I Hate This Place Part II; Or, I am a SnobMay 8th, 2007
by Jordan E. Rosenfeld
SAN FRANCISCO, CA-
My mother was never very good at teaching me politeness, but I’m sure someone else’s mother tried to (and lord knows I spent more time with other people’s mothers than I did with my own). I’m only okay at nice. Maybe a C- or something, just enough to be able to take me out in public without constantly having to keep an eye on me for fear I’ll offend your new friends/colleagues/business associates. That flimsy effort at “niceness” has been very difficult to keep up this past year since moving to a town I just don’t like.
When we selected it out of about five or six towns that surround my husband’s place of employment, it actually did seem like the best choice. The sad thing is, it might be! It’s not one of the high-tech fueled over-priced towns nearby or purely agricultural driven; it’s also not a real city in terms of nightlife or culture. It is suburb. Bedroom community. A place to lay your work-weary ass, park your ginormous truck, and blow enormous wads of cash on boutique items.
And it’s brought out the snob in me. I admit it, I spend much of the day passing judgment. Silently of course. Because people are proprietary about the places they live. They’ll defend the smog in the sky and the bad behavior of neighbors in Hummers before admitting the place ‘aint perfect.
My ten biggest complaints about this town (I’ll say only this: It’s south of San Jose, CA, and north of Los Angeles):
1. Big fucking trucks. Everywhere. Loud, too. Like wake you up late at night loud. If you live somewhere where everyone drives a Prius or some fancy new hybrid, stop bitching about gentrification–embrace it.
2. High expenses vs. low aesthetic appeal. Usually when it costs your first born child to buy a house, there’s a little bit of beauty to back it up. I’m not feeling it here.
3. Nightlife equals dodging trains (already had 1 casualty since we moved here), harassing cows or eating a late dinner. Seriously, this town loves to eat and there are more restaurants in its downtown strip than any town I’ve seen.
4. Public drinking ceremonies. Oh sure, they aren’t sold as such, but at least five times a year the entire town gathers a block from my apartment to eat meat on a stick and drink beer out of plastic cups (except for the wine affair, in which the same crowd gathers to drink vino out of plastic wine stems, looking severely out of their element) ostensibly celebrating something.
5. The Methamphetamine look. You know: at least two front teeth fried down to little black stubs; pock-marks in the cheeks; bleached hair fried to straw. Also comes with heart problems, loss of friends and livelihood. Fun!
6. Friday Night Music Series. Oh god. Cover bands playing bad eighties numbers or “timeless tunes” like “Margaritaville” does not qualify as music. I do find the scarred and beaten drug-addicts dancing in tube tops and too short shorts amusing though.
7. Tract homes. Rows and rows of them. Popping up like mushrooms. Ugh.
8. The lack of a health food or vitamin store
9. Lack of a movie theater that shows anything other than big, commercial blockbusters
10. A barely-breathing, low-pulse artistic/literary community.
Now you know what a terrible snob I really am. It’s true.