I was waiting on the Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge (connecting Manhattan to Jersey) for my bus home after work this evening when a co-worker came up to me. She and I usually nod to each other on the morning company bus and don't usually see each other after work... When she asked me this evening what bus I was waiting for, and I said the 156 to Weehawken, she came alive: "Oh, you're a Jersey girl! I didn't know that!" She'd always been kind of surly mornings, but once she found out I was living in (not quite "from" I couldn't admit) Jersey, she became really friendly and talkative. We exchanged chit-chat about the shortest transportation routes to our job up until her sister pulled up to the curb to pick her up. (! -- Now THAT's a "short transportation route"!) :)
I love the friendliness, but I'm also rather dismayed. When this co-worker thought I lived in Manhattan, she ignored me, but when she found out I lived in Jersey, I was all of a sudden OK?
This reminds me of my creepy experience in grad school in San Francisco: My poems were of the same quality. Pre-telling I was gay, one (gay) professor (thinking I was "just" from Texas) went out of his way to criticize me and make me feel stupid. Post-telling I was gay... the same professor then went out of his way to praise my poems in class and out. Having been through the first dismissal, I couldn't ever trust his second stage of phony praise.