Friday, November 18, 2005

Meat Head for Governor

I often forget that living in the San Francisco Bay Area is not unlike living in a social, political, economic bubble. I don;t mean "bubble" like we're in a "housing bubble," I mean like "boy in the bubble," where I'm constantly looking through a clear plastic film at the rest of the country thinking, "Huh, so that's how normal people do things."

A certain healthy person in my office has convinced me that going to yoga during our lunch hour on Fridays is a good thing. (Hint: it's not Arthur, Rhonda, or Dorienne. And she comes from Canada. And her name is Mireille.) As we were walking--well, it was more like a cross between shuffling and limping--from class to Pluto's to get our daily low-carb steak salads, we were discussing the following things: Rob Reiner's push for all Californians to have access to free pre-school, the two women who walked past us who looked like movie stars (no, really, they could totally have been movie stars), the quantity of lesbians in Santa Cruz, and my Saturday morning plans to get up early and go to the grand opening of H&M at Union Square. Now, think about those last few sentences. What are the main subjects:

    1. Yoga.
    2. Low-carb steak salads.
    3. Actors running the government of California.
    4. Movie stars (or people who look like them).
    5. Lesbians.
    6. Calculated shopping.
When taken like this, as a set of normal, every-day, yet descriptive conversational topics, the whole concept makes me feel rather alienated as a citizen. I like my city and my state, and I like our defining characteristics and I believe we have them for a reason (Please don't read that as support for Gov. Schwarzenegger. It's not.). But we really aren't like the rest of the country. We're kind of like a little kid whose parents and teachers constantly told us how special we are, and how there's no one else in the whole world like us, and now we've grown into a young adult who believes that we're different and special and, yes, better. Not that we're entitled to preferential treatment, or should get more respect or more friends or more invitations to better parties, but it wouldn't surprise us if we did. We put up with more abnormal and uncharacteristic behavior from our friends than most people, we encourage "diversity" and "uniqueness" but we're silently judging everyone almost all of the time. We have some serious issues.

But it's not like we're in trouble. We're going to come out this OK. Sooner or later, someone will knock us off of our emotional and spiritual high horse, and we'll pick ourself up and dust ourself off and get back on our slightly less high horse. Giddyup!


anchovy said...

One of the most interesting, funny, introspective analysis of the NorCal psyche!

Me, I'm a committed SoCal guy (OC if I could afford it), though I've also lived back east. You SF folks have a lot of kindred spirits living in Cambridge, MA!


A Sincere Stranger

Deborah said...

I'm almost ashamed to admit this, but...I wouldn't mind living in OC if I could afford it, either. I'll blame it on Fox.

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