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Friend is annoyed with my answer to small talk questions of where I am from...

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My dear friend of 20+ years and I recently took a vacation together.  While overall it was lovely, something has been nagging at me ever since, and I would like unbiased opinions as to whether I am legitimately annoyed, or if I am being irrational :) 

Background:  She lives in a major city, and takes GREAT pride in being an urban dweller, to the point where she can be disparaging about people who live in the suburbs or, heaven forbid, rural areas.  I live in the outskirts of a major city in another state.  My area is slightly more urban than a stereotypical suburb, but it is definitely not urban (my mailing address is a town, not the major city).  I am finding it hard to explain without naming the exact area, but essentially I live in the very outskirts of "MajorCity Metro area" and while there is a train I can take to the downtown of MajorCity, it is inconvenient and I find it much easier to drive.  Basically, I am within 30 minutes of downtown if I don't hit traffic.  We both grew up in an area that was suburban, tending toward the more rural side of suburban, and I know she is proud of herself that she moved alone to her city.

While traveling, I find it common that fellow travelers will ask "So, where are you from?" in making small talk.  As these are people who seem perfectly nice, but have no real need to know, I generally say "MajorCity" or "Outside of MajorCity."  There is no reason, in my opinion, to engage in a lengthy description of where I live in answer to a stranger who honestly is unlikely to either know exactly what I am talking about unless he/she had been to this area, and probably doesn't really care that much about the answer. 

If she is around for these exchanges (think either waiting to board a plane, eating breakfast at a B&B, getting drinks at the hotel bar, etc.), she immediately interjects "No, you're not!  You live in a SUBURB!!!! *I* ACTUALLY live in a CITY, and it is NOT the SAME!!"  In response to this, in order to lessen the awkwardness, I say something to the effect of "Yes, that's right!" with a cheery smile, and then change the subject.  She particularly takes umbrage when I say "MajorCity," and is very keen to correct the stranger and everyone within earshot that I do NOT live in the city, and I am NOT urban, and she is MUCH more urban. 

Frankly, I find this weird and childish.  I am not sure why it matters so much to her, but it happened often enough that it clearly is a big deal to her (it happened every.single.time, not just, say, when she had had a drink or was trying to impress a particular stranger).  I love her dearly, and I would like a way to address this without being overly hostile.  I did not bring it up at the time because I didn't want to potentially cause a scene, and then I didn't bring it up while we were traveling in case it ended up being a big issue and would dampen the rest of our trip, and now I fear I have waited so long that it will be strange to bring it up. 

So, if you have read this far, thank you!  My questions are:

1)  Would you find this annoying?

2) Should I address this with her, or just let it go?  If I should address it, do you have any suggestions as to how I can do so? 

Your friend is being nutty.  I would find that extremely annoying.  I think most people in any major city suburb say they're from major city as it's easier to explain.  I would tell her that she's overreacting and you just say it for convenience. 

I would find her behavior really annoying. I would tell her, "Look, I don't know why you feel the need to "correct" me on where I live. I'm saying *MajorCity* because it's easier. It's not got anything in the world to do with you."

I do this too. Mainly b/c no one will have ever heard of the little town of my residence, but almost everyone has heard of the town next door. Mostly b/c there is a very big university there.

Perhaps what you could say to your friend is something like "It hurts my feelings and makes me feel as though I'm being belittled when you correct me in front of strangers." You could even go a bit further, if you wish, by saying "The only reason I say I live in Major City is because most people will have heard of it. I don't consider it a big deal to say I'm from there and I would prefer it if you didn't correct me in front of people."

**Very long time reader/sometimes contributor, with a new user name***

Your friend is nuts.

I live in NYC, which in my opinion is the greatest city the world over, and I'm quite city proud. 

When I went to Vegas with my friend from Nassau County, a suburb to the east of NYC, I pretty much expected she'd say she was from NYC as small talk.  Not because NYC is better then her town and she should be ashamed or town-proud, but because lets face it, most people outside of the NY-metro area don't really know the suburbs and its small talk.


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