Oh you’re from New Jersey?

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Last week we took a trip up to New Jersey to visit family and friends. Both my husband and I were born and raised there. We moved to Richmond when we were 25 years old. Even though we have completely fallen in love with Virginia we still consider NJ home. During our visit my cousin (who currently resides in Florida) came to my parent’s house. Our conversation turned to the misconceptions people have about our home state. All of the television shows and movies depicting NJ as the armpit of the United States has not helped matters! I thought I would share some of the things I have been told over the past 13 years once it is revealed I am a NJ native. I do not take life too seriously so I am never offended and always laugh it off. Enjoy!

I’ve been to NJ before. It was crowded and dirty.

I have heard this one a few times. Most of these comments have been from people that either A.) only had the joy of experiencing the Newark Airport or B). went to Atlantic City. When they think of where I am from their mind immediately goes to oil refineries on the side of the highway and that lovely smell. If you have traveled the turnpike up north before you know exactly what I am talking about. The whole state is not filled with cities and casinos. Mountains, farmland, and beaches can all be found within this tiny state. There is a reason it is nicknamed The Garden State and is a popular vacation destination.

You don’t look like you’re from NJ (this one has been said to me several times!!!)

I was not aware that we all looked the same. When people envision Jersey folk their mind immediately goes to thoughts of guidos and gold chains. Spray tans, big hair, and long fake nails are not for everyone. Most of us do not look like we are part of the cast of The Jersey Shore. (Hey, I am not knocking them. I dvr’d and watched every episode! My husband and I made a game out of trying to guess exactly where they were). Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of people that fit the look but not everyone! We can also be normal ordinary looking people too.

Oh you’re from NJ? What exit? (followed by lots of laughter)

Ha ha. Real funny. Exit 82…

I’ve seen a few episodes of The Real Housewives of NJ. The women are so loud and always looking for a fight. Are all the women up there like that?

NO. It is very loosely based on the typical Jersey Girl. We do not all act like Teresa Giudice.

The loud part? Well that one is true…. My husband likes to remind me how loud I am. I talk loud, I walk loud. Everything I do is at full volume. When I get together with my other NJ friends the volume goes up several decibels since we all talk over each other. It is something we just can’t help.

The always looking for a fight part? No. That is a select few hotheads. Most of us do not go around flipping tables or getting into fistfights. I do have a little secret though. We all have something inside of us that I affectionately call “My Inner Jersey”. It is a rage hidden deep down inside of you that only comes out if you or someone you love has been majorly wronged in some way. Even the quiet shy ones like my husband cannot escape it. Just ask anyone that works in the customer service department at Comcast and they will tell you! You do NOT mess with that man’s internet. Luckily I have not had to use mine in a few years. It is quietly and patiently lying in wait…

You don’t sound like you’re from NJ (I’ve heard this one so many times I have lost count!)

No, we do not say New Joisey nor do we all sound like we just walked off of the set of The Soprano’s (my favorite of all of the NJ shows I dvr’d!). It is fairly obvious I am not native to VA once I open my mouth. I definitely have an accent. I do not have a sweet Southern drawl like many of my friends do and the word y’all has never come out of my mouth. If our conversation does not contain the words dog, coffee, water or Florida I will keep you guessing.  We have so many Northern transplants here in the Richmond area. If I overhear a conversation out in public I can immediately pick up the NJ native or New Yorker out of a crowd. It makes me smile when I hear it and reminds me of home.

I hope this made you laugh a little bit too. What have people said to you about your home state?

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