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28th Mar 2019

13 Things You’ll Only Understand If You Grew Up In A Small Town


While it can sometimes seem like the entire island of Ireland is from Dublin (at least that’s what , we all come from all corners of the country, and with that comes growing up in small villages and towns.

You aren’t used to the ‘city life’ and quite frankly it scares you. You’re used to knowing everyone in your town by name and their latest gossip story.

Here are 12 things you’ll only fully understand if you grew up in a small town.

1. Giving directions to your house according to how close it is to someone’s farm

You never really use your main address when telling someone where you live. In a city you can Google map it and find it easy-peasy.

But when it comes to living in the country it’s how you are opposite from the O’Connor’s farm, or how it’s just down the road from the local church or pub.

2. Everyone knows everything

While it’s nice knowing all of your neighbours by name and pretty much everyone who works in the town from your butchers to your local chipper, it can be sometimes too much. It gives you a sense of belonging and that ‘family’ feeling.

The issue is when everything you do or about you is known by everyone. And we mean everyone. Even the shopkeeper knows that you and John shifted at the club at the weekend and the gossip spreads.

Now everyone presumes you’re set for marriage and asks how many kids you two will have. For God’s sake, it was just a shift!

3. The local priest knows when you skipped mass

You decided to go out Saturday night to your local and have a few jars, but it turned into the few too many. Next thing you know, you wake up at 1pm on Sunday and realise you’ve missed Father Jack’s 9:30am mass. Shit. You dread the look he’s going to give you when you turn up next Sunday and ask where you were.

You’ll come up with excuse that one of the animals was sick and you had to stay and care for them. It wasn’t really that you were hungover and slept in.

You even have to avoid going to the deli for a chicken fillet roll because Margaret would have definitely told on you. Ugh.

4. County players are basically God in your eyes

You always attend your local matches. You even sometimes attend the training to see the lads out in their kits running around. GAA is just amazing in your eyes and so are their players. You’ve always wanted to marry one.

You have the latest jersey and even make trips often to Croke Park to cheer your county on. When you win a match it’s like your town turns into a festival and everyone comes out to drink in your local pub – a bonus of small town life fo’sho.

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5. Any hot beverage that isn’t tea gets you a look

‘What do you mean you’re not drinking tea?’

‘What on earth do you call that?’

These are only some of the ‘abuse’ you’ll receive when you drink something that isn’t the standard. Tea.

Maybe you fancied trying one of those fancy herbal teas or a new soup other than vegetable. You’ll get the look, the raised eyebrow and shocked expression. You wouldn’t dare offer anyone other than tea after that.

6. A teenage disco puts the town into lock-down

It’s that time of year again when the two local boy’s and girl’s secondary schools come together to have the annual teenage disco. And the folks in the town are not impressed. It’s as if the town has come to a standstill.

You steer clear of the town at all costs, sure it’ll be full of teenagers causing a ‘rampage’ and you couldn’t handle that. It can get out of hand.

7. Your parents main social outlet are…funerals

When someone in the town passes away, just about everyone attends. Your parents hardly ever spend any time out but when your father gets wind of Brian’s funeral on Thursday it’s all a go.

Your mother pulls out her ‘funeral outfit’ from the back of your wardrobe and your father even polishes his shoes. It’s a pretty big day out, sure the whole family and town will be there.

8. Learning to drive on the back lane of your house

The great thing about growing up in the countryside and a small town is that there is hardly any traffic. The lanes (which we wouldn’t really call roads) hardly ever see a car and makes them the perfect place to learn how to drive. You’ll have your older brother take you out in the car and show you the basics.

The next thing you’ll know you’ll get your Dad’s old car and plan those road trips to nowhere with your friends. Ah, the freedom.

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9. The local cinema is where all your first dates take place

The tiny, old cinema (in desperate need of a make-over) down past the sweet shop is the only place really to see a movie for miles. And everyone wants to go. You always have sold out screens and big queues to get food and it’s where all the boys take you on a first date.

Just look around you. Couples everywhere.

10. Your town is better than any other town

Nothing beats the pride of living in your town. It’s the best place to live in your eyes (most of your youth). The rivalry between your town and the one beside you is intense. Your town is clearly the better one. It’s home.

You have the better team anyway and best pub. And you’ll never think otherwise.

11. Your family constantly asks if you’ve “found a nice boy”

No, we haven’t found ourselves a ‘nice boy’ and probably won’t for a long time… It’s not the 50s, Granny. You don’t like any of the local boys.

If you are spotted with a boy or girl you get the ‘awh’ and fingers pointing. Maybe when you go to college in Dublin or Galway you’ll find yourself someone. But not until then because the cities are too ‘dangerous’ to go out in yourself.

You think will you ever actually leave?

12. Going to a city for shopping is a big deal

You do have small boutiques and clothes shop in your village but nothing like those in a city. You plan it weeks in advance. Yourself and your Mammy make a big day out of it. You get the train up to Dublin and hit Henry Street, you need to stock up on clothes from Penneys after all. Bargain! You’ll be the envy of all the girls in your town when you’re home.

13. You wouldn’t want to have grown up anywhere else

Although you may want to eventually move out to somewhere bigger and ‘more exciting’ that your little town life, it has made you who you are today. And you wouldn’t really change it. It was like growing up with a massive family that was your entire town, you don’t get that in the city.

I guess you were a lucky one after all.

Do you relate to any of these? Let us know in the comments below!

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