New Jersey

it is weird
80% of the people I have met here answer my question the same way.
“Born and Raised”

New Jersey is different. Folks I have met here can’t tell me what it is. Why do so many people stay here? Born and raised is rare where I am from and in most cities I visit.  Born and Raised in New Jersey seems to be common.

I’m at a local bar. It is fun. Lots of great conversation about family and the real stuff. Folks seem to swim in the deep end here fairly quickly.
Like it.
I am in a huge bar. Two levels of people.
I have a small bladder. Not over sharing with you, just setting you up for a later musing.
I expect a line. I walk toward the back of the venue before I need to, just sure I will have to wait.
I find a door with a picture of a stick figure in a skirt.
I go in. Beautiful bathroom. Sink, stone, clean nice.
I’m happy in my own little private, um, space. No one to see my feet or hear my, um, tinkling.
I then realize as i wash my hands in my own private potty nirvana… OMG.
This is a huge venue. wtf? I can’t believe they don’t have more bathrooms. This is CRAZY with a capital urinary tract infection.  With this many women drinking there must be some unhappy girls come 2nd beer time.

I begrudgingly leave my amber lighted sanctuary and see some women in the hall. “Wow, ladies, I can’t believe there is only one bathroom.”
They give me a nice look and then direct my eyes toward the 6 or 7 private little stall rooms.  Complete with their own individual sinks.    Um. Whoa.

Did I just discover it? Is this why New Jersians stay in New Jersey? Is it a person’s own private space to pee, wash their hands and pretend that by applying more lipstick they will lose those  post-40 tiny little upper lip verticals?

I’m on a mission. I meet Ed, and Joe, and Kim and Dan etc etc.
I ask each of them “where are you from?”
“Born and Raised in New Jersey.”
I ask a weird question that most people do not hesitate to answer.
“This is a weird question. Random. How many bathrooms in your house?”

I’m from the Bay area in San Francisco area. Most of my friends have a 3/1 ratio. If they are lucky: 2/1.
Every person I asked had as many bathrooms as bedrooms. Everyone.

Is this why no one leaves New Jersey? Elimination real estate?

Whatever it is.  I noticed and I like it.  Most of the questions I received after my ‘speech’ were directed toward family.    Definitely going back for more time.

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