where i'm from  

brenna martin



Because I say things like "socks and slides" and "going down the shore", people sometimes wonder where I’m from.

If I told them that I’m from Delco, right on the border of Springfield and Marple, they’d probably have no idea what I’m talking about, which is understandable, because where I’m from, you’re more likely to see lost drivers trying to find the Wal-Mart than a neighbor outside of their house.

Where I’m from used to be nothing but old people and babies. Now it’s mostly babies. The old folks who remain mourn over the close-knit neighborhood that once was.

Where I’m from, people used to talk to each other and know each other’s names, but the fences grew taller and the houses changed hands. Now, homes are just houses.

Where I’m from, you can tell who has money and free time by how much they have in their front yards. The whole neighborhood was built over a quarry, so if you wanted a garden, you’d better have the cash to buy your own dirt or expect only weeds. My family cheated by using chia seeds and wheatgrass.

Where I’m from, I’ve got the luxury of having twenty libraries to choose from. Okay, so some of them are a bit crappy (looking at you, Newtown Square), but I’m determined to visit every one of them at least once.

Where I’m from, the rich kids get their Christmas trees from O’Hara, while the rest of us go to whatever big-box store has the best deal. If all else fails, Produce Junction is usually reasonable.

Where I’m from is the same place my mom’s from, and according to her, the things that have stayed the same are about even to the things that have changed. The Seafood Shanty’s a bank now, but the chocolate-maker’s still there. A lot of people she grew up with stuck around, but they’ve changed so much that she can barely recognize them. Her childhood house is still there, but it’s not the same. After so many years and so much change, it’ll never be the same.

Where I’m from, half the kids I grew up with couldn’t shut up about the day they would leave and never come back. They were going to get out of this sleepy suburb to go somewhere exciting. Now I see their Facebook posts about how much they miss the quiet.

Where I’m from is where I hope to stay. Even with the boredom and the nameless faces of neighbors, I should know that where I’m from is the only place I’ve ever been from. I don’t ever plan to leave.

Brenna Martin is a sophomore English major.