As many of you may know, I consider “upstate” anything above 42nd street. However, this weekend, I actually did go to what most people consider “upstate” to a tiny town called Saratoga Springs and what I consider Canada – that’s how far away from everything I know it seemed.
But, since I often don’t know where my reality TV life ends and my real life begins, this weekend was no exception as the person who I was staying with actually graduated with Sonja Morgan from RHONY. She was Sonja Tremont back then and didn’t really hail from the glamorous town on Saratoga Springs but rather the somewhat more “real” town of Troy.
Anyway, as we pull off the Northway (or as we downstaters like to refer to it as, The New York State Thruway – I mean honestly, what is this, Game of Thrones – I wasn’t on the road to the wall where the northlings are from – or maybe I was, who knows?) I see nothing but trailer parks, American vehicles and lots of trees. I was afraid.
I felt as if I had stumbled into that famous 1972 thriller where I knew going in that the area is ethno-culturally homogeneous and isolated, but don’t understand the full extent of such until I arrive and see what I believe to be the result of generations of inbreeding. My relatively peaceful trip took a turn for the worse when half way through we went to the horse races and I was terribly overdressed and we encountered what I thought to be a couple of hillbilly moonshiners – ok, they could have been bad bartenders at the Ketel One stand, but still, they were not reacting well to the vintage Alexander McQueen polka dot blazer.
Oh, and not to mention fast food restaurants that I didn’t even know existed either anymore or ever such as Friendly’s, Arthur Treachers Fish and Chips (where did that come from?) Luckily I did not pass a Chick-fil-a or I would have been the one man protest show Occupy Saratoga.
I stayed with friends of a friend who were the most gracious people I have been with in a long time. Remington was with his friend Strummer so he was having a blast with all those creatures in the woods surrounding the house – how he doesn’t have rabies as I write this is beyond me.
The point of this travelogue was to show you that the home I was staying in and the people I were staying with is truly typical of America. The refrigerator was packed and the pantries were overflowing. Everywhere I looked were things. I opened the refrigerator to put Remington’s food in there and I couldn’t find a space – I had to put it on top of a box of wine (let’s not even go there Maggie Griffin). I hadn’t had that much food in my refrigerator the entire time I’ve owned my refrigerator combined.
Americais truly the land of excess and these people weren’t even obese, somewhat overweight, according to the BMI standards. And they had the typical story – they were high school sweethearts and the pictures I saw of them on prom were of a very handsome and skinny couple. Gradually over the years, each decade, at least that many pounds went on and didn’t ever go away.
This story is not new and not one unique to my friends. We were the same age and my life read as a completely different novel and it showed up physically. Don’t get me wrong, there is simply no judgment – we are a product of our environment and America is suffering from that syndrome.
We need to change the environment or we are doomed. And just as I thought things couldn’t become more ironic, a young girl comes to the home ( a friend of my friends daughter) directly from work at the Cookie Factory carrying bags upon bags of bread. I couldn’t have been happier – oh, and yes it gets better, she just found out she was gluten intolerant.
As I crossed the George Washington Bridge, I looked down the Hudson to the many buildings that comprises Manhattan and while we may not have much sky to look at or grass to lie on, we are blessed with irony, anorexics, reality TV and those who appreciate fine fashion.
So, I turn on the television to catch up and while watching Web Therapy one character said to Fiona that when she was trying to get into character as a native American, she slept in a tent and wore a lot of turquoise jewelry; and while on True Blood, when Pam turns toTaraand says just because we sucked a woman dry together does not make us Oprah and Gayle, I knew I was home!!!