Friday, August 29, 2008

There is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch.

Today I met with this group of prospective employees for a free lunch provided by the company for which we had interviewed. This company is a nonprofit organization that connects people with other people to do charitable work. Sounds noble enough, right? Well, let me tell you. These people are completely bonkers.

I met with the interviewers a few days ago for an editing and writing position for the site. I like to write and I like to edit. Sounds logical. The girls that were interviewing me asked me a lot of questions pertaining to the helping professions, so I got to use my platform a little bit and discuss high risk adolescent girls. This was nice because I am passionate about advocating for troubled youth and students with learning disabilities. I got a little bit of a weird vibe from the people, though, so I left thinking that I would not take the job if they offered it to me. An hour later, I got an e-mail from them offering to buy me lunch on Friday and meet with all of the other prospective employees. I decided that whether or not I took the job, it'd be nice to have a free lunch. Boy, was I wrong.

It started out with everyone delicately handling half sandwiches (I don't think anyone actually ate a whole sandwich.). These were not normal sandwiches. They were full of sprouts and avocado and they had no meat on them. The bread also tasted like a farm. I have never physically tried to eat a farm, but I'm just saying, if I had tried it, it would taste like this weird bread. So everyone is talking about their wonderful vegan lunch and I start to giggle to myself because this is such a stereotype for Californians. I love to eat healthy foods, but holy crap--- no freaking cow will be injured if we use its milk to make real bread (is milk used in making bread? How tragic. I don't even know). So on and on everyone goes about this stupid vegan stuff. I'm just being cynical cause the people were ass faces. I have nothing against vegans or vegan food. Excuse me for being a Negative Nancy. Ok. Next paragraph.

So we're all sitting on a big sectional sofa talking to each other about nonprofit stuff. Then we were each asked (there were four potential employees, and like.. maybe ten people working there) questions about our role models and our goals and blah blah blah. First are nonprofits that we are passionate about. I will give you a few paraphrased excerpts.

"I am really into protecting our environment. I love 'the tree musketeers.' They plant beautiful trees on the side of the highway. It is so wonderful. I just love trees so much. I just want to cry when people cut down trees to build things. Oh, trees are just the best thing in the whole wide world!"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA. Ok, sugar britches. You just eat that no-meat sprout sandwich and talk about trees all day. Because clearly, TREES are what help PEOPLE.

"I am so upset at McDonald's. I mean, I really, really, really hate McDonalds. Did you know that the average human eats 3 cheeseburgers a week? It's just preposterous. I think that everyone should be healthy. That's why I love being a vegan. I mean, fast food is just awful. It leads to obesity."

Clearly another life or death issue. Nothing like those McDonald's eatin' tyrants. Let's just kill them all. Next hippie in line, please...

"I think that everyone should have clean water. There's a filter that's been invented that costs 100,000 dollars, but it could only cost 1000 dollars for villages if blah blah blah happens. And it creates energy. Blah blah blah carbon footprints! OH MY GOSH! CARBON EFFING FOOTPRINTS!!!!"

You get the gist. I was waiting for somebody to pull out a bong and a guitar and lead us all in "Kumbaya." Seriously. What the crap? I watch stuff like this on SNL but these people were really, really into it. Never were any social issues discussed. Nobody every talked about PEOPLE and helping PEOPLE become better or work together in harmony. They talked about trees, fast food, and water. I didn't get it.

Next on the itinerary: let's talk about our heroes.

"Bill Clinton."
"Al Gore."
"That famous lesbian governor who supports the homosexuals."
"The dalai lama" (Not kidding. This was a real answer. Give me a break. I could have copped out and said Mother Theresa, but I didn't, because I don't live my life giving beauty pageant answers. Fake people irritate me.)

And the winner of the biggest dip shit hero of all time....

"Jenny McCarthy. From Playboy. She is so amazing. Her son is autistic and she does so much work for autistic children. She is so brilliant." (Let me preface this.. Well, I guess it's too late to preface, BUT, this was said about five minutes after I said that I was a formal special ed teacher who really struggled with teaching the autistic children. DIRECT HIT. BATTLESHIP... SUNK.) (Impeccable timing, huh? Wasn't it like two entries ago that I blogged about stupid women? I hate them.).

I should probably say that I have a lot, a LOT of liberal friends with whom I am very close. Some of my very closest friends are liberals, and that's fine. We just don't talk politics. The deal is, when it comes to people that I'm friends with, their views on politics are just one part of our relationship. If I'm going to take a job where I'm there ALL THE TIME and I have to advocate for specific issues, I want to make sure that it's a company whose beliefs are similar to mine; and if they aren't, I don't want to have to advocate and be fake and pretend like I believe in something when I am, in reality, very much against it. I suck at being fake and I'm not willing to invest the energy it takes to be a faker.

