranson (They are basically the same place) but I can see why they would cause a huge culture shock. They are cities to us because they have a Wal-Mart and a few grocery stores and a Kohl’s and a few other stores but to anyone coming from an actual city, I assume it looks like the sticks. Once I was talking about the Stephanie Plum books when I said that I kind of wished we lived in a place like the Burg. Then Michael replied that Charles Town is what he thinks the Burg actually looks like and I guess to him it doesn’t seem like a great or fun place. (On a side note, I think the Burg is actually the south side of Hagerstown. The Tasty Pastry is Krumpe’s Donuts; Pino’s is Rocky’s Pizza; Hartle’s is that place they always get sandwiches and salads from. True story).
So, as we are sitting there, my mama, my aunt, and I are having the typical time. We are laughing, gossiping, drinking soda, watching cornhole, talking sports…your average cornhole tournament goings on. TC tells us, “So this is what you guys do on a Saturday night around here?” We just kind of shrug and nod our heads because it’s perfectly normal to us. He tells us that if he were in D.C., he would have been in a club at that time and he can’t do that around here because we don’t have taxis–or clubs for that matter. Our thoughts were that you can pretty much walk home from any of the bars around town or catch a ride with someone else. Based on what he said he would’ve been doing in the city, I looked around and thought about him saying he was looking for a lady friend. I started thinking that if the move was such a culture shock to him, then the ladies around town definitely would be. If you looked around the Center, there were women in Uggs, jeans, and either camo or The North Face. We don’t exactly dress like we’re going to the club. We don’t really party like that either. It’s more like we sit around in groups while we drink beer and flirt with whatever guy we came with or whichever one we think is the cutest there. When your husband/boyfriend/daddy is tossing, then you are more than likely gossiping about the other guys, the other teams, and the other girls because cornhole is a serious sport here.
It occurs to me that some of you may not understand what a cornhole tournament is because TC didn’t know until he moved to West by God Virginia. Cornhole, we like to think, began as a tailgating game at WVU. The first time I played it was tailgating for a football game in Morgantown in the parking lot of a retirement home as we drank beer (That’s one of my favorite things in the world to say). I don’t know it’s real origins but we always go with this one (I should probably look that up). You have a rectangular board that stands at a slight angle and has a hole cut near the top. The goal is to throw a bean bag (or corn-filled bag) into the hole. You get three points for the hole and one for on the board and points cancel each other out as in if you get one in the hole and your opponent gets three on the board you each scored three points so they cancel each other out. You play in teams of two and alternate which partners throw. It’s like volleyball in that the winner is the first to get to 21 so long as they are ahead by 2 points or more. This tailgating game has become a big deal and we now have tournament where you pay an entry fee and the winner take home part of the pot. There’s usually food and drinks and raffles and tip jars, too. My daddy has won 2 tournaments since he started playing. Anyway, that’s how we spend weekends and especially during the summer when you can throw cornhole parties and bonfires.
I’m not going to say that you only get culture shock going from the city to the country though. I’ve had a slight case of it going to the city. Last time we went to Leesburg to go to the outlets, my mom and I kept saying, “We don’t belong here.” It was a chilly day so I had on my Realtree hoodie and Timberlands. There was not a single other person let alone girl in camo there and to only want to go in stores like Vera Bradley, Under Armour, Nike, and American Eagle, we weren’t the typical customer in the dear Virginian city. I rejoiced the next day when we went to Wal-Mart and I not only could buy camo but there were many other girls wearing it. I may have sighed and told Mom it was good to be home. I have to remember to dress not like a bum the next time I go shopping in Leesburg and Dulles.
I’m a strong believer in knowing your roots and being proud of them. I love being from a super tiny town and knowing all my neighbors and having an entire woods to play in. I love that we can ride 4 wheelers up and down the road and not get the cops called on us (Okay, mostly but you have to do it during the day). I would assume that people born in the city love things like being within walking distance of everything and always having something to do. Well, that’s great but y’all can take your fast paced life. I like my slow life just fine.