During the heart of election season a battle broke out between the North and the South on my facebook page. The catalyst of the conversation was my status update over my disappointment in the North Carolina Amendment 1 vote. I am happy to say there was no battle amongst my friends over the terribly disappointing outcome of Amendment 1 (my (vocal) friends are overwhelmingly pro-gay marriage), it was a battle between the self proclaimed “Yankee snobbery” and the “backwards” south. Somehow the conversation turned to everyone drinking the Jersey haterade.
Jersey haterade is nothing new. People have parties over how much Jersey sucks all the time. I have to be honest, I hosted a few of them while I was living in law school living in Delaware. When all of my classmates sat for the NJ Bar I said, “what was the point? I’ll never live there.” (I have eaten my words on more than one occasion in my life). Yet here I sit, Jersey plates on my car, living in the heart of Red Bank, gorgeous view of the Navesink River, and just a hop, skip or 5 mile bike ride to the shore….and guess what, I don’t hate it. I started a graduate program, we’re buying a house….I am willing to make a 5-6 year commitment to Jersey. Just enough time to plot our next move.
This is where I get real about Jersey.
I don’t hate Jersey. I’m not passionate about it. I don’t love it with every fiber of my being. Not the way I love the Adirondacks. But I don’t hate Jersey. I like it for right now. I respect Jersey. It’s not all that MTV’s The Jersey Shore cracks it up to be. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of that, but they’re mostly from Bergen, Essex and NY (out of town for us shore peeps).
People from Jersey are proud. They won’t back down for anything. And once you’re in, they definitely have your back. People from Jersey like stuff. And they like to keep their stuff looking shiny and new, even if they did purchase it in 1989. They wash their cars weekly and have “manicured” lawns.
Jersey is called the Garden State for a reason. Did you know Jersey grows the most cranberries in the US, second only to MA? Did you know
that Jersey is one of the top producers (outside of GA) of peaches? There’s even a considerable number of wineries! We have amazing farmland. Exceptional Farmer’s Markets and produce in the summer.
Jersey has great music. I know haters gonna hate on Jon Bon Jovi and on Bruce Springsteen but it’s just those two. Ricky Nelson, Blues Traveler, Queen Latifah, even Trey and Page are from Jersey! Too many to list. Wikipedia that shit up! The music scene is fabulous. It’s what brought me to Jersey in the first place. The boardwalk is a whole other animal. You don’t know what a boardwalk is until you come to Jersey. In Jersey the beach comes with roller coasters, cotton candy, funnel cake and skee ball. At least it did before Sandy.
The food is exceptional. Exceptionally delicious and exceptionally unhealthy. No where else in the world is it acceptable to have a pork roll egg and cheese on a kaiser bun for breakfast, a Max’s hot dog for lunch and a slice of pie (pizza) for dinner. This is why I am 30lbs heavier than when I moved here almost 5 years ago!
There really are a lot of things I love about Jersey, but when you get down to it…I’m a little like Sesame Street when it comes to me and Jersey…one of these things is not like the other… I don’t get my nails done. I hate the mall and would never in a zillion years think of putting makeup on just because I have to go to the mall! I get my car washed maybe once every 4-5 months. I prefer fresh water lakes to the ocean and as much as I appreciate it, I am not a fan of the boardwalk. If I have to be in salt water, give me a quiet beach and a cooler. No rides necessary.
Jersey has taught me a lot. It’s home to people I love dearly (and I few I am trying to forget). It’s where I met my husband and where we’re buying our first house. I am committed to her for another chunk of time and I will appreciate her. Meanwhile, I am stealthily planning our breakup. It’s scheduled for 2018 or so. 🙂