By Hillary Kelly (NewRepublic)
Say we meet at a party. You’re from a suburb, or perhaps even a rural community, but when I ask you where you’re from, you feel compelled to outright lie. “I’m from New York,” the New Brunswick native replies. “San Francisco,” says the girl who grew up in Danville. “Philly,” claims the guy from Radnor who has no idea that he’s talking to a Philly native. Philadelphia proper, that is. Not the metropolitan area: inside the city lines.
City kids have long had to endure countless awkward encounters in which our conversational partner claims to be from our native city, but upon further questioning (“Oh, you’re from Philly too? Which part?”) turns out to be the native son of a small town 45 minutes deep into the rolling hills of suburbia. Sure, we might still have plenty in common, but now that guy has lied to me, made a chump of himself, and set the groundwork for what’s about to be an exceedingly uncomfortable conversational extraction.
So why not just tell the truth?