Friday, September 10, 2004

California, love it or leave it.

I want a house. I want one so badly that I very uncharitably envy all of my friends who have houses of their own. I want walls that aren’t white, a garden that I can control and, above all, I want a pet.

But I can’t have a house because I live in the San Francisco Bay Area where your basic 1950's tract home costs over a half a million.

So you’re probably thinking to yourself, well move then. Here’s the deal. I’m actually a native of this area. That’s right, born and raised. And, truth be told, I don’t want to leave. I love it here. More than that, all the people that I love (with the exception of a few folks on the east coast) live here as well.

But everyone wants to come here. They leave Ohio or Maine or Georgia and head to California where the weather is lovely, the high-tech industry still (more or less) reigns supreme, and where houses cost a ridiculous amount of money.

My complaint is this. Because everyone moves here and has pushed the price of houses way out of my reach, I’m naturally a bit resentful. And what makes it worse…is when people who aren’t from here, complain about it.

“Oh, it’s so expensive out here!” They exclaim. No kidding…you want cheap? Go back to Idaho.

“I miss the seasons. California doesn’t have real seasons.” Aw, I’m sorry you miss watching the leaves change color…you know, you could move back to Connecticut and watch the leave change to your heart's content.

“It’s so crowded.” You know, you’re right…it is crowded. Why don’t you free up some space by returning to New Jersey – I think they miss you there.

Now I have a great many friends (and a wonderful husband) who are themselves transplants. And of course, since this is my world, they can stay…but if you’re going to move out here, cause traffic, inflate house prices and compete with me for jobs, at least have the decency to stop insulting my home.

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