Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: Sophia on November 01, 2012, 01:46:35 PM

Title: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Sophia on November 01, 2012, 01:46:35 PM
Since I was 8 years old, I've lived in one large suburb or another.  (Suburb but themselves in the top 50 largest cities in the U.S.)   I am very much a suburb girl, not city not country.  My work is at the northeast corner of the developed area for this section of the state.  We decided to move 30 minutes east of work, which puts us in the near but rural area.  I am really looking forward to it.  We just bought a house with 2 acres on Main Street of a small town of 3000 people.  Our backyard neighbor is an onion field.  The house needs a lot of work, and my husband will do a great job with that.  I plan on being very clear when we meet people that we are settling in and are not flippers.  I would like to get along with my neighbors and be accepted into the community as much as possible.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.


Any other ideas?

My dad grew up in a town almost precisely the same size.  My parents eloped and mom lived with her IL's while Dad was in Basic.  Mom said the gossip was vicious.  Ideally I would like people to be friendly, but for us to be below the radar enough to avoid gossip.  Also, we have a 2-year-old that we plan on homeschooling, so I realize as parents we have to try a little harder to be friendly so that our daughter isn't shunned.

Reading the post over, it sounds like we aren't happy about the move.  Really we are.  I've just never had what the neighbors thought affect my life.  Even in High School, I had so many non-school social circles that my classmates didn't really affect me.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 01, 2012, 01:58:59 PM
I grew up in a smallish town.  We moved there when I was two.

Living there for 40+ years, we are finally considered 'locals'.   :)

I think your ideas are spot on.  But if one of your neighbours grew up in the town and complains about a local issue, commiserate.

Be prepared to be called 'that new family that bought the Smith place' for at least 10 years.  I would recommend doing any community things that come along for a while.  Block parties, holiday celebrations, all the church socials, so-and-so's open house, etc.  Sign your daughter up for community things, too, like Scouts, when she's old enough.  Once everyone gets to know you, then you can start opting out of a few things.  But if you opt out from the get go, you'll be 'snobs'.

Watch what your neighbours do as far as yard work and holiday decorating and aim for a middle of the road approach, at least in the beginning.  For example, if your one neighbour goes all out on the lights and the other neighbour only hangs a wreath, put out a few lights on a tree in the front yard or along the eaves and hang a wreath.  If one neighbour's lawn is immaculately manicured and another's is weed infested, keep yours neat and tidy but don't worry about immaculate.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: sourwolf on November 01, 2012, 01:59:51 PM
Shop locally if possible (ie Mom and Pop hardware store as opposed to Walmart)
Be enthusiastic but not over the top - it might come off as fake.
See if there is a local paper that you can subscribe to, they are usually great sources of information for events in the neighborhood as well as the "tone" of the community. (my town even has the paper online)
Is there a local library? They are also a great way to get to get more involved in the community.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: WillyNilly on November 01, 2012, 02:03:49 PM
I think you have a great plan so far.  I'd only add to be sure to smile and wave a lot (I'm a city girl, but I've noticed in more rural areas, often people wave at everyone).  And when you shop make idle chit chat - ask for a hairdresser recommendation from someone with great hair "wow, I'm sorry to be intrusive but you've got a great haircut!  I just moved to the area can you recommend a local salon?"  Stop into the local coffee shop and make conversation.  Stop in the local bar and have a few beers with the locals.  At church, after services, ask for a breakfast recommendation, etc.  Asking will clue people in that you are A) new and B) interested in getting to know the locals.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 01, 2012, 02:06:09 PM
I think you have a great plan so far.  I'd only add to be sure to smile and wave a lot (I'm a city girl, but I've noticed in more rural areas, often people wave at everyone).  And when you shop make idle chit chat - ask for a hairdresser recommendation from someone with great hair "wow, I'm sorry to be intrusive but you've got a great haircut!  I just moved to the area can you recommend a local salon?"  Stop into the local coffee shop and make conversation.  Stop in the local bar and have a few beers with the locals.  At church, after services, ask for a breakfast recommendation, etc.  Asking will clue people in that you are A) new and B) interested in getting to know the locals.

That was one of the biggest things I noticed when I moved to the city!  I'd try to chat with people in line in the grocery store and some people would look at me like I had three heads.  So yes, that kind of thing is definitely done in small towns.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Sharnita on November 01, 2012, 02:11:29 PM
I agree about the library.
I also agree about how long it takes to become local.
Be cautious about giving an opinion.  Even minor things can be big issues.  Until you know the ins and outs you won't know how one little thing can impact a variety of people within the community, what the history is, etc.
In some cases there are people tied by marriage, business or blood to half the town.  This isn't always the case but it can be. 
In small towns people tend to know everybody's business.  They know who got stopped for driving 6 miles over the speed limit. They know who doesn't care for their lawn or who is obsessive about mowing.  It isn't usually mean spirited and can come in handy when you hit a crisis in your life.
And yes, they do talk.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Bijou on November 01, 2012, 02:15:41 PM
I grew up in a small town.  I still live there.  Not really knowing anything else the only advise I can give is to be a nice person.  I think you have some good ideas as do other posters, but what I really look for is whether or not you are a nice and trustworthy person.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: JeanFromBNA on November 01, 2012, 02:20:38 PM
Find out what everybody in town likes to complain about, and complain about it, too.

Learned this from my MIL.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on November 01, 2012, 02:20:49 PM
This is something I've learned as a result of knowing someone from a small town, and might save you from getting teased by the locals.  If big box stores such as Walmart, Target and home improvement stores are a bit of a drive away, it's best to build a list of things and when it gets to a point where you have a lot of stuff, or find you need something else soon, take the list with you rather than making several trips back and forth.

We have Walmart and Target in town but my friend doesn't and has teased me that I'd have a hard time living in her town, which is 30-45 minutes from any big store or mall, because I'll go in sometimes without a list and then remember once I got home what I actually went for.

