Before I even get into this post….IF YOU ARE A NEW JERSEY HATER, JUST SKIP THIS POST. Just don’t even bother. I do not understand the hate. I don’t understand the jealousy. I don’t understand the distrust. HOWEVER, this article is a love letter to New Jersey so just go away if you don’t agree.
Dear New Jersey,
You are my one true love. Every time I think of you lucious shore line, you decadent greenery, your wondrous mountains, I can come to tears. You are all giving. You are all loving. No matter what people say, you are still you. And for that I am in love.
We were together before I could ever express my love in words. You made me feel safe in the rural roads and small suburbs of South Jersey. You were able to introduce me to your friends, Philadelphia and New York City. I enjoyed them but nothing like you.
The journeys to Ocean City, Atlantic City, Cape May, and Wildwood run through my brain. The sound of the waves crashing and feel on warm sand and sun beaming on my skin puts me at ease. The smell of seaweed and taste of fresh fudge make me feel like this is real Jersey. As I close my eyes, I can see the family passing out juices to their children and securing their umbrella. I can see the couple walking down the boardwalk enjoying their Kohr Brothers ice cream or Mack & Manco’s pizza. Everyone is so happy and so am I.
The family or friend trips to Hamilton Mall, Deptford Mall, Cherry Hill Mall, or even Cumberland Mall. It wasn’t always about the shopping or what I could buy. But rather, it was the experience and memories. That’s where I bit my tongue so hard while eating a cheesesteak. That’s where my mom embarrassed me by talking about the Easter Bunny not having a butt while walking back to his station. That’s where my best friend of up would pretend to shop for hours because we thought the one employee was cute. That’s where I got my first job at Friendly’s.
People might ask, what did you have to do? Plenty! Okay maybe not “plenty” but I had a great childhood. Bowling, movies, house parties, swimming pools in the backyard, trampoline, road trips, and diners on diners on diners. After all signature school events, you go to the diner. You hungry after a long night? Diner. You want to skip first period? I mean I wouldn’t know because I never did that! (Hi mom who is probably reading this!) But I HEARD people went to the diner…or McDonald’s. There’s no french fry like a New Jersey diner french fry.
I found myself with you New Jersey. It took me leaving to really appreciate you. I know what I had and if I have children what I want to have for them. Now that I am an adult, I may never return to your arms. And I accept that. But allow me to visit. Allow me to experience that nostalgic joy again. I’ll never forget what you gave to me. I’m a Jersey girl and I’ll never lose that.
Love you always,
The Chubby Traveler