The New Girl In Town
I'm the new girl in town.
I just moved 1800 miles away from the only place I've ever called home, New Orleans, to a Southern California town that can fit more people in one mile of their fancy 6-lane freeway than we had in our entire town back home.
But now this is home. And I am extremely happy here.
My daughter and I made the cross-country move to Southern California offically on September 1st. My fiance' and his son live here, and I have been visiting my new home every other weekend for almost a year before I officially made the move. I became quite familiar with airplanes and airports - even spending my 29th birthday stuck in an airport on my way home to New Orleans. So, while I love New Orleans, this was a move that will significantly impact my career and personal life in a very positive way. Of course there is some adjustment, and a bit of a learning curve for me.
Naturally, a few things have caught me off guard about my new home in California --
- Earthquakes, wildfires, and dust storms (oh my!). We definitely have our share of natural disasters in Louisiana (hello, Hurricane Katrina - and yes, I lived it) but earthquakes SCARE THE PANTS OFF OF ME. I mean, at least with a hurricane you know (sometimes for weeks, but at least for days) that they are coming. We knew Katrina was headed our way. We left town. There is nothing in California that warns you that the ground will be moving under your feet at a certain time. I have yet to experience my first earthquake, but the day that I do, my fiance' will likely have to come home early from work and gently coax me out of the little ball that I've curled up in.
I had to send my daughter to school with an Earthquake kit this year. Canned food, wet wipes, spoons, juice, and water were all included in a large ziploc bag. This terrified me. To make me feel a little better - I included a note "Don't worry sweetie - mommy will be there very soon. I love you." What else am I supposed to say? "Cross your fingers that mommy wasn't swallowed up by a giant hole in the pavement?" Somehow I feel that wouldn't be as reassuring.
- Boobs. Oh yeah. I went there. I said "boobs" in what I consider to be a professional piece of writing, but you know what? It's true. There are lots of boobs here, and let me just guesstimate that at least 25% of them are not God-given blessings. Nope. Most of those suckers are plastic surgeon-given blessings. I practically have to wear blinders in the summer during trips to Disneyland - for heavens sakes COVER UP LADIES.
Look, I'm all for making yourself feel good, it's just obvious that something in the water here in Southern California makes women think that feeling good means you must have a breast augmentation. (By the way, no matter if your own ta-tas are real or not remember to sign up to join the Army of Women in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Lifetime will donate $1 for every new recruit to the army through this link. It's easy, painless, and free so please check out the link for more information about how you can join us and make a difference.)
- People here are always on the go. I was raised in Louisiana, y'all, and about the only thing that will light a fire under my bottom and get me moving fast is a Chanel Sample Sale. I take my time. I sip my coffee BEFORE I leave, not while I'm en route. I take a good while to get ready. I am very likely to spend 2 hours perusing the grocery store looking for dinner time inspiration, all the while smiling at fellow shoppers and stopping to talk to babies and small children. Oh, and watch out Southern California - because this Southern Louisiana native is friendly and is likely to ask you - gasp - how you are or how your day is going AND MEAN IT. So don't give me some half answer, because I will call you on it and make myself seem like a crazy lady in front of the entire store.
So I beg you, sweet southern California - stop and smell the ocean air. If you don't, the crazy Louisiana lady behind you will likely stop you and tell you that you're doing it wrong.