I’m excited to be blogging over here at a true Californian’s blog. You see, I moved from Ohio to California nine months ago, so everything’s still a little novel. I had never been to California before two years ago, when I started dating my then-boyfriend/now-husband. In my mind (and the minds of many Ohioans) California was a mystical land where the sun is always shining and everyone is skinny and beautiful. There’s also the fear that one day the whole state might break off and start floating away into the ocean.
Where I’m from, most people’s impressions of what California is like are from the TV show the OC, and I found out pretty early on that the majority of Californians haven’t even seen the show. I remember one of the first times I was out here…I was hanging out with some of my husband’s friends (all are either native-Californians or have been here since college). I said something to the effect of, “So is Chino really ghetto?” They all looked at me like I was crazy.
You see, Ryan (one of the OC characters) is from Chino, but moves to Newport Beach and gets quasi-adopted by a super rich family there. In the show, whenever they go back to Ryan’s old neighborhood to visit his mom or something, the camera is always really gritty (like…they use a different camera lens to make it look scary), and there seems to be a lot of domestic disturbances going on and people sitting on couches in their front yards and weird stuff like that. All that to say, my husband’s friends told me that Chino’s not half bad; they thought I meant to ask them if Compton was really ghetto.
Since then I’ve gotten a little more wise about trying not to say stuff that makes me look like a total outsider (also I realized that basing my opinions off of a fictional TV show is probably not the best idea). I still have a few issues. I say pop instead of soda. I talk about driving on the highway, not the freeway. And I can’t get over the fact that in Ohio, Carl’s Jr. is called Hardees. How can it be the same exact thing but with different names? (And ps…it’s weird to me that Carl’s Jr. is popular, because I literally don’t know anyone who’s ever eaten at Hardees at home).
The cool thing about California is that the sun basically always does shine. In Ohio, we have this complex where we HAVE TO go outside if the sun is shining in the fall, winter, or spring, because we honestly don’t know when will be the next time we might see it. It’s totally not like that here because even if it’s a little cloudy or rainy, we know the sun will probably come out in an hour, and if not today, it will definitely come out tomorrow. It’s kind of awesome—and sad that I’ve already started to take the sun for granted.
Whenever I go back to Ohio, people always say to me, “You live in California, where’s your sun tan?” I say to them, “Dude, it’s February and I’m in GRAD SCHOOL. I live inside the library.” It’s kind of incomprehensible to them that the sun would be shining, and I would be sitting inside. But like I said, I’m trying to fit in with the California culture, and for me to be laying out at my pool in the middle of winter (regardless of whether the sun was shining), it would be weird.
I just have one more thing to say. I included the map showing where Ohio is because I’ve encountered some Californians who have no idea of what exists outside of their state. It’s really funny to me to tell people I’m from Ohio and no glimmer of recognition crosses their faces. There’s a whole world out there! And even though, yes, your state is incredible (and I think I’m already ruined for living anywhere else), there’s also life outside of the zip codes that start with 9. And lastly (I swear this is the last thing!) Ohio is not all farmland. I grew up in the suburbs just like the majority of you guys. 😉
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed. I can’t wait for Katie and Kevin to get back from the UK! (And I’m sure you can’t wait either after reading this crazy blog. Haha!)