It’s time I outed myself

Madame Weebles —  May 29, 2013 — 253 Comments

We’ve been friends for a while now, right? And friends shouldn’t keep secrets from friends. At least, not this sort of secret. I should trust that I can be honest and open with you and that you’ll accept me.

It’s not easy to admit certain things, even when there’s no denying them. I’ve danced around the issue, I’ve deflected, I’ve misdirected. But in the end, the only person it hurts is me.

Sigh. This is so difficult, and I’m very uncomfortable. So please bear with me.

As many of you know, I’ve written a lot about being a New Yorker.

Well, the truth is, I don’t live in New York. In fact, I haven’t lived there for a while. For the past seven years, I’ve lived across the Hudson River. In…New Jersey.

There. I said it. I live in New Jersey.

A few bloggers already knew my shameful secret and kindly kept mum about it. Although I was mocked by one of them, who shall be nameless (but I’m looking at you, Mike Allegra), for not fessing up and embracing my residence in the Garden State.

But seriously, I can’t. I can’t embrace my residence here. I don’t care that Manhattan is literally a mile across the river from my apartment. I don’t care that it’s only a half-hour trip into the city. I don’t care that I still get to enjoy all that NYC has to offer. It pains me to live so close and yet so far away.

It’s a testament to Mr. Weebles that I uprooted myself from my beloved Manhattan, where I had a tiny, rent-stabilized apartment in Soho, and moved across the Hudson to be with him.

When I told my friends that I was moving to New Jersey, they all said, “Seriously? YOU???” I was fond of saying that 9/11 hadn’t made me want to move, and fuck you, Al Qaeda, the only way I’d leave NY was in a body bag. But ultimately the deciding factor was money; decent-sized, conveniently located apartments were a LOT cheaper in NJ than in NY. So I sold my soul and relocated to the mainland. The day I moved out of my apartment, I felt as if I were saying goodbye to my soulmate. Fortunately, Mr. Weebles understands my plight. He once told someone, “Every morning that she wakes up in New Jersey, a little part of her dies.” He’s not wrong.

A few years ago we were on vacation and someone asked us where we were from. Mr. Weebles said, “We’re from New Jersey” and I almost had a shit hemorrhage. I might live there, but I’m not from there. See, here’s a map of where I’ve lived:

The NY/NJ map according to me

It’s not that I have a hatred of New Jersey. I don’t. But I was born and raised in NYC and when I was growing up, Jersey was “over there.” The only reason anyone went there was for concerts or football games at the Meadowlands. Otherwise, it was flyover country. Or drive-through country. I had greater knowledge of world geography than of Jersey geography. You could tell me, “I’m from Vladivostok” and I’d know where it was. But if you said, “I’m from Morris Plains,” I’d stare at you blankly. Where the hell is that?

I can’t shake that mindset. I can’t help it. It’s not my fault; New York has always been about attitude as well as geography. Saul Steinberg wasn’t kidding when he created this map:

So for those of you tuning in from New Jersey, don’t take offense, and don’t start with me. Because I know where you live. Or, you know, I could easily find out if I looked on a map.

NYC isn’t what it used to be. It’s not as vibrant or as gritty as it once was and it suffers from extreme gentrification—I lamented over this last year. But I love the noise and the energy and the pace and the diversity and the subways and the dirt. I love the tap water. I love that so many places are open 24 hours—the city truly never sleeps. And as much as I loathe crowds, I need to be around them. When I set foot on NY soil after my commute, I feel better. I’m happiest in my native habitat. It makes sense to me.

So now you know my deep dark secret. And if you make fun of me for it, I’ll fucking cut you.

253 responses to It’s time I outed myself

  1. 

    As a UK resident I just enjoy your words regardless of location!

    • 

      I thank you, my ginger friend. I miss the UK too, come to think of it…

    • 

      Same here, Weebs! Although I do know what you mean. I grew up in Hoorn, a city next to Amsterdam. 5 years ago we made the decision to move to another city, on the other side of this country, for both money and personal reasons, I’m moving back in august, but for the past 5 years I’ve lived here not feeling at home, not ‘feeling’ part of ‘it’ and I still don’t know any of the street names here.

      But, as far as blogging goes, you’re cool with me, regardless of location.

  2. 

    You may or may not know this, but I live in the south suburbs of Chicago, and I work in the city. In Illinois, if you’re not near Chicago, you either don’t exist, or you’re some backwoods hillbilly. I don’t care that there’s a whole rest of the state below Chicago–it doesn’t count. I imagine the comparison between New York/Jersey would be like Illinois/Indiana… and let me tell you sister, if I moved to the Indiana side? I would guard that secret the same way I guard the truth that I actually like the band Nickelback.

    • 

      I agree, Katie. I live in the city but am from the western burbs. I’ve lived here for about 12 years. Oh and what about the phrase ‘Chicagoland’? Does that make you wanna HURL or what? When did Chicago turn into a fucking theme park?

    • 

      Mr. Weebles has a lot of family in downstate Illinois so I know what you’re talking about… See, I would have no problem with you being from the sticks of Illinois or Indiana, but liking Nickelback??? It’s a good thing I like you, Katie.

    • 

      Amen! I grew up “downstate” — even though that was due west of Chicago and the suburbs! I ‘manage quite well in the DC ‘burbs these days, despite my so-called “hick” birthplace. :)

    • 

      Spending 5 years in Chicagoland (yes, I call it that because I’m from *hush*- Northwest Indiana), I tell people I’m from Chicago. I went to classes downtown sometime. People seemed to expect that when I said “Indiana” I was from Indianapolis. When I mentioned Hammond (my specific city), they would either say “where?” or “Chicago?”- yes.

  3. 

