Author Topic: Hints for joining a small town  (Read 9338 times)

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nonesuch4

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #60 on: November 17, 2012, 04:13:39 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.

Thipu1

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #61 on: November 18, 2012, 03:55:05 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.     


   

Sophia

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #62 on: November 18, 2012, 04:12:35 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.

CakeEater

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #63 on: November 19, 2012, 01:36:19 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.

Thipu1

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #64 on: November 19, 2012, 06:35:55 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. 

mechtilde

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #65 on: November 19, 2012, 06:39:37 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.
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Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #66 on: November 20, 2012, 02:51:32 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.
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JonGirl

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #67 on: November 20, 2012, 07:13:07 AM »



Now I've got "Small Town" by John Mellencamp stuck in my head, lol.
Lucky I love that song!  :D
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Sharnita

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #68 on: November 20, 2012, 08:17:19 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.

Sophia

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #69 on: December 03, 2012, 10:49:50 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. 

CaptainObvious

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #70 on: December 03, 2012, 10:59:54 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.

rashea

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #71 on: December 03, 2012, 11:25:58 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.
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boxy

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #72 on: December 03, 2012, 11:33:05 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.)

« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 11:34:38 AM by boxy »

Sophia

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #73 on: December 03, 2012, 12:37:16 PM »
...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?