Friday, July 14, 2006

Why Delaware?

People ask me (well, someone asked me), "Why did you move to Delaware if you're always talking about New Jersey?" I'm glad you asked that. My answer:

1. I know where Delaware is.

2. It's not that far from New Jersey. I can go back and visit my pals, and shop. There is no sales tax in Delaware, but there's nothing to shop for, either. It's nice if you want tires or a computer or something.

3. Property taxes are ridiculously low. For someone from New Jersey. I save enough on my property tax to go to Europe every year.

4. Good central location. I have relatives in Maryland, Virginia, and New Jersey.

5. Wilmington is near Philadelphia. I feel the need for a big city once in a while.

6. Trucks. Drive through New Jersey and you'll see what I mean. They should call it the Truck State. Wherever you go, there is a tractor trailer right next to you, ready and willing to cut you off.

7. Delaware is pretty.

8. Nice cultural facilities, particularly the art museum.

9. Nice people. In the gym I belonged to in NJ, there were regular acrimonious arguments about pieces of equipment. The gym is much more mannerly here.

Okay, I'll make a confession. Delaware doesn't seem like home to me yet. For one thing, I can't find my way around my house in the dark. I don't know anybody.

But the natives are friendly. One of the neighbors cleaned the snow off our driveway voluntarily. People say hello. Clerks in stores are pleasant and friendly. They speak English. Public officials are helpful and polite. People in the libraries are unbelievably nice.

Now the complaints.

1. The way people drive. I have never seen anyone turn his/her head when backing up. They also shoot out of intersections right in front of you. And I have been tailgated more since I lived here than I ever was in my life. If they drove like that in New Jersey they would either be killed by a tractor trailer or shot by an irate motorist.

2. People walk around barefooted. What is this, Tobacco Road? Wear shoes!

2a. The number of people who wear shorts who shouldn't is phenomenal. People, get a grip!

3. Everything is not open 24 hours a day. Not that I want to go to the drugstore at 3 a.m. on Christmas Eve, but I like to have the option. I don't know why this matters, but it does. I admit it's stupid.

4. Baked ziti, lack of.

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