It's come to my attention after 4 months of living in Long Beach that, much like someone who drives a beater for a car, it is a really easy way to weed out assholes.
I've been rather shocked that about 50% of the time (and I feel like I'm low balling), someone says something like "why do you live down there" or "you don't belong in Long Beach". This is often said by people who've never been to long beach, or have only visited the aquarium. Last week at an art show I was talking to an older woman who lived in LA, but was from New York, who asked me why I lived in Long Beach, and before I could answer said something to the affect of "it must be for a boyfriend, why else would anyone live there?".
What's struck me is that these are not people who are normally rude, or haughty, and yet it seems like the most obnoxious, gauche reaction possible to finding out where someone chooses to live.
I just would never voice a negative opinion about someones neighborhood, and I don't really get why people (who have mostly never been there) think its ok. I'm baffled.
I live 20 houses from the ocean. There are million dollar houses on my street. There are hipsters on fixies. I live one block away from a busy shopping district, and live in an "exclusive" area, if you want to really go there.
But I don't.
I've yet to get into it with someone about it. It doesn't bother me, and it helps me read people even better than usual.
An argument can be made for any neighborhood. I could come up with 10 bad things, and 10 good things, about every single neighborhood in LA county.
But I don't.
Sometimes I wonder if its any different than being out of the box in any other way. They see someone who's like them, or who they think is "cool", then they find out there's something off, and it makes them feel...uncomfortable? Superior?
I'm still at a loss.
It's anything but a big deal to me, but it seems a big deal for other people. It surprises them in a way where they feel like they have to comment.
And go ahead.
You may be judging me.
But I'm only going to be judging you right back.