I live in a pretty shitty part of the country. It’s beautiful here. The locals are somewhat occasionally nice. No joke, southern hospitality is a real thing. The people here as friendly as all hell…and perhaps sometimes they might be dicks about it. But the scenery is beautiful. The crime is low. Cost of living is pretty acceptable. It doesn’t completely suck, but it still kind of sucks.
Let me explain. Careers? Not so much. If you live in Sevier County, Tennessee you have three options: restaurant, hotel, or retail. See this place runs on tourist dollars. Tourists buy shit. It’s our job to sell shit and try to act like we don’t hate the tourists. It’s all about finding a balance really.
As far as the careers in this town go, I’ve done okay. I made it to management and have made some decent money along the way. As far as the holy food/sleep/buy trinity goes this place hasn’t been half-bad to me. My wife got to be a stay at home mom for ten years, we own two cars, and we bought our house at twenty-three years old. Like I said, not too bad. And compared to a lot of others around here, pretty fucking good.
Then I have to go and watch House Hunters. It’s this TV show on HGTV and my wife loves it. It’s usually on at all times. Most times anyway. If you don’t know, on the show a handsome couple and dog/children mixture look for a new home. They check out three homes that the couple seems to mostly hate because the paint is ugly/the fixtures are dated/the elm tree out front isn’t a spruce or whatever. At the end they fight to the death over who gets to use the basement for a ritual bacon sacrifice. I think that’s how it works.
So what about this show makes me want to go to college?
I get to see people in other places. This is kind of a foreign concept, but apparently in these mythical places called cities, people can make a living doing something other than asking if you want fries with that. When I was younger I thought, eh, those people are just older, of course they are better off. Now, I’m older and these couples are my age looking to stretch their budget to afford a house around the three hundred thousand dollar range.
Does not compute.
We worked our asses off to stretch to afford a $94,000 house. How in the fuck are these guys affording half-million dollar homes? So I started paying attention. At the start of the shows the contestants say things like “Mmm, hello, my name is Theodore and this is my wife Mildred. She’s a stay at home mom to our schnauzer, Little Teddy. I’m a web designer for a multi-billion dollar corporation.”
After a handful of these episodes, I noticed that none of the contestants said things like, “I’m Grady, bartender at the local watering hole.”
Hmmm. So yeah, college. Apparently these people in these mythical cities go to this extra school and then they make lots of money. Huh. I’ve been doing this all wrong. So yeah, after a daylong House Hunters marathon, I found myself looking into colleges and degrees. And now here I sit, waiting to hear back from the college application I put in this morning. Maybe it will be a yes and in six years I’ll be searching for that quarter million dollar vacation home in the south of France….Riiiggghhtt.