Warrior Words: In defense of Wilton

Just because you’re eager to leave somewhere, it doesn’t mean the place from which you’re departing is automatically terrible.

Before my peers burn me at the stake for daring to write a column defending the impenetrable bubble of Wilton, let me just address that I fully understand anyone who doesn’t like it here. I know that there are people who are dissatisfied with their own lives and therefore seek to be better than others through materialistic gains and overall rude behavior. There are also only like four shops in our downtown, and our library still uses PCs instead of Apple computers. I get it! But let me try to convince you that our little slice of Connecticut isn’t all snobs and overpriced sweet shops — or at least to help you cherish the time you have left here.

I have lived in Wilton since I was seven years old, and some of the best people I’ve ever met come from this town. Granted, some of the worst people I have ever met come from here too — but that’s beside the point. People, my peers in particular, know that life here can get rough. School is competitive and people can be mean, but kids with goodness in them (of whom there are many) combat that harsh nature with kindness every day. Living in a stereotypically snobby town brings out the humility in people who want to prove stereotypes wrong.

Now for the town itself — half a pinpoint that fits somewhere between familiarity and boredom. The area is small but the way I see it, small just means navigable. In short: it’s home. I know that Schenck’s Island is beautiful right after sunrise, and I know to get marinara sauce on the side when I order a chicken parm sandwich from Wilton Pizza. The worker at Wilton Deli recognizes my order before I even say it and I can’t go into Orem’s Diner without seeing someone I know. Where some people are bothered by the smallness, I am comforted by it. When I leave to wherever I am going to college, I have to relearn the little quirks all over again. Maybe I’m not in love with the town itself, but with the familiarity and the memories I’ve attached to it.

As seniors, we only have a short time to soak up that familiarity before it becomes foreign to us. I’ve realized that if I spend my last few months vilifying the community that raised me, then I won’t be able to enjoy my remaining time with it. Yes, I’m excited to leave and find comfort in new places, but it’s a complete waste of time to throw away what I already have here only to replace it with empty anticipation that won’t be fulfilled until next August.

Until then, I will eat all the lo mein from Hunan that I can, walk my dogs across the Merwin Meadows field and spend lots of time in the library even when I’m not clocked in for work. I will appreciate this town until it’s in my rearview mirror. I will seek the good out in all-too-familiar Wiltonians who just want to leave and remind them that when they do, they leave a piece of themselves in town center — maybe somewhere near the gazebo that has absolutely no purpose.

Brooke Amodei is a senior at Wilton High School. She shares this column with four classmates.