Thursday, April 10, 2008

Strangers When We Meet: A Last-Minute Interview with Lacey V.

Disney character coloring books pages on one wall. A Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows books advertisement stand on the other side. On my right, my friend Cecelia and her friend and co-worker Lacy sit on a couch watching TV. I’m sitting in a recliner next to them. This is Thursday night at Cecelia’s apartment living room on Western Avenue. Originally, I was going to interview Cecelia’s roommate, but Lacy offered to be interviewed at the last minute. In this interview, 18-year-old Lacy V. gives describes the differences her life in the exurbs and life in Albany.--Alex Tunney

Cecelia tells me that you work with her at Friendly’s in Crossgates Mall. What’s it like working there?
Yeah, it’s not anything that I brag about. [Cecelia laughs.]

How long have you worked at Friendly’s?
I think I started around two months ago. [Cecelia]: Yeah, it was some time around last Halloween. [Lacy]: Yeah, I remember because I had fun handing out candy to the kids.

Where are you originally from?
I’m from Rensselaerville. Not Rensselaer. That’s a completely different place.

[Both I and Lacy agree that Cecelia is distracting and Cecelia is sent to her room.]

What are your favorite TV shows?
One Tree Hill or Scrubs. It’s a tie.

Do you have a lot of time to watch TV?
With work I used to not have any time. But now, I have a lot time. Not much to do back home. TV’s a big thing.

What was it like growing up in your hometown?
It was interesting. I showed horses. I went to school and showed horses. That was about it.

Who’d you show horses?
I showed horses with my dad’s girlfriend.

I mean who did you show horses to?
Huh, what do you mean?

Oh, show horses, like show dogs. Sorry—
[Lacy laughs.]

I’m so out of it tonight. Sorry.
It’s no problem.

Why did you come to Albany?
I still live in Rensselaerville. I just come here for work and stay here with Cecelia. Then I hang out here on my days off and it’s basically… hanging out.

Do you currently go to school as well or are you just working?
I don’t go to school right now. I’m working, taking a year off before going to school.

Do you have any idea where you might want to go to college?
If I stay here in Albany, I may go to the College of Saint Rose. I may go to SUNY Cobleskill if I don’t.

You said you’d probably major in Childhood Education in college, what do you want to do as a career?
I’d like to be a Head Start teacher to two- to five-year-olds, or have my own daycare. I do know I want to work with kids. I worked with kids during high school. I know I can handle kids, I can work with them. I know how to go about teaching them.

So what’s your impression of Albany?
I live in the middle of nowhere, so it’s different, definitely different. It’s a pain in the ass with the buses and everything. And people are rude up here. It’s definitely different than living in a small town.

Do you have any idea where you would live if you moved here?
Probably in Denise’s brother’s apartment in the downtown area. His place is right off of Quail Street.

Are you worried about moving into Downtown Albany a.k.a. the Student Ghetto?
Yes and no, kind of. [starts to play with a lighter.]

What things would bother you?
People, I don’t like people. I don’t like strangers. I won’t ride the bus by myself.

Would you say it’s just people in Albany or are you talking in general?
In general, I just don’t like strange people.

Do you consider everybody strange or certain people?
Its people I don’t know. The thing about growing up in a small town means that everybody knows everybody. In Albany, it’s a bunch of new people. I’m not a big fan of change. I like things to stay the same.

But you’re cool with Cecelia?
I don’t like meeting new people but when I do get to know them, then I’m fine. It’s kinda complicated.

Speaking of which: Cecelia, you can come out now!
Yeah, you’re time-out is over! [laughs]