As a kid who grew up in a small town where everyone knew everyone else, it came as a bit of a shock to me, to end up living my entire working life in a big, indifferent city. I am an introvert, though, so despite the culture shock, there was a great deal of appeal for me, being absolutely swallowed up in a big, anonymous crowd. I think that people who love to sit and quietly think for hours may have fewer issues with big-city obscurity.
Nonetheless, I never did shake the part of me that had grown up in a place where most folks knew one another. Looking as much like my Mom as I do, even as a kid, I never went anywhere without being told: “Oh, you must be Y_’s daughter!” There is something very comforting about being in a place where, as the song goes, “everybody knows your name”.
I remember so clearly the very first time I voted. I was 19 years old and there was a municipal election going on in my home town. I was attending university, in another city. It was the first year that I was eligible to vote and when a person I knew from home approached me to tell me he was taking students’ votes by proxy, I excitedly told him that yes, I would be happy to cast my ballot.
The only problem was, I knew none of the people running and I knew none of their platforms (indeed, I doubt if I knew then, what a platform was). But voting was such an important part of ‘being a grown-up’! I had no idea what to do. As I stood there, studying the list of candidates, I was woefully unprepared to make any kind of rational decision.
I clearly remember how awesome I felt, coming home for a visit after my first quarter-term at university. I was nineteen years old and in those few months, I had magically learned absolutely all there was to know about life. I was ready to change the world. I was particularly scholarly and knowledgeable with regard to the handful of Psyc 101 classes I had attended up to that point, which had provided me with great insights into my parents. I quickly set to work to teach them everything I knew, knowing how happy they would be that I could ‘fix’ them now.
When I was a kid, there were hardly any fast-food restaurants in my small home town, and none of the multi-billion-dollar franchises that have made the fast-food brand so famous. I joined a swim team when I was 14 years old, and one of the high-lights of our out-of-town swim meets was heading to McDonald’s for a Big Mac and a milkshake after the competition was over. It was a rare treat and we all looked forward to it. Continue reading “What’s Happened to the ‘Fast’-Food Franchise?”