Amanda and I went to our neighborhood homeowner’s association’s “new neighbors brunch” yesterday. Everyone who has moved to the Guilford neighborhood in the past year is invited to meet other long-time residents. It’s hosted in the NW part of the neighborhood, in a 3000-4000 sq ft home–moderate relative to some of the other houses in the neighborhood–with uninviting antique furniture everywhere. Everything had the feel of a miniature Vanderbilt estate. Does someone actually live here? How could they ever feel comfortable in a place like this, where one feels like he has to dress up just to go to his fridge?
On our name tags, some people wrote their addresses. There were St. Paul Streets and Wendover Roads and Northways, streets firmly entrenched in the 600k-1.2 mil real estate ranges. Then there was us, with our Southway address, on the front lines of the “crime wave” that’s supposedly slowly pulsing into Guilford. Our house cost less than most of the places in our old neighborhood, Hampden–a neighborhood that’s adopted the pink flamingo as the iconic piece of front yard decoration–and yet here we were, meeting people for whom such a sum was probably trivial.
Look, this is how ridiculous the whole thing was: I couldn’t even win at being the whitest person there. Go back twelve generations in my family, and we’re talking cousins of the Fullers who came over on the Mayflower. But even that wasn’t good enough here. I met a guy who was directly descended from those very Mayflower Fullers. Motherfucker. At least he didn’t have the Fuller last name. My one real win, I guess.