When I used to talk about moving to a small town, people would tell me it sounded romantic, but probably was going to drive me crazy as soon as I moved.
I'm happy to report that counter to those people's opinion, moving to a little town has been absolutely amazing!
Since we tend to get the same questions / hear the same assumptions, I figured I'd make a micro-FAQ about Colfax life:
Assumption: Everyone's going to be all up in your business. That's going to drive you crazy.
Truth: People know of us, it's true. Almost everyone has heard of "the people who opened the soap shop," and I think people have had a variety of opinions about us, but this doesn't really bother us. People have been incredibly nice to us for the most part.
Assumption: People are going to think you're freaks because you have blue hair / a mohawk.
Truth: Actually, many people here have eccentric hair. Yes, far more have regular hairs, but we have four hair salons on the main street alone, and I think we have six or seven salons in town total. Four of the stylists are friends of mine and I'm sure the others would be friends but we just haven't met yet.
There's a gal who goes to the Railhead Saloon who also has blue hair. It's not as quite committed blue as mine is, but it looks damn good.
People here are dedicated to their hair, and people travel from all over (seriously) to stick with their favorite stylist here in town. The stylists aren't competitive with each other, since they all have different styles.
But the bottom line is that people are more likely to talk with us because our unconventional appearance is a conversation starter.
Assumption: If you haven't lived in Colfax forever, people are going to regard you as an outsider.
Truth: Ok, yep. That is true. Yesterday, a guy named Remi came into the shop. He used to have a restaurant in the Bay Area. When I asked if he lived in town, he said, "oh yeah, but I haven't been here long." I asked how long he had lived here. He said, "About 10 years."
If someone who has lived here for 10 years feels like an outsider, then we, who only have lived here a couple months, are of course going to be outsiders.
But it's ok. Like I said, people are friendly. They're getting to know us. No rush.
As I told Lauren, one of my good friends here, if we're going to spend 10 years here, they're going to have a lot of opportunity to get to know us, for better or for worse.
Question: Are you lonely?
Answer: Yes and no. Russ and I are each other's best friends, so we spend a lot of time together and enjoy it. But do I miss seeing my friends? Absolutely.
Thankfully, many of them have come up for visits, and that's really nice. If you want to stop by, please do!
Not only that, people here are really dang cool. I've been making some good friends in town, and that has been really awesome.
Question: Is everyone out there politically Conservative?
Answer: Eh, it's hard to know. There are a lot of State of Jefferson stickers on cars out here, which is kind of a Libertarian movement, but would I say these people are all Trump supporters? I don't really know. I think I have only seen one Trump sticker here, and that was on the freeway, so it's hard to know if they were local or just passing through. I also saw one Bernie sticker, but that guy's car had broken down in front of our shop, so he also might have been from anywhere.
One person at my gym has an "Obama Bin Lyin'" sticker on his truck, and another person has a huge American flag. The "Obama Bin Lyin'" sticker guy and I probably wouldn't be friends anyways, since that seems like a strangely specific thing to have a bumper sticker about if you don't like Obama. And I feel sad that the American flag has gotten all tied up in my associations with Conservatives, but there it is.
Generally speaking, I think people here are more respectful of different political perspectives than people were in the city.
Question: What do you, like, do for fun? Aren't you bored?
Answer: We moved from Antioch, which was a sucking void of culture. Compared to Antioch, Colfax has the cultural richness of a bathtub of yogurt.
There's an indie movie theater in town, and Grass Valley and Nevada City are a half hour drive away. The best bar ever, The Red Frog, is just five minutes away from the shop (and there's ample opportunity to swab culture there!).
In all seriousness, we mostly watch movies and TV at home. If we're feeling fancy, we go to Main Street Pizza (basically the Community Center) or Cafe Luna (a whole lotta love), or drive on over to The Red Frog (deck with a view to die for). If we're feeling like just having a drink around other people (who are not going to talk with us, since we're new to town and look like freaks), we play pool at The Railhead.
Later this month, we're going to a wine and chocolate event here in town.
It's true, there isn't a huge variety of events going on here in town on a constant basis, but we never got out to any of those events in Oakland anyways, so the actual impact on our lives is just nonexistent.
Plus, during the Summer, there are festivals and live music events. We're looking forward to that!
And... you're reading it here first... my hope is to make a little Talking Heads festival here later this year. But we have a lot of legal work to do before we get anywhere, so don't hold your breath. ;)
Assumption: HA! You're going to be Mayor of Colfax by the end of the year.
Truth: That position is held by a rotating cast of characters in the City Council. I may eventually get involved in local politics, but since we're so incredibly new to town, it seems like I should at least attend a couple city council meetings first.
There are a lot of cool things happening in town, and there's a lot to be involved in. For example, the Sheriff, Ty, has been leading a movement to make a skate park here in town. I know reasonably large cities without skate parks!
At the end of the day, Colfax is exactly the type of small town we wanted when we moved. We hope you'll come and visit and find it as delightful as we have.