True is a friend I made when we were both in Ft. Stewart, Georgia. Our husbands were in the same unit.
I met her at my first FRG meeting. (That’s Family Readiness Group, which is supposed to provide support to families of deployed soldiers, but is actually slightly annoying, rather invasive, often boring, and totally depressing.)
Anyway, when True stepped out, I held her baby, and listened to other mothers complain about her nursing. We became fast friends that day BECAUSE I WILL DEFEND A WOMAN’S RIGHT TO NURSE HER BABY PUBLICLY, OPENLY, UNTIL THE DAY I DIE. (I may blog about it one day, and I won’t even write a trigger warning to let you know the offensive breasts are comin.)
Anyway again, True and I bonded quickly in 2007, and remain close friends to this day.
So, True had lived at Ft.Stewart, Georgia, in Vilseck, Germany, Williston, Florida and Bancroft, Michigan. Her concept of towns and cities was slightly askew from my own.
I’d lived in a few smaller cities, but for most of my life, I’ve lived in Indianapolis.
The entire time I lived at Ft. Stewart, I complained about the lack of city. Our nearest ‘city’ was Hinesville. Hinesville had a nice dentist, great pediatricians, a yummy Mexican restaurant, and good sushi. That’s it. That’s all I got. The nice dentist retired right before we left, prolly due to my visits, and Sushi House went out of business after we left, prolly cause we weren’t there to eat it.
Hinesville is a hole. I’m sorry, but it’s a hole. If you want to find the rudest, most indignant, least competent people in America, then find the civilians who work on and around military bases. They are an atrocious segment of the population. Without the military, they’d have no livelihood, but they hate the military and it shows. Godforsaken Hinesville has a population of Who The Fuck Would Choose To Live Here Voluntarily?!? 34,000. That’s probably 33,700 Army and their dependents and like, 300 really angry, sunburnt, dehydrated, displaced people.
I shouldn’t need to explain further. This graph is enough to make me hate anywhere.
Do you not sweat just lookin at that?!? Ew. Icky icky ew.
Our closest real city was Savannah, Georgia. Yes, it’s beautiful. Hot as blazes, but beautiful. It was also an hour away and it’s not particularly… urban. There are fewer than 150,000 people in Savannah.
In order to get to Savannah, we had to endure what I called The Pine Tree Way which was the longest 17 miles of road anyone ever drove. Residents in the southeast corner of the country might love their pine tree landscapes as much as I love my cornfields and forests, I dunno, but I find them sad. My MIL, big tree lover, said that those trees were the saddest she’d ever seen. Well she was right; the poor things are forested, burned and culled regularly. Fuckin tree skeletons and whatnot.
The Pine Tree Way was bleak. It was so bleak, you wanted to do 90mph the whole time, but you couldn’t, because speed traps, and because the Army put signs up all along the way. Panic-inducing signs featuring coffins and shit. Safety First, y’all.
One goes from this to I-95. People who know I-95 understand this.
I understand some people enjoy living far from the crowds and the noise. I am not one of them. I understand some people enjoy living out in the country. I am not one of them. But I don’t know who would want to live in a small suburban environment in the middle of bloody nowhere, where you have no peace and quiet, nor do you have convenience and variety. *boo*
We usually did Savannah as a day trip. We’d drive an hour plus to shop at the big mall with the Target and Game Stop, eat somewhere with air-conditioning and cloth napkins, and then make the journey back home.
I had written before about military housing allowances, but while The Mister and I, with our brood, took up residence in a nice, new, two-story, multi-unit, True and her crew were shoved into a two bedroom ghetto-ass apartment, (for the same price!) so it wasn’t long before they moved off-post and into the hole that is Hinesville and its sister town, Midway. After all, True had dreams of being able to sleep in a queen size bed and cook in a kitchen with more than four floor tiles.
Now after being stationed at Ft. Stewart for 10 years, True’s husband is out of the Army and they’ve relocated to Columbia, South Carolina. I find this comforting, because I don’t even have to drive through Georgia to get to South Carolina. I hope to never step in Georgia again.
Indianapolis is twice the size of Atlanta, in both land and population. I have seen its aquarium, its zoo, and the Coca-Cola bottling company. There is nothin else good to see in Georgia. *hiss*
Since True moved, she tells me of the wonder that is the big city. Sometimes with horror, sometimes with joy, but mostly with awe.
True’s oldest goes to school with 900 other kids!
There’s a zoo! And museums!
So many educational resources and programs for her kids!
Her good sushi is 20 minutes away now.
She complains she has to take the interstate to get places.
She says, “I’m going to Michael’s! Guess what? It’s only five minutes away!”
She tells me her city is SO BIG.
I blow her mind.
“True, there are about 140,000 people in Columbia and there are over 800,000 in Indianapolis.”
For reference, The Mister and I both graduated in a classes of 300+; Sassy and Moo will graduate with 500+.
I loved DoDEA schools, but I didn’t like the off-post schools that Bubba and Sissy attended in Georgia. They were HOLES.
The Indianapolis Zoo is 64 acres big.
Indianapolis boasts the world’s largest children’s museum, and the 9th largest collection of Art in the U.S. is at The Indianapolis Museum of Art.
My good sushi is also 20 minutes away and shares a parking lot with Michael’s.
Now True understands my prior suffering. It’s all about choices. More city, more choices. For a girl like True, who grew up with population 500, Columbia may as well be NYC.
Have you ever made a drastic move? Are you a country or city mouse? What does your city or town have the best of?