“Where are you from?”
I can not count the number of times I’ve been asked that question in the last week, but I do know it is greater than in my entire life up to this point.
I must have an accent.
“Where are you from,” they ask, curiosity mixed with just a hint of suspicion.
It’s a trick question because few will accept the truth.
It’s always an odd question for full-time RVers… How do you explain to people you don’t have a home base? You aren’t “from” anywhere. If you say you aren’t from anywhere, they don’t understand. They can’t imagine not being from somewhere.
But these folks don’t know I’m an RVer when they ask. I tell them I am a full-time RVer and I travel full-time. And, still…
Everybody else: “But where are you FROM?”
Me: “I was born in New Jersey, but I wasn’t even two years old when we moved.”
Everybody else: *blank look* “So you’re from New Jersey? I know someone else from New Jersey.”
Me: “That’s just where I was born. I don’t remember anything about it. I lived in California for many years. That’s where I was living when I bought my RV four and a half years ago, got rid of my stick-and-brick, and most of my stuff, and left in my RV.”
Everybody else: “Oh, so you’re from California.”
Me: *sigh* “No, I haven’t lived there in over four years.” (Even though the Idiot Franchise Tax Board thinks I still live there… Each year they send me ANOTHER letter demanding taxes for the year prior. And each year I send them copies of all the nasty-grams I’ve had to write them each year explaining that I no longer live there and haven’t in years, and that I’m paying taxes in the state in which I’m actually living. I have sent them copies of tax returns I completed in OTHER states. But year after year we go through the same thing. It’s important to note the Idiot Franchise Tax Board sends these letters each year to me at my SOUTH DAKOTA address. It is moments like these that make me never ever want to set foot in the state again. I do not for one second miss the B.S. California bureaucracy.)
Sorry, had to get that out. Now, where was I? Oh, yes…
Me: “No, I’m not really from there, either. I’ve been in Texas three years.”
Again with the blank looks.
When I get asked the same question over and over by different people, I get tired of hearing my same old answer so I make it interesting for myself…
Like when I was younger and wore short shorts (and had a great rear end), the birthmark on the bottom of my butt cheek was visible. It’s a “port wine stain” birthmark in that it’s wine-colored and not dark brown. They’re fairly common, but that didn’t stop the regular questions about it: “What’s that??” or “What happened?”
It got to the point where I wanted to reply, “Oh for fucks sake. It’s a birthmark, you imbecile.” I decided to instead say, “Oh, that’s a mark left over from the kinky sex I had last night.”
To see their eyes widen and their jaw drop was priceless. I always got a great laugh out of that.
But, this time the people asking where I’m from are customers and potential customers in small towns in America’s heartland, and bible country. I can’t really pop off with a smartass retort about kinky sex, and whatnot. Too bad, though. I’m pretty sure I’d get a good laugh out of that one.
So today I just started telling everyone who asked that I’m a gypsy. I did it mostly to amuse myself. But guess what? When I say ‘gypsy,’ I see immediate recognition on their face. That they understand!
Most of them, anyway. Some don’t seem to get that, either. They just keep repeating, “But where are you FROM?”
Me: “Mars, ok? I’m from Mars. It was supposed to be a government secret, but you got me.” “Yes, just like the Men In Black movies.” “Yup, the Men in Black movies are based on true stories.” “No, I don’t know Dennis Rodman.”
No Man’s Land
I’m in the Oklahoma panhandle now, an area they call “No Man’s Land.” There aren’t many women, either. This particular town is not friendly, at all. It’s freezing cold, which probably doesn’t help.
The area is covered with thousands of massive wind turbines (which have cool twinkling red lights at night – it’s very Christmasy). I’ll be off work for the Thanksgiving week, and then back to endure more useless questions and unfriendly, cliquish shop owners.
The good news? There’s a town named Hooker. You know I’ll be visiting. I hear they’re very welcoming.