Also there were times when I would say "Hey, can't you get such and such at the grocery store or the store where you work?" (I think we were discussing dry erase markers) I was thinking of Weis, or Martins, which does have such things in their stationary section.  She kind of laughed at me, but hey, at that point I'd never really been to a small town other than my grandparents' and for them there was a Food Lion about 5-10 minutes down the road so it was kind of different.

When I did visit her town about 3 years ago I loved it, and from what I've heard, they can also be very helpful and are testament to the part of "Iowa Stubborn" when they say "We'll give you our shirts, and a back to go with it".  So there is a benefit to knowing who is who in town.  But I think what Bijou said is good.  Be a nice person and when people reach out to help you, do what you can to help them when needed.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Julian on November 01, 2012, 02:39:01 PM
I moved to my teeny tiny village about 3 years ago.  It is right smack bang on the edge of SmallTown, where the main shopping is.  (we barely have a corner store here.)

POD to the other posters that suggested talking.  Everyone here wants to stop and chat for a bit.  I occasionally walk my two (small, cute and very friendly) dogs in town, everyone, and I mean everyone, wants to stop, pet the doggies and talk.  So if you have the time, go for it.  Cute toddlers are probably even more effective.   :D

Patronise local shops, regularly.  If there is somewhere local to dine, such as the local pub, go there to eat regularly. 

Talk with your direct neighbours when you see them. 

There's a surprisingly large number of local events on - trivia nights, plays, parades, car boot sales and markets.  Go to those you can - they mightn't be big flashy events, but lots of low-key fun.  There was a Christmas panto on here last year, it was an absolute riot of laughter, everyone had a wonderful time - big, small, old and young.

If the town is old, there's probably a historical society or something similar, if you're interested and have the time, get involved with that too.

When people know you're renovating the 'old Smith place', be prepared for a few who might be interested to come and see what you've done with it. 

And understand that everyone knows or is related to everyone else.  You'll find people know your name when you don't know their name, it's because you're the 'new kids on the block', so you'll stand out a bit for a while.  I still get 'oh, you're new here, are you up at the xx place?'. 

Good luck OP - I've found it's a wonderful change of pace, and I'm loving it.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: EMuir on November 01, 2012, 02:44:09 PM
I grew up in a small town.  Sounds like you have great ideas and suggestions.  About the gossip? Don't worry about it.  Someone will gossip about you, but others gossip about how that person is just the town gossip and don't pay attention.  I found that there were rarely nasty, unfounded rumors.  However, if you tell any news to one person, be prepared for the whole town to know it after coffeetime the next morning. ;)
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: TootsNYC on November 01, 2012, 02:47:42 PM
I might also say, go a little slow in terms of forming close friendships--give yourself a chance to get to know people. Sometimes the friendliest and most outgoing people are not actually the ones that you're most in sync with, so you want to give yourself some time to suss out the social arena.

Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: It's good to be Queen on November 01, 2012, 02:52:57 PM
I grew up in one small town and now live in another.  Your child will be a great way to get to know other parents.  Check to see if the library has a story hour or other children's activities.  It seems that most people tend to make friends through their kids and school activities or church.  I am childless, so most of my friends are through work and the community organizationt hat I belong to.

PS Gossip is not that bad!
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Oh Joy on November 01, 2012, 03:04:59 PM
(Assuming this is relevant in your part of the country as well)

Learn and master the 'steering wheel wave.'  It usually consists of a smile, a nod, and lifting a few fingers off the wheel.  Used when passing friends and neighbors - whether they're on foot or in their vehicle - both near home and 'in town.'  Just be sure not to use it when you should have stopped to say hello or chat!   ;)

Best wishes,
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: MindsEye on November 01, 2012, 03:31:09 PM
The only things that I can add are to advise you against forcing yourself to get involved in something that you don't enjoy, just for the sake of "fitting in".

If you are a football-hater, please don't force yourself to attend the Friday night high school games just because "that's what everyone does".  I am not sure what the football culture is like in Texas vs. small-town Ohio (where I am) but here people won't think less of you if you don't go to the games.  However, they will think less of you if you go to the games and are visibly not enthusiastic about it.

Don't spread yourself too thin.  If you try to do everything, you run the risk of people thinking that you are either fake, or trying to take over with your "big city ways".

Pick just a few things that you can really enjoy (the library, the rotary club, the garden club, the bridge society, etc... small towns often have a LOT of stuff going on) and get involved with your new town that way.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: mj on November 01, 2012, 03:38:02 PM
I LOL'd at the steering wheel wave.  Exactly! 

I grew up with half my childhood in a small town, it's not always a vicious gossip experience.  My folks still live there and one of their newer neighbors threw a Halloween/Meet the Neighbors outdoor bonfire.  I thought that was a great idea.  With other holidays coming up, maybe you can do something similar?

Also, a big thing at Xmas is to send the kids to the neighbors with your best baked goods as a gift.  So Mrs. Smith will send her pies out, Mrs. Jones will send cookies out, Mrs. Johnson will send her breads out etc.  If you bake, maybe that's another option?
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: fountainsoflettuce on November 01, 2012, 04:10:22 PM
All good suggestions so far.  I would seriously consider re-thinking the homeschooling.  School is one of the biggest gatherings of the locals.  Small town school is where everyone meets each other parents and children.  If your daughter isn't attending, she (and you) will have a more difficult time making friends, gaining acceptance and trust from other parents, having playdates, etc.     
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Sophia on November 01, 2012, 04:20:59 PM
Sending her to public school is not an option.  Both my husband and I thought that public school was largely a waste of time.  Most of our education came from reading textbooks during school out of boredom. 
But, we are open to her doing every other child-activity she is interested in.  I also plan on volunteering to be a girl scout (co)troop leader when she gets to be of age. 
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Marguette on November 01, 2012, 04:25:34 PM
Corner Gas was a comedy TV show about life in a very small prairie town. One of the recurring themes is Lacey’s attempts to fit in (she comes from the big city). The best episode highlighting this theme is Season 1, Episode 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=US&v=PoB4zE95yHw (http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=US&v=PoB4zE95yHw). Lacey wants to introduce the town to Pilates, but in the end she finds out that the townsfolk are more sophisticated than she thought. (22 minutes. It’s all fun, but there are some lessons to learn, too.)
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: LeveeWoman on November 01, 2012, 04:30:47 PM
Sending her to public school is not an option.  Both my husband and I thought that public school was largely a waste of time.  Most of our education came from reading textbooks during school out of boredom. 
But, we are open to her doing every other child-activity she is interested in.  I also plan on volunteering to be a girl scout (co)troop leader when she gets to be of age.

