The county fair takes over your life every summer. Whether you’re showing a pig, participating in a pageant, or fundraising for your high school sports team, you’re participating and attending the county fair for its entire duration.
Whether you’re discussing people who still live in town or people who used to and have since moved to the big cities, social media can’t compare to small town gossip.
Friday Night Lights is real in your small town. You ask whether people caught the football game, but you already know they were there. And you just have to talk about that big win.
When your town is too small to have its own movie theater, there’s really not a lot to do on Friday and Saturday nights, especially for the under-21 crowd. Once you get that driver’s license, taking a drive to nowhere is a common — and fun! — activity.
You don’t have to worry much about your safety of your personal belongings in your small town. Your front door and car doors are always unlocked.
Sure, downtown is just a couple of antique stores, a bar or two, and maybe a coffee shop and general store, but that 100-yard stretch of road is the most exciting part of town.
Giving directions with street names and miles is for suckers. It’s a lot easier to call out your local landmarks than to name off all of your state route numbers.
When meeting someone from another state or even another corner of your own state, you don’t even bother listing off the name of your tiny town. It’s a lot easier to say you’re from Cincinnati than it is to say your own hometown.
When people really press, you’ll finally say the name of the town you graduated high school from. And when they inevitably haven’t heard of your population-4,000 town, you’ll explain where it is in relation to the big cities in your state.
You don’t need to specify which bar you and your friends are meeting at. Even if your small town has two bars, everyone knows what the better bar is, and you’re going to that one.
Mudding, the act of driving your Jeep or pickup truck in doughnuts in a muddy field, is the ultimate pastime in many small towns. Yes, your car and your clothes get wrecked. The muddier, the better.
Small town rivalries are very real and very intense. The people from your neighboring towns are either classless and uneducated or — much worse — they’re snooty and uptight. There’s no debating it — your small town is the best.
If it seems like everyone in your small town is related, that may be because they are. If they aren’t your cousin, they’re your cousin’s cousin or your cousin’s cousin’s cousin.
If you’re not related to someone in your town, you and your family have known them and their family forever. You’re friends with your doctor, your dentist, your mayor, your grocery store clerk, your butcher, and basically everyone else in your town.
While we admit this one isn’t a saying, waving and generally being friendly are a huge part of small town culture. You don’t want to be labeled as an unfriendly person because you didn’t wave back to the third grade teacher at the Advance Auto Parts.
When coming from a town that has (at most) a population of 5,000, each graduating class from the local school district is going to correspond with small numbers. When you grow up with everyone in your class of 100, a class of 300, 500, or 1,000 kids seems insane.
Though we know not all American small towns are in the South, this particular pluralization of “you” is synonymous with the simpler life. We blame Andy Griffith.