I recently went to a visit The Balancing Act on their road tour in Orlando. It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot about some cool, useful stuff they had on the show. I also learned something truly disturbing:
I found out I have a New Jersey accent.
Now, I live in New Jersey, so I guess this shouldn’t be that shocking. But ever since we moved here, I have lightly made fun of the fine people in this state for the way they TAWK. So you can imagine how disturbing it would be for me to learn that, after living here for 14 years, I have picked up some of these endearing regionalisms.
I guess it makes sense that my friends and family from home haven’t noticed because they tawk like I do and they also drink cawfee and shop at the mawl. But once I got plunked down in the middle of central florida, my accent stood out like a polite truck driver on the Jersey Turnpike.
Having a Jersey accent is not necessarily a bad thing. It definitely helps you get noticed. However, since a lot of people who are not from New Jersey think that everyone from New Jersey is either like one of the Sopranos, The Real Housewives, or the stars of The Jersey Shore, sounding like you are from New Jersey can put you in the difficult position of having to explain that a) you are not related to anyone named Sammy “The Chin” Roastbeef, b) you are not plotting to kill either your husband or your best friend, and c) you do not spend all your free mommy time tanning, going to the gym and working on your pouf. Regardless of how the media likes to portray us, the truth is we are regular, old people just like you, but with bigger hair and more mawls.
Anyway, after a couple of days of this, I adjusted to everyone calling me out on my accent and was ready with my New Jersey disclaimers. Then I met a woman and for the first time all weekend, she didn’t ask me if I was from New Jersey. I was so surprised that someone wasn’t noticing my accent that I had to figure out why it wasn’t an issue for her.
“So, I guess you can tell that I’m from New Jersey,” I finally said to her.
She shrugged. “No, actually. I didn’t really notice,” she said.
“Really?” I responded. “Well, where are you from?”
She smiled. “New Yawk.”