Have you thought about looking for other home-schooling parents? In this area, there are several groups who get together at the park, at the lake, etc.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Sharnita on November 01, 2012, 04:35:18 PM
Sending her to public school is not an option.  Both my husband and I thought that public school was largely a waste of time.  Most of our education came from reading textbooks during school out of boredom. 
But, we are open to her doing every other child-activity she is interested in.  I also plan on volunteering to be a girl scout (co)troop leader when she gets to be of age.

That is entirely your choice but I wouldn't voice that explanation to anybody in your town.  The assumption that all schools would be similar to your experience could insult a lot of people and in a small towns a lot or even most people will know teachers, school board members, etc. It is one thing to choose home schooling but if you seem to be criticizing their schools, especially without firsthand experience with their schools, that might be the one thing that will create some hostility.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Sophia on November 01, 2012, 05:42:06 PM
I wasn't planning on saying anything about the school, and since she is 2 the topic won't come up for awhile.  I suspect they are a tad touchy on the subject because after major complaining about lazy H.S. teachers they have been cleaning house.  Although, we are moving from one of the top school districts in the state, and she wasn't going to school here either.

I would like to be entrenched in the town before the topic comes up.  I do realize that an easy way of getting to know people is closed to us, and one of the reasons I want to put forth extra effort now.  We will homeschool for academic reasons, not to get away from the community.  There is a small group of homeschoolers in the town, and we plan on joining them whenever there will be someone her age to play with at an outing. 
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on November 01, 2012, 06:02:28 PM
The only things that I can add are to advise you against forcing yourself to get involved in something that you don't enjoy, just for the sake of "fitting in".

If you are a football-hater, please don't force yourself to attend the Friday night high school games just because "that's what everyone does".  I am not sure what the football culture is like in Texas vs. small-town Ohio (where I am) but here people won't think less of you if you don't go to the games.  However, they will think less of you if you go to the games and are visibly not enthusiastic about it.

Don't spread yourself too thin.  If you try to do everything, you run the risk of people thinking that you are either fake, or trying to take over with your "big city ways".

Pick just a few things that you can really enjoy (the library, the rotary club, the garden club, the bridge society, etc... small towns often have a LOT of stuff going on) and get involved with your new town that way.

In Texas, football isn't a sport, it's a handed-down-from-deity religion. :D
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Magnet on November 01, 2012, 06:53:53 PM
Get a manicure locally.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Sharnita on November 01, 2012, 06:57:06 PM
Get a manicure locally.

Definitely get your hair done locally.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Sophia on November 01, 2012, 09:51:00 PM
Get a manicure locally.

Definitely get your hair done locally.

I never would have thought of that.  I don't do manicures, but I do need a trim. 
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: jellyjar on November 01, 2012, 10:21:45 PM
I now live in suburban land, but lived half of my life in a very rural area.  My biggest advice is just be yourself.  There are cultural difference wherever you move, but people are people anywhere you go.  Go to a Texas football game for the fun of it since it is big there, but don't go to try to fit in.  Do what you like and you will find people that like the same things.  The same people that would gossip in a small town are the same people who gossip at the water cooler at work. 

If you go into an area thinking that they are somehow so different and that they are small minded against homeschooling, etc. then people will sense that you feel that way about them.  If you just approach people with a friendly kind attitude, you will most likely get that back.  If you show an interest in them, then they will show an interest in you.

I know a lot of rural people who homeschool their kids.  Sometimes it is because of long distances to school.  So I really don't think you are going to find the differences on that that you might worry about.  Church is a great place to meet people, library reading times for your child, jobs, etc.   I do tend to be biased toward small towns because I perceive them as friendlier, but I think it is really the group of people you choose to surround yourself around.  It will be what you make of it.  I hope your move goes smoothly and that you just love it there.  It sounds like you are going to do great because you are caring about making friends and being a part of the community.  I am sure it will go well.  :)
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on November 01, 2012, 11:22:26 PM
I don't think small towns are friendlier, per se... they're just less distant and aloof, for good or bad.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: LizC on November 02, 2012, 01:38:22 AM
I'm from a small town of 1800, high up in the mountains... and homeschooling is absolutely NO bar to community participation. About 1/3 of the kids in the county homeschool, actually, for a wide variety of reasons from academics, to social concerns, to religious beliefs, to flat-out distance from school.

(I've found it harder/more isolated to homeschool our four in our small city of about 70K than in the little place we moved from (about 500), or "back home". We get along just fine, but when we visit Grandma? We get absorbed into a really great instant network of activities and acceptance, because homeschoolers are thick on the ground there.)

Your list, and the other suggestions for settling in (huge grins on the Steering Wheel Wave--that's how I know I'm nearly home!) ring true to this small-town girl!

(My folks have been in that small town (very active in the community) since 1975, and raised the whole tribe of us there. At one point, three of my siblings and their families lived there, too. And we're still "new people".)
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: oz diva on November 02, 2012, 01:46:32 AM
Do you play sport? A friend moved to the country and got involved in the local netball team. (netball is akin to basketball). She made a lot of friends that way. Particularly since you've opted to homeschool your child, you might find it hard to connect with people and team sports are a great icebreaker. You don't have to be good. I play netball and I'm awful at it, but it's a social thing for me.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Raintree on November 02, 2012, 01:55:35 AM
I spent two years in a small community. The corollary to the steering wheel wave is the wave and smile back when you are out walking, even though you can't see into the car and you have no idea who is waving at you.

