It's good to try to make a go of things. It really is. I think it's safe to say I'm a "give it the ol' college try" kind of girl, fairly positive, with not a small amount of workitivity in me. But this Tennessee thing - well, we can just not take a shining to this place. My husband and I were driving home from yet another so-so Knoxville restaurant last night and we played our usual roles: me as the positive one suggesting it's not so bad here and my husband playing cynical man. (In his defense, he's very positive and forward-thinking when he needs to be, but he has been broken down, abused, trampled on). His rant last night could not be argued against, unfortunately. It's true - there's nothing here we would look back on and say, "Oh, don't you wish we could go there again? To that bookstore? To that shop? To that festival? To that restaurant?" Not a thing.
What confounds us is how such a big college town could be so lacking in anything resembling individuality or spark? Where are the great independent cd stores? Where are the awesome used bookstores? Where's that one bar that faithfully serves us cheap pitchers of beer every Thursday night? Where's that coffeehouse that can be depended on to play the right background music while we grade student papers?
But hope - that light through yonder window breaking - a friend of mine just got a job at the school where I wanted to get a job and something about his news made me a) overwhelmingly joyful for him, and b) hopeful we too could return to Grand Rapids, that place I love so much despite its dark, long winters.
So with fingers crossed, we plow through another Knoxville week, going without the meat and cursing the bread, hoping we get out of here before a bullet goes through our head. Hope. Hope ...