What It's Like To Be An Out-Of-Place City Girl With 'Country' Values

by Sheena Sharma

I’m a born-and-bred New Yorker and proud of it. I love this city and all it stands for. But living in this fast-paced juggernaut my whole life has made me crave something a little slower.

I love country music and hospitality. I love starry nights and empty fields. I have no plans of leaving New York anytime soon: My work is here, and if I don’t have my work, what do I have?

But that doesn’t mean country livin’ doesn’t take a hayride around my mind from time to time.

We urbanites get so caught up in the hullaballoo that we lack the clarity to ask ourselves if what we have is what we want.

I know my values conflict with ruthless city living. They do say that the grass is greener on the other side, and it is... at least in the country.

I enjoy long, pensive strolls.

New Yorkers -- and city-dwellers in general -- don’t exactly live in the moment. They’re penciling in both doctors' appointments and casual coffee dates with friends.

I spend half of my time with friends deciding where we're going next. This whole "living" thing can seem incredibly half-assed at times.

Buildings are works of art. But inspiration can come from elsewhere. My time is better spent driving in the country as the tip of the road meets the edge of the sky. Nature forces us to stop in our tracks, breathe everything in and think.

Nature helps me get lost in my mind.

I like my men laid-back and classically American.

Chivalry is dead... mostly (I say this last part because I’m not trying to shaft the few guys who are still chivalrous).

It’s as if good manners don't exist anymore. And even if they do, city guys seem to be suppressing them in their pursuits to become unapologetic businessmen.

I’d like a good ol’ Southern gentleman who can turn on the charm: Someone who can mend fences with me around our pretty plot of land when we fight.

I’d like to be courted rather than casually boned, thank you very much.

I need a yard that boasts acres.

Brooklyn, we go hard -- well, harder than Manhattan, anyway. Despite Brooklyn’s penchant for pretty yards and parks, I’d like a real yard, one in which I can plant tulips and stick a trampoline for my canine friends and me.

A measly two-square-foot trapezoid under my fire escape doesn’t do it for me. A vast open space will do it for me. It will be a place where I can let my mind run free.

Materialism doesn’t impress me.

What’s that, prospective date? You’d like to wine and dine me at the newest “it” spot in Chelsea? Well, look. I appreciate it and all -- I do -- but that isn’t what makes me happy.

Hell, choosing which overpriced olive should go with my fermented wine is a dreadful process that I never want to think about again.

I’d rather we get down and dirty -- that is, on a beach somewhere -- so we can play with sea glass.

The shine of the sea glass will put the shine of your wine glass to shame, and the overall experience will be worth more than all the money in the world.

I want to start a family young.

When I travel South, I realize just how nostalgic I am for magnanimity. With open air comes friendliness, and I'm reminded of old-school America's values.

Like any other girl, I’ve had that white-picket-fence dream for myself ever since I was little. But I wanted to get a head start on it, too.

I wanted to find love, settle down and raise a family young. And a meteor hitting Earth will probably happen sooner than those three things happening to me in the big city.

I like fried, greasy food.

It took me a while to wrap my head around the whole organic craze that has taken hold of the East Coast in the past decade.

Sure, I tried it out, and organic spinach is great. It consistently cleans me out. But ask me if I’d like prefer thrice-washed organic spinach or fried Nutella, and I’m going to go with the fried Nutella every damn time.

I don’t care if eating organic foods changes your palette; my palette will always welcome artery-blocking goodness with open arms.

Oh, and don’t even get me started on authentic Tex-Mex food. Yummm.

Full-band jams beat out electronic sets.

Only true music appreciators will agree with me when I say that a stage filled with real instruments makes a stronger case for sound than a stage filled with autotune devices and bass subwoofers.

With its more traditional American sound and general viewpoint on life, country life dominates here.

The Southern mentality goes like this: Whip out a banjo, gather your friends around a bonfire and dance. It’s pure, unadulterated magic, and there’s nothing like it.

When you live in the country, music isn't just for listening; it's for bringing people together.

Blake Shelton trumps James Blake any day.

At the end of the day, I’m just a simple girl living in an anything-but-simple world.