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Gets all up in your grill pretty frequently
Jordan E. Rosenfeld

I Hate This Place Part II; Or, I am a Snob

May 8th, 2007
by Jordan E. Rosenfeld


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.

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Comment by Emma R
2007-05-15 03:15:53

Jordan - I’m sold! Where do I go to buy a place?

Another 10 reasons never to leave the city again.

Comment by kip
2007-05-15 03:32:44

in a very skewed way, i would think this could be the perfect place to write a book about the contemporary, seamy underbelly about american life.

last night i read Wells Towers “On the Show” in May Harper’s and it was…perfect. a modern immorality tale.

anyway, try to use whatever negativity this place has and see if you can create something humorous (probably black) and cynical with it.


Comment by 1159
2007-05-15 05:40:57

A place to lay your work-weary ass, park your ginormous truck, and blow enormous wads of cash on boutique items.

Yep we’re all snobs because we love to pass judgement. Living in a place like that is the best place for you, like Kip said.
Writers need tension and a bit of superiority…..

I know I do.

Comment by Jordan
2007-05-15 06:27:41

Damn it…I hate it when bad things are good for my writing :)
Thanks you guys.


Comment by Jordan
2007-05-15 06:27:57

Damn it…I hate it when bad things are good for my writing :)
Thanks you guys.


Comment by My Little Pony
2007-05-15 07:02:54

I don’t think you’re a snob and I don’t think you think so either.

You’ve just been privileged enough to live in places that have more to offer than Unnamed Town. It’s your duty, then, to start a book club or some other endeavor that will bring a little panache to the place.

What’s the good of hating a place unless you use your hate to try to make it better?

Comment by Tammy Allen
2007-05-15 14:16:27

I love snobs. I’m one too.

Comment by Jordan
2007-05-15 14:23:11

My Little Pony–I DO think I’m a snob because I have been priveleged enough to live with “more.” And I work at a local indie bookstore for what little culture there is to be gleaned… I don’t know if I can make this place better, honestly, but I’ll make fun of it, I mean make the best of it as long as I’m here.


Comment by Kaytie M. Lee
2007-05-15 14:45:51

Jordan, I’m with you. It’s hard to live someplace that doesn’t fit.

Comment by Rich Ferguson
2007-05-15 15:57:20

Hi Jordan:

That one line of yours really struck me: “…Nightlife equals dodging trains, harassing cows…”

Heck. That was my childhood in North Carolina. Nice to know the tradition still lives on…and in Northern California, no less.


Comment by noria
2007-05-15 17:45:45

I’m a total snob. Not an intellectual snob or a snob about class or social status, but definitely a snob about culture and aethetics. There’s no shame in being persnickety.

Comment by noria
2007-05-15 19:28:51

(the snob in me had to fix that)

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