Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Two Inches and a Bit of Ignorance

I went to a new (to me) salon yesterday for a much needed haircut. My hair had been threatening to band together and gnaw itself off, so I knew it was time. For me, it's always awkward to start a new potential client-professional relationship. You don't know one another so you have to go through the dreaded small talk. What happens if you don't like the results? Can you come back and see a different person? What if the person just bugs you? I think about things way too much.

So our conversation started. And of course it led to where we moved from. She had been to San Diego a few times so I thought it would be nice to talk about home with someone who was at least a little familiar with the place. And then came the inevitable "it's really expensive to live there, huh?" Ha! If she only knew. The conversation went on about things to do: the beach, the zoo, the Wild Animal Park... She continued with, "I bet your kids have been to SeaWorld a bunch of times." I knew where her head was starting to go.

"Actually, no" I said, "It's super expensive so we've only been twice. And the only reason my kids have been to Disneyland is because my in-laws paid for them to go."
"Oh really? Doesn't everyone who lives in San Diego have a lot of money?"
*blink blink*

Yes, and everything in Hollywood is sparkly clean. Everyone in Southern California knows how to surf, is super skinny and drives a convertible. Disneyland is real and the "characters" never go in the back, remove their heads and take a smoke break while talking about which gay bar to hit that night. Yeah, I said it. When we lived in Orange County in a teeny apartment, our neighbor that we shared a balcony and a landing with was Goofy. The Goofy and was as staight as Lombard Street.

"Um, actually no. There's a lot of poverty in San Diego as well." And then she looked at me like I was smoking crack. I couldn't believe that someone who has actually been there only saw the pretty parts and not reality.

"My friend lives in Escondido. That's a really rich area, huh?"
"No, only certain parts, like every city. There's a lot of scary-ghetto parts there, too." But again, she didn't see that part. Which means she went no where near the heart of the city. "The only area that is exclusively wealthy is Rancho Santa Fe." I had to explain where it was and that a few celebrities have homes there. I should have said 'that's where the Heaven's Gate Cult lived' but I didn't.

I left feeling like stereotypes are alive and well. All Californians are rich, all Texans wear stetsons and spurs and all New Yorkers are Italian and say things like "fuhgettaboutit".

And my haircut is uneven. Next!


Britts said...

too funny!
(That's why I cut my own hair!) :o)

Jenna Schmoekel said...

well, I do wear stetsons and spurs... and I ride my horse to work. j/k, j/k.
Too funny though... it's crazy that people actually believe these things!

Judy said...

Yeah, you don't know HALF of the comments I get when people find out I'm from Texas...no, I don't raise cows, no, I don't drive a truck or have a gun rack, no, I don't two-step and my husband doesn't chew tobacco. And, guess what? Not everyone here talks with a drawl! SURPRISE! :-)

PS Should I be scared that my word verification is "pinis"?