Author Topic: Friend is annoyed with my answer to small talk questions of where I am from...  (Read 8239 times)

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mmswm

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I can't honestly say that I know anybody who lives in the suburbs that won't reply with the name of the nearest major city when asked where they're from by a total stranger.  Why would I want to be any more precise than I have to be?  I don't know these people from Adam.  Heck, look at the lengths posters have gone to in order to obscure the actual location of their residence on this thread alone?  "MajorCity" or "MajorCity  Area" is perfectly sufficient to answer a stranger.

Now that I'm back in my hometown, I actually have a double layer of this.  Most of the time, I'll answer the question with Miami (since I've admitted several times where I live, I have no problem naming the general area here).  Now, the actual city of Miami is quite small compared to the area that's known as Miami.  There's Miami Beach, Miami Lakes, Coral Gables and many other smaller incorporated areas, along with a ton of unincorporated areas known as "unincorporated Miami-Dade County."  Other than Miami Beach, most outsiders really don't know or care about those details.  Now, I live in an area that got a huge amount of national attention due a major hurricane a while back.  I could say the name of that city, but even then that wouldn't quite be the truth.   Locally, I'll just say "SmallCity", even though I actually live in an outlying area of said small city.

I guess you can say that I live in a suburb of a suburb.

luvmyboys

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Is your friend my SIL?????  Dh and I deal with this from my SIL all the time.   I just chalk it up to her problem.   My scenario is that I grew up in NYC and she grew up in the suburbs.   She has this extreme hatred of the suburbs, it's mind boggling to me.  Anyway She now lives in the city, divorced her dh because he wouldn't move to the city, and we now live in a NYC suburb as I want to raise my kids here.  I love NYC but seriously...... I laugh at anyone that thinks they are superior because they live there.   
I actually go out of my way to say I live in a NYC suburb and how fab it is (even though I don't really feel that way) when I am around her just to counter balance her "how could anyone live in the suburbs" attitude.   If she were to correct me I would call her on it immediately, usually in a non e-hell approved way such as "why do you have such an problem with the suburbs, it's beautiful and quiet and we love it". 
Anyway...   back to you, I would be peeved as I hate anyone correcting me for a ridiculous reason, so I would call her on it. 

StareDecisis

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Thank you all so much for your responses!  It is very gratifying to know that I'm not just being crazy  ;D

I think I will wait to address it until it happens again, but I won't do it in front of the stranger (although some of the suggested phrases have been tempting). 

I think that is is possible that it may be partly insecurity, but I think it is more likely that she is a "big city snob", as some of you have so rightly stated.  For whatever reason, she thinks that anyone other than city dwellers are ignorant of the plight of the poor, and often makes snarky comments when I say something to the effect of "Oh, that's not such a great area after dark, why don't we take a cab back to the hotel after dinner instead of walking back?"  I don't dislike poor people, I simply fear for my safety in an area where there have been shootings - I don't care if the shooter is rich or poor, kwim?  I just want to be safe! 

luvmyboys, I don't think she is your SIL (unless NYC is a fill-in for another city), but how funny to know she has a sister-figure!  I like your approach of talking up the suburbs  >:D

JenJay

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This would irritate the heck out of me because I don't want random people to know exactly where I live. Okay, chances are they'll never be anywhere near my town, but still. I'd tell her "I say I live near City because that's as much information as I'm comfortable sharing with strangers. Please stop correcting me, it makes me uncomfortable."

oceanus

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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."

This is a good response.  I might even add "I don't understand why it's such a big deal with you".  ::)

OP - your friend is a big city snob, a bit nutty and also rude for butting in.


ETA:  This is kind of the reverse of a suburban suburban snob.  I know someone who lives in a VERY wealthy suburb and he always seizes the opportunity to let people know.  If they say “Do you live in (Metro city)?”  instead of saying “Just outside” he makes a big production of announcing “Ohhhhh nooooooo, I live in (VERY wealthy suburb)”.  People like that make me wanna ::) ::)
« Last Edit: February 08, 2013, 05:56:39 PM by oceanus »

kitchcat

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She seems to be bent on making sure people know you are not special like her because you don't living in a big city.  ::)

Have you you mentioned to her that you don't like her telling strangers where you live? If she's an otherwise good friend, you could frame it as being a privacy thing.
"Sarah, I know I don't actually live in MajorCity, but it's close enough and I would really prefer not to tell strangers where I exactly."

If that doesn't sit with her, she's nutty and you might want to move on.
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guihong

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I say "I grew up in Wisconsin" because my city WAS the big city (a whopping 35K people) and nobody has ever heard of it.  Going to Green Bay was a big deal, even though it was only 45 minutes away - I got to go to the mall in Green Bay to buy a prom dress, for example.  45 minutes always seemed like a huge distance because nowhere else took more than ten minutes to get to.