Yeah, they don't like it when "newcomers" (people who have lived there 10 years or less in some cases) express an opinion on a hot local topic. As if that issue only affects long-timers. One poor guy who tried to start up a business there made the mistake of stating an opposite opinion on a hot topic and suddenly half the community refused to do business with him. (I found it all kind of irritating; I am not a small town person I guess, but again, maybe that kind of attitude is unique to that place). But I guess if it's an issue that everyone complains about, you can complain about it too.

Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: oz diva on November 02, 2012, 03:28:59 AM
I wasn't planning on saying anything about the school, and since she is 2 the topic won't come up for awhile.  I suspect they are a tad touchy on the subject because after major complaining about lazy H.S. teachers they have been cleaning house.  Although, we are moving from one of the top school districts in the state, and she wasn't going to school here either.
You'd be surprised. When my two were about that age folks starting asking us what school they'd go to and a few years later what high school. I don't know why this is considered an interesting conversation, but apparently it is. At least where I come from.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Sophia on November 02, 2012, 05:35:10 AM
I think the town has 4 schools total.  Two elementary, one middle and one high school.  So, which school probably won't be a topic of conversation.  If the topic comes up, I will tell people we'll be homeschooling and then mention it was something we started discussing even before marriage (so way before moving to the area). 

On football, it would please me if our daughter likes it.  My husband had mentioned eventually taking her to high school games, regardless of where we lived.  The band and the cheerleaders and the good, clean excitement level.  Assuming she enjoys it, I will enjoy watching her. 
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Oh Joy on November 02, 2012, 09:22:24 AM
All good suggestions so far.  I would seriously consider re-thinking the homeschooling.  School is one of the biggest gatherings of the locals.  Small town school is where everyone meets each other parents and children.  If your daughter isn't attending, she (and you) will have a more difficult time making friends, gaining acceptance and trust from other parents, having playdates, etc.   

I respectfully disagree - I wouldn't suggest they change their educational path to fit with the local community.  But I would suggest they add a compliment to their answers about school, such as 'we decided long ago to homeschool, but I heard Mrs. Smith just won an award/the high school has a great new science lab/there are great teachers in this district.'
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Elisabunny on November 02, 2012, 01:09:31 PM
Does your state allow dual enrollment?  If so, you can homeschool, but still participate in band, sports, and other school activities.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Jloreli on November 02, 2012, 02:28:38 PM
Find out where everyone goes for dinner Friday night and for breakfast/lunch after church. Eat there fairly often.

Extra points if you find out where the "old duffers" hang out for coffee in the morning. Ask their advice on where to buy XYZ or who to hire for odd jobs/repairs/who's the good plumber.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on November 02, 2012, 02:37:15 PM
Honest question:

Does an introvert have a chance in a small town?  Because I really want to move to one (have my eye on several), but I am *very* much a homebody that keeps to myself.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: CreteGirl on November 02, 2012, 02:53:41 PM
Find out where everyone goes for dinner Friday night and for breakfast/lunch after church. Eat there fairly often.

Extra points if you find out where the "old duffers" hang out for coffee in the morning. Ask their advice on where to buy XYZ or who to hire for odd jobs/repairs/who's the good plumber.

That was going to be my advice.  If there is a diner in town, go there early and often.  Get to know the waitresses, and the "regulars".  It won't take long.

I envy you.  I grew up in a small town, and miss it very much.  It is a great way to live.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Sophia on November 02, 2012, 02:55:00 PM
Does your state allow dual enrollment?  If so, you can homeschool, but still participate in band, sports, and other school activities.

The state is pretty de-regulated now after having the pants sued off them 15-ish years ago.  I know the district we are leaving allows participation in everything but cheerleading.  I don't know about the new one. 
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Sophia on November 02, 2012, 02:59:49 PM
Honest question:

Does an introvert have a chance in a small town?  Because I really want to move to one (have my eye on several), but I am *very* much a homebody that keeps to myself.

If it weren't for my daughter, I wouldn't worry the social aspect like I am.  My husband and I are natural homebodies with a tendency toward being hermits.  But I don't want to limit her socially because other parents don't want their kids to socialize with my kid. 
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on November 02, 2012, 03:02:24 PM
Honest question:

Does an introvert have a chance in a small town?  Because I really want to move to one (have my eye on several), but I am *very* much a homebody that keeps to myself.

If it weren't for my daughter, I wouldn't worry the social aspect like I am.  My husband and I are natural homebodies with a tendency toward being hermits.  But I don't want to limit her socially because other parents don't want their kids to socialize with my kid.

Being childless, that's good to know.  :)
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Girlie on November 02, 2012, 04:55:53 PM
I would also see about joining any local women's club.

If there are any small, local shops, I would recommend finding one. Like, if there's a town square or something, maybe pick one store to stop in every week to buy the Sunday paper or something. When I worked in Big National Grocery Chain, even with the thousands of customers we had, we got to know the "very regulars" pretty well.

And a big POD to the people who recommend finding a new favorite restaurant.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on November 02, 2012, 05:03:11 PM
Honest question:

Does an introvert have a chance in a small town?  Because I really want to move to one (have my eye on several), but I am *very* much a homebody that keeps to myself.

I think so. BFF is in a small town and very introverted, a self-proclaimed loner and doesn't have much trouble with the other people there.  Mind you she was born and raised there, moved away for 10 years then moved back, so it may be different but it doesn't bother her too much.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Sharnita on November 02, 2012, 05:13:49 PM
Honest question:

Does an introvert have a chance in a small town?  Because I really want to move to one (have my eye on several), but I am *very* much a homebody that keeps to myself.

I think so. BFF is in a small town and very introverted, a self-proclaimed loner and doesn't have much trouble with the other people there.  Mind you she was born and raised there, moved away for 10 years then moved back, so it may be different but it doesn't bother her too much.

I think so too, although it depends on what you want or don't want from the experience.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: CakeEater on November 02, 2012, 11:28:49 PM
I've lived in small towns all my adult life (I'm 34), and I actually think it would be harder to socialise in the city. In small towns you see the same people everywhere you go: church, shops, Christmas street fair, local show, aport, playgroups etc etc, and you have lots of opportunities to talk to them.

