Growing Up a White Girl in So-Cal NUMERO DOS
Yeah that was Spanish, gringo
A year ago when I wrote Growing Up a White Girl in So-Cal, I had no idea it would be my most read and recommended post. Apparently it was likeable and educational, or at least humorous, I suppose. But I thought of a few more things to add to the list a year later, so here goes nada. That’s nothing for those you who speak no Spanish.
I know America is the melting pot of ethnics, but I feel like it’s especially true in California. I mean, in the beginning, a lot of migrants were coming over from Europe to the East Coast, and then there were the slaves, and then there was the move out West. By the time Cali became a state of the good ol’ U.S. of A., there was quite a bit of diversity already. Add in the Indians who called it home and los Mexicanos mingling with the cowboys and gold diggers and that’s quite the stew.
Now, with that being said, I swear, no one in California actually knows what their heritage is unless they’re second generation immigrants. Little bit of this, little bit of that, but homegrown, purebred American mutts (irony intended). Our heritage is lots of sunshine and who knows what? As far as I’m aware, I’m Welsh, Gaelic, German, Polish, Czech, Dutch, and maybe a smattering of the Eastern European countries people don’t know the names of.
So, does that heritage of all white bread make it harder for me to appreciate and enjoy all the other awesome cultures I grew up surrounded by? Hmm, that kind of sounds like a dumb question to me, but I’ll answer it since I’ve been asked it. NO. I can’t imagine what it’s like not having mariachis roaming the college campus on Cinco de Mayo. Well, quieter, I’d guess…
I’m not gonna say Cali is the best state at recycling, but whenever I went on trips to other states, I was always looking for a recycling bin when there wasn’t one. Being a somewhat hippie state, I feel like we jumped on that bandwagon pretty early, and it’s right up our alley with organic foods, gluten free, and making our own fertilizer. Throwing away a bottle felt like committing a crime, especially when recycling money was better than allowance most months.
Save The Trees People
Okay, I understand protecting the environment. I really do. I like Earth. I don’t like guilt trips though. I don’t like being jump scared walking around the corner at the mall, “HI THERE SAVE THE TIGERS OR YOU HAVE NO HEART”. Bro. First off, brush your hair. And second, between the tigers, the whales, the trash in the South Pacific, and whatever endangered frog species is living in my backyard that you want to “protect”, I’m losing patience and money. I promise I’m already buying Fair Trade products and cutting all the plastic soda ring things so the dolphins don’t die. So stop traumatizing me in public!
Soda vs. Pop
It’s soda. Pop is what you call your grandpa if you’re slightly weird.
I covered this quite a bit in my last GUaWGiSoCal (mouthful!), but it bears a bit of repeating because I recently took a trip out of Cali to the other side of the country, and man, the food was what I missed the most. The one Mexican place I went to chopped tomatoes up, threw some Tabasco in it, and was like, “Hey, check out this salsa we made.” I was horrified.
I mean, I live forty five minutes out of San Diego, and I can still get a fantastic fish taco, enchiladas verde, yummy sushi, curry and veggie bowl, or an In N Out burger within fifteen to twenty minutes of where I live. I mean, people are growing up believing that fish doesn’t belong in a taco, and I think that’s gotta be sacrilege in some book somewhere, and if it isn’t, I’m gonna go write it.
Someone told me that if you can drive in LA, you can drive anywhere. That’s frightening to me because I thought it was normal to cut people off out of nowhere and play oh-so-you-want-to-pass-me-now? with the guy who is riding up your butt. Here, most cops won’t pull you over for speeding until you’re at least ten miles over the speed limit on the highway. My friend driving through the Mid-West got pulled over and a warning for driving five miles over the limit and I nearly had a heart attack. Like… isn’t that more of a safe suggestion than a law? I’m kidding, but sort of serious.
Everything is Expensive
I had no idea how expensive it is to live in So-Cal until I traveled to Michigan and the FIRST thing I saw off the plane was that gas was $1.90. WHAT? My life has been a lie, I’ve been overpaying for my food, my gas, my clothes my entire life and no one told me! I feel so jipped! This is my singular complaint with my state that I want remedied, but I suppose I gotta pay some sort of soul tax for living on the closest thing to Hawaii on the continent.
Except for maybe Baja… that’s it — I want my money back!
Please recommend or comment below about what you do and don’t like about growing up in your state!