The Girl With A Very Strange Name From A Very Small Town

Real Estate Agent with Cherimie Crane & Associates


During my time as a contributor for The Island News I have poked fun at many people in my life — my husband, my best friend, Momma and Daddy, my Mammaw and even some poor princess of pretention at my favorite coffee shop. I have shared their strengths and challenges with the world all the while hiding behind the mask of my keyboard. Throughout my entertaining exposés, I have given tiny glances of the oddity that is me. Now with tremendous trepidation, I turn the power of my pen, poking it directly at myself.

The unavoidable birth of Backwoods Barbie has magnified many of my insecurities, emphasized my obscurities and without a doubt painted an unusual, yet honest, picture of a girl with a very strange name from a very small town. Against my better judgment and with my best merlot, I shall pull back the curtain and dance on the public stage of print. After all, how can I continue to laugh at and with those in my life while hiding the strangest of characters?

It is true, I am a bit backwoods. This fact is something I spent the majority of my life trying to creatively conceal. My loving parents weren’t much of the doting type. I wasn’t told daily that I was special yet told with great conviction that I was a slightly different. Not necessarily different as in Mother Theresa or Dolly Pardon, more along the different lines of Ellie Mae Clamped.

This was a major theme in my life that came to full fruition once my journey to public school began. Having lived a good 30 minutes from what most inaccurately consider civilization, once catapulted into a classroom full of non-tree climbing, non-cow chasing, and non-barefoot best-behaved children, the label given by my loving parents became blindingly evident. I was in fact, different.

Fortunately my ability to accurately imitate the behaviors of others kept me from the state juvenile facility and fairly soon I was able to successfully blend in for a maximum of the eight hour school day.

While my sister and cousins were known for their beauty, I was told by most that I had a pleasing disposition that obviously complimented my blessing of coke bottle glasses mixed with a mouth full of metal and hair that could comfortably house farm animals. I suppose I should have paid attention to the annual gift of the book “The Ugly Duckling.” Thankfully, my parents were able to convince me that although Miss USA may not be in my future, Miss President just might.

To add to the irony of constant shock of my childhood twists and turns, I managed to land a coveted spot on the cheerleading squad. Most of the town, most of the school, and surely all of my family was quite taken aback. I wasn’t known for my coordination and definitely not my charm. My fellow cheerleaders were portraits of perfection and I resembled R2D2 in a skirt. Again, my ability to imitate that which is considered normal guaranteed my survival in this glowing, gleeful group.

My entire school career was a game of strategy — do what others do, never follow my instincts, and for the love of gravy keep my shoes on at least until 3:30 p.m. Basically, I learned that being me was a hazard to any goal I wished to achieve. This behavior continued on into college where the world seemed to be more complicated, demanded more unusual behavior, and at times was incredibly lonely.

There weren’t very many kindred spirits readily available for afternoon fishing, playing in fresh Mississippi mud, or climbing campus trees. It was impressed upon me to learn the world of fraternity parties, the survival of sorority encounters, and the necessary art of acceptable fashion. I had so many part-time jobs that I couldn’t attempt a sorority. Knowing all the football players gained acceptance at fraternity parties. And as luck should have it, my roommate was a fashion goddess. Once again, my ability to hesitantly conform guaranteed my survival in a pre-packaged world.

Upon release of the interesting captivity known as graduation, I chose to travel the world. Having had enough of forced normalcy, I ran as fast as two tired legs could take me, as far as a passport could get me.

It wasn’t that I didn’t love every second of college, I did, but my crumpled wings and flat feet needed room to roam. And roam I most certainly did. Right by myself, I saw country after country owning nothing more than a travel book, a toothbrush and a resurging independence. Contacts replaced my spectacle of spectacles, the metal finally came off and so did the suffocating pressure of being anything other than a girl with a very strange name from a very small town.

Of course, there are thousands of stories within my story, some best left untold and some being told weekly. Luckily, the strange and winding road of my life is better than anything even I could possibly make up. Somehow that road landed me in Beaufort, South Carolina, at a point in my life where I am perfectly comfortable in my freckled, sun-damaged skin with an opportunity to write with a voice I spent most of my life silencing.

I am still an odd creature and often run for the door in socially reserved settings. I dance any chance I get, sometimes to music and sometimes for no apparent reason whatsoever. I have been known to talk a little too much, enjoy wine a little too much, and often combining the two to create less than proud moments during less than appropriate times. I still find more in common with animals and women of the wild rather than the well-behaved masses. There are times when my ability to abide by social norms still is required and I do so dutifully knowing that it is temporary and soon I can go back to being the girl with a very strange name from a very small town.



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Whether you are buying or selling Real Estate in Beaufort South Carolina, We know Beaufort. Our little coastal town has something for everyone.





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Glenn W. Small
Bayshore Group - Traverse City, MI
Full Time Realtor w/ 21 years of experience

Thank you for such a great blog!  I really enjoyed your story.  I believe I can relate to it and understand it myself.  Nice Job, Skip Small

Jul 15, 2012 10:30 PM #1
Alan Kirkpatrick
Austin Texas Homes - Round Rock, TX
Alan in Austin


Nice post thanks for sharing. Hope you have a great week. 

Jul 15, 2012 10:40 PM #2
Wayne Jackson
Lakeshore Realty 208-714-4109 - Hayden, ID
North Idaho Realtor, Serving Coeur dnullAlene and Hayden Lake

Cherimie, Great post. It's wonderful to see there is someone out there who is not afraid to express themselves.

