I have had the very fortunate experience of living in three regions (or four if you count the Pacific Rim separately) of the United States- West, East, and now the South. A majority of my life was spent in Hawaii, California , and Washington. I’ve always called it the Bermuda Triangle since we kept moving every few years in the same pattern, locked by some unforeseen force. Whenever anyone asks where I’m from, I always give the short version of the story. I was born in Honolulu and moved to California when I was in middle school, and then stayed there through college. Not entirely true…there were multiple moves thrown in there, including two stints in Seattle. It’s too convoluted to tell someone the story unless I have a couple beers and time. After college, we add in two years in Boston and now a few years here in Florida and we’re getting a more complete picture.
Anyway, I’ve enjoyed (to some extent) my experience here in the South. The people are generally friendly (at least the true Southerners, as A calls them), the BBQ is the best in the world, and history is very reflective in each town you go to. I embrace my husband and all his Southern tendencies with open arms and sometimes a “Huh? That’s interesting…” attitude. However, lately I’ve experienced some Southern criticism (better word than distaste, which is the first word that came to mind) against Westerners. We (Westerners, that is) are viewed in a very stereotypical fashion. Granted, Southerners get their share of stereotypes too (the gun-toting, conservative, trailer living, racist thing), but I guess I never realized how much of it was out there! So, instead of trying to prove I’m not the stereotype, I have listed some California stereotypes I fully embrace and I’m very proud of:
1) very “granola”- I love to buy organic and local when I can
2) an environmentalist that would ban plastic bags and water bottles if I could, along with saving all animals from extinction (including the polar bears!)
3) a sandal wearing, beach loving, laid back girl who (used to) enjoy surfing and getting some sun
4) a proud liberal (well, moderate compared to the liberals I know) who believes in same-sex marriage and a woman’s right to choose
5) somewhat vain and superficial in that I care about gray hairs and wrinkles, and not against a little medical help to make myself look good (very L.A.)
6) very politically correct when it comes to public matters including gender equality and racial equality; but among friends, I can still understand not taking things too seriously
7) a lover of all music, including hip hop and rap…a true variety exists on my iPod
Boston, MA. It was my first shift with the new guy. I wasn’t sure what to make of him. I heard he was generally nice (well “hot” was the word really used) from several co-workers. I can see the appeal- dark hair, light eyes, brooding serious face…definitely cute. Rose, our shift supervisor, liked to tease him about the brooding and the seriousness. He would smile politely and continue to focus on making coffee.
What I knew about A was very little and mostly from my friends Max and Aaron (my manager): cute, musician, single, funny, general “good guy” personality, and he had a crush on one of the customers that came in. Our Starbucks crew was very close, so any new person who came into the family was highly scrutinized and then gossiped about. If you make it through this process, you have some of the best co-workers by your side. A had just started, and little did he know that most of us knew more about him than he really knew about us. Max was determined to set us up for some reason, but I just didn’t want to date anyone in a band. Band guys tend to be too complicated and too full of themselves.
A didn’t really smile too much. He would just do his work quietly while Rose and I chatted. Then, a woman came in with the most horrendous eyebrows. They were horrible…over plucked and over arched, making her look like she had an evil plot to carry out. After she ordered and walked away, A and I looked at each other, bent under the counter and laughed uncontrollably. We must have laughed for ten minutes, tears rolling down my face. Once it all wore off, I walked over to Rose and said, “I kind of like this guy. He’s pretty funny!”
Since A and I have been so busy, we’ve started up date nights. Our first of the summer was to go to see a movie in the park. Perfect weather, delcious picnic treats, and my best guy…it was just lovely!
You know you’re getting old when you start to have thoughts like these:
1) I have allowed myself two Starbucks visits a week in the morning before work. Just two. I’m usually in and out of there in about five minutes since all I order these days is a regular coffee (sometimes with some kind of flavored syrup if I feel especially wild that morning). However, this morning it took me about 15 minutes to get through a line of three- two of the three being pre-teen girls no older than eleven who are just as annoying at 7:25 am as they are at 7:25 pm. Now I’m usually a pretty tolerant person (okay, that’s a lie, but I am better than some) but this almost made me pull out the former teacher voice and tell them they are not following Starbucks conduct and hand them a pink slip. Side note: I was privaleged enough to have the experience of teaching sixth and seventh graders for almost two years, which not only tested my patience but also my abilities to yell in a commanding tone.It took these two girls nearly ten minutes to decide that all they wanted was a large coffee with vanilla syrup and, of course, a frappaccuino of some kind. Really? Ten minutes? But besides the ten minutes, what is an eleven year old girl (with way too much eye makeup for her age) doing drinking a large coffee? I’m sure it’s not unheard of these days, but I didn’t realize coffee addiction started so young. I liked coffee as a kid, but I was only given a very small cup with LOTS of milk. I don’t think I actually had a real cup of coffee until senior year of high school. I guess kids these days have just gotten too sophisticated for sugar-laden smoothies and deliciously rich chocolate milk!
2) I recently went shopping a few weeks ago in search for some new clothes for work and play. I’m nearly thirty years old and I sadly admit I still look around the “juniors” section and still shop at places like American Eagle and Forever 21. My excuse is that I look young and I’m small and “grown up” clothes just do not look right on me most of the time. If I was 5’8 and didn’t get carded for a beer, than I’m convinced I’d feel differently. This shopping trip I had such a hard time finding clothes. When did shorts all become so short? All the shorts I found were meant to be worn as underwear I think, not as actual shorts. And where were the REAL clothes? I don’t want brightly colored tank tops with cartoon labels plastered everywhere on them in gold. I needed a sundress, not a shirt…or wait, was this a long shirt or was it a very short sundress? After 20 minutes of distress, my butt walked itself over to the “grown up” clothes. Ah! Bermuda shorts! Thirty here I come!
I know, the French counting can be slightly annoying but I’m working on #4 of the list. I’ve added ten more things! Now if only I could start crossing stuff off…
I’m starting to notice that my list has to do with 1) traveling, 2) food, 3) learning new stuff. Notice there is nothing adventurous really on there, like jumping out of a plane or wrestling a bear (or alligator to make it Florida appropriate- even though we have bears too). How boring am I? AND such a nerd.
Well, it’s really pesco-veg (or pesco-vegetarian). Lately our little household has not been eating much meat, which is a good thing. Since I do most of the shopping and cooking, the whole house is forced to live a more veggie lifestyle- veggie burgers, black bean tacos, vegetable-laden pastas, margherita pizza. My thought-why not just be pesco-vegetarian completely? I say the “pesco” since I can’t give up seafood because I love sushi too much…and tuna sandwiches and salmon and shrimp. I’ve been pesco vegetarian before (actually, multiple times). I have no REAL political reason for doing it (besides the whole treatment of animals thing and I’m sure the PETA pamphlets were distributed at your school too). I just don’t like meat all that much. Also, meat is really expensive. Okay, I fully admit I am that yuppie grocery shopper who buys organic (when it’s affordable) and preservative/ antibiotic-free meat (again, when affordable). I have no problems saying I am a RESPONSIBLE shopper with her own cloth grocery bags. Doesn’t going partial veg just make sense then? The anal organizer I am has started to prepare a list of why and why not’s:
To go veg: CHEAPER!, healthier, no animals (besides those in the ocean) are harmed, already 3/4 doing it now
To not go veg: don’t really eat that much meat, really like BBQ, love turkey sandwiches and turkey burgers, sometimes meat is just easier, generally just like certain “meat” dishes, can be healthier since it’s an easy source for protein
No decision has been made since the list is completely useless.