    I totally understand. I was born and raised in London (apart from my couple of years living in France as a child that you know about already so I may as well admit it). I moved out of London when I was 17. In my 20s I half moved back to London for three years (living there in the week and back to my actual house in the sticks on weekends), but other than that I have not lived there for most of my adult life, being 42 ‘n all now. And yet I still think of myself as a Londoner, whenever I go back there I feel at home, I’m only an hour and a half away from Central London and yet it can feel like a million miles. I love London warts and all, I love travelling about on the underground, and I always stick up for London if people badmouth it, and whenever people ask me where I live, I generally try and work in that I’m from London. As much as I really do very much like where I live now, it’s not London. So I hear you! You can take the girl out of the city…

    • 

      Vanessa, I hear you. I lived in Kentish Town and it was awesome to be so close to Central London, even if I *was* at the mercy of the Northern Line. Londoners and New Yorkers are very similar in their mindset, I think, with regard to their attitudes about their city: It’s not perfect but I love it anyway.

  4. 

    Well, that last sentence is truly worthy of any New Yorker ;)

    Hey, don’t stress. I was told many times about the ‘cultural differences’ between the two, and truth be told, of course they look different (after spending a week in NYC and travelling for a two day conference to NJ, can’t say I didn’t notice that I’m now surrounded only by (awesome) roadside diners and trees). But like you’re saying, you are what you are in your heart.

    But I also understand your pain. I have lived in London for 5.5 years, and when we were buying a house last year we seriously considered moving out to dreaded Essex county – because you could get so much more for your money. Finally I took a decision that I do *not* want to live outside of London, so we’re living in a dodgy up-and-coming area.

    All in all though, it’s about what makes you happy. If being in NYC during the day is enough, who gives a fuck about where you sleep, right?!

    • 

      Where in London are you, Pixie Girl? I met a lot of people who said they were from London but really lived in Essex (gasp), Herefordshire, or Surrey. Same situation. The burbs just ain’t the same. Props to you for keeping it real in the city.

      • 

        I’m just hanging in there in Walthamstow (NE London). I must say I really like it here! Don’t listen to people who know this area from 10 years ago, it’s changing into a lovely place ;)

        • 

          I remember Walthamstow 20 years ago! It wasn’t Hampstead, but it still could have been worse.

          • 

            Haha, really? Well 20 years ago it must have been quite bad. It still is in parts, and I’m not the happiest if I have to walk on my own at night (much rather will take a bus and then promptly shuffle home). But the area I’m in is lovely, next to Lloyd park, a tea room, William Morris gallery an’ all. I’m living it up, yo.

  5. 

    I have to visit this city. One of the few places I’ve never been. If you’re more comfortable with crowds, noise and a place that never sleeps, you’d hate Maine. All we have are sleeping cows up here.

  6. 

    Actually, my retirement dream is to be where I can have handy access to a large city but *NOT* actually have to be in one 24/7. I kinda envy you…

    • 

      I suppose you don’t have a lot of places that are open 24/7 in Nunavut. Many people would agree with you about having the convenience without having to live in the midst of it. Me, I like being smack in the middle of it.

  7. 
    The Unbearable Banishment May 29, 2013 at 6:52 am

    You’re goddamn lucky I a) kept my big mouth shut and b) have a miniscule reading audience. I know how important self-esteem is and an admission like this can shatter your ego. I know. I’ve been there. All those years on the Lower East Side and now look at me! In NJ! Just like you! We should form a support group. Manhattanites Banished to New Jersey Anon. You can be President. I’ll be Secretary of Displacement.

  8. 

    Hey, I was raised in central Jersey and my parents still consider it the ‘place NY’ers moved after they ruined Pennsylvania and Connecticut’…..

  9. 

    I can sort of relate to this. Melbourne and Sydney have always been in competition so I’d die before I moved to Sydney. Luckily Melbourne is cheaper anyway. Mmm…maybe that makes me like a NJ resident???

    • 

      Meeka, if you’ve always lived in Melbourne it’s okay. That doesn’t count. If you left Sydney to go to Melbourne, it would be different. I once knew someone who fled both Sydney and Melbourne for Canberra, which I thought was an interesting choice.

      • 

        lol – Canberra is…. a cultural black hole unless you’re a politician or a public servant. I can’t imagine anyone choosing to live there. Now of course I’m going to get hate mail from Canberra-ites. -sigh-

  10. 

    Hilarious! And for most New Yorkers, oh so true. :)

  11. 

    Here’s the thing about the world wide web – you get people like me from somewhere other than New York or New Jersey (doesn’t that have a turnpike?) and even from outside the USA to whom (get the good grammar there – it’s probably the last you’ll see of it!) New York and New Jersey are ‘just’ places in America. I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference if it came and hit me between the nose… er, nostrils.

    I was born and bred in London – a city. A fucking big city, with its own… thingy. Feel. Operational style. Whatever. Til I got into my 50s, I never wanted to live anywhere else. I was a city girl, urban, loved the noise, the attitude, everything. Then something where I was living changed, big time. And something in me changed big time and I had to go. I’ve been a country girl for the past few years now and when I left the capital I hated London – BUT – that’s really not entirely true… because I find myself drawn to London blogs, to London photos, to quite a lot that is London. So I know exactly how you feel. Well, almost exactly.

    New Jersey sounds like it sucks. Does it suck?

    • 

      It doesn’t suck, it’s just different, you know? Like the Home Counties are different from London. They’re not interchangeable. Where I live in pretty urban, compared to other parts of NJ, but it’s still not the same. I know many people who suddenly became country folk after living in a big city all their lives. So I know what you’re saying, Val. Who knows, the planets coule align in such a way that I could become one of them. But it isn’t likely. Meanwhile I didn’t realize you weren’t from Wales originally. I learned something today!

