Let's see...we've lived here in this much smaller
city town for nearly two months now, and I think we're still trying to figure out where or how we really fit in. Much of the activity, especially activity of the cultural variety, takes place on campus, and although I'm sure the majority of it is well worth the money, time and effort - there are days I just have to get as far away from that campus as possible once 5:00 rolls around. And on those days, the thought of socializing with anyone even remotely related to my job makes me want to hurl. And we tend to stick to ourselves anyway...PJ doesn't go out with the boys and I don't typically indulge in any girls night out festivities. We enjoy each other's company and tend to want to spend our free time together.
Problem here is that there just isn't much to do. We like to shop so we've tried the mall (and I use that term loosely), but it's mainly a large department store with a men's department on one end and a women's department on the other end of a big building of shoe and accessory stores. Oh, and a Spencer's. There may have been a GAP. I can't remember. There's one theater here and I think it has something like 12 or 45 screens, and we haven't been there yet. But every time we ride by it and I look at the parking lot, I think it might be better just to rent a movie. The lot is full, of course, and there are long lines of pick up trucks and hopped up Mustangs circling around and around...I'm assuming this is some sort of mating ritual of which I want no part.
I've become a little more crafty as a result of this lack of cultural and extracurricular activities. Santa's Workshop is officially open and almost everyone in the family this year will get a handmade gift. I've wanted to do this for a long while now, but never seem to have the time. This year, I seem to have more time. Sigh. I hate being so far away from my regular haunts, though. Scrap, Etc. is exactly 52 miles from here. Granted, that's not a bad trip, but too far to go if you just need one more piece of that Scenic Route paper. And you can forget about finding that paper here. We discovered yesterday that the local scrapbook store is closed. All of the racks are empty and there's no sign on the door. Again, sigh.
I won't even tell you about our trip to the thrift store yesterday. I looked at PJ as we waited in line to pay for my one vintage book and proclaimed, "If we get out of here alive, I am never coming back."
The restaurant selection here is pretty slim. There are some excellent ones, though. But if you want to eat at one of the excellent ones, you have to arrive early, wait a long while, and, of course, pay a pretty price. That's fine by me and we've done it. But I miss the other restaurants...not fast food (there's plenty of that here) but the ones that fall somewhere in between fast food or chains and the really elegant high brows...You know, like a mom and pop's Italian or a Greek family's little hole in the wall? Nice atmosphere, good food, small wine list, reasonable price. None of that here.
So, Friday night we found ourselves at Logan's Roadhouse bellied up to the bar. By the way, you know you can eat at the bar? You do know that, right? It kills me how people will wait an hour for a table and NO ONE will be at the bar...where you can sit down and order immediately...and even watch TV while you eat. I've noticed this phenomenon of "waiting for hours rather than getting caught sitting at the bar" just since moving back to Alabama a few years ago. I could understand maybe if the bar were a smoke-filled low light lounge, but I'm talking about the bar at a regular place like Applebee's or Logan's or Ruby Tuesday's for God's sake...I don't get it. But I am suspecting it has something to do with church and the folks that might not understand how sitting at the bar does not require you to drink from the bar. Just a thought.
Oh...I got off track. Imagine that. Friday night at Logan's. Hmmm. Interesting. We saw lots of unbelievable outfits...and lots of down right scary people who, let's just say, probably don't get out much. So, we are sitting at the bar eating dinner and watching TV and basically sizing up everyone in the place when I notice out of the corner of my eye that this female bartender is staring at us with a big grin on her face. I was a little worried because she looked like she recognized us and was so happy to see us and I knew I would never be able to figure out who she was. Instead she says, "Hey! Look at y'all in your trendy glasses!" She just keeps staring at us and says, "Wow. Y'all both have trendy glasses." Neither of us was quite sure how to respond. She didn't seem impressed by our glasses as much as she seemed surprised to see people like us, people who wear nice glasses and age appropriate clothing, sitting at her bar. I halfway expected her to ask for an autograph.
On the way home I asked PJ, "Do you ever feel like we are out of our element?"