City Girl Amok in Amish Country

I’m giddy with excitement. Environments are changing…the mind cleansing.

This sassy, snarky, city slicker has shoved off to Amish country. Complicated and befuddled ex-New York woman, now residing in an uncomplicated, farm-ridden, Amish livin’ country. Wait. I think I hear you asking yourself, “What the fuck? What’s a girl like you gonna do in conservative, backwards, non-progressive Amish country? You’ll be bored to tears, won’t you?”

I don’t know! My brain is fried, goddammit, and hoarding way too much clutter!

This move has not been about a midlife crisis, (isn’t 50 the new 40?) about finding the meaning of life, or about trying to come to terms with menopause in all its glory―although, the relentlessly slowing metabolism, failing vision, and increased sex drive, should serve me better in the country than in the midst of suburban obnoxious turmoil.  It is also not about my sudden need to date blue collar men and stray away from the metrosexual. Yes, didn’t you know…women are into rough trade now. It’s become the new trend.

All I know is that back in suburbia, I was bored to death. I was approaching that slippery slope toward a life as a soccer mom and drill sergeant, adorning whistle and clipboard as I drag my son’s butt out of bed and haul him to games. My network of friends seemed to be getting farther and farther away, thanks to social media. In a traffic-ridden, congested, suburban town just north of DC―one that had become so painfully ethnic, yet lacking the “melting pot” dynamic, it became readily apparent that if I didn’t get the hell out, my life would forever be a sea of shopping centers, McDonalds franchises and Payless shoe stores―and to a shoe-obsessed New Yorker, this is devastating!

A far cry from the city life I once lead and the spontaneity I possessed, I would often ask myself why the hell I left the city in the first place. Ah yes, to be a big fish in a small pond―to experience something other than a fast-tracked and self-absorbed New York City lifestyle. Hard to believe that an opinionated, insatiable New Yorker like myself would ever give up ethnic food, pizza, bagels, and all the accessibilities. Aw, who the hell am I kidding, why would I leave those goddamned shoes! Sigh….I still mourn my coolest one-of-a-kind-finds, and to this day, can’t bring myself to part with any of my brooding black ensembles. It must be Attachment Disorder.

Call it a craving for peace and tranquility―a desperate need to remove myself from what was becoming an overpopulated county with more rudeness than this New Yorker was accustomed to, but I woke up one day and said to myself, “Get the fuck out, NOW. Leave suburbia. It’s horrible here. So I left.

Now, as I sit here lost in a sea of straw hats, black suits and bonnets, I find myself pathetically trying to score points with the Amish, practicing my wave to the bearded men in buggies as they dash by and glance up long enough to acknowledge this stranger in their midst. There is a technique to waving at the Amish, clearly one I haven’t mastered yet.

Like most people, I know almost nothing about the Amish except for what I’ve read…okay, Googled―and my fascination of these private people comes almost entirely from the Harrison Ford flick, Witness. Could it be that growing up in NYC, I’ve been so saturated with modern conveniences, accessibility, status and comfort that I welcome something different and maybe not so mainstream?

They choose simplicity and self-denial over comfort, convenience and leisure. I admit it. My curiosity is aroused and I find their bizarre behavior somewhat refreshing―but because you won’t catch me traveling anywhere without my paddle brush and blow dryer, you probably won’t see me converting to the Old Order Amish any time soon……nor will I be adorning bonnet, unless of course it’s bright scarlet.

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