I am in The-Middle-of-Nowhere, Ohio this week taking classes for the family business. Truly, this is the smallest of small towns, and it’s making me realize what a city girl I really am. But at the same time, I’m finding out just how jaded that’s made me.
This afternoon, I went into a little coffee shop for a caffeine fix and while I was I paying, I looked outside to see a group of boys pull up on their bikes. They were probably about 14 or 15 years old, and there were a lot of them. They were all wearing black and had piercings in places that looked really painful. At first I was surprised to see them and all their gothness in this Po-Dunk town, but that only lasted only for a second, because the next thought that crossed my mind was that I had to walk through them when I went outside.
When I left the city yesterday, I was behind a man in a truck stopped at a traffic light when a car pulled up next to him. A young girl in the car took a full cup of soda from a fast-food restaurant and threw it at the man in the truck, then she and her friend quickly pulled away. It made me sick. Here was this poor guy, probably on his way home from work, and he AND the inside of his truck were covered with sticky soda because some stupid kids thought it would be funny. If he hadn’t been on that road, it would’ve been me.
That incident was fresh in my mind as I left the coffee shop today. I eyed that group of boys, clutched my purse a little tighter, stood a little taller, and tried to look all rough-and-tough in my girly-girl linen shirt as I walked out the door. I was prepared to get called a name, or have something thrown at me, or get followed and harassed. Instead, one of them saw me coming toward the door and he jumped off his bike to hold it open for me. I was still hesitant when I said, “Thank you”. But, when he said, “Sure thing. Have a good day”, then hopped back on his bike and started talking to his friends, I realized he was actually just a really nice kid.
Maybe living in Mayberry wouldn’t be so bad after all.