      • 

        Val, please don’t tell the Good Madame I said this but methinks she is exhibiting a classic case of Stockholm syndrome. I am just as much an authority as she is. I made the same painful move from NYC to NJ and built an entire blog persona around the fact that New Jersey is kind of sucky in comparison.

        • 

          I can’t help it. I’m afraid if I say anything TRULY bad about Jersey, another hurricane will come and flood my street up to my apartment on the 3rd floor. I don’t want to bring that kind of bad juju.

  12. 

    I live in Albany. So mostly I’m just envious you can go into the City whenever you want, regardless of where you live. (NYC is my favorite place in all the world. Yep! The entire world.)

    I’ve been to New Jersey twice. Once I stayed in a hotel there when I was visiting NYC for a long weekend and once I visited a friend there. Both times it was fine, except for the one time that I had to drive there I almost died because the highway seemed to have no rules at all. But it was far from the cesspool popular culture had led me to believe it would be.

    • 

      It is absolutely true that drivers here operate by different rules. Even crossing the street here as a pedestrian can be a challenge because they DON’T FUCKING PAY ATTENTION, EVER. On the highways it’s way worse.

      So come on down to the city, we’ll hang out and make fun of all the tourists.

      • 

        I was just there briefly, at the beginning of the month! I was sad I didn’t have more time, I was switching trains so only got to be there for an hour each time. I got to spend a day there at the beginning of March, though, and had the best time.

        The next time I’m there, I’ll let you know. We will have an ADVENTURE!

  13. 

    Wait a freakin’ minute! You mean, when I come visit you in July, I’m coming to New Jersey and NOT New York!?!? FFS. Lucky I love you enough to come out there all the same….

    • 

      The reservation desk at Hotel Weebles is standing by. They’ll understand if you want to cancel under these circumstances. But on Hotels.com we will continue to deceive people into thinking we’re in NY, otherwise we can’t charge as much.

      • 

        Nah. I’ll keep my reservation, given that you’re not charging me so that I can report back to my Canadian brethren about how wonderful Hotel Weebles is. In fact, I’ll tell them they should pay even more than what you charge.

  14. 

    I don’t know…that last sentence sounded pretty Jersey to me.

  15. 

    I am from Texas. I am a Texan. I will always be a Texan. I now live in Maine. You see my dilemma.

  16. 

    Did you say you left a rent-stablized apartment in Soho (aka the Holy Grail I have searched for my entire life) for a man? WHAT?! Girl, if that’s not true love then I don’t know what is.

    The thing I miss most about living in Manhattan (I fled far south, as in palm trees, retirees and Pitbull south) is delivery. I could order in pancakes and have them delivered to me in bed. It was magical.

    • 

      Right??? See, you get it. I was on Sullivan between Prince and Spring. Seriously the Holy Grail, and I know how lucky I was to snag that place. And I’m all about food delivery. Pancakes, pizza, Chinese, all brought right to your door. Divine. So you’re in Miami, I take it? That’s quite a bit different from NYC except for the number of Spanish speakers.

  17. 

    I know exactly how you feel! My home-home is in Salt Lake City, Utah (and no, I’m not a Mormon…first question I ALWAYS get), but I live in Florida…I have for about ten years now. No matter how long I live here, home will always be the big city for me (well, not as big as New York, I’m sure, but you know what I mean). Its extremely difficult to answer people who ask where I am from because I never know what they are exactly referring to, and then I feel like I have to give my whole life story just to explain how I got here, in Tallahassee, Florida. Sigh….You are blessed to live so close (:

    • 

      Hi Shannon! It sucks when just answering the question “Where are you from?” requires explanations and clarifications and footnotes and asterisks. I understand. And I know what you mean, it doesn’t have to be NYC to be a big city, and it’s all relative. So you still consider SLC “home” then?

      • 

        Most definitely. I don’t go “home” often because I don’t have any family that lives there anymore. My parents are from up-state New York and only moved to SLC when they got married for my dad’s job. So, we really didn’t have any family out there, and that’s why I don’t go back often, not to mention the distance and cost. But SLC and how I grew up there contributed so much to who I am today that it will always be “home.” What is it that draws you to NYC so much?? I can understand the noises, that’s for sure.

        • 

          THIS: What you said here, THIS: “SLC and how I grew up there contributed so much to who I am today that it will always be “home.” That’s how I feel. NY is in my bones, and aside from the atmosphere and all the stuff the city has to offer, it’s “home” for the very reasons that SLC is home to you. I so get this.

          • 

            That is so cool! I’m really happy that you home is close for you. And hopefully I can someday visit NYC and understand your love for it. I have always wanted to go.

  18. 

    Oh. My. Ghod. I thought Jersey was just a highway! I love that map, it sums up the New Yorker attitude. My Husband keeps trying to get me to move out of state, so far he hasn’t convinced me that I can tell people I’m from Utah without feeling shame.

  19. 

    It’s okay, Madame Weebles. You may live in New Jersey, but you will always be FROM New York. Just as I live in Texas (shudder), I am FROM New York. New York is always home. Except for me New York is not the city. It is upstate. There, I’ve outed myself. But I spent as much time as possible IN the city. But I will never be FROM Texas. NEVER. Just as you will never be FROM New Jersey. You will ALWAYS be a New Yorker.

    • 

      Moving from New York State to Texas may as well be moving from Jupiter to Venus. Where in NY are you from? I won’t judge! Truthfully, I don’t have any judgment regarding where other people are from, it’s just that for me being in NJ is unnatural–just like being in Texas is unnatural to you. The hardships we face…

      • 

        I was born in Utica and went to university in Niagara Falls. Then I lived for 20 years in Albany. When I was in Albany, I was able to travel and work and spend weekends in the city. It was wonderful. Being in Texas is often surreal. San Antonio is lovely but Texas is a bizarre place. I’ve been here 20 years but it will never seem like home.

