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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hey Jones Family, you suck

We all do it.  We might try to rise above and declare we don't care what the Joneses are doing.  We might even forcibly avert our eyes at times so as to appear we aren't hyper-interested in what the people next door are doing, or buying...and then we go inside and stand post by the window that will best allow us to peek without being detected. 

Keeping up with the Joneses (or the whatevers that live within your social circle, or in your neighborhood, or any other group you are routinely exposed to and inadvertnely compare yourself to)

My family's done alright, I think.  I mean we've always lived a socially acceptable existence (well, outside having half a dozen plus kids).  We've had nice homes, cars that were always one color with all original parts (except for the very brief time in our pre-parent days when a trip to the commissary happened in a truck that was more rust than metal, complete with bull horns attatched to the hood.  I can't make this stuff up.  True story) and clothes from the current decade in which we are living.  We have electronic stuff and toy stuff (kids do, getcho mind out da gutta) and furniture stuff.  You know, just stuff.

Keeping up has meant different things in different places.  In Rio Rancho, New Mexico

It meant having rocks in your yard and no mature trees.  All trees needed to look like juvenile deliquents so strung out on coffee that their growth had been stunted.  Grass was a cultural no-no because grass needs water and using water for anything other than sustenance was wasteful in the desert.  So we totally kept up here.  Even had a rock river in the backyard for the first few hours we inhabited this house. 

And when we moved to Albquerque Proper

Something different.  Here, grass was perfectly acceptable.  But don't let it grow in the cracks of the driveway or you'll get an eviction notice and a free lawyer from the largest law firm in the city because of the intrigue of a harrassment case so ridiculous the lawyers actually laughed.  (And seriously, if you are a landlord and your house has just been released from probate and you want to sell it, it's a better course of action to communicate with your tenants rather than trying to evict them based on a weed in the crack of the driveway.  That was seriously stupid.)  In this neighborhood, there was an actual requirement to have x number of this kind of shurb, x number of this kind of tree, and a choice between a certain kind of grass or xeriscaping.  Now, I am not going to downplay the importance of a Homeowner's Association in keeping a neighborhood safe and aesthetically pleasing, but why on earth would you pay a ton of money for a tiny house with no yard and rules so strict that you can't even plant a bush of your own choosing in your own yard.  Keeping up with the Joneses in this neighborhood wasn't even worth the effort.  We gladly accepted our fish out of water thing here knowing that our time was limited. 

When our time was up in Albuqerque (oh happy day) we already had our new house waiting for us:

This house was very good.  There weren't a lot of Joneses surrounding us, but there were a few neighbor type people.  And there was grass, which is a requirement in Georgia, along with fire ants.  I still love this house.  I don't love how long the process of remodeling it to our needs and desires is, but this house is still much loved (and bigger than all the other houses around here thankyouverymuch, I totally win!!) 

So now, we're in this very nice house (seriously I have always had a love affair with log homes and never in my wildest dreams imagined I'd be living in one), we still have vehicles that are rust-free and run and don't have parts of dead animals attached to any portion of them.  Still have clothes, still have furniture to sit on (upgraded, thank God), I have more yarn than Mrs. Jones (I think she knits.  She must....I mean seriously could it be possible for her NOT to knit?  Yeah, not even going to spend time on that possibility because her life would totally suck and I'd feel bad for competing with her...) We even have a TV worth stealing and all this stuff that attaches to it to make it sound better or something (this is what I'm told, I have no clue) 

You'd think we'd have the Joneses totally whipped right?  I mean look at all this good stuff we have.  I lived in a bubble of denial for a long time, thinking we had it all.  The American Dream.  The Good Life.  We WERE the freakin Joneses. 

But then a dark cloud descended upon me, as I realized this funny thing I saw on the road....this oddity, this fodder for dinner table jokes...wasn't funny.  Everyone had one.  All the people in my neighborhood have this thing I do not have and up until now would have never even knew I needed:  They all (ALL I tell you....) have these:

I know what you're thinking.  She lives on a golf course too?  Hot damn, she really does Have-It-All.  But as much as I hate to shatter the illusion that my life is that cool, I have to tell you, I live in a pretty rural area.  I mean when the winter comes and all the trees give a shout out to nudists everywhere, you can see that behind my little haven of woody goodness, there is a trailer park deal happening.  And even the residents of the box houses have these carts.  What the heck is that?  The first time I saw one, I giggled a little bit, thinking "Oh how funny...a golf cart going down the road..." But then it became very apparent that these people, all around me, have golf carts.  And I still can't figure out why.  I mean if you want to go down the street, you'd think the purpose of that activity would be to get a little exercise right?  That theory got shot straight to you-know-what when our NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR rode his cart up to our driveway to give us some tomatoes.  Seriously? 
Now I'm a logical person.  Very logical and when something doesn't make sense to my logical mind, it drives me batty.  So we don't live on or near a golf course.  There's really no block to go around and anything of consquence you'd want to access must be accessed by way of a very major highway.  You can't drive these carts on a highway, so the sole point of these vehicles has to be for, fun?  But they go like half a mile an hour, so it can't be that much of a thrill riding one.  Let's really think about this.  What is the thought process by which someone decides "Dammit, what's missing in my life is my very own golf cart?" Is it 'Hey kids, good job on your report card, here's a golf cart.."  Or is this how the natives teach their young to drive? I mean that's one of the bonus features of a riding lawnmower, but the whole mower thing does something...cuts grass. All a golf cart does is move people from point A to point A.2 (no, not point B.  If you want to get to point B you get in your really real car) So what, pray tell, is the point exactly?
Now, I must disclose that we are among the golf-cart-Gods, Club Car and some other place I don't know the name of because my friend's husband doesn't work there, but is this really an overflooded market type thing going on? I mean, is it because you can find these for such a low price that owning one is fiscally reasonable?  But really if you have a certain sum that could be applied to something so dumb, how do you get to the point where you choose a golf cart over something (anything) else?
I am without answers.  I am without understanding.
I am without a golf cart.
Damn you Joneses. 


  1. I think I ca guess where you live! I grew up pretty close to a city in GA where golf carts were the norm and there were lanes and special parking spaces just for them...