Ok, I get more than my fair share of comments and concern from people that I meet who find out I’m from California. Never mind the shock they get when they find out I’m Latino, thats a WHOLE different ball game. That usually doesn’t come until much later. Hell, they usually find out I’m married to Laura before they find out I have family in Mexico. Its usually a nice little jolt to their assumption. Not going to lie, thats one of the things I love about me.
Meanwhile, allow me to share with you some of the fantastic comments and questions I receive from people when I tell them I’m from San Francisco (followed of course by my internal commentary while I smile and give them the answer they want to hear…or not. Now, to be clear, I know that people only ask these questions because they’re curious and they are concerned that I am not going to be fully prepared for the winter as they’re really not sure what my experience is with it. The first few times I got these questions I engaged fully and took in all the advice I could so I would feel more prepared than surprised. However, when you get the same questions 15 times, it gets a bit annoying, my responses are based on that.):
Them: Is this your first winter?
Internal Response: Like, ever? Are you fucking kidding me? I’m 30. What do you think? I fucking hemisphere hop north to south every six months? Of course not you dolt.
Real Response: In Chicago…
Them: Have you ever seen snow?
Internal Response: Idiot
Real Response: …seriously…?
Them: I don’t know, you’re from California…
Internal Response: Idiot
Them: Cold enough for you?
Internal Response: You’re kidding me right? When in the past conversation have you heard that I wanted it to be colder? Since you were implying that I’m some sort of pussy because I’m from California, I’d like you to notice I’m in a hoodie and sneakers and not complaining about the cold. You’re wearing a fucking sleeping bag with arms and what looks like a coon you ran over, skinned and plopped on your head and faux fuzzy boots. Cold enough for me? Is it really cold enough for you to go around looking like that?
Real Response: Oh yeah, I love jackets, so I’m all set…
Them: Oh, first winter in Chicago huh?
Internal Response: I just told you that
Real Response: Yup
Them: You’re really in for it (chuckle)
Internal Response: I live on the 5th floor of an apartment building, my bus stop is 40 feet from my front door and my walk downtown is a few short blocks. I’m not the one who lives in the burbs and has to shovel snow from the walk, drive, roof or worry about getting to the train station or driving in the parking lot that you call a freeway to work when it’s practically a blizzard outside.
Real Response: I guess so.
Internal Response: asshole
Now, in the same vein and not to slam on Midwesterners as a whole, I’ve had my share of stupid Californian moments as well:
(while talking about weather with a coworker)
Me: What does negative degrees even mean?
Internal Response: Idiot
Real Response: It means really cold, especially with the wind chill
Me: What is wind chill…
Internal Response: …seriously?…
Real Response: Bwahahahaha!!!! (walks away)
Me: (whimper-Google search-gasp-cry a little)
(while shopping for snow boots)
Me: Excuse me, this is going to sound dumb, but I’m from California.
Sales girl: Ok…
Me: Are these snow boots?
Internal Response: You’re fucking kidding me right? How do I end up with these customers? Where is the new girl? Why didn’t she ring him up? She probably helped him choose these things. I should just tell him yes and see if he breaks an arm when the sidewalk ices over.
Real Response: (sigh) No, let me show you where they are
(we walk over to snow boots, I choose a pair and we go back to the counter)
Me: Thank you SO much, I would have been dead without these.
Sales girl: Sure thing, glad to help. Do you need the spray?
Me: What spray?
Sales girl: For waterproofing.
Internal Response: Oh. My. Gawd. Seriously? This guy is a total fucktard. Yes genius, snow is frozen water, its wet, so your boots will get thrashed if you don’t waterproof. Better for me I guess, cause you’ll be back by January for another pair.
Real Response: Cause the snow and salt on the roads and sidewalks will mess up the leather
Me: Why do you put salt on the sidewalks?
Sales girl: (blank stare)
Internal Response: …,…,…
Real Response: You need the spray
(while preparing to go out during halloween for a drink)
Me: (grabs new vest)
Friend: What is that?
Me: It’s my vest, it might be cold outside
Friend: Yeah, so why didn’t you get a jacket?
Me: its like a jacket, but my arms are free, and it makes everything look (sucks everything in and poses)
Me: Cause its not that cold out yet
Friend: Next time but the whole jacket.
Me: I’ll be fine. Its winter wear
Internal Response: Bwahahahaha!
Real Response: Bwahahahaha! You’re so cute. Dumb, but cute.
I’m sure once winter really gets going, I’ll be in for it. But for now, it’s 30 degrees outside, sunny and I’m fine in a hoodie and sneakers. I still sleep with my ceiling fan on and window cracked, you know I just love that fresh air. Last weekend when it snowed and I drove to the burbs for my IL plates and Maxwell and I went sliding sideways across an iced over parking lot, I decided this winter thing may need to be taken a bit more seriously than I had anticipated. I’m sure my vest will be fine though, right?