My Hometown by The Boss w/Ed Vedder (10.0) (N.B. How else could this be ranked?)
Ups to Spike on the recco, and for showing restraint in not gloating for getting to witness this show from the 1st base line at Wrigley. (N.B. But I’m certain this was the most talent he saw at Wrigley this entire summer…)
As 2-3 of you know, tomorrow I make the solemn journey west to my family’s native land for my 15-year high school reunion. (N.B. The first such reunion ever to occur as my class’s 10-year reunion was beset with leadership deficiencies, for which I take full responsibility.)
I have no expectations. There were times in my life when I assumed that I’d be welcomed back home like a conquering hero, and others like Buckner back into Fenway. I’m certain now it will be neither. No one’s opinion of me back home is as high or as low as I once imagined it had to be.
OK, this is not me writing about home (much). I have written, am writing, and will write about that ridiculously overwrought yet individually vital topic ad nauseam. I’m certain I’ll burden you with reading more about it in the future, but tonight I’ll limit it to a single idea.
A friend and I discussed a concept about home (especially as it relates to people from small towns) that I’ve stewed over ever since. I’ve decided to share with you.
I’m never going to live in my hometown again, ever. I’ll never set my son up behind the steering wheel of a pick-up and tell him to “take a good look around. This is your hometown” in the disappointed way The Boss does. But I’ve recognized that knowing my hometown is still out there is important, and understanding this belief helped to spawned this idea:
Most people who “get out” of small towns are happy they did, but everyone one of us “escapees” needs that town to still be there. We need always to have a hometown even if we never (or rarely) return to it. We want it to be there, but don’t want to be the ones keeping it there. We’d much rather talk about it anecdotally than deal with the weight of raising a family there, and have no problem feeling even the tiniest bit superior because we “got out,” like it was something we had to be strong enough to “escape.” So we can now appreciate it from afar like it was some hellish vacation we were on, but at the same time admire, with completely sarcastic intentions, those who’ve stuck it out so we can have a place to throw our reunions, to go back to reminisce, because we have to have that, we have to have a hometown to go back to.
It’s condescending, but I think it’s also true.
What do you small town escapees think? Are we a bunch of assholes?
So I’ll spend a few hours on Friday with people that are keeping my hometown there, and do my best to thank them for it in a way that won’t come off as condescending.
What do you think my chances are of that?