Where Are You From?

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As a transport to a new city, the question I get asked constantly is “Where are you from?”

I hate, despise, and detest all forms of the question. Because really, how much do they TRULY want to know?

California house heaven

Short answer: I lived in Nashville for 5 1/2 years.

Long answer (deep breath):

Well, I was born in Dayton, Ohio. I lived in Indiana. I grew up in Richmond, Virginia–no, not Richmond, Indiana, or Kentucky, or anywhere else. Then my husband and I moved to Nashville after college.

Mr. V was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in South Carolina, then his parents moved back to PA but he never really lived there.

Them: “Oh, so your parents are in Virginia and his are in Pennsylvania?”

Me: Oh, no. My parents moved to Pennsylvania about four years ago, and they lived really near my in-laws, but now my in-laws live in North Carolina. And my dad has no idea what’s going on with his job, so only God knows where they’ll live in a year.

Oh, and we go to Dayton for Thanksgiving. All of my grandparents and many of my other relatives live there.

Them: “Um, OK. See ya later!!” (rushes off hurriedly)

It’s not THAT confusing, right?

Heh. Some days I wish we had grown up in the same place, all of our families still lived there, and this was an easy situation to explain. But we’re Modern America, and I’d never trade in any of my life experience, no matter how crazy it is. I choose to believe it makes me well-rounded.


Does anyone else dread being asked this question?

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17 thoughts on “Where Are You From?

  1. I have always thought the same thing about the question. I have always just said "Ohio" since I was born there.

    Then, however, you always have the person who is also from there and they start asking questions. Then I have to inform them that I was only there for a couple of years and then moved to South Carolina and then on to east Tennessee and then on to Nashville and then…

    Does it really matter where we're from? lol

  2. on the contrary- I love hearing where people are from and where they've lived! I think it's fascinating. I know that all the places I've lived have made such an impact on my life that I like to see how others are influenced by their past locales. 😀

  3. LOL – yes! I just say "north Georgia" because I spent the majority of my life there, but I was born in the Tri-Cities area of TN, lived in Arkansas, Tr-Cities again, and then north Georgia. Then Atlanta. Then Nashville. Now Savannah. And no, my parents aren't from any of these places. And I say "north Georgia" because no one's heard of the specific town, and they get bonus points for even recognizing the name of the county.

  4. As a military brat, I never really liked this question either. In college, I answered with where I went to high school (East TN). Now, I answer where my parents live (again, East TN). But heaven help me if they ever move somewhere else (likely).

  5. Oh my, I hate this question especially right now. The standard questions when you meet anyone new in college: name, major, where are you from. I'm always at a loss for what to say! It's so frustrating!

  6. Although I have lived in the Chicagoland area for the majority of my life, I'm still an Ohio girl at heart. I prefer to think that my country mouse/city mouse mix makes me a scintillating conversationalist and yes, well-rounded. I like the question, but people's eyes do kind of glaze over. We all should be better listeners when we ask the question.

  7. Where am I from? I now live outside of Philadelphia but got here via Richmond, VA; Northern Indiana, and originally north of Dayton, Ohio. Any other questions??? It always leads to they know someone from somewhere close to or in same state as one of those.

  8. I always have to go "weeeeeell I'm Belgian but I live in Luxembourg". It's only two places and it's already confusing enough! People go "You mean, Luxembourg the country? Or the province?"
    And then "Why do you live there?"

  9. LOL! Mine is super easy. "born & raised" in the same city. And I still live in the same area! Just about 20 mins from my childhood home:) How's that for boring!

  10. My fave is when people start commenting on places and people around here, and while I've lived here for 3 years, I don't know them still. And then I get "Ohhhhh, I forgot you're not from here." I am a Virginia girl. 15 years there qualifies me.

  11. I dread this question, but not because I've moved around. I grew up in the same community, lived at home through college since I was 14 miles from where I went to college then married and moved to my husband's home town. The place I grew up was a tiny little rural community so no one has any idea where it is unless they grew up in that county. So then I have to explain it all out. And then explaining my husband grew up here, etc…

  12. LOL! 🙂 No dread here – my answer is always "I'm a native of Nashville"
    even though I was born in SC and lived in KY for 4 years.

  13. When we moved from MN down to AZ everyone would ask and then repeat the way I said Minnesoooooota. That got annoying after a while.

  14. Truth is, I love this question and I think that your story is SO much more interesting than mine! I read one time that this is a question that all southerners ask you first because they usually know somebody from where you're from- a relational "we should be friends", so it's actually a compliment! I think your answer is perfect!

  15. Hey Jessie! I normally just lurk but had to de-lurk today because your post cracked me up. I have the exact same problem. My long answer sounds short but has to come with an explanation. I always answer that I'm from Korea. Of course, I get looks when I say that since my blonde hair and white skin obviously makes me look like a liar. But I was born in and lived in KY for a couple years, spent a couple more in Indiana and then, from 3rd grade until I graduated from high school I was a Missionary Kid in Korea. I've now lived in TN for 16 years but I still feel like (and sound like) a transplant so what else am I supposed to say?

  16. I have the weirdest/funniest story on this topic. A few years ago, my mom, sister and me were on a cruise vacation around the Hawaiian islands. We hopped a tour bus and since my mom and sister always sat together (because that's how they roll) I was sitting next to a stranger who after we talked for a bit, asked where I was from.
    I told her outside of Philadelphia and she said, "No that's not it." Then I said I was raised in Texas, and she said, "No that's not it." I started laughing and told her, "I give up."

  17. I'm not crazy about the question either. It's complicated to answer.

    Them: "Where are you from?"
    Me: "I was born in Illinois. My sister was born when we lived in Missouri. Then we lived in Georgia. My brother was born when we lived in Nebraska. I went to high school and college in Virginia."
    Them: "What brought you to Ohio?"
    Me: "My parents lived in Ohio when I graduated."
    Them: "Oh, so what town do your parents live in?"
    Me: "Well after they left Ohio they moved to Colorado and then to Minnesota and now they're in California."

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