Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Lives of the Rich and Shameless

Scott and I live in a modest neighborhood -- no McMansions here.  But the mortgage is reasonable, we love our house, and the neighbors respect one another's privacy -- no peering in windows, dropping by unannounced or gossipping over the fence.  However, by the surrounding communities, we are considered "The Hood."  We're OK with that.  We don't pretend to be the upper echelon; we have our problems, but here, they are right before your eyes -- no molestors posing as mild-mannered retirees, no drug dealing police officers or embezzeling politicians.  That's the thing about living in The Hood, all the neighboring communities love to bring you down; so when crime happens, it's all over the news -- no one hides.  While the nearby "gated communities" or "white collar boroughs" -- you know, decent people -- stick their noses in the air, you can drive their streets and almost catch the scent of prescription meds -- or the need for them.  The pillar of the community that refers to his wife as "Hey Stupid!"  The town cop that stiffs his kid at every oppurtunity, and secretly belittles his girlfriend's child to the point of tears.  The closet alcoholic that operates township vehicles to drive carpool to the local elementary school; the well-advertised and, of course, privately contempted alcoholic that finds "no one home" at every door on which she knocks.  The arrogant bigots that approve your membership or welcome your patronage, strictly for your cash and their entertainment.  Even in the zoo, they mark the cages of the most dangerous beasts.

We try to teach our children to tell the truth.  When they do something wrong, we tell them that lying is not an option.  "Own up to it.  If you're big enough to do the deed, you're big enough to stand up when your name is called."  So much can be revealed when exposed to the light of the truth.  It won't matter what mask you wore, what manicured hedge you hid behind, whether you were respected or reviled -- the truth will be known.  And frankly, good or bad, I prefer the truth.
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