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Thursday, August 16, 2012

When I was yourrrrrrr age....

Like every generation before me, I'm going to say it..."things were different when I was a kid."

Yes, I've seen that Jersey Shore show.  I'm not going to knock it, because that's the entertainment industry's idea of reality TV to portray to the rest of the television viewing planet.

I know that's not what the Jersey Shore is all about - because I AM A REAL JERSEY GIRL!  Born and raised.

New Jersey is also not a a state only full of oil refineries, swamps, mostly cities like Newark or Camden oh and the mafia - but beautiful the Garden State.

I still live in Jersey.  Once upon a time I had an "escape from New Jersey" plan.  I even moved out of state once, but I came back.

The truth is - I've got all I want or need right here.

Currently, I live in the woods.  Yes the woods, in the mountains in Jersey.  I've got bear and deer and bobcat that roam free, along with other critters that don't need to be called out.

(I'm getting to my point soon, promise.)

I moved "way up here" to get away from the more urban area where I'd lived & to get away from the crime that was creeping over to my nice little town.  While there may be crime everywhere, I wasn't interested in the little shoot outs that begun to happen not too far from my home.

Yeah, I know - not a great selling point for Jersey, but let's face it - even in the nice Midwestern states there are shootings and crime.

I grew up in the "city".  Starting off in the Paterson area then to Clifton for most of my adolescent life.

When I was younger things weren't as bad as they are now, but - let's just say - my environment taught me to be tough. You needed to be tough, or at least appear tough.  That tough, definitely gets me through the difficult times & the times where I need to have my skin be just a bit thicker.

We didn't portray the New Jersey youth that's shown currently shown through the screen of the television.  We were a real group of kids who looked out for each other.

...and on weekends in the summer - we went down the shore.

Picture a scene from an 80's movie...

A bunch of high school kids piled into a friend's car.  The music is cranked loudly, arms & legs hanging out of car windows, each taking turns throwing quarters over the car into the toll basket while traveling the hour to two and a half hour drive to our beach of choice.

Then when you finally got there, all you would smell was the delicious sea air, Hawaiian Tropics suntan oil and sausage & peppers from the Midway.

In my high school years, Seaside Heights was the place to be.  Yes, just like on TV.

The group of us used to stay at this place called "Jean's Rooms".  The place was just like it sounded - a big ol' house - where this woman named Jean rented rooms.  Two beds to a room - showers and bathrooms were common to the house and down the hall.  Rooms were $30 a night.  Now you know a group of teenagers will cram 4 to a room, two to a bed for a $15 weekend.  Pffft, we needed money for food, beer and boardwalk.  Hello, job or no job, none of us were rolling in the dough!

Too bad, you're late!
This was a really great place to go for us - because this lady Jean really did care about her guests.  She kept an eye on us kids and made sure no one got out of hand or wrecked her place.  She kept it respectable & if there was trouble - it was gone in a flash.  She was like grandma and the boss all in one.

Also - if you came back to the house after 1 am - you were bummin' doors locked.  Rules are rules!

When I got a little older and had my own car - I had the standard overnight bag and many rolls of toilet paper packed in the trunk of my car, ready to go.  I know that you weekend shore people get the toilet paper thing... Toilet paper was a HOT commodity.  You seriously HID your toilet paper to be sure you always had it.  Remember, we were kids.  Open door policy applied at almost every shore house. Got beer?  Sure, come on in.... Did you bring your toilet paper?

We didn't get drunk and fall over people to throw up, or pee in public or start random fights... There were "guidos" and "guidettes" and what my group of friends called "hair monsters" at the club, but no one was fighting or being disrespectful to the family people.  We just had a good time and did what we were supposed to do.

But life rolls on...

Perceptions change.  The world will change.  Things will either be better or worse - I hope for better.

One day my kid's kids will be out on their own adventures, and I'm quite sure my kids will one day say...

"when I was your age........"

Thank you for reading my blog!!

Smoochies :)



  1. From one Jersey girl to another, GREAT blog. I look at things from Jean's perspective (no, I'm not THAT old). I grew up in Wildwood. My mom rented apartments for the summer and there were apartment houses all up and down my street. I made many many friends with kids who'd come down for a weekend, a week or the whole summer. I worked in the arcades and restaurants where kids would play or eat. And I loved every single minute of it.

    Thanks for the memories, Jenn.


  2. Thank you for bringing back some wonderful memories of my time down the shore. We used to go to Seaside Heights and Wildwood Crest every summer and it was awesome. I miss those days so much.

    From your Staten Island Girl, Roe..

    ( hey, I wonder if we ever crossed paths somewhere along the line?)


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