Jul 16, 2012 12:37 AM #3
Mary Elizabeth Allen
Lake Monticello, VA

Cherimie... I knew I liked you.  :)

While I did not grow up in a rural area, I was an Army brat, meaning I lived inside the military family bubble. Kids made friends fast, knowing they may not have long before moving to the next assignment. Parents already on base even hosted dinners for new parents to jump-start the process of kids meeting each other. It was a world where folks took care of one another, and childhood friends were always to be had.

Then my dad retired. Right before I became a teenager.

The "real world" thrust me pretty much into your same situation - adapt or perish. Much of what you wrote reflects similar struggles I experienced as I tried to figure out who I was while knowing I was a little different. College helped me somewhat, but frankly, I didn't figure out really who I was until about 10 years after that - and I'm still learning. It's amusing to me that many of my high school friends who remember the naive girl with the nice voice and the sunny personality have a little trouble adjusting to the more sharp-witted and sarcastic (but still mostly sunny) and more wide open gal who is less inclined to give in to societal pressures and more inclined to simply do what she feels is morally right. Throws them for a loop.  

So good on you for accepting and even embracing who you are! You've come to it earlier than many of us, and I think it means great things for you. From one tree-climbing, wine-drinking, dance-when-I-want-to gal to another: cheers! 

Jul 16, 2012 12:43 AM #4
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc - Gulf Breeze, FL
Buyers Agent 800-309-3414 Pace and Gulf Breeze,Fl.

Wow I have a vision of you being the girl next door type for some reason and for us not so fortunates that could be a problem. I bet you were ever much the beauty you are today. I wish you the best and good luck.

Jul 16, 2012 01:56 PM #5
Dick & Sandy Beals
Wilmington Real Estate 4U Wilmington, NC - Wilmington, NC


Beautiful story!  Your parents were are special, you are a great writer and storyteller!  My wife and I shared a cab with you one night in Charlotte....and I hope you don't take this have more than a nice disposition!

Dick Beals

Jul 17, 2012 03:13 AM #6
Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl
Hallmark Realtors - Clark, NJ
The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

Your differences are what make you special, Cherimie. And one difference I notice about you is that your writing is clean, descriptive, and engaging - rare and special qualities, indeed.

Jul 18, 2012 09:10 AM #7
Brenda Whitman, Live in Laramie Real Estate
Live in Laramie Real Estate, Laramie, Wyoming - Laramie, WY
Broker/Co-Owner, Laramie, Wyoming

Outstanding post!  You are an excellent writer,  I think I would like you very much - differences and all : ) 

Jul 19, 2012 08:07 AM #8
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Cherimie- Well I for one loved this post and learning more about you.  I love your line "  my ability to accurately imitate the behaviors of others" .    And good for you for returning to who you really are and running away from forced normalcy.  I don't know that you're necessarily "odd"... but you are your own unique YOU. 

Jul 21, 2012 02:26 AM #9
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

  Thanks for the Ah-ha moment!
Featured you in my Weekly Post!

Jul 21, 2012 01:14 PM #10
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

Marching to the beat of a different drummer is something I can relate to Cherimie........excellent story and so well writeen.  Best to you always.

Jul 21, 2012 08:36 PM #11
Patricia Feager
Selling Homes Changing Lives


I thoroughly enjoyed your story. You are right, you are not like other girls. As a matter of fact, you are an extraordinary woman who has lived a full life. I admire you. You have seen and done thing most people would never dream of doing - you are courageous, beautiful and smart.

In this world, there is only one you - thank God! You're truly amazing.

Jul 21, 2012 09:25 PM #12
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Cherimie-I love your name and think it is beautiful and not strange. I can relate to being different. Always have been and always will be. I have always struggled to fit in but always feel like I am on the outside looking in. I was also more comfortable climbing trees, fishing and all those things that boys are supposed to do. Who says it is ONLY for boys. NOT I. You are a beautiful girl and have MANY talents and writing is one of them. My best to you always. I love that you traveled the world. I will do that in my next stage of life. Right now I am caring for my Mom.

Jul 21, 2012 10:44 PM #13
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Cherimie,

I have come over from Kathy's post this morning. I couldn't agree more with her you are unique and I loved your story! So creatively written and so you! Glad to know you as one of God's lovely creations!

Jul 21, 2012 10:52 PM #14
Mary Stewart
HomeTrust Real Estate, LLC, Homes for Everyone - Wilsonville, OR
Wilsonville and Surrounding Portland Metro Areas

Cherimie, I also came over from Kathy's post and thoroughly enjoyed your story.  You kept me totally engaged as I wanted to see the next part in my mind as I read.  You are one who walks to the beat of their own drum and heart and I hope you never ever stop.  Beautiful.

Jul 22, 2012 03:04 AM #15
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


You write so well, it is a pleasure to read.  I love your story and the fact that you were able to conform but not let the conformaty change your true nature. 

Jul 22, 2012 03:48 AM #16
Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

Love your story! Keep on blogging and being yourself.

Jul 22, 2012 04:18 AM #17
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Hi Cherimie, great story, well told. I think you missed telling of a few talents in the writing area.            

Jul 22, 2012 05:45 AM #18
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519


Jul 22, 2012 12:38 PM #19
Irene Durocher
Coldwell Banker BUYERS AGENT - Boca Raton, FL

Hi Cherimie, a beautiful story of your life to the present day. When all is said and done

Be yourself always shines thru. Beauty comes from within the soul.

You have handled it well.

 Have a great day.

Jul 22, 2012 10:44 PM #20
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