Posted by: mesabimisadventures | June 14, 2009

A Modern Take on a Not-Modern Parable

We were sitting at the Sawmill one calm, attempting-to-be-warm June evening. 

A group of young women enjoying an evening out on the front porch.  Drinking our drinks, eating our food, generally enjoying ourselves.

A young man drives up, parks his car, walks up into the porch and flashes a million-dollar smile.

“Hey ladies!” (I hate when they’re smarmy and so few men can really pull off the word “ladies”) “Wanna’ celebrate with me?  I just had a job interview up here and I’m pretty confident that I landed the job.”  He seemed half-decent so we invited him over for a drink at our table.

“So what’s it like living up here?  I’ve heard about Da Range, but I’m still willing to try living up here I guess.  I mean, it’s a recession and I need a job” he said semi-arrogantly.

“Ih, you know how it is” my friend said, shrugging her shoulders.  “What’s it like where you’re coming from?” she asked with a hint of defensive sass in her voice.

“Ah man, the people are so lame.  There’s nothing to do, the town is just dead.  All anyone does is drink and they’re just a bunch of rednecks.  Everyone’s a backstabber, only worried about themselves, ya’ know what I mean?” he responded.  “I’m just so bored there, I gotta’ get out.”

She nodded her head in agreement, “yep, hate to tell you, but that’s pretty much what you’re going to find here too.” 

I looked over at her with a look of “huh?” and she smirked back, so I kept my mouth shut.

The guy stuck around for a little while, but got restless and said he needed to go inside to the bar to see if there was more action in there.

Later on that evening, a guy in his early 20s came out of the bar to have a smoke, saw us sitting there and said hi.  We smiled, said hello back and moved back into our conversation. 

He finished his cigarette, came over to our table, said “are you all from here?” and waved towards Virginia.  We nodded and said that we were basically all from the area.

“I was just talking to this guy at the bar who said that he wasn’t sure about moving up here anymore after talking to you because it sounded like this area sucked just as bad as the area he lives in now.  Does it really?  I seriously hope not because the company I work for wants to transfer me up here and well, I really like where I’m living now” he said to us with a desperate look on his face.

My friend smiled gently and said “what’s it like where you live now?”

“The people are awesome.  They watch out for you.  They lend a hand when you need it.  It’s just a really friendly place” he gushed out.  “Sounds nice” she replied.  He kept going, “There’s always stuff going on and I’m worried up here that there won’t be things to do, other than drink.”  We all looked down at our drinks sheepishly.

My friend smiled confidently and said “don’t worry about it.  It’s not that much different here.  It might take awhile to settle in, but it’s like that anywhere.  You’ll know your neighbors if you want to and you’ll get to be a part of the community if you choose to do so.  There’s a ton of outdoor activities in all seasons and the Arts exist here too, you just have to look a little more than in some places.  It’ll be fine, I promise.”

He smiled back in relief and after some more small talk about the weather and how summer is predicted to fall on a weekend this year, he excused himself and went back into the bar.

I looked over at my friend with a questioning look. 

She grinned her Cheshire Cat grin which usually implies she’s up to no good and said to all of us…

“You see what you want to see.  You create your world.  The first guy that came and talked to us WILL think it sucks up here because he will think EVERY place he lives is a sucky place to live.  The guy that just walked back into the bar WILL be happy up here once he makes some friends and figures the crucial things out, like where to find the blue garbage bags.  You get out of the world what you choose to get out of the world.”

We raised our glasses in agreement and continued on with our girls’ night.

*None of this really happened, although I had no problems visualizing a certain one of my friends handling the situation this way if it ever presented itself.  This is a retelling of an old parable (are there young ones?) about an old man, a young boy and the gated entrance to a city.  Cheers!*



  1. Right on.

  2. Cheers!

  3. Oh, so true.

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