We just moved back to my hometown.
It’s about a half hour drive to where I work (yay! commuting again! and I’m totally not being sarcastic, for realsies!), and about a million light-years away from what I expected.
In a lot of very strange ways, it’s nice to be back. In a lot of very not strange at all ways, it’s a screaming pain in the ass!
Take the total lack of anonymity, for one. Both my hometown (about 10,000 people, unless you count when college is in session) and the town I work in (about 40,000 people, give or take) are pretty small. We’ve been living in WorkTown for the last three years, and coaching Little League that entire time. Rhett’s identity aside, the pre-op stuff makes him still publicly a chick. So we’re the chick coaches, which makes us pretty recognizable. Then there’s the fact that I work for a major employer, with a high turnover rate, so I do a lot of face time with applicants – adds to the recognizability quotient significantly. Add in the fact that I worked previously with contractors and their customers, and that my father was born and raised in and around WorkTown, and his entire family (10 aunts and uncles) settled around here…
A lot of people know who I am.
A lot more, in fact, than I actually know!
I realized that this morning, when an employee knocked on my office door to ask if I’m okay.
Baffled, I responded that there wasn’t anything wrong with me that a little more coffee wouldn’t cure.
He smiled, and nodded, and said, “Ok, well, I just wanted to check. My mom is a receptionist at the women’s health place in WorkTown, and she said she’d seen you quite a few times recently.”
I’m sorry, what?
I’m currently sitting in the waiting room, ready for my fourth appointment in a month. I have been in and out of here a lot lately, but as far as I knew, the only people aware of that fact were my husband and my boss!
So on the one hand, it’s sweet that he (and his mother) was concerned. On the other, I miss the days of big-city anonymity! Doctor patient privilege seems a little more fragile from here, I must say.
Apparently, the biggest thing I have to get used to is going to be that my notoriety as a kid seems to have morphed into recognizability as an adult. There are eyes everywhere, people, and these small towns never really sleep.
Wish me luck and watch my back, won’t you?