California Dreamin'

by Mae McCreery 15 days ago in humanity

I'm a Californian born and bred, and I just wanna say 'sorry, not sorry' about our Mexican Food

Everyone loves their hometown or state, you have your football or baseball teams, your mottoes, your claim to fame. I just want to take a minute to say, Southern California does a few things a bit differently.

I was born in California and it’s my home and I love it, but we can’t drive. To be honest though, it’s like every other state had a secret meeting about us.

“Alright so we’re here and the plan is to fuck with California” I assume Nevada lead this meeting

“Why? They’re the sunshine state” says Washington, 'cause they higher than Colorado.

“Listen they have gold and Hollywood and all the celebrities wanna live there, they need to be bad at something” says Florida, I assume 'cause ... Florida.

"We're gonna have different driving regulations than them." Nevada interjects.

"Perfect!" everyone then agrees to make sure no one can turn right on a red light without getting a ticket and a fine.

I remember someone once asked me how to get to Carlsbad and I said:

“It’s about 15-20 minutes away if you take the freeway now.” and this guy looked at me like I just spit in his face.

“I asked you how far it is.” and I repeated myself. He turned bright red.

“I just need to know how many miles to get there” He grunted like an annoyed gorilla.

“I don’t know, at least 2.” He stomped away muttering about Californians.

To measure distance with miles is completely foreign to us, because it’s easier to measure by time. And we know how long it will take us depending on weather, traffic, freeways, side streets, and construction zones. If I wanna get from Oceanside to Downtown San Diego and I leave at 4 pm I know it’ll take me at least an hour to get there if I took the 5 south. But if I left at 5:15 pm, on June 18th and it was raining, it would take me 2.5 hours if I drove on the 5 and 1 hour and 25 minutes if I took the 15 to the 805. Wanna know why the 5 would be longer? Because the Del Mar Fairgrounds are open and everyone goes there after work and the construction will have finally moved past the fairgrounds exit to a mile down the highway and take it down to one lane out of four.

If you’ve never heard of Vista, California then I’m not totally sure you’ve been to Southern California. If you visit Downtown San Diego or Coronado that does not count. I met one girl when I was on a plane to DC, she was sitting next to me in the waiting area and she asked how my spring break was. I told her my spring break was just starting so I was going to DC to see a friend for the week. She said that her and her friends stayed in “SoCali” for the week.

A few tips to tell a tourist from a native in Southern California, we don’t say “SoCali” about sometimes we will say something about “NoCali” just because it’s fun so say. I asked where she went and she said that they pretty much went from the Marriott to Coronado Beach and a few clubs but they didn’t go anywhere else. I was like “I’m glad you enjoyed Downtown San Diego, its a nice place.” And she is like “Yeah, SoCali is great.” No, you didn’t visit “SoCali”, you stayed in the city. One city.

I was in Dallas for work a few years ago, and my friend that was living out there at the time took me out to dinner with some other coworkers. He promised that this Mexican Restaurant he was taking us too was the real deal. My first red flag was that we met the owner and his wife, and they pronounced tortilla as 'tore-dill-uh'. I will admit, I'm not a huge fan of really spicy food, but how do you make fajitas without peppers and onions?

No, just no.

The minute I came back home, I went to a Mexican market in downtown Oceanside that's run by a little old couple who screech at each other in Spanish. They gave me carne asada tacos with Mexican rice and beans with horchata and THAT IS MEXICAN FOOD. And stop pronouncing all the 'L's in Spanish words, if I hear another Karen say 'tor-dill-uhs' I'm gonna lose my shit.

I once went to a Subway on the border of California and Nevada, I asked for avocado on my sandwich. Now, California has amazing avocados, we always have them in my house. And when I saw this Subway was on the border, I mean we had literally crossed the state line maybe a quarter mile into Nevada. When I asked for avocado, I thought I was gonna get avocado. Dude pulled out a tube of this brown green paste and started to put it on my sandwich and I almost jumped over the counter to stop him. So, I'm just gonna add: our avocados are superior.

I love traveling, I've been to about 20 other states and out of the country several times. But home is home. I'm proud of where I come from in Southern California. We have our issues down here, and we know it.

But come on, we don't even have a professional football team anymore, we lost the Chargers and we barely liked them. We just got the Padres for baseball and the Gulls for hockey. I heard a couple years ago that we might get a professional tennis team. Sports-wise, we are scrapping the bottom of the barrel. Even before we lost the Chargers, a lot of people didn't root for them unless they won. One of my friends was cheering for the Patriots and I asked her why because she was born here. She said that her uncle moved there recently and that was enough for her to cheer for them.

Mae McCreery
Mae McCreery
Read next: 'Chocolate Kisses'
Mae McCreery

I’m a 26 year old female that is going through a quarter life crisis. When my dream of Journalism was killed, I thought I was over writing forever. Turns out, I still have a lot to say.

See all posts by Mae McCreery