Now I live in a city people have actually heard of, which is UNlike the state around us in many ways, so I'm careful to say "I'm from MyCity, MyState" instead of just "MyState" because people have very different connotations of the two.  And 45 minutes is now a pretty standard estimate for "get across town during rush hour."  Even so, my city is less than 200K people, so someone in a REAL big city probably thinks I'm still small-town.  I'm fine with that  ;D

I've been to Marinette, but that's probably not right ;).




StareDecisis

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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."

This is a good response.  I might even add "I don't understand why it's such a big deal with you".  ::)

OP - your friend is a big city snob, a bit nutty and also rude for butting in.


ETA:  This is kind of the reverse of a suburban suburban snob.  I know someone who lives in a VERY wealthy suburb and he always seizes the opportunity to let people know.  If they say “Do you live in (Metro city)?”  instead of saying “Just outside” he makes a big production of announcing “Ohhhhh nooooooo, I live in (VERY wealthy suburb)”.  People like that make me wanna ::) ::)

That would be equally annoying!  I had never encountered anything like this before this vacation with my friend, and I find it so interesting that this is a common thing, regardless of whether the speaker thinks city/wealthy suburb//etc. is "best."

Slartibartfast

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I say "I grew up in Wisconsin" because my city WAS the big city (a whopping 35K people) and nobody has ever heard of it.  Going to Green Bay was a big deal, even though it was only 45 minutes away - I got to go to the mall in Green Bay to buy a prom dress, for example.  45 minutes always seemed like a huge distance because nowhere else took more than ten minutes to get to.

Now I live in a city people have actually heard of, which is UNlike the state around us in many ways, so I'm careful to say "I'm from MyCity, MyState" instead of just "MyState" because people have very different connotations of the two.  And 45 minutes is now a pretty standard estimate for "get across town during rush hour."  Even so, my city is less than 200K people, so someone in a REAL big city probably thinks I'm still small-town.  I'm fine with that  ;D

I've been to Marinette, but that's probably not right ;).

45 minutes south along the Lake, not north  :)

daisy1679

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There is also the case of saying somebody else lives in Big City when they live in the area/live close but don't actually live in it.  I think that depending where you are in Michigan can affect where "in Detroit" is.  For some people who live up north, anything south of Saginaw is "in Detroit".  For others it starts in Pontiac.  However, I know there are people who would probably be annoyed at being described as living "in Detroit" because they are a mile, a few miles, several miles away from the city limits fo Detroit. Yet for those further away their is just this glob in the state that is seen as "Detroit",

I am laughing so hard at this ;D I grew up in northern Michigan, and it drove my husband nuts that I would just tell people he's from near Detroit, because he lived almost 30 miles away. And I would just laugh and tell him "honey, up here that is Detroit"

I'm also one who doesn't think you're doing anything wrong, and I generally do the same as you. The farther away from home I am, the less exact my answer would be. However, I usually use the word "near", such "I live near Major City" because it's closer to the truth, and be more accurate if questioned further.

Slartibartfast

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I can't honestly say that I know anybody who lives in the suburbs that won't reply with the name of the nearest major city when asked where they're from by a total stranger.  Why would I want to be any more precise than I have to be?  I don't know these people from Adam.  Heck, look at the lengths posters have gone to in order to obscure the actual location of their residence on this thread alone?  "MajorCity" or "MajorCity  Area" is perfectly sufficient to answer a stranger.

The only exception I can think of to this is Northern Virginia, and that's only because half the state is a suburb of DC anyway  ;)

Piratelvr1121

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When I lived in a suburb in central Maryland, I'd usually say "Oh I'm from a suburb of Baltimore." Actually it was about 30 minutes from Baltimore but hey, people recognize the name. 

Now I just say I'm about 1/2 an hour from Frederick.  If they blank on that well then I say it's western Maryland. 
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TootsNYC

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Just to minimize the problem with her, bcs she must have some insecurity about it, I'd switch to saying, "I'm from a town in the BigCity area."

CaffeineKatie

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I agree that her behavior is rude and downright annoying.  However, I would just ask her flat out "Why do you feel the need to say that?" when she "corrects" where you live.  I wouldn't make a joke, change my answer, etc.--I would simply ask her to justify her rude behavior and let her flail around trying to do it.  And if she said "but you KNOW I'm right", I would repeat "why do you feel the need to say that" and hope it will dawn on her just how rude and silly she seems to you and to complete strangers who don't really care exactly where either of you live!

NyaChan

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I almost think I live in the same situation because I get this a lot myself.  I think you are handling it beautifully, though I might ask her why it bothers her so much that you simplify things for more convenient responses in conversation.