OP, I can't imagine anyone not wanting their kids to socilaise with yours at age 2, because you planned to home school her. I was a teacher until I had kids, and I can see how much benefit homeschooling would be for some kids, much more so than being in my class. There's stacks of things for mothers and two-year olds to do together in my small town, most of which don't revolve around schooling at all.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Sophia on November 03, 2012, 11:14:38 AM
My concern doesn't really stem from homeschooling.  That just closes off an easy way to meet people.  That if we didn't make an effort to join the community, or we made some really bad move in the beginning and got a bad reputation, then parents might not want their kids to associate with the child of "Those People". 

I think part of my worry is the hard time she was given by the small town where dad grew up.  I always heard horror stories.  The town was certain that because my parents eloped, mom must have been pregnant.  When I was 9-ish, at my Great-Grandmother's funeral some of the people from that town told me I was several years older than I really was.  That my parents would lie to me about my age was more likely than my parents eloped with being pregnant.  Out of idle curiosity I looked up that town in Wikipedia and it was almost precisely the same number of people as the one we are moving to.  I had a bit of a panic attack.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Sharnita on November 03, 2012, 04:59:09 PM
I think you need to let go of past experiences and be open to future possibilities or you will create a self-fulfilling prophecy.  You are going to see and hear what you expect and react in a way that affects your relationship with the people around you.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Maude on November 04, 2012, 02:44:31 PM
Be aware of how people dress... eg high heels?, city/town clothes?,make up?

Also be aware of political and religious trends.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Sophia on November 04, 2012, 03:04:26 PM
Be aware of how people dress... eg high heels?, city/town clothes?,make up?

Also be aware of political and religious trends.

I hadn't thought of that.  I am a conservative protestant, so I think I am good there.  Don't know about clothes/makeup, though.  I dress casually without makeup.  I honestly don't care about that in other people, so I've never paid attention.  I'll try to pay attention so I can shift my appearance within my comfort-level.  My SOP is to dress my daughter nicely and figure no one will notice me. 
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: rashea on November 05, 2012, 11:21:15 AM
Do you have a dog? Because out walking is a great opportunity to meet a few people and chat.

On the dress thing, since someone brought it up. I live in a small town. And a casual, farming, working type small town at that. Jeans and a nice top is dressed up around here. So, I take that into consideration. Not that I don't wear dresses and things, but people do look at you a bit funny if you're in heels and makeup to do a shopping run. It's quite freeing for me, but I know it wouldn't work for everyone.

Find a local shop, and say that you're new. Then ask who you should meet. There's a woman in my town that lives right in town, and she's the go-to person for everything in town. Just knowing her is enough to get you in a bit. The local library is another great place to meet a few people and get to know them.

I think small town living is great for interverts, because once you get to know people, you're surrounded by people who know you. It can be hard getting started, and you might have to push a bit in the beginning just to get a friend or two, but after that it will snowball. Especially if you let people know you're looking to make a few friends in the area.

Another tip is don't be afraid to help people. Offering a little assistance goes a long way. That can be during a time of crisis, like what's going on with Sandy (up here regular snow storms sometimes cause issues for people) or something smaller. Baked goods can go a long way. And don't be afraid to ask for help. If you see someone's garden, ask if they have any tips for a variety of tomatoes that do well in the area. Little moments like that build quickly.

ETA: tread lightly on the local hot button issues. If everyone agrees you're fine, but if people are divided it can be tough. Here, it's the issue of wind mills, and I don't broach that one in town at all, and I'm careful not to give my opinion until I get the sense of how the other person feels.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Mikayla on November 05, 2012, 01:13:58 PM
This might sound a little strange, but I was at a family reunion over the weekend, and one of my relatives is a realtor in D/FW.  She was saying that she's been doing several listings up in the NE corner.  I only mention it because there may not be quite as entrenched a group of long-timers as you think, and you may not be the glaringly obvious "new girl in town".

I love the ideas you've gotten, so my only other comment is don't overplan it.  A lot of this just flows naturally from shared experiences, etc.

Also, to Traska, I'm surprised you're an introvert.  Your posts almost always crack me up!

/threadjack
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on November 05, 2012, 02:13:22 PM
This might sound a little strange, but I was at a family reunion over the weekend, and one of my relatives is a realtor in D/FW.  She was saying that she's been doing several listings up in the NE corner.  I only mention it because there may not be quite as entrenched a group of long-timers as you think, and you may not be the glaringly obvious "new girl in town".

I love the ideas you've gotten, so my only other comment is don't overplan it.  A lot of this just flows naturally from shared experiences, etc.

Also, to Traska, I'm surprised you're an introvert.  Your posts almost always crack me up!

/threadjack

Yeah, but online, you can't see the meat, so I can be me.  :)
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Bandu on November 07, 2012, 08:17:57 PM
I grew up in a small Texas town, lived 20 years in Austin, then fled back to small-town life 15 years ago. So howdy and welcome! You've gotten some great advice on making friends and such so far. I only have a couple minor bits to add.

When I first returned to small town life, everyday things seemed to go much more slowly -- checking out at the grocery store, going to pay a bill or renew something governmental, for example. And "visiting" was often the reason why. The clerk would visit (chat) with the person in front of me while the transaction went on and for a few moments once it was done, which is jarringly different from what I was used to in the city. What I had to make myself remember was that I was feeling impatient in a "line" that consisted of two whole people. That line would've been much longer in the city, and there would've been little or no small talk. And I love me some small talk!

The other thing is what I call "The Glide." When you are driving on a quiet, rural, two-lane blacktop and a car is (at long last) oncoming, more often than not, it will slowly glide to the far right of its lane, rather than stay centered in the lane. I've always taken this as a message -- "I see you up ahead, I am awake and paying attention, no need to worry, I got this." Once the two vehicles pass, they both return to the center of their respective lanes. The glide is comforting, to me. It lets me know that, hey, this driver isn't gonna zone out and cross into my lane on a road with little or no wiggle room.