  20. 

    You DO know where I live, so I will cease and desist with the mocking post from this point forward.

    Besides, The Garden State is richer for your presence, Weebles.

    Now you have to learn how to drive.

    • 

      Trust me, the world is better off without me behind the wheel. Remind me to tell you about the time Mr. Weebles and I rode the cars at the Grand Prix Raceway at the Magic Kingdom. Suffice it to say, I’m a menace even in fake cars.

  21. 
    whiteladyinthehood May 29, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Weebs, I think no matter what place you call as home, YOU will rock the place out!

  22. 

    I think it says a lot about how much you love Mr Weebles that you not only moved out of NY for him, but that you didn’t kill him for the “we’re from New Jersey” comment.

    Where you’re from is never going to change, even though the place where you currently live might do. You’re always going to be a New Yorker and I’m always going to be a Cheshire lass.

    • 

      That NJ comment really threw me for a loop. Afterwards I yelled, “WE’RE NOT FROM NEW JERSEY!!!!!!!!!” Poor guy, he puts up with it. He’s from Maryland, so he doesn’t care as much as I do about this stuff. Cheshire is nice–when I lived in England I dated a guy from Chester. Long live the Cheshire Lass!

  23. 

    I hope you survive the shame of this, Weebles, because I would miss your sort-of-but-not-really- written-from New York posts. Sigh.

    • 

      So far the sting of shame hasn’t been too bad, Den Mother. I will try to hold my head somewhat upright and forge ahead. Thank you for your kind words of support.

  24. 

    Whew! Now I don’t have to worry about letting that one slip…

  25. 

    I will admit that there was a conversation between another blogger and I about 8 months ago where we fought on the phone about where you live and I was like NO SHE LIVES IN NEW YORK and I then went and looked and sure enough had to swallow my pride for you. I don’t judge either way though really, because that just means there’s one less toll to get to you.

  26. 

    Must…not…upset…Weebles…
    Is the provided map geographically correct to your location? Looks like you’re a quick swim across the Hudson! You’re a new yorker. As long as you don’t live in Atlantic City and tell people you’re from NYC.

    It breaks my heart, but the last time I went to NYC, I spent the entire time in Brooklyn. On a previous visit to Manhattan, I walked through my old hood in Alphabet city, and it looked like the corporations purged it of everything gritty, and real. Sad.

    • 

      Yup, that map is correct. I’m in Hoboken, literally right across the Hudson. I could swim across the Hudson faster than I can get into Manhattan via the Lincoln Tunnel. Man, Alphabet City is just tragic these days. They have fucking cupcake shops in Alphabet City now. Tompkins Square Park is full of strollers. It’s just so wrong.

      • 

        Pishaw – Hoboken is more NY than Jersey. Nothing like a refreshing swim across the Hudson to get the day, and mono started.

        Tell me about it. The sleazy gay bar on the corner of 12th and A is now a high-end laundro mat. Across the street – Au Bon Pain, and a home decor store. Au fucking bon pain. Who washed away the grit?
        We should team up on a post about this…

  27. 

    Are your pants on fire? But I understand, when we moved to Arizona I could not say quickly enough “I’M FROM NEW YORK – LONG ISLAND” There’s a Welsh word ‘Hiraeth’ (pronunciation could be almost anything). It is a word that has no direct English translation it is defined as homesickness tinged with grief or sadness over the lost or departed. It is a mix of longing, yearning, nostalgia, wistfulness, and the earnest desire for the Wales of the past…but I think you can sub NYC and I can sub Long Island for Wales. At least you don’t live in Newark…at least I hope you don’t live in Newark… and if you do, I take back that sentence starting with “at least…”

    • 

      I knew you’d understand as well, Ladycakes, being a NY transplant yourself. And Arizona is WAY different from Long Island. “Hiraeth”—however it’s pronounced—is exactly the right word. Exactly. No, I’m not in Newark, I’m in Hoboken. Literally directly across the river from Manhattan. Right where it says “House” on my map. So close, and yet so far.

  28. 

    I never admit to living in Lewiston Maine, ever. It’s the armpit of Maine. Thankfully I do not live in Lewiston currently. No matter where i travel to (high hopes) I’ll just say I’m from Maine. Everyone thinks we’re part of Canada anyways. Or that we don’t have indoor plumbing.

    • 

      If they think you’re part of Canada, they’re peasants and you shouldn’t be talking to them anyway. I know very little about Maine, unfortunately. But I do know that there are kickass blueberries there. I don’t even really like blueberries, but when I had a pie made with Maine wild blueberries, I was in HEAVEN. But if you should ever have the misfortune of moving back to Lewiston, I won’t tell anyone, I promise.

  29. 

    I can assure you that all those feelings are international.

  30. 

    Isn’t there some cheesy saying that I like ‘home is where the heart is.’ NY will always be with you. If people try anything cause you left, you let me know and I’ll come and bring my cat May and we will help you cut them all!

  31. 

    Well, as long as we’re sharing secrets, I’m really Mel Gibson. *sigh* I feel better…

    • 

      It IS somewhat liberating, isn’t it. I feel better too. Also, sorry about your whole “I’ve gone insane and I’m also a racist and bigot” thing, Mel.

      • 

        That’s all PR…don’t listen to everything you hear or read on the internets, Madame. It’s all bullshit! FUCKING BULLSHIT I TELL ‘YA!! I’M INNOCENT! THOSE ASS-*assistant enters room* Sorry, he got carried away again. “WHERE’S MA VODKA!” Umm…I have to go now….

  32. 

