So I have about three friends in this area, though I'm working on it. And one of them had a birthday today. I agreed to join her for a math movie*, followed by dinner, followed by cheap beer.
We knew she'd know some of the people at the movie, but anticipated an evening devoid of people we knew from there, unless some of the people we actively invited to the bar met us there.
None did, but we ran into a total of five people she knew between the restaurant and the bar (including two people I knew, including one guy who for some reason seems to inspire people to show him their chest hair in public, at least every time I am around).
And that, my friends, is what it's like to be in a small town.
Bear this in mind, too: This is actually the "big" town (pop. 23,000) in our area. The really small towns are all the ones around it.
*Your random factoid of the day: Last year, there were two different animated movies made based on Edwin Abbott's 1885 book, Flatland. One is short and filled with famous people's voices. The other is long and filled with the voices of people I have never heard of. Tonight, we saw the short one.