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6.14.2013

SHIT I NOW KNOW


No one is originally from here.  It's kind of a standing joke that everyone is from somewhere else originally.  It brings an interesting, refreshing and wide-ranged mix of things to this amalgamated culture.

That was not the case, by in large anyway, from where I came from.  Everyone was pretty much from there or connected to a line of people from there.  There is a pool of common last names, a vein of Mennonite somewhere in most, and deep family relationships that involve close geographic proximity. 

It's not like that in Prescott, Arizona.  Last names range the gamut of every ethnicity you might imagine.  There are last names I have run across that I have never heard before.  And, in most first conversations the question is asked, "Are you from here?"  The answer is usually no, followed by a story of what brought them to the southwest and why. Everybody's got a story and I have heard quite a few people's stories as of late. 

Some people still carry an accent denoting which part of the country they originally hailed from.  Like the young man in the bicycle shop that repaired our bikes.  He was tall and lanky and said things like, yes ma'am and no ma'am.  He hailed from Texas - a rancher at heart.  I learned they raise their kids to have respect and manners.  You don't hear that from most people his age or from other parts of the country or with that deep drawl that speaks TEXAS!

Then there was the lady with the thick Boston brogue who wanted to talk baseball and used the word smarmy.  She tried to explain what it meant and then asked if I wouldn't just Google it.  I instantly loved her for her eastern bluntness and use of a cool word that I did not know.  Not many can word up me:)

I did Google the word smarmy since words are a life-long love affair for me.  I read the definition off my iPhone to her; smarmy - ingratiating and wheedling in a way that is perceived as insincere or excessive.  A huge Boston Red Socks fan, she used smarmy in reference to Derek Jeter.  I found it quite hysterical.  I also garnered a new word from a Bostonian living in Prescott, Arizona  She could not tell me if that was a readily used New Englander word or not.  I think it must be as I don't recall using or hearing it while living in Indiana.

I also learned from a small business owner in town who originated from Ireland, spoken in a strong Irish accent, that Americans hair is thin because we wash it too much.  In Ireland people have beautiful thick heads of hair because they don't wash their hair daily which allows the oils to stimulate growth.  That was spoken to me by a 74 year old Irish transplant to Prescott, Arizona.  I haven't washed my hair for three days in a row.

Today, while out for my pre-work walk up the hills of the subdivision I'm living in, I stopped to hand a newspaper to an old man who had walked to the end of his driveway in his bath robe.  It was a big thick terry cloth robe with the Ralph Lauren insignia on it.  His hair was a scrubbily mess at 6:15 a.m. but he wanted to share what he knew about living here after coming from somewhere else.  He told me about the monsoons and the risk of fire if they don't come.  I learned something again from someone who really wasn't from here. 

I also learned that men operate pretty much the same in any state of the union after the doctor [He told me he was one while I was running on the treadmill.  Seriously, who does that!] on the treadmill next to me yesterday at the gym said,.as I departed after my run, "You look really fit."  He needed to learn a few things though; like, that is tacky and very ineffective!  He also needed to learn that a girl catches onto your tricks when you use the treadmill in your dress shoes:)

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