Monday, August 9, 2010

There Are No Peaches In This Garden

There is a definite hush in my life of crazy boy stories at the moment. Summer allows us to be scattered across the northeast in hot pursuit of our own individual space…healthy space.

I’ve opted to use this time with only one fourth of my tribe present to purge our household of all the extra stuff we’ve accumulated during the course of the year. In doing so, I came across some paper work that brought to light the fact that I left Georgia seven years ago this week. And when I say left, I actually mean ran out of there like a bat out of hell. Without exaggeration, when I de-boarded the plane from Georgia my first stop was the mall because I left everything behind, undergarments included. I got off that plane singing Joe Cuba's "I'll never go back to Georgia" loudly and with determination. 

For many of my northern friends, living in Georgia and the greater Atlanta area means that they have traveled a road that lead them to success and that they are actively enjoying the fruits of their labor. I guess in this case that fruit would be a peach.  I know many people from the north who live in the greater Atlanta area and have created a wonderful, rewarding and happy life.  I wasn’t one of those people.

Was the cost of living cheaper than what I was used to as a native New Yorker? Was the grass greener? Yards bigger? Grocery stores cleaner? Donuts better? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes and well, the last one is a Dunkin Donuts versus Krispy Kreme debate that I am still waffling over. 

However, for me, those things weren’t enough to make it my promise land.  The Atlanta that welcomed me was full of pretentious, materialist, one-dimensional folks with a lot of money. Especially the women. The women I met where the one’s whose idea of social consciousness meant getting a new gown and Mani Pedi appointment secured in time for the Jack and Jill ball.  And for all the Jack and Jill folks that may be reading this, I have no intentions on stepping on your toes…albeit, freshly painted. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)  I am strictly referencing my experience at a particular place and time with actual women. Grassroots was nothing more than something you hired a foreign gardener to get rid off.  A simple question such as “Where do you go to church?” was really a coded question used to decipher if you resided amongst the elite of Cascades or if you fled to Cobb County, Suwannee or Alpharetta. The level of conversation amongst these women swayed between malicious gossip, on going tales about their spouses and their other lovers…Gucci, Louie and Versace. Now in all fairness, did I meet great women in the greater Atlanta area? Absolutely. However, for each one of those, I met a dozen of the other.

Does that mean that I currently live in my paradise? Honestly, I don’t know. However, I do know that in these seven years, I’ve been greeted by women who could care less about my zip code, tax bracket or designer of my shoes. The woman in my life here are community organizers (whether by profession and by everyday practice), volunteers, and family advocates. They work collectively for the greater good of our community. They step in and fill recognizable voids just because they can, not because they want to prove someone else’s inefficiency. It is great to know that I can look in the faces of the women in my life here and no longer have to pray that nothing in them is a reflection of me. It is a great relief to know that there are no peaches in this garden state.

Be ever so wonderful,

If I knew how to give a blog post a theme song, this would be it:

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