So, after my lovely week with family on the Jersey Shore, I've returned to "my" America. The one where people wave on the highway using all their fingers at the same time (except in Atlanta) and when you buy a Sweet Potato it will be both sweet and a potato.
Not that I haven't been to or spent time in "The North" before, but a solid week's time to live among "Them" was a little different than my previous forays into the region. For one thing, I was the only person in the house who was born south of the Mason-Dixon line. Well, except for Uncle Luis who was born in Cuba, and my littlest brother-in-law who was born in Japan. Close enough, though. Jerseyans in large groups of fellow Jerseyans are not the same as those encountered singly while in the company of fellow Southerners. No, they are a breed unto themselves. For one thing, some of them really do believe that little baby chickens stay cute and yellow. How funny.
[Oh, minor digression: I'm talking about the Jersey within sight of New York City and the vicinity. Like, industrial and urban Jersey. The part of the state where they only say "Jersey." In the rest of the state, especially away from the coast, there are normal people who farm real farms and use all of the hard consonants provided by the English tongue for our enjoyment. It's a pretty state, and don't think I'm lumping it all into one giant borough of the Big Apple.]
Also, no matter what you're told by the media, "They" do not drive small cars, eat organic foods, and wear hemp in order to help the environment. We in the South, my fellow Americans, are not the only ones driving trucks and killing trees en masse. On the direct and opposite contrary. The only small cars I saw on the Shore were the ones that locals drive there year-round, meaning the ones that they don't mind ruining with sea salt corrosion. Everything new and shiny weighed at least 3800lbs and got less than 30 miles to the gallon. Escalades and Pacificae were especially prevalent. Every 6th car was a sedan or compact, and that's being generous (every 4th and 5th car was from New York and was also an SUV, and every 7th car was a police cruiser running a red light).
It was fun. The guy in the Italian bakery really did talk like the guys in Italian bakeries in movies. It was awesome!!! I loved it! I giggled myself unconscious, in fact, and we left the place with more really good food than you can shake a stick at. They really do have four-lane roads from which one may not legally turn left (one must go to the right and complete what's known as a "jug handle"). They really do never use their turn signals. They really do shop at Lacoste, Crocs, Fossil, Pottery Barn, Saks, and Bloomingdale's.
I can't wait for next summer. :D