>Sunday Miscellany

>Abigail Thomas. Perhaps you saw this in the Sunday Times today: “My Husband Survived, the Man I Married Didn’t”. I’ve been an admirer of Abigail Thomas’s work for a while and I’m looking forward to her new book. She’s a member of the outstanding faculty of the Queens University of Charlotte MFA Program, but joined after I had already graduated.

Fuddy Duddy. It’s official, I think. I’m a fuddy duddy. Normally I find the manners of young Southerners to be charming (if somewhat disturbing–being called “Sir” makes me seem older than I feel, or feel older than I am, or something). Today though, I needed to call about 20 college students (for Northwestern University, which they all attend). Mostly I got answering machines, which was fine. I left a message that may or may not be returned. I got a few parents, which was also fine, more than fine, really, because the information I wanted to impart was also for the parents and it was evident that the students had not passed it along. And I managed to speak directly to a few of the students themselves. One, a young woman, seemed quite shy and insecure. A young man was polite an friendly. But one young man was abrupt and dismissive. His attitude spoiled the whole exercise for me.

You know you live in a small town when . . . the opening of a new road is excitement. VA 262, AKA “The Connector,” is due to open in a few days. It’s been open in spots for a while and I use it to get from the Interestate to my house, but now the full U-shaped loop will be open, making my trip to the north side of town far more convenient. You also know you live in a small town when the opening of a new grocery store is cause for celebration. I’ve lived here for 5 years perfectly happy with Kroger (a step above Food Lion, its only real competition–not counting Wal-Mart), but now comes Martin’s Foods, part of the Giant chain but nicer. The Waynesboro store opened a few months ago and I’ve been dropping in to see what I have to look forward to, but now our very own store is due to open . . . soon.

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