22 Things You Only Understand If You're from a Small Town

So many parking-lot hangs

It doesn’t matter if you’re from the backwoods of Arkansas, the dairy farms of New Jersey or the far, far exurbs of Arizona. Being from a small town isn’t about geography, it’s about a state of mind. If you’ve spent any time in one, you’ll relate to these 22 things.


1. You learned to drive at 11.

2. But finally getting your license was like a rebirth. Just you, Main Street and Alanis Morissette. 

3. You were most comfortable with your legs swinging from a truck tailgate--even if the owner was Sheryl’s dim-witted half brother (...ugh, OK, that you used to date).


4. Your mayor used to be your gym coach.

5. The cop who just pulled you over used to be your babysitter.

6. And that Piggly Wiggly clerk used to be the prom queen.

7. Getting mentioned in the local paper was akin to winning an Oscar.

8. And you’d subsequently receive dozens of cards with the clipping enclosed. (Marge, Debbie, Joann and Rita just wanted to make sure you didn’t miss it.)

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9. You knew the name of every single person in your graduating class.

10. And that’s because you all hung out at Target on Friday nights.

11. Who are we kidding? The nearest Target was an hour away. You were at Walmart. (Potentially a Taco Bell, if you were lucky.)

12. Other loitering destinations included “The River,” “The Lot” and “The Ballpark.”

13. And the only time you ever got in real trouble was when you couldn’t be found at one of those three locations.

14. Because you decided to play DJ at the post-homecoming bonfire and let your car battery die in a field.

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15. But thank God you weren’t grounded for multiple-prom season.

16. Because Bethany’s baseball-star senior boyfriend from the town over wanted to arrange a double date with his slightly sweatier best friend.

17. And you had that Jessica McClintock halter begging for a second wear.

18. Any other time of the year, though, you could only be found in either boots or sneakers. Because, LOL, gravel.

19. That said, flip-flops were always your greatest fashion statement.

20. The county fair was a bigger deal than Christmas.

21. You participated in anywhere from one to 47 church car washes before leaving for college.

22. And once you got to college, you were shocked to meet anyone who didn’t use churches or fields or parking lots to entertain themselves.

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Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...