Dear Southern California,
I don't really know what to write about you. Except perhaps that, after spending four days surrounded by your hyper-glossy, overly-manicured beauty, a beauty achieved solely by what must be one of the greatest feats of civil engineering (or rape) in U.S. history, I now fully understand the whole subset of contemporary pop lit and music that both celebrates and indicts everything that we covet about your lifestyle—from Steinbeck's East of Eden to Nathaniel West's Day of the Locust to the Door's "LA Woman" to Joan Didion's White Album to Hole's "Celebrity Skin."
Because that beauty is also a curse. It makes one lax and conformist. Materialistic in the worst way. Sheeple-minded, ready to plunk down a year's income on a car, the equivalent of a small island nation's GNP on a house, and God only knows what amount on a series of lifts, pumps, sucks, and tucks that is skewing our normal notions of beauty and making it suddenly acceptable to look as if one has simultaneously been run through a wind tunnel and a sausage stuffer.
* * *
Dear Bebe, the Fashion Choice of OC Housewives Everywhere,
Why, yes. My life's one true sartorial dream is, in fact, to spend my days looking like a Kar-trash-ian.
Look, dressing like a hooker in bed? Fine. In the grocery store or office? Not so much. In fact, if there were one fashion house that I would set a match to and watch burn to the ground with the glee of a first grader pulling his first set of piggy tails, it would be you, Bebe.
* * *
Dear Nissan Leaf,
There I was, trying to enjoy the high of completing my first half marathon post foot surgery, looking forward to downing an ice cold Corona light and condiment-slathered Nathan's hot dog before parking myself at the finish line to soak in the sun and cheer my husband over the finish line of his first marathon, when your chirp-voiced, balloon-chested, inexplicably school girl outfitted spokes girl decided to harsh my mellow.
"Hey there! If you have a second I'd like to introduce you to the Nissan Leaf. One-hundred percent electric with zero emissions!"
"The headlights are made from 100 percent recycled plastic! All the metal is recycled aluminum cans!"
If it hadn't been for the fact that in order to bust into the wrapping of my post race all-organic, 100 percent natural oatmeal cookie with no artificial trans fats or nitrates, I had to stop walking, and that stopping just happened to put me in front of said Nissan Leaf and its (inexplicably) school girl outfitted spokes girl, I would have walked on by without responding. Because I also needed to pee. Really, really badly.
Then, the heavens parted and drew my attention to something worth mentioning. There, located right next to the boring ass squirt of toothpaste looking automobile that no Californian in their right mind is ever going to drive down the PCH, was one of those rusted barrel-type trashcans, its contents stuffed to overflowing and spilling onto the ground. Mixed contents, let me add, including what must have been hundreds of empty plastic water bottles that were being given out like candy at the race.
Moi: Chew, chew, swallow, swallow (really small cookie). "Don't you think that's a little ironic?"
School girl spokesperson: "Excuse me?"
Moi: "Well, here you are, pitching a car made out of recycled materials, but the trashcan next to you is overflowing with paper and plastic that is going to end up in a landfill somewhere."
School girl spokesperson: Blink, blink.
Moi: Clench, clench. "Excuse me, I need to pee."
I'll bet you any amount of money that when school girl was finished for the day? She ran to the parking lot, overjoyed at the prospect of driving away from it all . . . in her Mercedes.
* * *
Dear Corona del Mar,
Ignore everything I just wrote above.