Hmm, I bet that is something my mother never thought she would hear me say. But it's true. Brian, Evan, and I spent 2 hours in the Georgia Department of Driving Services (DDS) and here was my consolation prize:
(Sorry for all the blackouts... but you know... identity theft and all that - and I don't really know who reads this... so - no offense)
Brian got a nifty one all of his own. I say we are semi-official because this is our temp license for 45 days until GA does some sort of background check on us and send us our permanent licenses.
Evan didn't get a souvenir but he learned the same lesson today that I did - we aren't in Kansas anymore. What I mean by that is that today was the first day I truly understood that I live in a C-I-T-Y (and yes, that is all capitalized for emphasis... not by mistake).
Here's the thing - and I know this sounds naive but it's true - I don't think I truly comprehended where we were until today. When we talked about moving here, I was all big and bad about how I grew up in Philly, lived in Boston, lived in an Italian city, and lived in Austin - cities were no big deal. But today taught me all the lies I've been telling myself.
Lie #1: I grew up in Philly.
Truth: I grew up in a suburb in New Jersey. As I got older I would occassionally sneak off to Philly (sorry mom) instead of ging to school to hang out on Sixth Street. As I got even older I would drive into the city to go downtown to night clubs and then drive back over the bridge. I even worked there for a time being. But, I never had to use any city services, visit any municipal buildings, or leave Center City. I think ONCE I went to North Philly.
Lie #2: Lived in Boston.
Truth: I went to school in Boston for 3 years (one year abroad). I never even lived off-campus. I saw Boson University, the night clubs, and downtown. I took a bus once to go somewhere in Cambridge, but that was the extent of my city living. I never had to use any city services as everything was done through the school.
Lie #3: Lived in an Italian city
Truth: Lived in a bubble of naivete in a small city in Italy. This meant that I stayed within a very small radius of the American school in that city and once again, I never had to use any of the city services.
Lie #4: Lived in Austin
Truth: I lived in a suburb of Austin. I worked in Austin, I spent every weekend in Austin, but I didn't live there. And let's not kid ourselves, while Austin may fit the definition of a city... it really isn't. I'm convinced I could tape a $20 bill to my forehad and walk around the areas of Austin that I know and most people would either leave me alone or tell me I had a a $20 bill stuck to my forehead. I'm thinking in Atlanta they would jump me.
Here's the deal... up until now I've stayed in places where there were enough people to call it a city. Now, I'm living in the city. It's hard to explain, but it's a different vibe. It's also an east coast city which adds it's own flavor. I think this will bring a lot of really interesting experiences in to my life and I'm definitely looking forward to it. I'm sure I will be shocked again and again about what living in a city really means, and I'm okay with that. And, I am positive that Evan's experience growing up will be completely different from mine.
Speaking of... and how is Evan handling all of this you ask:
You tell me...