Everybody Knows Your Name

Every time I hear that phrase "everybody knows your name", I think of the TV show Cheers. So I'm not talking about a local pub here, I'm talking about a small town.

You walk down the street and everyone you meet greets you by name. Some stop and ask, "How's your Mom doing?" or "Any new jewelry pieces today?" Not only do they know your name, where you live, but they know just about anything and everything that you do. Now this can be a good thing and a bad thing. I happen to liken this to a good thing.

When times get tough,the whole town pulls for you. You personally know your banker, the baker and the candlestick maker as the saying goes. People pull together and help each other in any way they can. Weddings, including the dances, are celebrated by all...that's a big invite! No one questions if you're there. Doors aren't locked at night...crime is virtually non-existent. Kids go to a baseball game with their bikes and just drop them on the ground...no locks needed here. There's no graffiti painted on buildings. If it's a big blank wall, someone paints a mural welcoming you to small town America.

I love the big city life...lived it for many years. After a while, the anonanimity leaves you feeling a bit alone. I'll take that big wave I get every morning from the postman and the locals just driving by and travel to the big city for my fix. How about you? Would you like to live in a small town?
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Hit 40 said…
Your small town sounds wonderful. I do not know?? My youngest is a little bit of a jerk. I have tried to dejerk him, but not a lot of luck.

I like folks not knowing my name because of his behavior. We can go places without any one knowing who we are which rocks!!! I hope he matures.
briannelee said…
I kind-of like being anonymous, but I hate when I am walking around my neighborhood and I smile at someone when they pass and they completely ignore me.
I do live in a small town..but mine isnt as friendly as yours...sure there are those that are super sweet and will always wave and smile and say hi...ask about my kids and such but there seems to be an over flow of those that like to spread rumors and only THINK they know whats going on in everyones life.....it tends to have alot of hmmmm "clicky" people I guess you could say and so it kind of takes away from the friendly side sometimes. Sometimes Id like to try the big cty life where I just blend in with the crowd and no one really knows me or pretends to know what Im all about.
I love GOOD small town living. I have primarily lived in the city however.

I have experienced a small town that is not so friendly, as Dena had mentioned - then it is awful.

For me, ideally, I'd love to live in a good small town but close enough to the city so I wouldn't miss out on the culture.
Ideally, city life & country on weekends...am I being greedy here?!
Lovely NEW week dear! ~XO*
Hit 40..you are right about small towns knowing everything about your kids. I told our oldest daughter...who was a senior in HS when we moved that she needed to keep her nose clean. Within a week, everyone knew who she was!!Yikes! That's the BAD part of small towns.

briannelee..It is nice to be anonymous at times, but you never are ignored here.

Dena..Oh yeah, there are clicks here too and the rumors abound which is bound to happen. Most of the people take the rumors from where they originated...which is good. Visiting the a city is good to get away from it all for sure.

Everyone Thinks They're Good Drivers...That is totally the one thing I miss..culture. Even though we have the local museum, it can't compare to the big cities. The different foods, the restaurants, the theatre...all are missed here. Kind of a give and take.
Moonshadow said…
I like the quiet of my small town. When I moved here over 30 years ago from a big city I had problems sleeping the first few nights, it was TOO quiet. We had lived on a high traffic street and there is almost NO traffic here at night. My children grew up here and they and their children feel like the own the town. They walk around comfortably as they would their own yards. They know everyone and everyone knows them.
SoDear2MyHeart said…
I absolutely love small town life...our closest neighbor is about 3/4 mile away. I have the best of both worlds because we live about 25 minutes from Louisville, which is a big city with a small town attitude & a bit of an urban beat.

Out here in the deep ol' sticks, I can see stars at night, leave the windows open, doors unlocked & keys in the ignition. My husband can whiz off the back deck (c'mon! I'm sure he's not the only one!). I can go to the mailbox without makeup on, sing outside in my really bad voice and grow great expanses of green things... Everybody here smiles or waves, whether you know them or not and you never know when squash or tomatoes will magically appear in your mailbox.

I love to visit the big city...even like to work there, but you can BREATHE in the country...

Great post!
Rose said…
Well, I grew up in Boston, MA where Cheers still is located and yes everyone knows your name in the friendly bar. I worked in the city and loved every minute of it. I love the Historic part of Boston and being on the go all the time.

I currently live in South Florida and I do miss New England and the City and the change of seasons.

Florida, is very laid back and sort of lazy feeling and every day is hot. People dress super casual in Florida, yet in Boston they dress to the Max.

However, your description of your small town sounds quaint and lovely where everyone knows your name.

The best of both worlds would be nice!

Divine Mrs D said…
I grew up in a town where everyone knew your name, but if you hadn't been born there, it didn't matter.

Living in Manhattan, I have so many friendly faces every day!! The fruit man (Adreas, from Turkey) says good morning to me and talks to me about things, I walk past the two newspaper men (I know one's name: Souley) who are from Burkina Faso and they yell hello to me and wave.

