I just came back from a week in sunny Southern California. A week in which my son graduated from college (another post on that later), my sister had a birthday and I seriously considered how long I have flirted with living in that part of the country.
It’s another world out there. There are mountains and canyons and sunshine, There is healthy food and pretty people and sprawl. There is homelessness like I’ve never seen before and endless traffic.
I visited my sister, who lived in Malibu, the summer before senior year of high school. She lived on PCH in a one bedroom with her boyfriend, where the ocean ran under the apartment. You could lay on the living room rug and tan. The deck was over the water. We drove around in a Porsche and an Austin Healey. We went to Disney land. We ate at vegetarian restaurants. We shopped and went to Graumann’s Chinese and the Hollywood sign and Mulholland Drive and God did we laugh. It was the first time I flew on a plane and the first time I saw a palm tree. I was completely and utterly smitten.
I toyed with transferring to UCLA when I was a sophomore in college, but instead came to Boston. It felt like leaving my older parents and the rest of my family was just too hard. I had a boyfriend in college who moved there after law school and I thought about moving with him, but in the end, I broke up with him (but not after visiting and having an ovarian cyst burst, which lead to emergency surgery at UCLA medical center and my sister having to come out and bring me to her friend’s house –the original Marlboro man for two weeks to recover). In my 20’s I had another boyfriend who was offered a job there and took it, and I once again considered moving, but in the end I knew I just didn’t like him enough (he was smart enough to break up with me, shortly after moving).
My son is staying in LA to pursue a career in advertising (apply the apple and the tree cliche here and if you know anybody he can talk to, puh-lease let me in on it). If he truly decides to make a life there, to become a guy who travels the 110 and the 405, it might be hard not to at least consider a part-time home in that part of the country. I mean, not one of us wanted to leave when it was time to go home.
For now I am grateful for a spectacular week in Malibu and the idea of making a four-decade California dream an actual possibility.