Literally, a Trailer Park is a residential area where individuals can lease space, and can then have a large manufactured home delivered to the lot. Unlike a caravan / camper – which is designed to be towed by a private vehicle for use on holiday / vacation – these mobile homes are really meant to be transported only once, sometimes more often, and are used as permanent dwellings. They can be an economical option for home ownership.
Many residents of trailer parks are hardworking people who take pride in their homes. In some cases, people who own acres of land in the wilderness can affordably place a manufactured home on the site. In these cases, it’s a badge of freedom from the financial and social constraints of living in the mainstream….
Amongst owners of manufactured homes, however, there are some who don’t seem to care much about hygeine, social aesthetics, or basic human dignity. These situations are often ridiculed, from websites to musical theater. Terms such as “trailer trash”, or my personal favorite “Spam-sucking trailer trash” are used in a derogatory manner.
Figuratively? A ‘trailer park’ is more of an approach to life… A close friend who shares my refugee status put it this way: “it’s not an economic status or living locale, but a state of social and emotional sickness”.
In my case, i didn’t grow up in a literal trailer park. It was a nice, working-class suburb in the midwestern United States. But amongst most members of my family, there is a tendency toward a trailer park attitude… and that is why i’m out here…sorting out ‘nurture vs nature’ and all that good stuff.
Some themes common to the Trailer Park mentality? A sense of entitlement. A parasitic addiction to drama. The ability to take any situation and make it worse. Short-sightedness. The abject failure to learn from a mistake. Sociopathic behavior – ‘it’s all about ME!’. Barfights. Bragging about barfights. Shopping (beyond your economic means) as recreation. Reptiles as pets. Lack of independent, critical thinking skills. Something for nothing – ‘it’s not a gift, they OWE me that!’ Pyromania. NASCAR.
And, in my opinion, the pervasive and over-riding ability to make one bad damn decision after another – then expect someone else to deal with the consequences.