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NaBloPoMo 2012: November 2nd– I’m a Jersey Girl

Today’s NaBloPoMo Prompt reads

Friday, November 2, 2012
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Given the circumstances right now, only one place comes to mind: Jersey.

Actually, that’s a lie– I’d choose Jersey no matter what.

I’m a Jersey girl to the bone. I’ve lived in Central Jersey my whole life (North & South Jerseyans will tell you this place doesn’t exist; they’re wrong.), and, as much as I constantly say I cannot wait to get out of “here,” “here” is a place that flows through my blood. While I may find myself living somewhere other than 732/908 in a few years, Jersey blood runs through my veins.

In recent years, people have come to associate New Jersey with the MTV show “Jersey Shore.” I could bore you for hours by going on about how the cast is a false representation of New Jersey, but let’s be real: it’s all been said before. “Jersey Shore” DOES represent one of the common dreams of Jersey: having fun while loving your friends and family and trying to become something bigger and better than you already are. (The term “better” is used loosely in regards to the “Jersey Shore” cast.)

I’ve never met someone who Jersey who has always been perfectly content to remain the same person that they were at 18. Sure, some people do get stuck in a place of return, but you know what? We’ve all had dreams. In Jersey, it is said that only the tough survive. Your level of determination and toughness determines how you make your dreams come true, and whether you become someone or something bigger and better than you already are.

The Boss (Bruce Springsteen for those of you living under a rock or too young to know decent music) and Jon Bon Jovi (I met him once at a Home Depot on Christmas Eve!) are probably the two names that come to mind when people think of Jersey. You know who else is from Jersey? Martha Stewart. Anne Hathaway. Tom Cruise. Bruce Willis. Danny DeVito. Susan Sarandon (she went to my high school!). Jack Nicholson. Meryl Streep. Kirsten Dunst. Whitney freakin’ Houston. James Gandolfini. Queen Latifah. Frank Sinatra. John Travolta. Christina Ricci. Brooke Shields. Want some non-actor/actress/singer names? Buzz Aldrin, 2nd man to walk on the moon. Dorothy Parker, an amazing writer and poet. David Copperfield was born in the donuthole of my hometown (it’s in the shape of a donut with a hole of a teeny town in the middle). Dave Thomas (yes, that Dave Thomas.) Paul Robeson, the first African-American All-American football player.

Obviously New Jerseyans kick ass.

All of these amazing icons were born in Jersey, and, while some managed to get out, a lot of them either stayed or came crawling back. (We don’t discriminate if you choose to leave us; we just mock you endlessly for going to live in some other state.)

Are there Jersey stereotypes? Sure. (And, just to clarify, most of them, minus  the ones created in the past few years, are true…especially regarding our love of diners, malls, and driving like assholes.) But you know what? YOU DON’T GET TO MESS WITH JERSEY UNLESS YOU’RE FROM JERSEY. (Sorry, the Jersey girl in me came out. Also, you’re never allowed to call Jersey “Jersey” unless you’re from Jersey. It’s kind of like referring to anyplace other than NYC as “The City…Unless, of course, you’re not from North or Central Jersey. You’re probably from South Jersey. Then you’re probably referring to Philly. I forgive you, but only because you’re from 609.) ((To make up for this 609 reference, which only Jerseyans realize could start a fight worthy of Tony Soprano, I’ll direct you to a poem a posted a few months ago, which actually pays tribute to my love for South Jersey. http://gingersass.com/908-to-609/ ))

Anyway. Back to the point of this post.

I’m a Jersey girl to the very end, and there’s no place I’d rather live than Jersey. As Bon Jovi has sung,

“I went as far as I could, I tried to find a new face
There isn’t one of these lines that I would erase
I lived a million miles of memories on that road
With every step I take I know that I’m not alone
You take the home from the boy, but not the boy from his home
These are my streets, the only life I’ve ever known,
who says you can’t go home?”

This video seems appropriate. We got this, Jersey.

Jersey is my home, and there’s no other place I’d rather be. Jersey is tough, and it’s time for us to rebuild. We’ll get through Sandy like we get through everything else– being ourselves, and not taking shit from anybody. I’ll see you down the shore in AP this summer.

This is the Jersey shore I know.