Friday, September 21, 2007


Before I get much farther, maybe I should define what I mean by Interior and Exterior so that I have set the standard against which I can be judged.

After the last presidential election, I sat down and cried. My friends, with whom I had been watching the evening's coverage, had created a drinking game to help ease their pain. (It's a similar game to the State of the Union drinking game: . Disclaimer: Drink responsibly as your conscience dictates.) Since each red state represented two shots, by the end of the night the sorrow in the room had reached literary proportions. Cries of "Oh, the humanity" were quickly replaced by howls of "Oh, the Interior." Once everyone had recovered from their respective sorrow or alcohol, we were all of a mind that the interior of the country had sold us out. (Note: at the time, I did not live in W.Tenn.)

This was my first try at assigning geographical boundaries to the differences I perceived. Things are different once you move away from the coast--Atlantic or Pacific. Cultural diversity, a broader world-view, simply an awareness of other things beyond your own immediate geography seemed to prevail on the perimeter of things. Maybe it's environmental influence--the meeting of land and water. Maybe it's the sense of expansion that comes with "where could I go from here". If I was in DC, I could go to Baltimore, Boston, Charleston, France, or any points West. From West Tennessee, I could go a long way before I emerged from the Interior.

Characteristics of the Interior: continuity; tradition; lacksidaisical attention to politics, global OR national affairs; gas-guzzlers; disdainful of people who follow a diet that isn't a meat & three; loud where I don't like loud and quiet where I am not quiet; limited resources; limited influence on the rest of society; not interested in the rest of society; essentially segregated; provincial; lacking in cultural opportunities; less accepting of alternative lifestyles. You see where this is going.

So in making the decision to move back to TN, I had to grapple with what this means. By moving back, am I going to be the girl at whom everyone will roll their eyes when I start talking politics? Am I going to get the Stone Dead Conversation Killer (great phrase from my friend Emily) face because I order a salad at the local greasy spoon? Will people feel the need to pray for my soul when I don't vote Republican? It's what happened when I moved back to TN from the Exterior. Why wouldn't it happen again? And selfishly, am I going to meet Mr. Almost-Right-Except-for-the-Addiction-to-NASCAR-And-Mirror-Sunglasses-And-Gun-Rack-On-His-Ford F150, or am I going to meet Mr. Right?

Three weeks into the move and it has not turned out as frightening as anticipated. (Except for the banking error.) I've noticed some interesting (to me) differences between this move back to the Interior and the last one.

This is very long--Exterior for another time. Thanks to Newscoma, Emily, Holly, and others for the kind welcome into the blogosphere.

Currently listening to Heartbreaker by Ryan Adams.

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