When I first moved to Florida and people found out I was from NJ they immediately went to the only frame of reference most people had of NJ back in the early 2000′s -
- would ask ignorant questions about my knowing Tony Soprano.
- asked me if I knew all of those places in the show’s opening.
- would realize my last name ended in a vowel and make certain assumptions. Aren’t all Italians from NJ part of the mob? Isn’t everyone in NJ Italian and part of the mob?
- also asked me if I missed the pizza and bagels from up north too.
But mostly about the Sopranos.
People are ignorant.
I spent a lot of my time unnecessarily explaining to people that NJ was more than mob wives and long-standing family vendettas. Even after the show ended that perception lingered for a few years. Then it seemed to ease up….
just in time for Jersey Shore to become the next big tv reality show. That’s been fun (insert sarcastic voice here).
I found it more trouble than it’s worth to try to convince people here that what they see on tv is not an accurate depiction of what life in NJ is like. It’s very difficult to get Southerners to abandon the thoughts in their head. Once they have a certain idea in their head they are pretty much stuck there. It makes for both frustrating and interesting conversations. And contrary to the saying…
ignorance is not always bliss.
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