Hope this makes some sort of sense. And again, welcome to the boonies!
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Sophia on November 14, 2012, 11:36:43 AM
Update: my daughters transition into the town might be easier than we thought.  A friend of ours used to rent some commercial space to a daycare.  The daycare moved out and left their very fancy playset.  I haven't seen it yet, but my husband joked that it is probably nicer than the one at the park.  We'll of course put it behind the fence.  The playset is free. 
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Shea on November 15, 2012, 07:48:06 PM
I grew up in a small town, and I think you've got a good plan. I was pleased to see the "not complain about how things are here/say how much better they were in Former Town" on your list. In my hometown, that was our biggest gripe about newcomers, they'd move in and immediately start whining about how far away from anything the town was or the presence of deer in their gardens and bears in their trash or how the nearest Trader Joe's was 3 hours drive away (yes, I've heard that complaint more than once!) Don't do that and people will like you immediately ;).

Also, after awhile everyone will know everything you're doing. It's not necessarily a bad thing. When I go home to visit my parents, I know I'm home when I go to the grocery store and run into four people I've known since I was a toddler before I even manage to get in the doors. And they all know exactly what I'm up to, even though I haven't lived in Hometown since I was 18. That's small-town life!
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Oh Joy on November 16, 2012, 08:20:14 AM
...
The other thing is what I call "The Glide." When you are driving on a quiet, rural, two-lane blacktop and a car is (at long last) oncoming, more often than not, it will slowly glide to the far right of its lane, rather than stay centered in the lane. I've always taken this as a message -- "I see you up ahead, I am awake and paying attention, no need to worry, I got this." Once the two vehicles pass, they both return to the center of their respective lanes. The glide is comforting, to me. It lets me know that, hey, this driver isn't gonna zone out and cross into my lane on a road with little or no wiggle room.
...

Ahhh, yes.  And The Pedestrian Glide, where - with even more exaggeration on the rural county roads - you move into the oncoming traffic lane if there's someone walking on your shoulder and no opposing traffic.  The higher the speed limit, the farther over and earlier you move.

And don't forget to nod and wave!   ;)
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: CatFanatic on November 16, 2012, 08:21:44 AM
Grew up in a small town too (Australia). The advice you have so far is great. Here's a few more:
-Keep up your front yard (not saying you don't!). A lot of small towns take the appearance of their street very seriously.
-Contact the local Chamber of Commerce (or whatever) for information about doctors, dentists, vets etc. They may send a welcoming package, or even a welcoming committee!
-Expect a few whinges about YourFormerCity once they find out where you're from, and just nod and say 'yes, I know what you mean'. They will stop.
-If someone wants to be your new best buddy instantly, be polite but hold back for a while. Cliche as it may seem, there's often a group who are active in local politics and tries to recruit all newcomers.

We drove through Texas on holiday a while back. Everyone was so friendly in the little towns!
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Shoo on November 16, 2012, 09:29:19 AM
...
The other thing is what I call "The Glide." When you are driving on a quiet, rural, two-lane blacktop and a car is (at long last) oncoming, more often than not, it will slowly glide to the far right of its lane, rather than stay centered in the lane. I've always taken this as a message -- "I see you up ahead, I am awake and paying attention, no need to worry, I got this." Once the two vehicles pass, they both return to the center of their respective lanes. The glide is comforting, to me. It lets me know that, hey, this driver isn't gonna zone out and cross into my lane on a road with little or no wiggle room.
...

Ahhh, yes.  And The Pedestrian Glide, where - with even more exaggeration on the rural county roads - you move into the oncoming traffic lane if there's someone walking on your shoulder and no opposing traffic.  The higher the speed limit, the farther over and earlier you move.

And don't forget to nod and wave!   ;)

And above all else, absolutely resist the urge to honk or gesture at another driver, no matter how stupid and deserving they are.  Trust me, that person will end up being the cashier at your grocery store, or your child's best friend's father. 
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Bandu on November 16, 2012, 09:13:07 PM
Quote
And above all else, absolutely resist the urge to honk or gesture at another driver, no matter how stupid and deserving they are.  Trust me, that person will end up being the cashier at your grocery store, or your child's best friend's father.
Oh absolutely! I am just SHOCKED! SHOCKED! when I hear someone honk in Hometown.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: AmethystAnne on November 17, 2012, 02:39:04 PM
Sophia, you could see what your local library has to offer. Our library has Story Hour one morning a week for children younger than school age. 2 of my grandchildren (ages 18 months and 3 1/2 years) have a fun time there.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: nonesuch4 on November 17, 2012, 03:13:39 PM
I might also say, go a little slow in terms of forming close friendships--give yourself a chance to get to know people. Sometimes the friendliest and most outgoing people are not actually the ones that you're most in sync with, so you want to give yourself some time to suss out the social arena.

Late H and I lived in one small town for 17 years.  The friends we made were other  people who had moved there from someplace else.  The "locals" really already had their alliances, and weren't especially honest in dealing with outsiders.

We moved to this small town in 2002. I'd say it's roughly the same size. Hubby became Late hubby in 2010.  I've lost track of the number of complete strangers who have helped me clear the driveway in snowstorms, free of charge.   I haven't a clue why it's so different, in two towns 30 miles apart.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Thipu1 on November 18, 2012, 02:55:05 PM
All towns and all neighborhoods are different.  Small towns can be very inclusive or very insular.  My parents are an example.

My mother came from a place we'll call 'Raisintown'. my father came from a place we'll call 'Prunetown'.  The two villages are within easy walking distance but they were very different.  The friends of my mother's parents always referred to my father as, 'That stump-jumper from Prunetown'. That was because Raisintown had electric light and indoor plumbing.  Many Raisintown children went to high school.  Prune town residents did not necessarily enjoy these benefits.  My father left school to help on the farm when he was 13.   

Prunetown was right on the river.  When there was the danger of flooding, Raisintown people would be there to help place sandbags, provide food and temporary lodging.

   Under normal circumstances, the people of the two villages did not mix very much. Members of Prunetown churches would work with members of the same denomination in Raisintown But that was about the limit of interaction.

