Just a small town girl and a city boy.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Just a small town girl, livin in a lonely world
She took the midnight train goin anywhere
Just a city boy, born and raised in south Detroit
He took the midnight train goin anywhere
- Journey

A very special first recently occurred in my life. After thirty years, I finally took a boyfriend to my hometown to hang out with my family and see the house and the town where I grew up. Anyone who knows me knows how very close I am to my family. While I have brought many, many friends to relax at my mom's house on the bay and drink her obligatory several glasses of wine, I have never felt inclined to bring home a boyfriend. There are several reasons for this. I'm sure it is partly due to the fact that, overall, I date somewhat less than the average bear anyway. (What can I say? If a relationship can't better what is already a really lovely life, why bother?) It has also been mentioned here that while I love the simplicity of where I grew up, I have mixed, complicated feelings about the small town. Lastly, my family is sacred to me and the people I choose to share them with are few and far between. My mom's house is a bit of a refuge for me, a place where the stresses of city life and the real world seem to fade away. Relationships that have an obvious expiration date are not welcome there.

Interestingly enough, my last graduate school course, aptly titled Internalized Oppression, asked me to look at many of the class and cultural issues that color the lens I look at my hometown through. Bringing home my boyfriend, Jenner, was both special and somewhat scary because I wasn't sure how this feller born and raised in Las Vegas would see the tiny logging and fishing town I called home for eighteen years. Luckily, the trip surpassed even my highest hopes because a) we had so much fun together, and b) our jaunt to the coast allowed me to see myself and my history through new, more loving eyes.

They say you can never go home again. They're wrong. It's just that home changes as we change and we never go back the same person.

* A big thank you to Jenner for taking the most beautiful pictures of a place I can't always find the beauty in. I would love to post all of his pictures here, but they are his and not mine. They are stunning though. (I'm sure I'm embarrassing you here, baby, but I can't help it. I promise to start taking my own photos again soon, but they won't be nearly as pretty.) Also, one more thank you to Jenner is in order for loving me even after seeing the very large high school senior picture of me framed and prominently displayed at my mother's house. You know, the one where I'm posing next to a {long pause...} wheelbarrow. Yep, that's the one.*