It should come as no great shock to any of us, but the way of life in the city is far and away different from how we do it in the country. Not to say that one is inherently better than the other, far from it. I have found many things that I like much better in town than out of it, and vice versa.
What I’m really talking about is the abrupt change from one to the other. One day, I was working cattle on the familiar wide open with lots of farmers, the next I’m negotiating the mysterious narrow city streets. It’s quite a lot to take in.
First, let me describe the town I’m from. Rosedale. It’s small, even by small town standards. Population: 50, not including dogs, made up of two major families. One main road, one business, two churches, and a volunteer fire department. The high school was disbanded 50 years ago. We don’t even get a dot on the county map. The county map! People let their dogs have run of the town, and you can walk the circumference in about an hour or so. Essentially, it’s the polar opposite of Tulsa.
But even so, not everything is different. The city may have more options for grocery stores and restaurants, but they are still a fair distance away. People still make rolling stops at stop signs and gas stations are still the center of gossip. So that’s a plus.
Traffic is by no means the same though. I spent about ten minutes just trying to get down one block the other day. The last time traffic was that backed up in Rosedale was the time some hotrodder from out of town rolled his car in an intersection (Don’t worry, he came out alright). Usually the only time it’s hard to get out of your driveway is when school’s about to start. Even then, it only takes about three minutes, which gets your car warmed up anyway.
There is also a marked difference in clothing styles. Back home, we tend to dress for practicality, since you never know if a buddy is going to ask you to help out with his animals after school and you don’t have time to change. Typically it’s calf-high boots, jeans and a button down.
In Tulsa, I’ve noticed most people wear polos, khaki or gym shorts with sandals. I’m not making any judgements; it’s not like there is any real danger of working cattle in town, but it does lead one to realize that things operate in a different way hereabouts.
Music is also radically different. Take my Senior Prom. We berated the DJ for not playing country staples instead of club music. In Tulsa, club music is incredibly popular, with Alabama, Hank Williams Jr, and all the rest being largely ignored. Can’t even find a half decent classic rock station. This difference I do complain about, since that club music just sounds like some idiot sat on a synthesizer and called it music.
All in all, I do enjoy living in the city, but I long for home. Guess that’s something most people face, whether they’re from Rosedale or a foreign country. It takes some getting used to.
I chose this university because it was so different from home, not realizing exactly how different it would be from the outside looking in. But I wouldn’t do anything differently, not by a long shot. This country boy isn’t the type to give up.