I loved growing up in my small little touristy town (touristy because the town capitalized on it’s Amish population). However, now that I’ve moved away I realize there are things about living in a rural Indiana town like this that other people just don’t get, and probably never will. And to be frank, I’m tired of trying to explain it all (while inside, my eyes are rolling); hopefully the below will clear a few things up…
1. Amish and Mennonite are NOT the same thing. Trust me, I know, I’m Mennonite. Our church services are pretty similar to the Methodist, Baptist and Nazarene churches I’ve visited. Mennonites don’t dress differently (unless you’re thinking of Conservative Mennonite, which is an entirely different thing). We dress the same, wear the same makeup, love our jewelry and our homes are decorated just like yours. We have electricity, drive cars, have phones and are obsessed with Instagram. The reason I know you’re surprised to read this? I’m asked dumb questions referring to the above all the time. Please stop.
2. Yes, in the aforementioned town, many of us have the same last names yet few of us are related. I had, I believe, five classmates in my class of 73 students with the last name of “Yoder.” None of us were related. I did however have a cousin in the class ahead of me. Everyone in my town understands this concept. Everyone everywhere else is confused by it.
3. Yeah, we pretty much all know how to cook. And we only use recipes when we have to. Tatertot casserole is so common it’s served for school lunch, as are chicken and noodles (which are always served over mashed potatoes….literally, always).
4. We think tourists are the worst drivers ever. And we make fun of them on a regular basis.
5. The one downfall? The gossip. OMG. Events typically are like a really long drug-out game of telephone. And it’s generally pretty mean gossip.
6. Everyone really does know everyone. And when you’re a kid, even if you don’t think you know someone, you better believe your parents do and if you make one little mistake in front of a person you think is a stranger, you’ll hear about it later that day.
7. Probably almost everyone can use the excuse, “there was a cow in the road,” when late for school or work and mean it. They get out sometimes and they’re rarely in a hurry to move.
8. Tee-peeing is a regular fall activity.
9. Most shows about small towns, or Amish, or Mennonites aren’t true. I’m pretty sure I relate more to the Kardashians than to anyone on any of the small town shows that have become popular in recent years.
10. Basketball really is that important.
11. No matter where you end up, people always refer to this rural little locale as “home.”♥♥♥