I do not miss my small town (which sounds VERY MUCH like Dena's), but I'd be willing to try a different one, possibly in Australia...
I grew up in a small town and now live in a large town. They have their plusses and minuses. I am happy in the larger town but think I would enjoy a small town again too.
Hello Lindello said…
I like big small towns. duluth is 180,000 and i think its perfect. i run into people i know all the time, but also know where to go if i dont want to be seen! best of both worlds.
TheChicGeek said…
Alicia, I always admire the photos you put up and think, wow, she lives in such a pretty place. I would love to live in a small town and have a completely different lifestyle from what I have now.
Living in L.A. has many great advantages, but ideally, I would rather be living in a much more quiet and beautiful place. Some day I hope to fulfill my dream :D
Have a Happy Day!
Audrey said…
Alicia,as soon as I read the title of your blog, I started singing the Cheers song in my head! I wonder when it will leave.....;)

You paint such a beautiful picture of small town life - it sounds like the old sitcoms from television - very friendly, very safe, very protective. Both of my sisters live in a small community and they wouldn't have it any other way. I get a bit freaked out by everyone knowing you. Funny story - I went to visit my sisters in the fall of this year. Obviously, everyone in the town knew about my health situation, but I didn't know any of the people or what their lives were like. My sister and I popped into a small store, and a complete stranger came running over, hugged me and asked about my health! I was SO shocked. And a bit intimidated! My sister didn't blink an eye! I told her afterwards that the woman would have been arrested in the city if she did something like that, but I appreciated the sentiment attached to it.
drollgirl said…
i moved to los angeles to go to a school with 80,000 students. for some reason i always crave anonymity. maybe that will change someday? i shudder visibly when i run in to people i know at the store or on the street. i have issues! ;)
Maria Trendy said…
Hi Alice I live in a big city and I am customary. Your small town look like beautiful, like the romantic movies. Congratulations for your jewerlys they are very nice :)
Kacie said…
sometimes i miss the small town i'm originally from. (pop. 2000) now I live in a bigger town where i don't know many people yet... (pop 15,000) I like the bigger town better so far. the small town i'm from was bad with gossip and people who thought they were better than others. it's kind of nice to go back and know everyone, but i like my privacy in the big town where i don't know many yet. :)
Hi, Alicia! I loved your thoughts on small towns. I consider mine small--around 10,000--although there are surrounding towns much smaller. Still, I do enjoy the friendly nature and community spirit.

I wanted to thank you with all my heart for your recent comments on my blog. You have a way of cutting right to it--pinning down exactly what it is that I'm HOPING to do at my blog. The confirmation is a wonderful encouragement. I'm so glad to have inspired you. In turn, that inspires me to keep going. Thank you!
Liss said…
Yes!! I dream of a Tree Change. Unfortunately the facilities for my children just don’t exist in such small towns plus other current commitments keep me grounded in the city. But one day I do hope to move to a country town. Not sure if I would like everyone knowing my business but I do believe country living had good benefits.

A lot of our country towns are losing people to the cities because of jobs. There have been schemes here to get city folk to move to the country buy subsidising country rental properties for $1. The towns that are doing this have had much interest. Seem that $1 rent and fresh air is to good to pass up.
Beautiful post. The idea of everyone backing each other should not be relegated to small towns - I wish big city folks would do the same, but I understand how it is just more difficult.

When I was younger, the big, exciting city was often more attractive. But, now as I grow older, I prefer the quieter, slower pace of a smaller place. It would be my ideal place to retire to!

Sandra said…
I live in the country, but I am 1/2 hour away from Minneapolis. My child was grown and gone when we moved her, so I did not make a connection within the community. My neighbors know who we are, but we keep to ourselves, primarily. It would be different if we lived in the town.

I personally would not want to raise children out here. I preferred the city for that. Seems strange, I know. But I think the diversity and the opportunities the city provides are important.
Wendy said…
Thanks for joining up for Small Town Snapshot Sunday this week! :)
Julia said…
Oh, this is a tough question. I do so love the anonymonity, but I can tell you how exciting it is to be a place you love where you know your neighbor--nothing beats it!
NODtoMOD said…
as you well know, im a city gal as well. i love the small town life. easy...everyone is super friendly....walk to everywhere. clean and simple. i do agree with 'thoughts by dena', some rumor spreading goes around! :) xo
I grew up in a fairly small town and sometimes I do miss it. We never even had to lock our door -- not even if we were gone all day. And we knew pretty much everyone living around us. There are some thing that I certainly prefer about a slightly larger city, but small towns are definitely lovely!!
Oz Girl said…
I love my new small-town life. You are right about the low crime. Many times I run into town and leave the back door open, esp in this hotter weather. The mailman is a friend (who just announced his retirement) and the farmers who live along our road always wave when they are working in their fields. Most of our small towns have a western heritage attached to them, so they often have large murals painted on the sides of old, architecturally interesting buildings.

I'll take the close-knit camaraderie of a small-town over a big town anyday. I think my small town (South Haven) is really friendly, but Arkansas City, the next small town over which happens to be a tad bigger, is a lil cliquey and so I don't like it as well.

Ha,I agree with SoDear2MyHeart -- hubster can whiz anywhere he wants (what a bonus for him, lol). I rarely wear makeup out here (I spend less on replacing it!) and I can take the dogs in the morning in my jammies - no one's going to see me! We often leave the keys in our truck ignition, just because we forget sometimes when we're doing property work.

So, for now, I'll go with small-town living. It's nice to visit the city (Wichita) from time to time, but I'm always more than ready to head back home!
I've lived in both, and still do in a way (splitting time between England and France) but I can't ever decide. It seems to me that it depends in the end on which small town and which city we are talking about. I've know friendly places, both big and small. And the reverse.
That is a good question. I have lived the city life pretty much all of my life and if it's not the city, it's the outskirts of the city which is pretty much the same thing.
I think I would like to try life in a small town out. Who knows, maybe I would like it more!

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