Tonight the boys and I went to the county fair. It lasts for a week, but at $6 a head for admission fee, I typically pick just one night to attend. As tonight, I most often choose the night of the Queen's pageant. It's not a very big fair. There is prize-winning produce and baby rabbits to examine as well as a scarecrow contest and various other exhibits to peruse. Mostly though, it is one of those occasions that is the pinnacle to defining my life in Southampton County.
It's high school lunch room psychology magnified to an adult scale. I was not dressed for the occasion. One might ask what dress is required for such an occasion- overalls and mud-slinging boots? No, the women of Southampton County are a sophisticated sort. On a typical day, the clothes they wear are quite average: jeans or khakis and a basic-colored plain shirt. It's the whole picture that comes together nicely: the jewelry, the professional pedicure peeking from their cute flops, the perfected make-up, and of course, the hair. The perfect hair. Some combination of gel and mousse and Crazy Glue to make each layer stand on it's own, separated from its companions. It's like a perfect meld of an updated late 80's big-hair-shag without quite hitting Dolly Parton standards.
Overall, they look "pulled together". That very "pulled together" has always been what has eluded me.
Most of these women have grown up in this little county and can sketch out the family tree that connects them all by heart. I, on the other hand, have only lived here 6 years, and spent the first 2 years commuting two hours daily to finish my English degree. Although I think most people "know" me, I don't really feel like I belong, and I don't think I ever will. I never learned the art of making friends. I have gone through most of my life with one good friend. That friend has usually been someone at school or at work (often a fellow outcast), and then I graduated or changed jobs and lost contact. I wish I had a larger social network, but I really don't know how to go about getting it. One of the toughest parts of Jason's deployments have been the solitude. Living over an hour from base has always separated me from getting to know other Navy wives, which has rarely proven to be a bad thing.
This post was supposed to be a summary of the fair... how, although the Queen's pageant seemed to have quite an eclectic bunch of entries this year, but it was obvious who the winner was going to be from the first introductions... given how the stereotype has never failed, nor did so this year. Instead, I guess it stirred some of my recessed feelings of living in a small town, not that it would necessarily be different elsewhere.
Ugh, surprisingly depressing post...