When my in-laws retired they moved to a place where they had a house and visited during the summer and during ski season.  They thought they would be immediately accepted into the
community.  They were not.  All their friends in their new community were other people from 'away'.  The locals were cordial but not what you would call friendly.

My in-laws never grasped something that's important when trying to be accepted into a small community.  They didn't read the death notices in the local paper and that can be something very important. 

You read that Mr. James Jones has died at X age.  A wake will be held for Mr. James Jones at Y Funeral Home from 7 to 9 pm on Friday evening. He is survived by his son, George Jones.  George is the proprietor of the body shop where you go to have your car cared for.   

If you want to become a part of your new community, you will make an appearance at the wake for George's Dad.  You are strangers so the visit can be a simple thing.  All you have to do is say that we never knew James but we've done business with George for many years.  We are sorry for your loss and our prayers are with the family. 

In a small town you will never be wrong to attend a wake or a funeral which you are not expected to attend. If you are expected to attend and fail to do so, bad feelings can continue through generations.     


   
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Sophia on November 18, 2012, 03:12:35 PM
Y'll have been so helpful. 

The town does have a paper.  I think it is weekly.  It would never have occurred to me to read the obit's.  My parents read them looking for people their age and I think what they do is ghastly and morbid.  I know, though, that my mother really appreciated the people that showed up at her mother's funeral.  Particularly the ones from her childhood that weren't notified, but read it in the paper. 

We will absolutely be visiting the library.  I/We are regular enough at the one near us that I used to be able to check out books by rattling off my library card number.  They do have a children's area.  I don't know about programs yet.  We take our daughter to about one library program a week.

Good to know about the honking too.  DH and I were just discussing that the other day.  He is "Honking is always rude" philosophy.  As someone that gets distracted at a light, I think a honk can be a gentle nudge that "Hey, the light is green."  So, no honking for me.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: CakeEater on November 19, 2012, 12:36:19 AM
All towns and all neighborhoods are different.  Small towns can be very inclusive or very insular.  My parents are an example.

My mother came from a place we'll call 'Raisintown'. my father came from a place we'll call 'Prunetown'.  The two villages are within easy walking distance but they were very different.  The friends of my mother's parents always referred to my father as, 'That stump-jumper from Prunetown'. That was because Raisintown had electric light and indoor plumbing.  Many Raisintown children went to high school.  Prune town residents did not necessarily enjoy these benefits.  My father left school to help on the farm when he was 13.   

Prunetown was right on the river.  When there was the danger of flooding, Raisintown people would be there to help place sandbags, provide food and temporary lodging.

   Under normal circumstances, the people of the two villages did not mix very much. Members of Prunetown churches would work with members of the same denomination in Raisintown But that was about the limit of interaction.

When my in-laws retired they moved to a place where they had a house and visited during the summer and during ski season.  They thought they would be immediately accepted into the
community.  They were not.  All their friends in their new community were other people from 'away'.  The locals were cordial but not what you would call friendly.

My in-laws never grasped something that's important when trying to be accepted into a small community.  They didn't read the death notices in the local paper and that can be something very important. 

You read that Mr. James Jones has died at X age.  A wake will be held for Mr. James Jones at Y Funeral Home from 7 to 9 pm on Friday evening. He is survived by his son, George Jones.  George is the proprietor of the body shop where you go to have your car cared for.   

If you want to become a part of your new community, you will make an appearance at the wake for George's Dad.  You are strangers so the visit can be a simple thing.  All you have to do is say that we never knew James but we've done business with George for many years.  We are sorry for your loss and our prayers are with the family. 

In a small town you will never be wrong to attend a wake or a funeral which you are not expected to attend. If you are expected to attend and fail to do so, bad feelings can continue through generations.     

 

I've moved to two small towns and would never recommend someone attend a funeral of someone they've never met in order to fit in. That's way over the top to me.

I'm pretty surprised by a lot of these responses suggesting the OP adjust her dress, conversation, and even how she keeps her front lawn in order to fit in. OP, just be yourself. Dress how you like, and keep your garden the way you like. Small towns are like anywhere else. There are all kinds of different people in them, and you'll make friends with the ones you have things in common with, just like you would anywhere else.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Thipu1 on November 19, 2012, 05:35:55 AM
My point in suggesting a visit to a wake was that, although you might know the deceased, you did know and did business with his son. 

You wouldn't necessarily make a habit of this but, if you had a business relationship with a close member of the family, it would almost certainly be appreciated. 
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: mechtilde on November 19, 2012, 05:39:37 AM
Funerals are for the living- and attending because you know a member of the family, in order to support them, is absolutely the right thing to do. I have been to several funerals where I hardly knew the deceased, but went because I knew one of the family. It was always appreciated.

CHecking the local paper can also be a good idea- I've missed two funerals because the local grapevine let me down.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on November 20, 2012, 01:51:32 AM
All towns and all neighborhoods are different.  Small towns can be very inclusive or very insular.  My parents are an example.

My mother came from a place we'll call 'Raisintown'. my father came from a place we'll call 'Prunetown'.  The two villages are within easy walking distance but they were very different.  The friends of my mother's parents always referred to my father as, 'That stump-jumper from Prunetown'. That was because Raisintown had electric light and indoor plumbing.  Many Raisintown children went to high school.  Prune town residents did not necessarily enjoy these benefits.  My father left school to help on the farm when he was 13.   

Prunetown was right on the river.  When there was the danger of flooding, Raisintown people would be there to help place sandbags, provide food and temporary lodging.

   Under normal circumstances, the people of the two villages did not mix very much. Members of Prunetown churches would work with members of the same denomination in Raisintown But that was about the limit of interaction.

When my in-laws retired they moved to a place where they had a house and visited during the summer and during ski season.  They thought they would be immediately accepted into the
community.  They were not.  All their friends in their new community were other people from 'away'.  The locals were cordial but not what you would call friendly.

My in-laws never grasped something that's important when trying to be accepted into a small community.  They didn't read the death notices in the local paper and that can be something very important. 

