Exiled State of Mind

My parents have been pretty supportive of my move to San Francisco and both (despite the fact that they miss me–I think??) encouraged me not to me not to take an opportunity in NYC this fall in favor of staying here and digging deeper into the Gold Coast.

However, I have noticed my mother slipping in a few arguments here and there for why it is a good idea for me to return home.

There was the time I mentioned that I needed to get some boots fixed but had yet to find a shoe repair place.

“They probably don’t have shoe repair places there,” she told me. “You’ll need to send your boots to me, or come home.”
“What do you mean they don’t have shoe repair places here?” I demanded. “That’s ridiculous.”
“Well, people just don’t get shoes fixed in San Francisco,” she explained. “Because they walk less.”

Then there was the time when I called her up to tell her that I was really convinced that I needed to get breast implants. Instead of the usual, “Do you know how dangerous/painful that is” or “You’ll lose sensation!” or “Sorry you inherited my worst trait,” she simply said, “Ok. But you need to come back to New York to do it. This is where all the best plastic surgeons are.”

Normally I find these arguments amusing, and good for both reminding me that I have a “home” to go back to and convincing me that it’s healthy not to be there now.

However, I was just in NY for the week and despite being more miserable than I’ve been in months, I’m suddenly finding myself homesick.

Yesterday in the office kitchen, I blurted out to a crowd of people, “You know what I miss about New York? Being around other people who want to kill people for no reason.”

“I’m sorry we’re not angry enough for you,” one girl told me. Only in San Francisco (and maybe the Midwest) will people apologize for sh*t like that.

A day later, and still unable to find anyone who would join me in irrational and relentless fury and/or frustration, I called my mom for a solid gripe session.

After she had her turn, I moaned, “I can’t write my blog anymore. I mean, I just don’t know what to say.”
“Well,” she explained. “There’s just not as much material there is New York.” This time, I was totally receptive to the case she was making.
“YES.” I cheered. “That is the problem. You know the only thing to write about here? They don’t label the stops on the BART. How am I supposed to know when to get off if the only place they label the stop is on the wall behind the other train. It’s a disgrace.”
“They don’t really want you to take public transportation,” my mother guessed. “They say they’re all green, but what they really want is for you to drive a car.”
“I know. UGH.”

The truth is, there’s too much to write about here, and no way to censor it for public consumption in a way that makes sense. My sarcastic sense of humor is ill-equipped to describe it, and I don’t know how else to communicate.

But if there’s one thing I learned after 23 years in New York, it’s that when the going gets tough, the tough start criticizing cities in other states. And…we’re back!


6 thoughts on “Exiled State of Mind

  1. Oh yeah, she has returned! You have been a good girl listening to what your mother had to say, and good in forgiving yourself in your response/lack of response to a big culture shock. Now, let 'er rip!

    p.s. Breast implants, phooey. Was at a bloggers' meet-up brunch in Portland last Sunday and our waitress was this darling thing who is a college major in dance. She had my idea of the perfect body, all lean muscle and flexible bone. Was dressed all in black with a tight t-shirt that showed exactly what she didn't have and why she would always look superb in dance clothes. Looked and moved like a young panther…just beautiful. Boobs are bull_ _ _ _ and miserable to deal with later on in life when the female body likes to develop more fat. One of the reasons I dropped my weight back down to 110 – and intend to keep it under 115 – is because of the damn boobs and flesh around the underarms. Heck with 'em. Be a Panther and run through life without anything flopping around. 🙂

  2. Oh, you've changed your look! Well, your blog's look anyhow. 🙂

    Your mom is a crack up with the whole “they do it so differently over there” spiel.

    “I'm sorry we're not angry enough for you” LOVE IT. I've had all sorts of similarly weird apologies from my Bay area friends! Hehe.

    I think it's funny how our sense of humour is so very cultural, and it takes a while to adjust and appreciate all the things there are to take in when moving to a new place. I'm sure you'll find your appropriate snark (or whatever) some time soon 🙂

  3. Could it really be!!! Is she coming home!! Oh myyyyy…….

    We all want what's best for you. We want you to be happy wherever you are. East coast, West coast or Antarctica!

    But my Darling dollface…IF you do want breast implants….your Mother's right!! They do do it better here.

    Love you

  4. I saw a man shave himself with a cordless, electric razor this morning on BART. After he was done, he opened up his Macbook to do work. OH MODERN TECHNOLOGY!


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