    Oh, we all harbor such geographical secrets. I am not really from Chicago right now. I wish I were. I lived in the city for years. As soon as I was old enough and had enough money, I moved from the suburbs into the city. I could walk everywhere, including the beach of Lake Michigan, which is an inland sea, baby! One apartment was on Surf Street. A Californian once laughed when I told her my address. “What’s funny?” I asked. “Well, ‘Surf Street’ in Chicago. You know?” “How far are you from the beach?” I asked. “About 45 minutes by car,” she said. “I can walk to the beach in less than ten minutes.” Owned!!!

    Now, I live in Naperville, recognized as one of the best places in the country to raise children. would that we could have afforded to stay in Chicago, the closer to downtown, the better. That’s my idea of a good place to raise kids. We’re making the best of it out here, though, flying our liberal flag in what is probably one of the most conservative counties in America.

    • 

      That must have been a pretty sweet setup, being walking distance from Lake Michigan. As for that Californian, BURN! I sympathize completely, if I could afford to live in a decent size apartment in Manhattan, I’d be back there in a heartbeat. I don’t have kids but I agree that a city is a good place to raise them. They can learn so much more and be exposed to so much more than they can in the burbs. But we make do. Here’s hoping we win the lottery and can go back home…

  33. 

    Weebs, it makes no difference to me if you live in New Jersey. I still think you live in New York and I’ll continue to think that. See. There, done! I can see it pains you so. At least you’re not too far and it doesn’t take too long to get there. I think it’s fine to keep saying you’re from NYC! I’ll just completely ignore this all thing if you like.

  34. 

    It’s worse because you are so close – yet so far.
    House is not home. We shall continue to view you as a New Yorker in solidarity.

    • 

      High five, sister. A house is NOT a home. My house is cozy and pleasant enough, but if I could beam it across the river it would be so much nicer. And you’re right, if I were hundreds or thousands of miles away, it would be less painful. Here, I can SEE it—it taunts me!

  35. 

    Weebs,
    I got the drop on your whereabouts a while back but I’ve always considered you a New Yorker; your accent on your blog gives you up. Fuck outta here yo!
    Red

  36. 

    I have a best friend who lives in Jersey, and she spends much of her time there trying to move back to New York. I still love her, and I still love you!

    You’re from New York and so am I, depending on the day. It is about attitude.

    Neil LOVES Edinburgh, but we fantasise about moving to Brooklyn. True story.

    Lorna

  37. 

    Hey, I know you live in New Jersey; you know I punched myself in the eye kickboxing. We all have our shameful little secrets. Doesn’t change the fact that we’re both still badasses. ;-)

  38. 

    I live in Quebec…the province that’s hated by the rest of Canada. When asked, I tell them, but a small part of me wishes that I lied.
    New Jersey…the only thing I know about that state is that they talk funny there….and I think Sopranos is set there as well.
    Sorry that you had to move away from what you consider to be “home” but it’s great that you are close enough to visit often.
    I’m a little disappointed that this post wasn’t revealing your awesome sexiness in a picture. ;-)

  39. 

    Madame Weebles, I smiled through this entire confession. Yes, we all have secrets. You go right ahead and live in New Jersey – in my mind you are in New York, and a New Yorker through and through. I love New York! I’ve only been there a few times, but on two of my visits, I traipsed around the city all by myself – and fell in love with it.

    • 

      Now was that for “background information” for Big Apple Hunter? Because that would be fun research. You’ll have to come back and visit again!

      • 

        It wasn’t at the time, but you have no idea how much of those trips I put into my book. Everything Susan did in New York, I did first. Right down to taking off with a couple of guys I met at a Broadway play. We went down to Greenwich Village for Mexican food, and then closed the Limelight a few hours later. (It was a long time ago.) Super hot guys, and they dropped me back at my hotel with no problems. The city was very good to me. :-)

  40. 

    I forgive you your transgression. Besides, even though I now live in the woods of the cold rainforest known as the Pacific Northwest, I’m really a Bostonian at heart: born in, and raised just outside of. I miss the four seasons of New England. And weather patterns that move through in a day or less. Here’s to where ever home in our heart is.

  41. 

    I’m abhorred!!!!!! (and a whore too)
    New Jersey (I had to spit after that)
    I seriously don’t know what to say, I’m shocked!
    But I sorta admire for having the guts to coming forward and admitting to such thing, I wouldn’t be able to do it.
    From Pavonia you have a nuce view of The City.
    Taking the PATH, ohhh god gracious!
    I’m gonna stop, this is too much!

    • 

      I know, I know, I know. I’m as abhorred as you are (and a whore too). It didn’t feel good to admit that, believe me. I mean, I grew up in Queens, yo. Straight street, none of this suburbs shit. Now look at me, living in Jersey, taking the PATH. But it’s better than taking the bus–at least the PATH is a train. Although I’m in Hoboken, not JC. Either way, it’s EXILE.

  42. 

    I totally get it – I left the nest long ago, but I still have a strong sense of where I’m from. I’m a third generation Las Vegan – we have no patience or respect for North Las Vegans, Hendersonians (Henderson NV = Hooterville), Green Valleyans or and of the other “ans” that populate southern NV. If you really want to get on our nerves tell us your from California. I saw a sign once on the California border that said “Welcome to Nevada, now go home!”

    • 

      I respect that mindset completely. I can only imagine how *real* Las Vegans think of the newbies who moved in when the housing boom and casinos started going nuts. I’d want to smack them and make them go back to where they came from. Come to think of it, that’s what I think about people who move to NYC and buy up all the real estate and drive up the prices, as well as people who thinking that in order to blend in, they need to be rude and nasty. They make me want to push them in front of a truck.

  43. 

    I knew but I didn’t say a word to anyone. I’m proud of you. Go win the Powerball and get back in there!

  44. 

    Ah, Madame Weebles, it sounds like you & I were on the same track today: http://benzeknees.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/explain-yourself/ I’m glad you finally fessed up & I’m proud of you! They say the first step is always the hardest ;)

  45. 

