Sunday, May 18, 2008

California Girl: I am in my head

My husband repeatedly wonders why I call myself "California Girl" at the tender age of 56.

"Why not 'California Woman?'" he asks.

"Because 'California Girl' is more honest."

"But you're a woman, not a girl, " he insists.

"I am a girl in my head."

And that's it. I am still a girl and I do not apologize. I think young even if I don't necessarily feel or look it any longer. At first, when I picked that moniker, I felt a little uncomfortable, as though I no longer deserved the descriptive noun "girl". But, I decided to go with it anyway. My reasons were simple. My husband and I have moved around this country alot. Everywhere we have lived that wasn't in the state of California, I would sooner or later get the nickname, "California Girl".

I have always liked the nickname because it's been bestowed with love, sometimes a bit of envy and often alot of curiosity. Even in this day and age, it's amazing the number of people who've never visited California. I love my home state and I'm very proud to be a Californian: fruits, nuts, warts and all. California is full of innovators, movers, shakers, and people who do things. It's not like New England where everyone sits on their hands and waits for the next wave of optimism to pass. It's not like the South where they "Ya'll" you to death, smiling while they pick your pocket or try to determine who your "people" are. It's not like the Midwest where everyone is down to earth and just plain nice. (I love mid-westerners). It's CALIFORNIA. It's full of fast talking, bullshitting, in-hock-up-to-their-eyeballs people who are what they drive, wear or live in. It's also full of creative, free spirits who just couldn't live anywhere else for some of the reasons already stated.

Do I think it's perfect? Hell, no! If I did, I'd live there full time. But it is home. It is what I am most familiar with and used to and where I'll probably end up; back with the same friends I've had since high school, enjoying the weather, the wide open spaces, the great stretches of highway through the desert, along the coastline and into the mountains. California has everything if you are willing to drive to get it.

Are we superficial? Yes, alot of people out there are. But, so what?There are lots of wonderful people out there and most of them are still from some place else.

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by Cole Scott