Fish out of Water

I was watching Suburgatory last night, I love this show, not just because the dad, George, is amazingly cute, but because of the fish out of water premis. I think I like it because most of my life I have been a fish out of water. For the first 12 years of my life I was raised in Oklahoma City, I am a true city girl, I walked everywhere. My friends and I would walk to the movies on Saturday, we walked to the Tastee Freeze and the store. Then I moved to Owasso, talk about a fish out of water, a city girl in the country. It was crazy, there were no movie theaters to walk to, no stores, nothing to walk to except a pond, creek and woods. Oh and my BFF Tammi’s house, thank you Jesus that was within walking distance!
She was a fish out of water as well, just moved from Tulsa, I will never forget the first day of school, it was Eighth grade, we went all day, class after class, something was amiss. Finally at the end of the day, we are waiting for the bus, and I turned to Tammi and whispered what did they do with all of the black people? In Owasso, there was only on black kid in our whole school, and Anthony was so popular there was no way he was noticing me. She said I don’t know, this is crazy, see we had both come from inner city schools where it was very much more blended. Even though there was very little diversity in Owasso, I have to say I witnessed no racism in our school, very proud to be from Owasso to this day, I claim it as my home town.
Next it was a move to Atlanta with my then husband, the only place I have ever lived where I felt instantly bonded. I felt accepted, and welcomed, it was the most amazing experience. I met people that their great grandparents had known my great great grandmother. My then husband did not fare so well and hated it, so move again we did. This time to Texas, first it was Las Colinas, then Plano. Plano, a place I really felt out of the loop in, at that time I think all of the women in Plano were stay at home moms and I still worked. We had decided I would work until we had a second child, we used my paycheck to pay off everything. Anyway, the garages were in the back, so you came home and left and never met anyone. One day, I parked in front after getting Jeffrey and my neighbor across the street happened to be out and came over. Vicki was so sweet and invited my little boy over to play with her little girl, Ashley, they became fast friends. In the meantime I was having a hard time finding a church, see I was FreeWill Baptist and those did not exist in North Texas at the time. So I called my dad, because he always had the answers, and asked what to do. He said to find a good Southern Baptist Church and I would be fine. Lo and behold, my new neighbor Vicki invited me to her church and it was Southern Baptist. So I took Jeffrey and went, I have to be honest, I never fit in, I was married but my husband didn’t go to church, and apparently you are looked down on for that in the Southern Baptist community. Or at least at that time you were, I felt the stares, I was very pregnant with a small child in tow and no wedding ring (fingers were swollen) I had to convince them I was indeed not an incarnation of the whore of Babylon. They let me in, Jeffrey loved it, I stayed. I then became a stay at home mom and Vicki convinced me to put Jeffrey in Mothers Day Out at the church. That is where I really found my group, Jeffrey’s teacher Jan was the best, she was pregnant as well and could tell I wasn’t comfortable with the whole leave my child to do nothing situation. I will never forget how Jan made me feel. like I was not the worst mom in the world and that it was ok to leave Jeffrey one day a week. She continued to make me feel welcome and to this day is one of my best friends. Jan is simply the best, I met other women that made me feel welcome as well.
I will say the childrens minister at that time did not, she was never warm or welcoming to me, however she was to the children, so I can overlook the heavy handed, unkind things she said to me during my divorce.
I will tell you what finally helped me to feel Plano was my home and that was meeting Linda, she was as loud and opinionated and out going as I was. It was like meeting me, and it was a revelation, I could be me in any situation and not care if anyone liked me. I tend to keep people who are amazing and yes, I have kept Linda. We were parted for a while, but once she found me again (thank you Facebook) it was as if no time had passed. We picked up where we left off, total greatness, she still is.
I have decided that a fish out of water is a good thing, those of us who find that we are one, we don’t flop around, we grow lungs and adapt to our new surroundings. We then grow legs and explore our new environments, we grow and learn and assimilate others to our way of thinking. A fish on land is a good thing, welcome to my world.

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