You read that Mr. James Jones has died at X age.  A wake will be held for Mr. James Jones at Y Funeral Home from 7 to 9 pm on Friday evening. He is survived by his son, George Jones.  George is the proprietor of the body shop where you go to have your car cared for.   

If you want to become a part of your new community, you will make an appearance at the wake for George's Dad.  You are strangers so the visit can be a simple thing.  All you have to do is say that we never knew James but we've done business with George for many years.  We are sorry for your loss and our prayers are with the family. 

In a small town you will never be wrong to attend a wake or a funeral which you are not expected to attend. If you are expected to attend and fail to do so, bad feelings can continue through generations.     
   

Oh yikes.  This one absolutely would have tripped me up.  I am not a big believer in funerary customs (to not offend anyone, I'll just say my first and only choice really is cremation, unless cryogenics advances *that* much  ;)), which I got from my mother.  In fact, when Mom passed away, I had her cremated without a viewing, just like she wanted.  I have never been to a funeral or a wake in my life.  So that's really interesting to know.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: JonGirl on November 20, 2012, 06:13:07 AM



Now I've got "Small Town" by John Mellencamp stuck in my head, lol.
Lucky I love that song!  :D
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Sharnita on November 20, 2012, 07:17:19 AM
FWIW, I have been to fuetals for people who were cremated. I thimk if close friends didn't attend the service because there was a cremation  it could be hurtful.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Sophia on December 03, 2012, 09:49:50 AM
Small update:  The town seems to be friendly.  He received two invitations to visit two different Baptist churches.  We close on the house on Thursday.  My DH was there last week with our HVAC guy looking at what needs to be done.  There was a garage sale down the road and my husband talked to them.  He also applied for some permits.  People seemed happy that we are actually moving in and not planning to rent.  Interestingly, people also seem to have a hard time figuring out which house we bought.  I think that is because it sat empty for a long time.  One thing amusing, I filled out the application to turn the water on, there was a field for "Friends in town".  I guess that is the field for references. 
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: CaptainObvious on December 03, 2012, 09:59:54 AM
All towns and all neighborhoods are different.  Small towns can be very inclusive or very insular.  My parents are an example.

My mother came from a place we'll call 'Raisintown'. my father came from a place we'll call 'Prunetown'.  The two villages are within easy walking distance but they were very different.  The friends of my mother's parents always referred to my father as, 'That stump-jumper from Prunetown'. That was because Raisintown had electric light and indoor plumbing.  Many Raisintown children went to high school.  Prune town residents did not necessarily enjoy these benefits.  My father left school to help on the farm when he was 13.   

Prunetown was right on the river.  When there was the danger of flooding, Raisintown people would be there to help place sandbags, provide food and temporary lodging.

   Under normal circumstances, the people of the two villages did not mix very much. Members of Prunetown churches would work with members of the same denomination in Raisintown But that was about the limit of interaction.

When my in-laws retired they moved to a place where they had a house and visited during the summer and during ski season.  They thought they would be immediately accepted into the
community.  They were not.  All their friends in their new community were other people from 'away'.  The locals were cordial but not what you would call friendly.

My in-laws never grasped something that's important when trying to be accepted into a small community.  They didn't read the death notices in the local paper and that can be something very important. 

You read that Mr. James Jones has died at X age.  A wake will be held for Mr. James Jones at Y Funeral Home from 7 to 9 pm on Friday evening. He is survived by his son, George Jones.  George is the proprietor of the body shop where you go to have your car cared for.   

If you want to become a part of your new community, you will make an appearance at the wake for George's Dad.  You are strangers so the visit can be a simple thing.  All you have to do is say that we never knew James but we've done business with George for many years.  We are sorry for your loss and our prayers are with the family. 

In a small town you will never be wrong to attend a wake or a funeral which you are not expected to attend. If you are expected to attend and fail to do so, bad feelings can continue through generations.     

 

I've moved to two small towns and would never recommend someone attend a funeral of someone they've never met in order to fit in. That's way over the top to me.

I'm pretty surprised by a lot of these responses suggesting the OP adjust her dress, conversation, and even how she keeps her front lawn in order to fit in. OP, just be yourself. Dress how you like, and keep your garden the way you like. Small towns are like anywhere else. There are all kinds of different people in them, and you'll make friends with the ones you have things in common with, just like you would anywhere else.

I agree with you on all points. I have always lived in a small town, and half of the stories I have read would never happen here. Times are so much different than in our Parents or Grandparents times. People don't "socialize" like they used to, you don't have the same type of gathering that were popular 30-40 yrs ago. Most people don't have time to sit around and gossip, they are busy with work and kids. My Grandmother used to sit around and gossip with her girlfriends, but they were also housewives that had free time during the day while their kids were at school. The ladies would all get together during the day and play cards, or "have lunch". I don't know very many people who do that these days.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: rashea on December 03, 2012, 10:25:58 AM
Yard sales are a great way to meet people.

Glad you're settling in, it looks like people are eager for good neighbors there.
Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: boxy on December 03, 2012, 10:33:05 AM
My 2 tips for small town living: 

1.  Always remember EVERYONE is related to someone in some way. 

2.  It's okay for a local to talk about their own family members but, even if encouraged, it's NOT okay for you to talk about those same family members.  No matter how crazy they are or how crazy they act, be very careful about jumping on the gossip bandwagon.  (Yes, that's the voice of experience talking.)

Title: Re: Hints for joining a small town
Post by: Sophia on December 03, 2012, 11:37:16 AM
...2.  It's okay for a local to talk about their own family members but, even if encouraged, it's NOT okay for you to talk about those same family members.  No matter how crazy they are or how crazy they act, be very careful about jumping on the gossip bandwagon.  (Yes, that's the voice of experience talking.)

I learned that in 4th grade, and I don't think it is true of just small towns.  My BF at the time was always talking about what a liar her little brother was.  This came up several times.  One time we were discussing what to do and it had something to do with something her little brother had said.  I said something like, "Maybe it would be a bad idea to rely on what he said."  She verbally rounded on me, was I implying that her little brother was a liar?