Friday, May 23, 2014

When you get out the hood

Probably The Most Offensive Gingerbread House Ever! - NoWayGirl

Earlier, I was talking to one of my homies about how different it is to live in the ghetto, as opposed to living in the 'burbs. It's a hard concept to grasp if you'd never lived or spent significant time in the hood. 
I mean, I'm sure people from the outside would be like "Uh, yeah, I'm sure it's different. There are no drive-by shootings in Chandler." But I'm not talking about the element of danger, or the crime, or ratio of crack dealers to crack users.
I'm talking about the general way of life.

When I was growing up, we basically always lived in the projects, or in ghetto of some sort. 
I'm a west sider, and if you're not from Phoenix and don't understand what I mean, it's the same as being a South Sider in Chicago, or from Oakland in California, or from Midtown in New York.
We lived in poor neighborhoods, among lower income families, or old die-hards, who had moved into that hood when it was new and pristine, and refused to give up their roots. 

I noticed some shit when I first moved out of the hood and into Scottsdale when I was 12. First of all, there are no ice cream trucks in the nice part of town. Maybe this is specific to Arizona, but everybody knows, if there's an ice cream truck that goes by your house, you live in the ghetto. They sell Mexican candy, and they accept food stamps. 
Also, nobody shares in the rich neighborhoods.
When you live in the hood, there is a sense of community that I have yet to find in the nicer parts of town where we live now. In the 'burbs, every house is a self contained, solitary unity. Garages that you pull into and shut tight, doors that are always closed, and backyards where you spend all your time outside - if you go outside at all, because hey, you can afford air conditioning. Why would you go outside?! 
In the ghetto, people are outside like, all summer. Few people have air conditioning {shout out to my old swamp cooler}, and if they did they usually couldn't afford to use it. So everybody's doors were open, and 90% of the neighborhood was outside.
You know how block parties got invented?
A bunch of folks in the ghetto, dragging all their food and boom boxes and alcohol outside, and sharing. 

Nobody does that shit in the burbs. 

In the suburbs, if you go next door to a neighbor you don't really know, and ask to borrow so much as a cup of sugar, they look at you like you're insane. 
If you drop by your neighbor's house to chat for a bit while you drink your after-work-beer, you are intruding. Why are you here? What do you want? This is weird.

Our houses growing up was always full of neighbors dropping by, chatting for a bit, bringing beer, hangin' around, and then wandering off. 
If you needed to borrow something, you went next door. No problem.
You needed a ride? Cool, they'd hook you up. 
Can pay your water bill and need to shower? Bring a towel. 

Maybe it's the fact that people in the hood have all "been there, done that"

They've all lived through worse than what they're living through now, so if you're in a jam and need their help, shit, they been there, done that, baby, come on in.
In the burbs, people don't know what it's like to struggle, and if they do, they're quiet about it. 
You don't sit around with your friends and bitch about how you can't get overtime right now, so you don't know if you can pay the electric on time. 

You keep that shit to your damn self. 

I don't know. I'm glad to be where I am, and I'm grateful I can offer my kids a better life. But sometimes I wish that they could know the sense of family and community that you seem to only find in the hood, where everybody looks out for each other, shares with each other, and knows one another. 

Because shit, they been there, done that, and nobody has a complete family anyway, so maybe if we all pull together and share a little bit, we'll get by a lot easier. 

I think when you get to a place in life where you don't need people to share with you, you forget how nice it is to share with them.

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