So, clearly, I was in the "Come one, come all, pot smoking, Jim Morrison listening, herb growing, tattooed up hippies" group from Hell, and I was completely uncomfortable, but being the somewhat sensitive person that I am (Hard to believe, I know), I decided to wait until everyone was finished with their little speeches before I got up to leave.

Then, it got exciting. We each got called into see the CEO and VP one by one. Terrific.

Enters Rachel, the conservative prude from Memphis, TN. Plot shift.

"So, Rachel, why don't you tell us a little about yourself before we talk more about the job?"

"Uh... Well.. First off, thank you for lunch. That was really nice. But, I am not sure that this environment would necessarily be the best fit for me. It seems to me that you have noble ideas and that you are trying to really get the community involved in good causes, and I think that is wonderful....but.... I just don't really see myself here. I appreciate this a lot though, so thanks for your time."

Rachel is ready to go. CEO is ready to make amends.

"Well what is it, Rachel?"

"Well, sir, you see, I'm a republican. I just sent off my request for an absentee ballot today. I'm very, very conservative. And it seems to me like this is a very democratic environment, which is absolutely fine, but I think that our conflicting political views could be problematic concerning the events that I'd have to attend and articles that I'd have to write. It's nothing personal, and I am in no way being critical, but this just isn't where I see myself."

"Well, you certainly are making harsh judgements. Why would you say that we're all democrats?"

Well, let's see, Captain Obvious, maybe it's the fact that EVERYONE in the freaking BUILDING has "Democrat" tattooed on their foreheads.

"Sir, you're wearing an Obama pin. So is he (I point to the dorky VP). So is everyone else that works here. Plus you've spoken about nothing but the Democratic National Convention this entire luncheon, and everyone's heroes are Clinton, Gore, and Obama. I'd say that's just how it is. I'm not making harsh judgments."

AND THIS IS WHAT THE M.F.ER SAID TO ME! (I hope he gets chlamydia.):

"Well, it's not very professional of you to say that. I am actually an independent (oh great. vote for Nader.). In fact, I don't give a SHIT what your personal beliefs are, we are all here because we're trying to do good causes."

And me, being the complete smart ass that I am, say,

"And it's professional for you to say the word 'shit' in an interview?"

"I apologize for my language. Well, would you like to further discuss this position knowing that we are not a democratic company?"

Ok, clearly Rainman here was confused about me saying that I DID NOT WANT TO WORK FOR THEM. So I had to break it down into very, very small pieces.

"I feel like I've made it clear that I'm not interested in working here. I've also let you know my reasons without being rude. You know, I moved here two weeks ago, and I have realized that I don't know the first thing about the social norms. Culturally, you and I are very different. If I was in the South and I went to an interview and I told them that I was not interested in a position, I would be thanked for my time, we'd agree to disagree, and it'd be over and done with. I told you up front that I didn't want to work here because I didn't want you to give me a big shpeel about your company and waste your time if my decision was already made. I have not meant to offend you or come off as ugly, but this is not going to work. Thank you again for lunch."

And I got up, shook that stupid douche bag's hand, and walked to the door. The VP followed me out, gave me his card, and told me to call him. Either he likes sassy mouth blondes or he was afraid that I was going to go postal and shoot everyone in the company.

So, I am writing all of this to say that there's no such thing as a free lunch. If someone tries to lure you in with a free lunch, first off, realize that it's farm food and rabbit treats. Next, if you get stuck in a room full of cause-supporters, realize that they are all potheads and tree huggers and they sit around on the beach making necklaces out of flowers and getting offended at people who aren't like them. They are also really into carbon footprints, global warming, dirty water, and trees. Third, CEOs of nonprofit websites are dicks. Well, I shouldn't say that. He DID tell me that he was from New York.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Why Dr. Dre says, "F-ck the Police"

Last night I picked up my friend from the airport after class. The only thing "bad" about living near LAX is everyone asks you to pick them up from the airport all the time. I definitely don't mind giving female friends or family members rides to and from the airport, but if a male friend asks me to pick him up or drop him off, I always think of that scene in"When Harry Met Sally" in the back of my mind...

Harry: You take someone to the airport it's clearly the beginning of a relationship. That's why I have never taken anyone to the airport at the beginning of a relationship.
Sally: Why?
Harry: Because eventually if things move on and you don't take someone to the airport, I never wanted anyone to say to me, "How come you never take me to the airport anymore?"

