Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The End of the California Dream

So I'm driving near Sacramento with my dad last night and we're getting all kinds of honked at and flipped off for going slow or not gunning it right as the stop light turns green, when I tell my dad that California has completely lost its sense of humor.

I mean, when did the surfers and skiers start taking themselves so seriously here?

All these folks in their designer sunglasses and their mammoth SUVs are scuttling along frantically to get to their tanning appointments and personal trainers and their kids' Kumon classes. They're checking their watches and furrowing their brows and tapping their horns, with one foot on the break and the other on the accelerator.

They are definitely not smiling.

It has to be the recession.

Sure, these former affluenzics have had to trade in their boats to make the mortgage. And due to furloughs, their summer vacations are drearily extended. Retail is almost non-existent. Plus, the construction industry has all but died, minimizing the good times at PF Changs and all but extinguishing trips to Puerto Vallerta.

But the folks here are still alive. Their kids are healthy. And the plastic surgeons' doors are wide open.

The one great thing about California, I told my dad in the middle of 7 PM traffic, used to be its ability to laugh at itself. Hollywood had shown the world that we were silly and we knew it. We were anything but hypocritical.

Before my dad could say anything back, though, a big black Escalade with a "Greenpeace" bumper sticker laid on its horn , then cut us off.


Anonymous said...

Hey Friend! I didn't even know you were gone, and here I stumble across your online self. How are you? When are you coming home?
See you,

Jennie Englund said...

Hi back, Julie!

Good hearing from you!

Just before we left, we saw Sam--with a heaping Yogurt Hut.

We'll be home during the weekend.