Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My people do write the quaintest titles though, don't we?

I live in a small but very affluent city. In fact the first remark people make when they find out where I live is a stunned "they have a trailer park there?" Indeed they do, as a secret shopper noted during the grand opening of a nearby housing development. "Yes," the sales representative conceded,"but don't worry. It's fenced in."

Well the joke's on her. We trailer parkians are a freakishly agile bunch. Comes from all that crawling around shooing skunks out from under the skirting. Plumbers appreciate it when you do that before calling them out. They didn't at one of the trailers my plumber got called out to. He was already underneath the thing working when he made that discovery, and in his haste to get away forgot that the pipe he'd been working on was pretty much exactly at mouth level in the direction he was turning at approximately five thousand miles per hour.

That was the last he saw of those teeth. But still, agile! I mean he did get away, after all. Well most of him did, anyway.

No, it's not a glamorous life. Glamorous people don't live in houses that tilt at odd angles after heavy rain falls. Glamorous people don't have leaky taps that they refuse to fix because it keeps the pipes from freezing when it's forty below, and glamorous people don't generally have small mammals denning under their front door. The few that do probably spend more on haircare for those mammals than I do on dental.

Trailer park people are well aware that we're the laughing stock of, well, everywhere. We're a stereotype, a catch phrase, and a hilarious party theme all rolled into one. Let's be frank, we're the only distinct demographic that it's still okay to make fun of. We're the lovable chumps of North American society. Not poor enough to be scary poor, just poor enough to be ridiculous. Not an economically important enough population to worry about alienating, and not a socially troubled enough population to worry about being sensitive to. We're not tragedy poor, we're comedy poor. We're Jerry Springer poor!

One thing we're not, though, is house poor. My home isn't as desirably located, attractively architectured, or even as sedentary as I might ideally prefer, but the most important thing it isn't is the bank's. For me there can be no home sweet home sweeter than a home I can truly call my own. Well, mine and the skunks' I suppose.

54 comments:

Hayley Egan said...

Home is always the best...

nick said...

Unfortunately I think there are plenty of other groups that are always the butt of jokes. At least here in the UK. People who're fat, dim, upper-class, unfashionable, always drunk, you name it. We don't really have the equivalent of trailer parks here, except for travellers, who aren't made fun of but either elaborately respected for their unique culture or bitterly hated by those who've been scammed and ripped off by them.

Personally, I've never thought of trailer parks in a negative way, except that I assume they must be frigging cold in the winter!

I love the idea of a home that's sedentary! Rather than moving rapidly down the hill....

Buckeroomama said...

What's the use of having a mansion when really it's the bank that owns it? Better a small nest one can call one's own anytime.

secret agent woman said...

One of the worst parts of getting divroces was taking a mortgage on again - I had really liked owning my house put right. Sigh. But I'll get there.

My name is PJ. said...

My first home of my own was not an apartment rental, but a 14 x 72 trailer. And I owned it. It was wonderful and affordable. I was 20 and lived in it for nearly 10 years.

I know many folks who've chosen mobile homes for the perfect retirement home.

People tend to make fun of things they don't understand. Let 'em.

Brian Miller said...

no matter what type of home, it is where the heart is.

a pipe to the teeth...yikes!

Eva Gallant said...

OMG! We are truly kindred spirits! See my post below!

http://wrestlingretirement.blogspot.com/2009/08/in-defense-of-trailer-trash.html

Keith (Butterfly Bay) said...

Truly owning your own home (which most homeowners don't - if it's got a lien, you don't 'own' it) is a great thing. Many of my family live in trailers. I see nothing wrong with that at all! I'd be happy to own my own home like that!

Berowne said...

You've got brains, writing talent and creative imagination.

What need for an upper-class domicile?

Cathryn said...

Having lived in trailer parks off and on my whole life, they seem NORMAL to me!

Great post about how people classify others!

BLOGitse said...

So you're free!
Or not glued with a bank, that's cool.

Now you made me so curious that I have to google how trailer parks look...
If I can't find any pics I'll be back. :)

Ron said...

Hey listen, I've seen some incredible trail parks that homes more beautiful than a typical home.

And besides, you're so right...

"the most important thing it isn't is the bank's. For me there can be no home sweet home sweeter than a home I can truly call my own."

Where the Fur Flies said...

The place that you call home doesn't dictate the sort of person you are. I've seen and known of many a McMansion Hillbilly, and I've got more respect for somebody who lives within their means.

linlah said...

So what you're saying here is you live in a gated community?

JenJen said...

Funny,
My post is similar to this too.

Sigh.

HalfAsstic.com said...

That was very well put and hysterical! I have lived in a trailers twice in my life as I was growing up, once when I was 5 and then again when I was 17. I didn't really think that much about it at the time, but we moved a lot when I was a kid. It was just another abode.
You did such a good job covering the social stigma that I want you to try really, really hard and I bet you can hear me yelling, JERRR-RY, JERRR-RY, JERRR-RY! ;-)

f1trey said...

in west virginia youd be livin like a queen ...so its ok!

f1trey said...

in west virginia youd be livin like a queen ...so its ok!

VE said...

Then again...two of our trailer parks populations were kicked out. They didn't own the land and the owner sold out for development and evicted them all. Then, the market crashed and now they sit there like ghost towns. I use them to have my daughter learn how to drive...

Susan said...

That was Jerry Sringer funny! Great post :)

Green-Eyed Momster said...

I would love my trailer if the roof didn't leak.

Hugs!!

Matty said...

I know a few people who live in some darn nice mobile homes. If you closed your eyes and then went to their home, stepped in and then opened your eyes, you would think you were in an upper middle class neighborhood.

magda said...

