I usually don't ride through downtown on my bike ride, but this morning I thought, hey Ann Marie, live on the edge, go through a different part of town! And all I can say is DE-PRESS-ING! I go downtown quite a bit but there are usually people there barricading me from reality. This morning no one was out because of the early hour. It seems that every other storefront in town is closed for business, permanently. Maggie's Attic, Hart's Store, The Irish Corner, all gone. And there are several others too and it made me question why I told the Gallop person who called with a list of endless questions last week that this town was doing better now than when I moved here three years ago. I mean for obvious reasons it is doing better in one sense - I'm here. I'm important and vital and exciting and wherever I go things truly are better but in other ways it most definitely is not better.
I feel sort of bad for telling the Gallop guy what I told him about my town. Maybe I can call him back. It was a fun phone call. They ask you all sorts of things about your health and your kids and your access to things like parks and medicine. And do you work, have you worked for pay in the past day, week, month or year. Finally, after saying no, no, no and no I started laughing and said, "I take care of my kids, please tell me there is a question that justifies me saying I haven't worked for pay in the last day, week, month or year because I have to be honest, I'm sounding pathetic." And there was a question about that. They even ask your weight and height and my husband heard me say 5' 4" and yelled out "okay, okay, who the hell are you on the phone with, hang up the phone, who the hell wants to know your height and weight." And so I mouth the words "Gallup poll" but I think he thinks I'm saying "@#$hole" and he keeps yelling to hang up the phone and finally I just say "IT'S A GALLOP POLL PERSON!" I mean this really was the most exciting thing to happen to me in a long time and there was no way I was going to hang up the phone.
There must have been a hundred questions and I answered them all, except for the one about my weight because seriously, how does that relate to anything? All of the questions are leading up to what they ultimately want to know which is, do you think as a country we are set for better days. To which I say yes, of course we are, because I honestly believe that to be the case. I still love my town, maybe even a little more than I did three years ago when we moved here and there wasn't a closed down store to be found, but I'll probably just skip riding through town tomorrow. Oh, and when you see the results of those polls keep in mind that people like me have answered them, clueless people willing to answer many inane questions all in an attempt to avoid having to deal with screaming kids who don't stop screaming for the entire ten minutes the poll takes place.