As we walked through the Best Western in Roswell, I noticed that people sat in their rooms with their doors wide open. I thought, “Are they waiting for a pizza delivery? Why else would they just leave their doors open?” My husband, said “They are waiting for their friends to stop by.” I have never seen people do that. It turned out that the reason for the crowds was the Eastern New Mexico State Fair. I begged my husband to take me to the fair. He did not understand the fascination, but he indulged me.
I saw pretty much everything you’d expect to see at a state fair, but since I’d never been to one, the whole experience was pretty exciting for me.I saw a bunch of shorn sheep who were mournfully saying “baaaa.” I got to pet a cow, who tried to eat my belt. I was thinking I could put this image on some Moo cards…
Every time I visit this small town , I am struck by the friendliness and openness of the people. You sense it everywhere you go, just listening to conversations. People spend more time actually talking to each other. My father-in-law was an extraordinary man, and it seemed like half the town came to his funeral. Most of us don’t experience this type of strong family and community. Especially those of us who grew up in urban and suburban settings or come from fragmented families.
Human beings are social animals. We run in packs, like dogs (which is probably why we like them so much.) It’s that craving for human contact that compels me to get sucked into Facebook for hours, just to find out what acquaintances ate for dinner last night, or to dwell on random twitter posts and blogs. But I don’t consider social media a substitute for a “real” social life, probably because most of my friends are not “users.” They are starting to catch on, though, and when they do, the applications will become even more relevant to my life.