Leaving the state, moving in? Keep it to yourself
For all of my life, people have been moving in and out of Connecticut. Only recently has it been turned into performance art.
In the 1960s, people talked about “moving to Florida” because they were “getting old” and “couldn’t stand the winters.”
When I say “talked,” I mean to their friends, family and neighbors. They did not write letters to the editor or op-eds or make other highly public announcements about how the state of Connecticut had failed miserably in its duty to propitiate them.
It was a better time. Nobody cared that you were moving south unless your first name was Hartford and your last name was Whalers.
On Nov. 25, the editorial writers of this newspaper published a very interesting data crunch showing that Connecticut outmigration slowed down significantly in 2017, that there were net gains in the productive, growth-oriented 30-39 age bracket, and that the small but notable reversal of past trends suggests that Connecticut’s population is stabilizing. Nice.
Twenty-four hours later, The Courant published one of those apparently obligatory letters from some guy who says he’s leaving because of the election results. The writer mentions a 99-year-old father, so I’m guessing he’s not a 35-year-old who was planning some peppy tech startup here.
All the essays and speeches about people who are leaving spawned some counter-genres, such as the “Why I’m Staying” narrative. Also, “Why We Moved Here,” “Why I Left and Came Back,” and “Why My Wife and I Started Seeing Other People Including Some Guy Who Talked Her Into Coming Down To Florida But Then I Lost 180 Pounds Through This Miracle Diet And Now We’re Getting Back Together. In Naugatuck.”
Now, please, can these stop? We get it. You’re moving somewhere. You are not the first person to do this. Or the last. It’ll either work out for you or not, but at the moment, you’re an anecdote pretending to be data.
One sign that voters are tired of these stories is the electoral demise of state Sen. L. Scott Frantz, R-Greenwich, whose specialty was alarming the state about super rich people who were leaving but whose names Frantz could not possibly divulge.
“I can tell you that in just the last six to seven months, the cumulative number of $21.5 billion of net worth has moved to Florida,” Frantz told The
Courant in 2016.
Say what? These people moved, but off the record?
Frantz lost his seat to Demo- cratic challenger Alex Bergstein. The last time that seat turned blue it was probably because King George wanted it painted.
Also on the ballot this year were two guys who recognized Connecticut as a mismanaged, tax-happy hellhole. You know what they did about it? They moved here. Republican Bob Stefanowski and Libertarian Rod Hanscomb both moved to Connecticut in the last four years despite its being, according to their gubernatorial campaign rhetoric, a dystopian wasteland perched on the lip of demise.
Meanwhile, where are the mover-awayers going? Mostly to places that will be disproportionately affected by climate change. The hot will get hotter. The hurricane belt will be let out a few notches.
You will live to see the day when a — what’s the word? — “caravan” of Connecticut expats surges north, fleeing the blistering heat, ferocious insects and roof-wrecking rain and wind. Which is why we have to build that wall.
Meanwhile, shut up. Seriously. Just move to Mississippi or
South Carolina, and spare us your mistaken impression that this is some kind of news event.
We are only interested in your departure if:
* You belong to an apocalyptic death cult that regards the recent retirement of TV news anchor Gerry Brooks as a sign of the End Times.
* You stabbed your spouse with a fork because the baked potato was undercooked. And you believe Florida is full of people who would understand.
* You were kidnapped by lemurs.
* You need to live in a state where it’s legal to marry a pony.
* You want to be able to vote at a Waffle House.
That’s about it. Otherwise, just pack quietly and move. And do it quick because that nice young couple from Indiana is waiting in the driveway.