Living in the Right Neighborhood

Why is it so important to live in the right neighborhood? Where we live usually tells people if were working class, middle class, or upper class. It gives an idea if our parents have money or are just getting by.  I never viewed where I lived as the wrong neighborhood, until one day some kid from high school noticed me walking home in a different direction than he thought I should be. For that brief moment I was bewildered.

The neighborhood I lived in, the houses were small, not as small as the ones down the street, working class residence. They were three bedroom and two bathrooms. The backyard was large because the house was on the corner of a dead -end. This is an element I liked because there was plenty of space I could run around as kid and there was a large tree to build a club house.

As I grew into my teens I soon realized no matter what my mother said or did, she couldn’t get my father to budge and buy a larger home, knowing we needed it and he was able to afford it. With five kids in the family we needed the space. I guess the only good thing was, us girls moved out quickly after high school.

Kids don’t realize their parents income until their friends start pointing it out because of where you live. It might be part of the reason I never wanted friends sleeping over, or coming over at all. Where a person lives indicates how affluent the family is and if you come from money.  The reality is, living in a really nice big house doesn’t mean anything if the family isn’t solid. So many people have money with the same problems as everyone else, sometimes they have worst problems.

I had a few friends who were white girls, very cool people, but I found myself liking their parents more than my high school friends. All of them lived in the “country wood homes”, which were newly built very large two story homes. A more upscale neighborhood. Well all of them were doing drugs, and I don’t mean just smoking a blunt. One friend her parents got divorced, so the family fell apart soon after that. My other girlfriend had the biggest losers as boyfriends who were threatening her family and they soon had to move. She had three abortions before we finished high school. I recall another good friend of mine who was adopted, she had five siblings and came from single mom, I had no idea how her mother supported everyone.

I don’t know how her mother was able to afford the house she lived in either, it was large upscale home planted in the hills. Now that I recall there was never one stick of decent furniture in her house, the place was pigsty. Regardless of living in the right neighborhood to appear affluent means nothing when families have repeated the same problems in society. Drug abuse, pornography, domestic violence, alcoholism, divorce and single parenting. There was a lot of this going on.

I had a friend in high school who also lived in the “country wood homes”, her father was a butcher and made a good living. Her mom never worked and one day he thought it was okay to molest our friend. She was only sixteen, it was a disgrace and we didn’t know what to do. After that the friendship was over, when Elaine pointed out it was the friend’s fault, her father behaved this way., no one spoke to each other again.

People can be rich or poor and there will always be judgement of living well or not, but what matters most is the things parents should be teaching their children. Values, morals, love, respect, how to avoid a sex offender. Communicating with their kids is extremely important and parents lack to do this for two reasons: too many kids in the house and time runs out, and both parents having to work. Some people who I thought were friends in high school love to talk shit to me at times. A certain group I would sometimes hangout with. One day Michelle tells me some crap about my father not caring about me, now as an adult I see she was speaking about herself. My father always worked hard. He wasn’t perfect because I dealt with his negative attitude at times, but at least he wasn’t a heroin addict, like her father was. Her family was highly dysfunctional and her mom was moving every couple of months.

So the next time you feel a bit jealous or envy creeps in about what other people have and how they live, just remember to ask yourself, how solid are they as a family? Or do you see signs of being dysfunctional?  You never really know how people are living or what lies they will tell to appear as if they have it altogether, by being affluent and prosperous. It doesn’t matter where you live, it matters how you feel about who you are and where you come from. The rest isn’t important at all, it only appears to be.

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