I wished we could the nearby trailer park close by. Only assholes need to judge a person by where they live. Just sayin..

The Quintessential Magpie said...

What a cute post! Well stated!

In Florida, trailers are now called manufactured homes, but no one seems to mind that we have them. They are in affluent towns and poor ones alike, but they are a part of the lifestyle here.

And animals can burrow under steps no matter what neighborhood or make of house. I have had to battle critters in houses that are on foundations by spending considerable dinero to critter proof things. :-) Same with friends of ours.

XO,

Sheila

Magpie said...

You have such a funny, charming way of looking at life. I love it!

Lourie said...

Home is where you hang your hat. And how many of us can say we OWN our home and really mean it??

Kate Coveny Hood said...

SO true about being house poor! And I love the line about your house not being as "sedentary" as you'd prefer. Too funny!

LadyFi said...

LOL!

I hate the way people make judgements on their pre-conceived notions.

Sounds as if your side of town is a lot more fun and honest than the affluent side!

{ Persis Shah } said...

i think you are the only person i know who lives in a trailer park (we dont have them in india)...i'd love to know more about ur experience and perhaps see some pics of ur home!!

p.s i also think it is fabulous that u dont live ur life in a tried and tested manner....and live in a home that most people only dream about living in!

Shanna said...

Very interesting blog you have here, I'll bite...I'm intrigued.
Thank you for stopping by - I actually Googled "kinetic dreamer" and found nothing that I felt described what you meant. I probably thought on it too hard. I'll take it as a compliment though and will definitely be around to read more.

Bossy Betty said...

Love it! I've always thought trailer parks were fascinating!

Thanks for coming by my blog. LOVE your cat!!!

Kate said...

It sounds amazing - I own my little house but have often thought that when my daughter moves out I might go for a 'Park Home' - possibly the equivalent of your trailer park but generally full of older people, less bills, less to clean .....sounds idyllic!!!!

Mrsblogalot said...

Home is home!!!! And Bank free!

I envy you!!!

....Petty Witter said...

A truly fascinating post. Living in England all my ideas on such matters are pretty much based on the things I see on tv shows and I must admit I can't remember seeing anything positive being shown.

I'm with Nick on this one, we also have our stereotypes - being a Tracy, I obviously have loose morals (if I have any), am rather stupid and wear very little apart from white heels. Oh and I'm bound to have a friend called Sharon and a boyfriend named either Kevin or Wayne.

Kimberley said...

Thanks for commenting at my blog. I totally agree with you about not being house poor. What good is a big house and tons of stuff you don't need if you never get to enjoy any of it because you're too busy worrying about the bank coming to take it all away?

And as for that *insert nasty word of your choice here* sales rep--of course the trailer park is fenced in! Otherwise, snobby, boring, prejudice people could just walk on in anytime they wanted and who the heck would want that :)

Gregorio Martino said...

You just got to teach those critters who is boss. Down here there are two kinds of trailer parks. The nice ones and the trailer trash kind. Those are the ones who see aliens while they are out looking in the truck for their teeth after dark. I lived in a trailer part for 3 years.

Pretty Things said...

Really well written! My mom grew up in a tar paper shack, and when she got her first trailer, was ecstatic. I have fond memories of visiting various relatives in trailers. I started life in one. Home is where the heart is, not where people say it should be.

Nezzy said...

Amen! A home is what ya'll make it no matter what the outer shell is, it's kinda like people...what's inside that counts!

We had a skunk family dig under the foundation last spring and battled the dang things all summer long. The battle post are in my archives. Dang funny, now lookin' back on it.

Ya'll have a marvelous day !!!

Everyday Goddess said...

You have a much better perspective and energy than most of the glitterati.

Love this post!

Emmy said...

Hey, as long as it your home and yours, that is what matters.
Thanks for coming by my blog.

Frank Baron said...

A trailer park would have been a significant step up from a few places where I've hung my hat.

Anyway, it's who you are, not where you are, that counts. :)

cabin + cub said...

there is too much emphasis on acquiring the big home no one can afford, and keeping up with the Jones' nowadays. so good for you for owning your home outright! ;)

Kate said...

Wherever is comfy anf you are happy then is great as far as I am concerned!

Kate xx
http://secretofficeconfessions.blogspot.com/

Captain Dumbass said...

Pipe to the teeth, yikes. You can wash off stink.

My mom used to live in a "modular home." It was really nice. Never got hit by a tornado either.

Joshua said...

There's always the Amish, too.

TC said...

We have a 5th wheel camper that is nicer than my house, I can't say it's ours but it's so close we can taste it.
And what else is a RV resort other than a glorified trailer park?

Raelene said...

Amen!!

gayle said...

My first home and some of my best memories were in my trailer!!

Richard @ The Bewildered Brit said...

Coming from the UK, this is a truly fascinating, eye-opening post. Thank you!

Delwyn said...

Hi TT

In AU there is a movement of elderly people who sell up their homes, buy an camper van and move with the seasons around Australia.

The syndrome is called SADS, see Australia and die!

Happy days

Unknown Mami said...

My mother lives in a trailer park and her double wide is nicer than most "houses".

Janie said...

The joke may be on those who borrowed a lot of dollars to have fancy homes (more than they could really afford) only to be foreclosed upon in the last year. Living within one's means is the intelligent choice.

Jan said...

Homes that the banks don't own are a rarity in my area. Trailer or mansion...it's nice to have your own place!

scandata said...

I remember someone once asking me why I don't want to live in a "real" house.

Mobile Home Sweet Home! While the snoots are making monthly $1,200.00 mortgage payments, we have the extra cash to actually enjoy life. All I need is four walls and my cats - the rest is gravy.

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