Sunday, March 29, 2009

Our Town

Allow me to say the views and opinions in this post are by no means meant to offend anyone.
No not the Thorton Wilder three act play. But where I live. Robin was kind to suggest a post topic of more info about where I live, so here it is. (Thanks Robin waves)

First the Western side of Washington. It is culturally diverse. Maybe not as much so as say California but none the less diverse. I grew up in California, Monterey and Pacific Grove. It is truly a beautiful area. Where I grew up was a small town, considered a retirement community, really. Although there used to be a major army base, Ford Ord, there is the Defense Language Institute(DLI), Navy Post Graduate School (PiG School), and the Institute of International Studies. There were always people that have come from other parts of the country as well as all over the world. The opportunity to meet a variety of people was ever present. Western Washington was reminiscent of that culture. We enjoyed living there. I was able to meet some great people living on the west side.

We were then lured by the thought of affordable home and land for sale on the eastern side of Washington. We moved to the eastern side to a farm north of Spokane. But the work and commute got too much for us and we had to downsize and move closer to my DH's job. I didn't feel comfortable moving into Spokane proper, and ended up settling in a small town just outside Spokane. I find it even hard to describe the community that we live in polite, politically correct terms. I can't even begin to think of a way to start. To be blatantly blunt, it is a meth invested, blindly religious, judgmental, racial, mentally challenged community, that is adverse to any form of change. Please believe me when I say that none of that was said with any animosity. It truly wasn't. Those were literally just observations and experiences that I and my dear friend and neighbor have had. I have mentioned my dear friend and neighbor before, we have had several conversations regarding the area in which we live and she has come to the same conclusions that I have. Actually she was the one that has incurred more of the racial situations than I. She is a person of color. I am a Caucasian with 'ism' and my DH is a person of color. Our children are mixed. If you are not a person of color or with 'ism', you would not be able to tell that our boys were mixed, they are all light complected. We also home school our boys. My DFaN has her children attend the public schools. Her daughter has had horrible things said to her because she is not blond hair and blue eyed. Her daughter has instructed her teachers in black history. She did this in the third and fourth grade. The other students in her class claimed they had never heard of Martin Luther King Jr. Maybe this is in other schools as well. As I said we home school.

All I know is we don't fit in. I have tried to interact with various people in the community and have found that I always feel as though I need to be fake or to hide some aspect of my life for fear of some judgement towards me or my family. In order to ask some one to leave me alone in this town I have had to resort to outright vulgar cursing and yelling, several times. Geez, I am just not used to that. Usually, if some one has done something offensive to you, a simple snub or polite explanation that you have no desire to deal with that person is enough. Not here. As my DFaN says "They make you show them your ass" before they catch a clue. Then they become hurt because you have yelled at them. Never mind that you might have had three verbose discussions explaining how you didn't want to deal with them anymore. You have told every one of their acquaintances that have called you on their behalf and various family members as well. I guess I am just unaccustomed to this small of a town mentality. I know I don't care for it. I find very little in this area inspiring.

I can already hear some of you out there saying that maybe I haven't given this area a good enough chance or maybe I haven't tried hard enough. I feel I have. I have been judged because I do not attend a church. I have tried to have intellectual conversations with people that look at me as though I am speaking some ancient dead language. I have met more small minded people in this area than I have in my 4o something years of life. Frankly some of these people around here just plain scare me. They boggle my mind. I have been blessed in my life to have conversations with people that have come from all walks of life. Some have had very hard times and others have had easy times. Some have even served time in the penitentiary system. I have had conversations with people that are extremely conservative and overly liberal. And yet, the people I find myself living around into their own little category. And I'm not even sure what that is.

So why stay? The brutal fact:We are stuck here right now. My husband lost his job and has not found another one. One reason he made the decision to return to college. He did not want to go back to the western side, find a job and then send for us. We do not have the finances to relocate. In other words, we are currently financially poor, so we have to stay where we are. For now.

As I stated before in this post, I am not saying any of this with any animosity. I know there are some kind people out in this area. Most of the ones that have not been raised in this area find the same thing that I and my DFaN have found. I assure you that I am not the only one here feeling, seeing or thinking these things.