The Class is Always Greener
Last week I went to a cocktail party hosted by a PR firm my husband sometimes works with. There, in the rarefied atmosphere of a penthouse with spectacular views of the Chrysler and Empire State buildings, we sipped white wine and networked.
The place was packed with software executives bragging about their sales figures and their sailboats. A lot of people where there from out of town, from Pennsylvania and Connecticut in fact. I was having a good time until one executive who commutes from Connecticut told me he and his wife left the city when they started having babies. "We live in southern Connecticut," he said with a smile, "you know - where there's grass."
I know New Jersey has some issues, but come on people, we do have grass here! This kind of snotty, classist comment just pisses me off.
When I told Mr. Connecticut that I had, in fact, a lush backyard in which my herbs and tomato plants were flourishing, he stopped his monologue and wanted to talk gardening. So then I told him my blackberry bushes were going wild, that we were having a bumper crop. He said he couldn't get his to bloom.
This man was congratulating himself for getting his wife and kids out of the big bad city. But why do you think he stressed the fact that he lives in southern Connecticut? I'll tell you why — it's the C word. His commute means he's not home to see those kids as much as say, well, my husband is.
Yes, we live in the city. Yes, it's got a lot of problems and these past few weeks have been spectacularly bad. And of course, I have my own reasons for being defensive about where I live. Which is why I bragged back, not just about my blackberries, but about my easy, breezy Cover girl commute home to Jersey City, my access to great art and more wonderful places to take my kid then I could possibly exhaust even if I spent all of August trying to do it.
This is an original New Jersey Moms Blog post. Theta Pavis is a writer, editor and poet. She danced to Bruce Springsteen's Jersey Girl when she got married and likes to quote her favorite refrigerator magnet to people that piss her off: "My city can kick your city's ass."