An unfortunate yet inherent fact of hailing form the great Garden State is that the rest of the country thoroughly enjoys crapping all over us. Granted, we have some exports and landscapes that may provoke this (the cast of shows like JerseyLiscious and the Turnpike north of exit 7). However, most of us and our allies know that these attacks and laments are unwarranted.
By far, the most abuse we take comes from people from Connecticut. Which is patently ridiculous. They seem to coast on an air of superiority that’s fueled by the fact that the rest of the country mistakenly believes that their entire state consists of country clubs and regattas. Most of the people who try to tell me that CT is far superior to NJ because of their fancy-pants reputation don’t really come from the fancy-pants stock but are regular people from regular families who would fit in just fine with us (perceived) Jersey hoodrats. Apparently they seem to forget that the parts of our state they love to hate on have mirror images in their own state.
For example, consider these two images of scenery drivers encounter on busy interstate highways:
Oil refineries, holding tanks, polluted water. One in NJ, one in CT. Don’t act like your state doesn’t own this, Connecticuttians, or whatever it is you call yourselves. Three Connecticut cities – Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport – number among the top 25 most crime-ridden cities according to Business Insider. New Jersey only has one, Newark, which surprises no one. When it comes to wealth, NJ edges out CT, occupying the 3rd spot, where CT was 4th. Were this the Olympics, we’d have the bronze and CT would be crying in the corner eyeing the medal platform in a jealous snit.
Living in Massachusetts, I have no choice but to drive through Connecticut to get home and it’s never pleasant. There is always traffic and it’s usually because they’ve decided to close a lane to give a team space to trim trees. REALLY? On a summer Friday? Pure idiocy. However, having driven through Connecticut many a time, I’ve learned its secrets. In the northeast corner, just before you reach Massachusetts, you encounter a rest stop where everyone else in line at Dunkin Donuts is on their way to go mudding in the woods. Is this Connecticut or the backwoods of West Virginia? Hard to say. Should you have to exit the highway in New Haven, you might think you’re near Camden. Half the state seems to think they’re part of the New York metro area when it takes most of the a good chunk of time to even get to NYC while the other half thinks they’re part of New England. Some of them are Mets fans; others Yankee fans; others still Red Sox fans. Make up your minds, guys.
I once shared a shuttle ride home from Used to Be’s with some bros from CT. To be friendly, we struck up a conversation and asked where they were from. Instead of telling us first, one of them spat out “UGH, not New Jersey” like it tasted foul in his mouth. Well, then why are you here?, we asked. No one could answer because they didn’t have a real reason – a friend with a house, a friend celebrating a bachelor party; they had all come down and booked hotel rooms. They all agreed they liked our beaches and were having a good time at the Jersey Shore. OK, so then what’s with the extreme distaste for the place you’ve elected to visit and spend money in? They didn’t have an answer. Tells all, if you ask me. CT, stop running your dang mouths.