I come from a small, quiet town in Michigan, that’s made up of mostly farm land and nice subdivisions. There’s history here, but the land is slowly going to new infrastructure, both residential and commercial.  Everyone is friendly and eager to help their neighbor around here. Unless you’re new, of course. Growing up in an area like this I’ve gotten to know how the politics work and how people can be behind closed doors.

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The next town over is more of the same, but has a little more money. The kind of folks that paid cash for their luxury SUV’s and had that 25% down payment when they bought their half-million dollar home. Still nice people, but a bit snobby. The school system here, unfortunately, suffers from the entitled children it fosters. This is the place where I now live.

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I am younger than most parents, have less money, and live in an apartment (still expensive) near downtown. On top of that, I am a Marine Corps veteran, that still feels a bit out of place in this fucked up liberal society of ours. I make sure that both my boys have new, name brand clothes and shoes, electronics, games, etc. Not just to keep up with the Jones’s, but it gives me a little peace of mind knowing my kids aren’t missing out on what others might be experiencing. It’s superficial, I know.

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I also try and compensate, by pushing my kids, in all areas, to be the best that they can be. Everything is a competition. This helps instill confidence that otherwise they may not of had. Making their presence known and understanding where they are at in their group helps ease them along, socially, I think. I also don’t want us as a family to be subject to others’ private little whispers. We are all still figuring this part out. Them with the other kids and me with the parents.

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It’s hard climbing that social ladder. Sometimes, I just don’t give a shit, but it’s better to play nice and lead by example, I guess. At the end of the day all I see is… Nasty. Fucking. Civilians.

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