Sunday, October 16, 2005

Hometown Freebie

There has been something on my mind that I really want to talk about. Now I know that I'm starting as if this is the first time that I've talked about this, don't be misled. I have been rattling off about this all week. I just decided it was just big enough for me to blog about it. Just big enough by this much (picture a tiny space).

I had originally resolved to not tell my exact place of residence because I was sure to be posting some pretty explicit stuff and I didn't really want it to be traced back to me. You know, legal name me. But what the hell...

I grew up in a small city called Tallahassee, Florida. Yep, moved here when I was five. I left when I was twenty-one and lo and behold...I'm back at twenty-three. I know, couldn't stay away. I think I enjoyed growing up here. I think. I do remember not liking the fact that all the Nickelodeon tours and the cool-ass concerts NEVER came to Tallahassee. The biggest shows to ever come during my youth was Boyz II Men and MC Hammer. Hammer don't hurt 'em! And we are still talking about it.
It is actually a cozy place, the capital city of Florida 50% middle class and lot's of trees. It is the perfect little city for a pretty young girl to write poems about leaving. Oh my gosh!!! I was going to leave this town and never come back! Tallahassee is like a free standing suburb without that big city. However, I ultimately stayed for college and Tally IS only the best college town in the world. Florida State and Florida A&M in one town with nothing else to do? A big football school and one of the biggest HBCU's? As I look back, I truly marvel at my ablity to graduate. It wasn't like they were giving college credit for mastering the skill of appearing sober when clearly wasted nor keeping the straight face when you realize that you slept with two best friends. If they were, some of my friends would have actually graduated and I could have boosted my GPA.

When I did finally move away for graduate school I was shocked to see how much I missed my hometown and I moved to New Orleans and lived downtown within walking distance of Bourbon St (just to help you put things in perspective). I missed Tallahassee bitterly, I missed the trees, I missed not seeing poor people look really, really poor. I missed the fact that stop lights had a 3 second delay before the crossing traffic turned green. You know safety, stuff like that. Who freaking knew? So now that I have returned to living in a collegetown that I went to college in oh, and let's not forget grew up plotting my escape of...I feel...I feel well, I feel very happy to be here. I feel delighted. ( Ya'll might have to wipe your computer screens because those statements are driping with sarcasm.)

I might have always wished to leave here and might not be as delighted as I should be to be back (Doctoral program aside). But at least I still claim the damn place! There is this like...phenomenon...this mass display of rejection taking place. Since college mofo's that I have known since grade school want to straight up, bold face lie and tell people that they were from Miami and St. Louis and shit! What!?! "Well, I was born in Jacksonville." Hell, I was born in Georgia. If I was in Vacation Bible School with you, you might be from Tallahassee. If you were in my kindergarten class on through high school you are not from Maryland!! You can't be. Stop lying! All you dudes "from New York", c'mon man! You moved to Florida when you were nine man!! Drop the MTV/BET manufactured accent. I don't believe you. Now I will say this, my parents are Nigerian immigrants and I could say that I was from Nigeria when people ask me where I'm from. But that depends on the context. Clearly you are not supposed to answer "Nigeria" unless people are refering to your heritage while displaying the screwed face as they are trying to pronounce your name. If you were stuffed in the "Kids room" during those long Nigerian parties along with me...don't use Nigeria as a cover up.

I am not sure if it is the need during college to re-invent yourself but this madness has got to stop. I had someone from my high school class win the Rhodes Scholarship and she claimed she was from some random place in the Mid-West! Are you kidding!?! I know it was hard during college to have people talk bad about the "locals" and make Tallahassee sound like garbage because we didn't have all the stuff from Orlando, Tampa and we didn't have our own dances or a beach. But are you really going to let some post-adolescent homesick bastards make you deny your own background? Really? Okay well, how about now that you are grown and should know better? Get the hell over's not like Tallahassee ain't on the the map! I will say that Tally is on the come up and is certainly 3 times bigger than it was 15 years ago and we are getting bigger concerts. I will not tolerate anyone talking shit about my hometown (unless you are from here and claim it) nor will I twiddle my thumbs as I witness folks I have known since I had a crush on Tevin Campbell damn near change their whole life story. You know who you are and you will be called out. Take this as a warning...I am a giving them out for free.
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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:17 PM

    Girl, real as life! Stay reppin' Tally Ho.


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