Bits and pieces of my tenure thus far

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By Shannon Brock

I've been back in Anderson County for a little over three weeks now, and a few things have happened that don't necessarily warrant a column on their own, but still deserve to be mentioned in a combined effort. So here goes...

Last week's column

OK, so my "shoe" column last week wasn't exactly well received by some of you. You either didn't understand it, or once you did understand it, you thought you'd wasted too much of your life trying to figure it out. I apologize for the turmoil my metaphor must have caused you.

For those of you who still may not get it, what I was trying to say without actually saying it was that I dated a guy for four and a half years, we broke up, dated other people and now we are back together, which makes me happy - extremely happy. While there may be "more important things in the world," reuniting with the man I plan to marry ranks pretty high up there for me.

To those of you who read it, understood it and maybe even felt happy for me - thank you. This actually brings me to my next topic...

I have fans?

While covering an event a couple weeks ago, I met quite a few members of the community. Upon being introduced to these people, several of them already knew who I was, but were glad to put a face to the name. How did they know me? They did what you're doing right now - they read my column, and read it regularly.

As a journalist, I am constantly wondering if anyone is actually reading my work or if it is just being used to line a birdcage somewhere. To hear from more people than I can count on one hand that they actually read my column made me so happy I could have cried. And not only did they read it, they said they enjoyed it and remembered some of the things I'd written about.

To those of you who absolutely made my day Feb. 22, thank you, thank you, thank you. You keep up the reading, and I'll keep trying to write something you'll want to read.

How old am I again?

I know I don't look my age. I've probably written about it before, but I'm 23 and look like I'm 12. I've come to deal with it, but it still amuses me when people guess my age and end up way off - in either direction.

During an interview at a local distillery last week, the master distiller stopped mid-sentence to say, "Well, you're not old enough to drink anyway." I told him that yes, I was, and he simply replied, "Well, you don't look like it."

That very same day I took pictures at one of the elementary schools. One of the students was fascinated by my camera and wanted me to take a picture of her and let her see it. So I did, then she continued about jumping rope. After a few minutes, she stopped and asked me if she could go get a drink of water. I smiled inside and realized she'd mistaken me for an adult, an authority figure. I didn't see any need to confuse her and had heard the teacher's response to the same question from different students, so I just answered her question: "Not right now, you have to wait until you get to a rest station. Then you can go."

She said what?!

While covering yet another event, I sat at a table with a couple of girls who couldn't have been any older than 13. They minded their business, and I minded mine, but I couldn't help but overhear their conversation.

They had a little friendly competition going about whose "boyfriend" got her the better gift for Valentine's Day, and I'm thinking, "Aww, that's cute. I remember 'dating' guys in eighth grade."

As the conversation progressed, one of the two girls mentioned that her beau brought her gift to her house while her mother wasn't home. Fine, but he also stayed for about an hour until the mother got there. The girl said her mother was upset about it, and I'm thinking, "Yeah!" I'm 23, and I'm still not allowed to be alone in my house in Pineville with the guy I've basically been dating for five years.

But it only got better. The girl continued, saying she had trouble giving her boyfriend's father directions to her house because she lived out in the middle of nowhere. "I didn't know what to tell him," she said. "I go to my house every day, and just don't think about it. I'm so (insert random f-word here)-ing stupid."

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, she dropped the f-bomb, which is something that to this day, I just don't do.

Things sure have changed since I was in eighth grade, and that was only 10 years ago.