STORY TIME: It’s a small world


Shelbie Goulding

Shelbie Goulding

Being surrounded by the same people for a week, remembering faces and eavesdropping on conversations is hard to avoid. My friends and I decided to spend our last night on spring break at the resort’s hot tub. What better way to end a vacation than relaxing?

A group of people were already there and said they overheard us talking about Kent State earlier in the week. We confirmed they heard right and that we go to school there. It turned out we were sitting next to a Kent State alum from Indiana and fellow Northeast Ohioans. Small world.

I bonded with the alum and his wife since Indiana was my home state. We talked each other’s ears off about where we were from and what we studied at Kent.

Two other couples were from Northeast Ohio and eavesdropped on the conversation. When I mentioned I studied journalism, one woman slurred that she taught journalism to high school students and started giving me advice.

As we bonded, we became the Ohio hot tub, even though the alum and his wife were from Indiana. As we kept talking about our Ohio ways, a couple from the poolside shouted they were from Cincinnati and joined us as well.

We talked about the good old Buckeye State and how all of our March Madness brackets were pitiful. It became a booze fest while we checked the score of the Purdue and Tennessee game, which was close and had my fellow Hoosier’s on their toes.

A man and his daughter made their way to the hot tub. The group asked if they were from Ohio, and the man proudly answered Michigan. Jokingly, we booed him as he walked into the tub with confidence and pride, but we made peace for the sake of a good time.

I noticed the man from Michigan had a marijuana leaf tattooed with a peace sign on his left shoulder. I asked about it, being the curious person I am. He said he told his kids it was a tomato leaf and his daughter nodded her head. We all cracked up while his wife, on the other side of the pool, confirmed his story. The laughter became unstoppable.

My fellow Hoosier’s ended up stepping out of the hot tub to move to the bar so they could watch the end of the basketball game and get more booze. The rest of us stayed to bond over Ohio chants and our rivalry with Michigan.

As we talked, we heard a cheer from the bar. The wife of the Kent State alum jumped into his arms with excitement. Being a little intoxicated, he lost his footing and struggled to catch her. They tumbled down and we all broke into laughter again. They ran over to let us know Purdue won, but we already assumed so based on their reaction two minutes ago.

We continued to share laughs, adventures and other conversations, but my friends and I had an early flight in the morning. We sadly said our goodbyes and hoped we’d meet them again back home someday.

It really is a small world after all, and it’s amazing how three neighbor states can make peace in a hot tub with a little bit of booze, basketball and good times.  

Shelbie Goulding is a columnist. Contact her at [email protected].