Editors Note: Recently while touring around the Internet, I came
across the following article posted at www.sparechangemagazine.com.
Be forewarned ... Lady 'K' is not a big fan of our little
town ... And while some might wonder why I should bother to re-post her note on Emmitsburg.net, I find a little retrospective
thinking always good for the soul ...
Why I Moved to the Middle of Nowhere
Money. Plain and simple. As bad as it is to live far away from everything and everyone, being
able to pay the bills is as good a reason as any.
I've been a city girl all my life. I was born in Baltimore, then moved to Denver for a few
years. After that, the family got transferred to California, where we lived outside of San Francisco until I was in 8th grade.
Then we headed back to Baltimore, where I spent my high school career being connected to just about everything within a 10-15
minute drive. College took me to Frederick, MD, a city 40 miles west of Baltimore. Frederick, though I think it's now the 2nd
biggest city in Maryland, has a much more suburban feel and a smaller population per square mile than Baltimore does.
Still, Frederick had all of the same things that Baltimore had, just not as many of them. There
were three movie theaters, 2 malls, a whole drag of bars and pubs, and even a nightclub (crappy place, but it counts). Of
course, it took me a three years to find most of this stuff. That's a pretty long time when you're a college kid, and most of
those things are staples of your existence.
As if Frederick wasn't enough of a culture shock, I recently relocated to quaint Emmitsburg,
MD. Population: me, my fiancée at the time, my annoying neighbor with the mange kid, the town drunk, the guy who backed into my
car at the post office, my landlords who own the local liquor store, and a handful of other useless rednecks. That's it. Our
town consists of two main streets, with two flashing lights at either end and one fully functional traffic light in the middle.
We have a grocery store, a McDonalds out near the main highway, a Pizza Hut across from the post office, one token Chinese
takeout joint, an Exxon, a bunch of other liquor stores, and a place called "Piggy Dukes Eatery and Nookery." I'm not even going
to discuss the whole "nookery" concept.
So welcome to the threshold of hell, aka my Emmitsburg. So why exactly did I move here again?
A few months ago, Mez Cat and I considered moving to Northwest Washington, D.C. Both having
been out of college for a year with good jobs, we figured it would be affordable and fun. Then we checked into the cost. The
cheapest 2 bedroom we could find in a decent building with parking was over $900 a month, and this place still had roaches,
tenants that spoke no English, and break-ins out front. If I wanted to pay that much to have my car toyed with, I would move to
New York City. At least then I could pick up a cool accent and a tough attitude worth flushing my finances down the toilet for.
So I reexamined things. I figured that I didn’t want to drive more than a half-hour to my job
in Frederick, MD. I scouted out places in the paper for quite sometime, and noticed that the further away from D.C. or Baltimore
I moved, the cheaper it was. And I'm not just talked a hundred dollars a month in rent. I'm talking a 200 –– 300 dollar
decrease. And for a corporate tool like me, with college loans up the whazoo, 30 minutes further didn't seem all that bad for
So I moved. No more noise, no pollution, no traffic, no life, no excitement, no friends, no
movie theater, no mall, and no freakin' Taco Bell. I have my neighbor acting like my mother and consistently leaving church
bulletins on my doorstep with handwritten notes saying "you all should go to this"! I get this coming from the woman who spends
her days sweeping out the neighborhood dumpster with her grandkids. (If I were those kids, I'd be sick when visit time came
around. When I was 10, my idea of a good time was video games and following my older brother around. Sanitizing the community
dumpster was not high on my list of activities.)
I thought moving to a small town would mean that I wouldn't be bothered. Big mistake. A small
town means that everyone knows you and if you fart, even a silent one, your neighbor will smell it and tell the rest of the town
all about it.
For those of you looking to move to small town America, think again. I suggest you only do it
if you can afford to buy yourself a little privacy.
Hey Mom, can I move back in with you?