Four People You’ll Find In Any Small Town
Portia Testa loves her small town. She doesn’t love everyone who lives there. Here are four of the worst small town offenders she finds stalking the high street.
If you read through this list and think to your self, ‘hang on, I do that’, consider this an intervention.
Living in small town has its perks. For example, you know everybody so you’ll rarely be stuck for plans. Or, if you get yourself into a spot of bother somewhere, it’s likely that there’ll be somebody around who could help you out, and you’ll probably meet the people you’ll be friends with until you’re old and wrinkly.
That said, there are certain people every small town inhabitant will recognise. If you read through this list and think to your self, ‘hang on, I do that’, consider this an intervention.
1. THE ‘I’M GOING TO WHISPER BEHIND MY HAND ABOUT YOU TO THE PERSON SAT NEXT TO ME’ PERSON.
Have I spilled dinner down myself? Is there mustard on my chin?’
Ever walked into a public place, recognised people from school, friends of friends or acquaintances, and been met with a blank stare, while they cover their mouth with their hand to whisper blatantly about you to a friend? I have, many a time. Whispering is incredibly rude in public, let alone making it obvious that it’s about you. You think, ‘What did I do to upset this person’ or ‘Have I spilled dinner down myself? Is there mustard on my chin?’
2. THE ‘YOUR INDIVIDUALITY INTIMDATES ME, SO I’M GOING TO MAKE YOU FEEL AS UNCOMFORTABLE AS POSSIBLE TO HIDE MY OWN DISCOMFORT’ PERSON.
I feel your pain.
Do you sometimes wear tights with ladders in them or jeans with rips in the knee, not because you bought them like that from the shop, but because you fell over once and kinda liked the way it looked? Do people with freshly ironed clothes look at you like you’ve come out in your birthday suit? If so, I feel your pain. Often, the people that give you such an irrationally disgusted look are those that consider a slight side fringe or subtle ombre to be a dangerous fashion choice. You go ahead and mismatch your clothes because you’re FABULOUS and you pull it off like no other.
3. THE ‘I TERRIFIED YOU AT SCHOOL AND I STILL ENJOY THE FACT THAT IT’S OBVIOUS I STILL TERRIFY YOU NOW, BECAUSE MY LIFE HASN’T EVOLVED AND I’M JEALOUS THAT YOU’RE MAKING PROGRESS WITH YOURS’ PERSON.
I spot them and feel a pang of uneasiness in my stomach
Struggle to fit in in school? I certainly did. I was overweight for a 4ft 4 child, had hair down to the back of my knees and teeth that needed some serious orthodontic work. To match this, I had a sense of humour that nobody got. Ironically, the fifteen big meanies still hang out together now. The only difference is that they’ve migrated from the classroom to the corner of a pub. Sometimes I spot them and feel a pang of uneasiness in my stomach, or a tight anxiety knot in my chest. I feel thirteen again as I’m met with their stares. But then, I remember…I’m not thirteen anymore and even more importantly they don’t scare me anymore. I’m happy with where I am, so I can just glance at them over my shoulder, throw them a half (reluctant) smile and carry on with my evening.
4. THE ‘I LOOK AT YOUR FACEBOOK PROFILE DAILY AND I KNOW WHEN YOUR BIRTHDAY IS, WHAT YOUR NAN’S MAIDEN NAME IS AND THE NAME OF YOUR FIRST PET, BUT I’M GOING TO PUT MY HEAD DOWN AND PRETEND I DIDN’T SEE YOU WHEN YOU WAVED AT ME IN THE BREAD AISLE AT TESCO’ PERSON
Human beings are naturally inquisitive, I know but if you’re going to add me on Facebook and like my status about how many apples I’ve eaten that day, at least smile or say hello next time you see me actually existing away from my laptop.
Do you live in a small town? Ever encountered any of the people I’ve mentioned? Others I’ve missed? Let us know @rifemag
‘We Need To Talk About Stokes Croft’ by Adibah Iqbal
‘Six Issues About Bristol Bus Journeys’ by Molly Perryman
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