"I’m from the East Side"

I’m taking a break from my venue reviews to address a conversational thread that’s pulled nearly every single time I meet a new group of people at a Kalamazoo night spot. I’ll walk you through it:

Me: “…and then she told me to stop.”

Kid in plaid shirt: “Haha, I’ve, like, totally been there man, totally. Yeah, man, so where you from”?

Me: “Kalamazoo.”

KIPS: “Oh, yeah, that’s cool.”

*awkward silence*

Me: “You”?

KIPS: “Aw, I’m just from the East Side.”

Without fail, that woefully misplaced arrogance, by an unfortunately dressed dweeb, no less, lingers in the air like a taco-inspired meat fart. I usually end the conversation shortly thereafter. I’m not saying that every conversation I have with an east sider plays out like it does above, but it happens often enough for me to notice a pattern (and warrant a blog post). When I give you the courtesy of telling you the town I hail from, it’s only proper that you reciprocate. I know social skills aren’t everybody’s forte, but try to understand that your ambiguity is condescending and implies that I can’t point out Ann Arbor or Birming-fucking-ham on a Michigan map.

Maybe I’m being too harsh. Maybe it’s just that the east siders have learned from years of trial-and-error with legions of geographically-impaired west side yokels that they’re better off just keeping it basic.

So I believe we have reached an impasse: is it east side arrogance or west side boorishness that’s behind the tired routine I find myself in night after night? Either way, I don’t give a damn, just say where you’re from, okay?

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