    Oh, Linda. I had no idea you were from Long Island. I could have told you it was shameful myself. ;) But hey, I grew up in Queens, and for people who grew up in Manhattan, Queens may as well be Sticksville (as opposed to Hicksville). I applaud your embrace of suburbia in all its glory. If you’re gonna own it, OWN IT. My problem is, I can’t own living in NJ. I can’t. WON’T. But go on with your bad Long Island self, sister. You’re A-Ok in my book.

  46. 

    It’s sad that someone would be so intimidated by New Jersey that they’d revert to the ol’ anti-Jersey party line. Tragic, really; you’d have made a lovely New Jerseyan.

    • 

      Ahhh, I was wondering if you’d stop by! Yes, well, what can I say, the Garden State’s aura is too strong for the likes of me. I love Taylor ham, though. Does that count?

  47. 

    I don’t know… Jersey sounds pretty nice to me… larger, more affordable apartments, less people, less hustle and bustle… Yep, that sounds pretty good. Plus, the Boss is from Jersey. Anyplace that creates someone as talented as him can’t be all that bad…

    • 

      Don’t get me wrong, New Jersey has much to offer. And it’s also the birthplace of baseball, Frank Sinatra, and salt water taffy, so you know it can’t be all bad. It just isn’t my ideal locale.

      • 

        Was just being argumentative. ;-) I’ve never been either place so my opinion doesn’t count. I do understand living in a place that isn’t your ideal locale… I currently live in just such a place. But, we could afford to be home owners here, and we couldn’t in any of the nearby places that we’d rather be living.

        • 

          I feel your pain. I guess we all have to make sacrifices when we aren’t luxuriously wealthy. But then, that raises the question: Why aren’t we wealthy? We should be wealthy, dammit. Then, you and I wouldn’t have to deal with lesser locales. Hmmph.

          • 

            I agree! Being luxuriously wealthy does sound like something I would certainly enjoy as well. We should get on that…
            Hmm, my day job just isn’t going to cut it. Maybe one of these days I’ll finally finish editing the stories I’ve written and get them sent off to a publisher… That might do the trick… maybe… I can hope…

  48. 

    As far as I’m concerned, we’re “from” where we think of as home. After nearly 8 years in Maryland, I find myself answering “from Maryland” when the question is raised. But I totally get you feeling like you’ve always been, and always will be, from New York. So just because you happen to live across a state line these days, it doesn’t matter. You’re still a New Yorker. And I think that means the folks in Chicago would challenge you to a pizza duel…. ;)

    • 

      Mr. Weebles is from Maryland, just outside Baltimore! And I would TOTALLY accept a pizza challenge from the folks in Chicago. Because you know, that means I get to eat pizza. Even though NY slices are better.

      • 

        Hubs and I live in “Mo Co,” but our office is between Balto and DC. I must admit, I would continue to say “I’m from Maryland” over “I’m from New Jersey.” But that’s just me. And to be honest, sometimes I say I’m from DC. It just sounds more impressive.

        • 

          Oh, and just be careful about the pizza fight, especially if someone’s armed with a deep dish. The weight of those things might take you down….

  49. 

    I recall a similar sensation while living in Korea– raging disharmony with one’s surroundings. At least relief is a mere subway ride or brisk swim away.

    (side note: I don’t hate Quebec nor Quebecois, so long as they don’t get down on me for my monoglot ways– far from it, given the province’s brilliant effort at making the last federal election something other than a horror show).

    • 

      But if there was a province that spoke Dutch as well as English, you’d probably get by pretty well. Yes, the difference between NY and NJ is not nearly as drastic as the difference between Korea and Canada. Et Vive le Québec!

  50. 

    Try living outside of Cleveland. Tough to look cool and sophisticated when you say you’re from there…

    • 

      But Betty White lives there! At least, she does on television. It counts for something. Cleveland at least has a certain cachet that other Ohio cities don’t seem to have. But what do I know, I live in New Jersey.

  51. 

    You could love in my womb, and I’d still think you were the coolest person alive.

  52. 

    I bear no resemblance in any way, shape or form, to any sort of Housewife. But those Jersey Girls can’t help themselves, they’re used to dating clowns.

  53. 

    I can’t even look at you right now, Madame Weebles…I mean, is that even your real name…

    • 

      Sigh. I was afraid this might happen, Mr. Seed. Please forgive. I only moved to New Jersey so that I’d have a place to plant petunias and pansies, doesn’t that count for SOMETHING? And yes, Madame Weebles is my real name.

      • 

        Oh my dear Madame Weebles, I fear you know jolly well that the reason for moving anywhere is not the case in point here; ’tis the fact that you kept it from us which irks so. If however, you had moved in order to grow pitcher plants then that would be a different matter…

        • 

          Pitcher plants scare me. They’re fascinating but they scare me.

          That being said, I promise never to keep anything from you again, sir.

          • 

            I want you to tell me things because you want to tell me things…you’ll always be forgiven.

            That being said, I made a video of a pitcher plant…morphed with a variety of Lincolnshire sausages…obviously.
            http://theseedsaidso.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/the-lincolnshire-sausage-plant-mr-phalanx-bottlenose/

            • 

              That’s a fair deal. I will be over to see your video directly. And isn’t it past your bedtime, dear sir? Or are you an insomniac like me?

              • 

                I work nights and have three and a half more hours to go…insomnia sucks; I don’t suffer from it myself but I’ve seen the effects.
                There’s a story behind the video should it make no sense to you………………………………………….

              • 

                Ah, the night shift. I’ve done that, it has its moments. I would enjoy hearing the back story to that video. Mr. P. Bottlenose has a lovely voice, by the way. Please tell him that for me next time you talk to him, will you?

