10 February 2004

towards a definition of the jersey guy: the jersey girl phenomenon has, of course, been well-documented, but now that it has become a marketable type, peter genovese attempts, in an article from sunday's newark star-ledger, to delineate the character of the jersey guy. the best definition comes from a woman named "jenna" who wishes to remain anonymous for... i don't know, fear of the stigma that would attach itself to her:

"Ambition, humor, smart sarcasm, a strong sense of family and friends and a self-deprecating humility," she replied. "Just look ... at the Jersey guys -- Jon Stewart, Bon Jovi, Bruce. All family guys, all just down-home good people. Proud to be from Jersey.

"Jersey boys are funny and fun, and loyal to their friends. Don't get me wrong -- they can be complete dogs to the girls they date, but they will make sure to work very hard to be the biggest dogs they can be; they won't settle for second-rate status. But at the end of the day, if given a choice between a Jersey guy and one elsewhere, and I have dated a ton from both, it's all about Jersey."

living (and dead) embodiments of the jersey guy: abbott & costello (asbury park & paterson, respectively), yogi berra (montclair), jon bon jovi (sayreville), danny devito (neptune), james gandolfini (westwood), ed harris (englewood), jerry lewis (newark), richard lewis (englewood), ray liotta (newark), vince lombardi (englewood), bill maher (river vale), norman mailer (long branch), jack nicholson (neptune), bill parcells (oradell), joe pesci (penns grove), frank sinatra (hoboken), kevin smith (red bank), kevin spacey (south orange), jon stewart (lawrenceville), john travolta (englewood), frankie valli (newark), bruce willis (penn's grove).

my dad is perhaps the ultimate jersey guy. given my own particular aspirations, i think i tend towards the philip roth/allen ginsburg pole. yet i still derive a great deal of pleasure from meeting up with friends at a lousy highway bar and shooting the shit until the bar band inevitably works itself up to "living on a prayer." and there are few things i enjoy more on an autumn sunday than driving out to the hot grill, picking up a few all-the-way and gravy fries, and settling in to watch the giants game with the old man.

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