Life OTP

Initially I was going to post about Alton Brown today. Alton is the agent provocateur of Food Network’s Good Eats, which I adore.

Mr. B is featured in this month’s Atlanta Magazine so I went a-searching to see if some (or all) of the article/interview was available online. Sadly, it is not.

What I did find were some blogs. Actually one blog in particular, Life OTP, that caught my eye.

Mary Jo DiLonardo writes from an interesting perspective when you consider this blog’s vantage point. Her focus is on living and working in Atlanta when you live OTP. And I can definitely relate, graduating high school in Marietta and now living in Smyrna.

I want to highlight two recent posts on her blog that I think really crystallize the subject of the sprawling experience that is Atlanta living.

The more recent post, Notes from the Pew, really struck a chord with me since I’m one of the “Chreaster” church-goers. My wife and I don’t have a local church, don’t like my parent’s church and don’t regularly attend my in-laws’ church.

Still, I get that guilty feeling in the pit of my gut for being a lapsed believer. Even though I’m at peace with my own agnosticism, I know it disappoints my mother (sorry, Mom).

The point Mary Jo makes – and I think she does it with honesty and subtlety – is that she has conflicting feelings about these people, like me, who come to her church on Easter Sunday. It’s an immediate, Blackberry-penned, thinking-out-loud ramble that captures both sides of her experience: frustration and happiness.

Here’s where I make a little logical leap: I (and others) feel this way about OTPers when they come to the city.

I fully realize that I’m only half-ITP since I just work here, but I consider Atlanta my home. I work in Midtown and spend the majority of my breakfasts, lunches, late evenings and family togetherness commutes ® here. So I’m both annoyed and encouraged when I encounter Braves traffic or clueless drivers searching for parking near CNN.

I want them to be here, I genuinely do, because I LOVE Atlanta and I wish I myself spent more time and energy here. I nearly moved to Kirkwood this year but other priorities and plans won out.

Mary Jo touches on this same subject in a post from late March, Downtown. In her own words:

Here I was so busy trying to show him things that I had missed out on the heart of Atlanta.

But I need to remember that it’s worth actually braving the big city once in awhile.

I think this is the attitude of so many who live in the Metro area. Much like those “Chreasters” they want to come, but they only make the most obvious, convenient ventures. I’m one of them on some level.

Maybe more transit is part of the solution, I don’t know, but I do know that those two posts made a connection in my mind.

So the next time you see that Gwinnett or Cobb or Clayton license plate accompanying an aimless blinker or asking for directions/recommendations, think of Easter Sunday (or something like that).

1 Comment so far

  1. Annie (unregistered) on April 11th, 2007 @ 2:37 pm

    Good post. I grew up in the burbs, too, and feel much the same way.

    “Still, I get that guilty feeling in the pit of my gut for being a lapsed believer. Even though I’m at peace with my own agnosticism, I know it disappoints my mother (sorry, Mom).”

    Amen, brother. Right there with ya. My sis always says that she just wishes she could believe, but she can’t reconcile her upbringing with her lack of faith. I think a lot of people feel the same way. They appreciate and even look fondly on the traditional church upbringing, but then can’t quite bring themselves to believe. I know I struggle with it, but more because I wish that I could put on a face where the kids saw a “true believer.” There is something to growing up in the comfort of true faith. I don’t think my kids will get that. They will get a nice dose of honesty, though.

    Wow. Okay, not at all about your post, really, or remotely about Atlanta. Sorry for the hijack. Off to see my therapist.

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