              • 

                He suspects you’re lying…but he’s like that.
                It was originally done for Dotty Headbanger, who was mental and hated Lincolnshire sausages, much preferring the Cumberland sort, but she’s disappeared sadly; did you read her blog? She’s hilarious.

              • 

                I miss Dotty! She was great. And she really did enjoy her Cumberland sausages. I wish she’d come back. If you’ve been on the blogs that long, I’m surprised I hadn’t seen you around much sooner.

                And despite what your plant may believe, his voice is nonetheless both appealing and mellifluous.

              • 

                Good god he hasn’t heard the word mellifluous in a long old time! He now takes every word you say as gospel.

                My first post was the 9th of March 2012 but I’ve never been very good at gathering readers; lack of time meant that I had to be quite blinkered, and my own mind meant that I set up my blogs primarily in order to entertain myself!

                And I worry what’s happened to Dotty.

              • 

                It’s a nice word, isn’t it? I worry about Dotty too, I hope she’s ok. Meanwhile, blogging for oneself is really best, because it can just become tedious drudgery otherwise. And whenever you decide to post, I will read it.

              • 

                Most of my time at the moment is really looking for another job, I don’t know that anything will get posted ever again! But I am in the middle of writing something for this blog – http://ifoundshangrila.wordpress.com/ – which is my favourite; it consists of ten post and has three followers; it was originally set up because the entire internet didn’t have what I was looking for, which was for the tiny second link in this post – http://sacha1nch1.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/was-it-really-noahs-ark/ – and then just took on a life of its own…I hate touting my own stuff…I only do it because you might like it.

              • 

                Oh go ahead, embrace your inner American, toot your own horn. I will be clicking over to this post now as well. Also, check your email.

              • 

                I can’t go fully american…although I do love the place and the people, never been your way though…I think Miami is the closest I’ve been! I have a friend who went to NYC recently, she loved it.

              • 

                Your friend is wise. All wise people love NYC. But the corollary is not true, sadly: not all people who love NYC are wise. Profound, innit?

              • 

                Bordering on Aristotolean…but he did have some strange ideas.

  54. 

    Reformed New Yorker…I’m not angry, I just cuss a lot. And no I am not in denial.

  55. 

    Oh and thanks for being the laugh of my day!

  56. 

    I just realized I’ve been lying about where I live for most of my adult life. When I lived in Cambridge, I said I lived in Boston. I said I lived in LA when I lived in small cities near LA. These days I say I live in Pasadena even though I live just outside the city limits. Clearly, I have a problem.

  57. 

    1. I liked you before I knew you were from New York.
    2. You practically still live in NYC, and you commute every day, and you probably spend more time there than you do in NJ, so really…
    3. I live 6 hours away from where I consider home and I still (7 years after the fact) can’t bring myself to say I’m from “here.” I’m from “there.” So, you have every right to still consider yourself a New Yorker (at least in my book!)

    • 

      These are excellent points, Cranky, and I especially like #1. Where is “home” for you, and where is “here”?

      • 

        Well, Madame, as I like to be elusive, my exact locale has never actually been revealed. However, since you were so smart to have narrowed down my name to one of 5 or so, I will let you solve a little riddle… (And, I am bad at riddles).
        I am honoUred to share citizenship with the likes of LeClown and Meizac, but my home is nowhere near them. I do believe that you know Roller giraffe (no relation), who actually lives in (or near to) the place that I call home. Sadly, I now live somewhere less desirable to me, almost exactly 6hrs east OR west of my home… And don’t forget what I “do” for my day job…

  58. 

    You’ll always be a New Yorker to me, Madame Weebles. I know how you feel. I lived in Seattle for 20 years, then moved to a small Scottish town 3 years ago. Despite growing up in England, Seattle feels like home, and I miss it horribly.

    It’s true, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.

  59. 

    Although it makes no difference to me, staying true to your soul isn’t a surprise … well done!

  60. 

    It’s ok. Really. You and the Unbearable one must form that support group. And when you sit and whine about how long it takes you to get to ‘civilization’, i’ll quietly buy an airline ticket, get visually raped by the TSA, play cuddles with a 400 pound man i’ve just met as we wrestle for an arm rest, and say “Hi” in a few weeks!

  61. 

    As a forced/military/unwilling itinerant I’ve concluded that I have no idea where I want to live, except that I will not under any circumstances live in California. Period.

  62. 

    One of us. One of us. Gooble Gobble one of us.

  63. 

    HA! That last line… I’m picturing a weeble with a tiny shiv.
    Also, Bon Jovi is from N.J., right? So I’m sure… that… helps…

    • 

      Do you know how hard it is to make a tiny shiv, by the way? They also don’t really pack much of a wallop, believe it or not. I’ll have to move on to Plan B. As for Jovi, yeah, that helps. NOT.

  64. 

    New Jersey is a better place for having you in it. And, you know, for Bruce Springsteen.

  65. 

    One of my best friends grew up in NY, but came back to KS before her junior year of high school. She felt like a fish out of water. She embraces KS now though, as she loves to garden and enjoys nature. I have to live where I can see the sun come up and the sun go down. . .literally. . .watch it just slip above or below the horizon. I would come visit you though, because last time I was in NY I didn’t get to see a Broadway show, and I would love too!! :)

  66. 

    You can move the girl out of the city but you can’t move the city out of the girl.

  67. 

    I have kind of the opposite problem. I live on the Wirral on Merseyside which, for some, is the wrong side of the river. We get scorned as’Plastic Scousers’ by those from Liverpool and sneered at by others for sharing the same accent as the ‘real’ Scousers.
    Gotta love NJ for giving the world The Sopranos. They can keep Jon Bon though.

