Location: Cheshire, Connecticut, United States

devilishly handsome, screamingly funny, overly modest

Monday, February 13, 2006

Suburban Utopia

Ever since our office moved to Glastonbury, I've felt like I'm working in Lake Woebegone without the Scandinavians. Everyone, adults and children both, projects the attitude of being "better than average". Not obviously (that would be below average) but subtly and relentlessly.

Friendliness and slightly supercillious helpfulness abound unendingly. If you have some difficulty, count on some ubiquitous smiling samaritan to offer a hand. If one more person comes up to me and says, smarmily "Can I help you, sir?", I'm going to scream until their ears break.

All the woman are blonde, pink-cheeked and pretty (not beautiful, that would be intimidating). They all smile, friendly but not inviting, not aloof but a little removed. They meet your eye as you pass on the street and smile, but the smile passes right through you. I never felt frozen, just a little chilled. I keep wondering where the guy with the cookie-cutter lives (probably in Stepford), or maybe the look is learned at Glastonbury High and polished after marriage.

Everybody is a little rich, upper-middle but not upper-upper. Even the air is New England WASPy. Calvin would have felt justified, because everyone acts as if they're bound for Heaven. The air of slight, but never overt, superiority pervades everywhere. I've never felt so....Jewish.

And where do they hide all the people of color? Mike the bartender is not only the only Black man I've met, he's the only one I've SEEN. Maybe they could find some successful Black lawyers and doctors to fit the town mold. They better be Congregationalists. though.

I just figured out why those white cars were out to get me, I wasn't driving a Lexus. Maybe I could make 'em believe my Mazda is a loaner. Or I could learn to fit in better. I just can't get that icy friendly smile down, though.



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