You can get used to winning.
After you’ve been named to Money Magazine’s Best Places to Live in America four times, you can get confident, some might even say snobby. Some like Movoto, a real estate website that last month named Mansfield as No. 10 on its list of Snobbiest Cities in Texas.
Money Magazine cited Mansfield’s location between Dallas and Fort Worth, thriving hospital, beautiful parks and “small-town tranquility” when naming us No. 17 on its Best Places to Live in America last fall.
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Movoto looked at other stats, like home prices and income (the higher the better), residents with college degrees, private schools, performing arts and art galleries (the more the better) and fast food restaurants (not so much). While we weren’t as high-falutin’ as No. 1 Coppell, No. 5 Richardson, No. 6 Flower Mound or No. 9 Frisco, our median income and house prices landed us on the list.
“Residents in Mansfield had the ninth highest salary in the state, which worked well for them, seeing as their homes were some of the most expensive (the median price here was close to $180,000),” the website said.
According to the dictionary, “snobby” means condescending, patronizing or socially exclusive. So having nice houses and salaries makes us stuck up? On this list, it does.
So if we’re condescending, we would be looking down on other towns, right? Like Arlington, Fort Worth, Dallas or Highland Park? Uh, no.
But maybe that’s patronizing, you know, acting nice but all the time looking down on people. Hmm, guess that would be like when the entire community gets together to build Habitat for Humanity houses instead of just having a single company, church or group. Uh, no.
And then there’s that socially exclusive part.
The same day that Movoto released its snobby list, Mansfield hosted its annual free Hometown Holidays event at City Hall. When I mentioned to City Manager Clayton Chandler that his city was considered pretty pretentious, he just looked around. Kids, parents and strollers packed City Hall’s parking lot, lining up to see Santa, pet a pig in the petting zoo or sing with their school choir.
“This is snobby?” he asked.
So, yeah, the city does sponsor a lot of free events for families, like Winter Walk, Rockin’ 4th and Hometown Holidays. And most residents spend a lot time attending their kids’ and grandkids’ ballgames and school events. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be cocky, right?
We have a country club and a couple of golf courses. And our kids have been known to trick-or-treat in golf carts. We even have the nicest black-tie event in this part of Tarrant County, the Mansfield Cares Ball. But that doesn’t really count since it’s open to everyone and all the proceeds go to charity.
Yes, there are snobby people in Mansfield. Some can say down-righ nasty stuff and look down their noses. I’ve been looked down on because I don’t make enough money, don’t live in the “right” part of town, go to the “right” church, have the “right” friends, know the “right” people, go to the “right” parties or “right” places.
And I don’t care.
I’ve found snobby people everywhere I have lived. Some are shy, some just don’t know you, and some feel inferior and are trying to cover it up.
Mansfield isn’t perfect. We have our share of problems. But I’ve learned that living in Mansfield is a lot like being married -- by the time you figure out that it’s not perfect, you love it too much too leave.
A lot of our residents are parents who moved here so their kids could go to good schools. They go to church and give to charity. Even our churches and charities work together to make sure that people in need are taken care of -- whether they go to the “right” church or any church at all.
Our police officers, firefighters and city employees are more concerned about our safety than about writing tickets. (Just slow down on the access roads!) Our mayor competes (and regularly wins) a contest with other local mayors to raise the most money for charity. The Mansfield ISD Education Foundation raises money to give teachers a chance to use creativity in their classrooms and then organizes local civic groups to spread out college scholarships to graduating seniors.
I’m not saying that other communities don’t do all of these things, but they haven’t anywhere else I’ve lived.
So maybe Movoto should add some categories to its qualifications, like number of non-profits, civic groups, charities, food pantries and churches.
Or maybe they should keep their snobby list to themselves.
Amanda Rogers, 817-473-4451