    • 

      So that’s where West Wickle is, eh? Are you near Birkenhead? I knew someone from Birkenhead once, she said something similar about being accused of being “fake Scouse.” it would be nice if we could all get along, but sometimes we’re just on the wrong side of the river, aren’t we. And I agree 100% about Jon Bon.

      • 

        I work in Birkenhead but live in the ‘posh’ bit myself. Central Park was based on Birkenhead Park after the designer visited it when he was in England. There’s a fun fact to impress your friends with.

        • 

          I was not aware of that. I know Frederick Law Olmsted visited several places before he designed Central Park, but had no idea what inspired his actual design. I will have to look up Birkenhead Park now so I can learn more.

          • 

            Probably wishful thinking of the locals that it was exclusively based on Birkenhead. I haven’t actually researched it in any depth, but Birkenhead was the major public park of the day. Local history lesson over.

            • 

              A quick peek at Wikipedia (because their information is always infallible) suggests that Birkenhead Park and the Derby Arboretum were the models. So Birkenhead can still glory in being half of the inspiration.

  68. 

    I love you no matter where you rest your head.

    I grew up in Connecticut, so I wouldn’ t live in Jersey. It’s a snotty Fairfield County thing. I do live outside of DC so that’s nearly as bad as Jersey.

    (And I walked by the statue of Alexander Hamilton on Tuesday. I blew him a kiss from both of us. The tourists kept their distance.)

    • 

      I totally get the Connecticut anti-NJ thing. I’m from Queens, and I have an anti-Brooklyn thing. Are you outside DC in Maryland or Virginia?

      And thank you for blowing Alex a kiss. I bet he appreciated it. Screw the tourists.

  69. 

    As long as you keep mocking the jerseyans, we’ll make sure your NY card is current.
    But god help us all if you turn up one day with big hair.

  70. 

    You can take the girl out of NYC, but you can’t take the NYC out of the girl ;)

  71. 

    Um, I really don’t know what to say. I mean, I like you (a lot) and all… but really, umm. It would be like someone saying I was from NYC… when I’m from Bahston baby! I feel your pain, but it’s a bitter pill to swallow.

  72. 

    Well… HELL.
    I have another bloggy friend… who is ‘from’ Brooklyn…
    She lives in Connecticut… sigh!
    Another from Syracuse (you know who you are)… who says she is from NY…
    I come from a city so small… You could SPIT across it…
    If I am ever asked… I say I live… near Wellington…
    Which is where The Lord of the Rings stars love to be, and is my favourite city in the world… Given that I have not yet been to NEW YORK… which I suspect is the city of my soul.
    Still love you.

    • 

      Back atcha, Janet. I know the Syracuse resident you’re referring to, by the way. :D I have never been to New Zealand, although I’ve known people from Christchurch and Dunedin. These days, it’s hard not to think of Lord of the Rings when I hear about NZ. I bet Wellington is beautiful. But whenever you’re ready, come on over to NY for a visit. Maybe we can get that Syracuse person down here for a gathering.

  73. 

    I’ll always accept you, Weebles – no matter what.

  74. 

    Glad to see you’ve moved on up in the world.

  75. 

    *Conveniently ignoring JanetNZ’s comment above. (Syracuse IS IN Central NY, bat!) Ahem.*

    Ehn. Don’t look at it as living in New Jersey, Madame … just tell people you’re “NYC adjacent”. The phrase has a certain cachet, and an irresistible air of mystery. :D

    P.S. I was born in Jersey – Lakewood Township, to be exact. I have scads of Italian relatives on my mother’s side in places like Toms River, Seaside Heights, Brick, Beechwood… the list goes on. All I can say is “GO DEVILS!!!!!!!!” Heh!

    • 

      You wound me deeply with that Devils comment, lady. Rangers, baby, Rangers! I already told Janet ^ ^ that the three of us should have a summit meeting whenever she does visit NY.

      • 

        Be careful what you wish for Madame…

      • 

        I’m sorry that I’m not sorry about rooting for the Devils with gusto – Martin Brodeur is not yet aware that I exist, but when he finally becomes cognizant, I will be the staunchest WAG in the stands as his new bride. (And Janet says I have no malice! SCOFF.) :D

        I like this summit meeting you speak of, and the vast possibilities inherent during. Three superpowers convening for an epic face-to-face fills me with maniacal glee. Count me in!

    • 

      “Born in Jersey” … … … k … …

  76. 

    I am from Canada so all this New York vs New Jersey thing is just beyond my understanding. Both remain New something to me :)
    And all I can say is where you live isn’t where you are from…so there.

    • 

      Well said, Merlin! I figured a lot of the geographical stuff would be pretty irrelevant to non-Americans (or even people outside the NY/NJ area), but I needed to get that burden off my soul.

  77. 

    Wait a second, I thought “cutting people” was the old Madame Weebles.

  78. 

    I feel the same way about my beloved Ohio. I feel that a large part of my soul has died in the four years since we moved over the river to Kentucky. Do I enjoy the sunrises over the hills, the warmer weather that makes my joints ache a little less, the quiet, and the lack of smog…well, hell, shure I do. Would I go back to Ohio if: 1. Hubs could find a decent paying job. 2. We could find affordable…. hell, yes, I would! All my friends, my play places, my life…is still in the heart of the U.S. (reference to Ohio’s shape!). The cost of living in Ky is just tooo high for our budget… need 1&2 to happen and before July!

  79. 

    I won’t make fun of you for living in NJ. Hell, it may be flyover country, but at least it’s America.

  80. 

    I’ve never been to NYC, but if I ever venture to the States that is the first place I’m heading. My sister just returned from there (and now I can’t shut her up about how much she loved it!) ;)

  81. 

    I remember when that map was published! Being a New Yorker is much more a state of mind than a geographic location, dear Madame: once you have it, your compass is set and you’re never lost. xoxoM

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