But, about two weeks ago, I took a quick jaunt to Philadelphia. While I was there, I had a lot of fun, and I saw lots of interesting things, but, sadly, I realized that I am not a city person. I have lots of small town behaviors that are deeply ingrained inside of me. Let me demonstrate…
1. I have the world’s worst sense of direction. I’m sure some of you assume that my lack of directional abilities directly relates to my gender, but I blame it on my small town training. In my little village, there are only four major landmarks that someone would want to visit—the library, bank, post office, and pizza place. All of these landmarks are conveniently located in a straight line right down the middle of town. I never had to learn how to get anywhere, and I never learned how to retrace my steps. So, then, I am hopelessly lost and confused when I encounter a city with more than one main street.
2. I have become very accustomed to midwestern fine dining. When I am at a restaurant, I like to feel like I am in control, and I like to “have it my way.” You know, I like to order a deluxe cheeseburger but ask them to hold all of the condiments, the bun, the cheese, and then I ask to substitute the side from fries to a baked potato. But, at fancy restaurants, that is discouraged. And, really, I don’t feel comfortable at any restaurant unless there is a big bucket of peanuts on the table and a two-inch layer of shells on the floor. I didn’t find much of that while dining my way around Philadelphia.
3. I am not a very good walker in crowds. I have a tendency to wander and crash into people around me, and I am not good at controlling my speed. I either walk too quickly behind people, making them feel as if I am going to steal their wallet, or I walk too slowly, and people swear and push me into the street.
4. I tend to make eye contact with people that I pass on the street, and I tend to be a smiler. When I am in my little village, all of the smiling and eye-contact makes me appear friendly and sweet. Older people look at me and remember what I looked like when I was born, and people my age look at me and think that I have kept all of my stunning good looks from high school. But, in a city of people that don’t know me at all, I look like a creepy flirt or a target for mugging.
5. Finally, I have dog ADD. I lose focus on any activity once I see a dog in the area. When I was in the city, I saw at least 400 dogs on a walk. I basically did nothing for several hours—I just followed a bunch of dogs around a park.