...I'm sure that any self respecting shrink would anaylze this and say that this is characteristic of my OCD or commitment issues or whatever, but I digress. As I drove to the airport at 10PM on Monday night, I made the mistake of thinking that this would be an easy ordeal. Wrong. I was crammed in traffic like a fat kid in a wet suit and couldn't get to the Airtran pick up point for the life of me. So my friend calls me to tell me where he is, and I, like a normal person, answer my phone. RIGHT after I pick up my phone, this Asian po-po starts beating on my passenger window with his freaking flashlight and yells, "NO SER PHONE NO MAH!!!!!! GET OFF SER PHONE!!!!"

Rude, rude, rude.

I understand that cops aren't notorious for being as chipper as little girl scouts, but I am still completely shocked at the cultural differences out here. I've had my fair share of run ins with pigs, but I've never had one beat on my car window with a flashlight and yell at me for something so incredibly retarded. People told me that I'd experience culture shock, but until this point, I had not encountered anything worth getting really offended over. I immediately hung up on my friend. Then, this little uniformed dork walked to the back of my SUV and checked out my plates and gave me a mean look and shook his flashlight against my window. I rolled my window down a little bit and told him I was sorry and then started to drive off. Then I made the universal jack off hand gesture. This was completely uncalled for and immature of me. I blame it on part time Tourette's Syndrome. Two taxi drivers saw me do this and yelled at me, "GET OFF YOUR F-CKING CELL PHONE!" I'm sorry. What is this? The anti-cell phone gestapo? I wasn't even on my cell phone anymore when they yelled at me. And what's up with the F-word? I mean, really. Was being on my phone to figure out where my friend was at the AIRPORT worth yelling the F-word at me? It's not like I was ordering Mary Kay through T-mobile. I was trying to pick up my friend. At the airport. Like a normal person. I do not understand. People are ridiculous. I think they should start pumping Lexapro into the water. Now, don't get me wrong, here. I have a raunchy mouth. I was recently dubbed as"Barbie with a bad mouth," which is probably a pretty accurate description, but I don't think I'd yell the F-word in someone's face just because they were on their phone at the airport. I wasn't driving wrecklessly or being crazy. Sigh. Some peopel are just dicks.

So. I always thought that it was little bit harsh for Dr. Dre to say "F-ck the po-lice," but now I get it. Asian airport policemen at LAX are rude and angry a-holes. AND they clearly they need to purchase some Rosetta Stone DVDs to learn how to effectively speak English. It is CELL phone, not SEEEEER phone. Sheesh. Rush order of tricyclics to Officer Mao Tse-Tung, please. Thank you. That is all.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Tragic Lives of Stupid Women

I decided that I was going to use the gym in my apartment today because I had the revelation that compulsively clicking the "refresh" button on craigslist every second for my "Great Job Search of 2008" struck me as mildly unhealthy. I made my way down to the fitness center this morning after my eyes had diarrhea from reading about four billion posts for jobs requiring 70 hour work weeks at two cents an hour. I started jogging (let's be real. I walked quickly. I hate cardio. Jogging makes me sound more fit, though) on the treadmill and started watching a show on E! Now, before I moved to L.A., I never watched TV. I was far too busy being creative, going out with friends, swimming laps, reading books on my roof, etc. Since I've moved here, I have started watching more TV because I am home throughout the day and sometimes it's so quiet in my apartment that I feel like I'm locked in the morgue. I am not sure which show was on E! since I am not current enough to know what's trendy, but basically, the gist of the show was a bunch of slutty girls running around getting wasted and making out with each other and boys who look like they make porn in the backs of windowless vans. I also watched a "My Super Sweet 16" marathon the other day. I wasn't actively watching it, I just had it on so I wouldn't feel like I was in solitary confinement. I also survived about three minutes of watching "The Hills" before I went back to pondering the silence in my soundproof bubble. I found a common denominator between all of these shows: stupid women. Stupid women make me sad. There are several genres of stupid women, but right now I'd like to emphasize my disdain for the stupid rich ones. Because there is such an influx of stupid rich hoes on TV, it seems like a lot of men want a stupid rich girl. This is Ray Hay's criterion for being a stupid rich hoe (in no particular order):

1. You must have very big boobs. You must try very hard at this if the big boob fairy has not yet visited your house. You should do whatever is necessary in order to have voluptuous, perky TA-TAs. Your blouse bunnies must be at least sized DD. No one will criticise you for buying them.

2. You must have a big, round booty. This booty must also be clad in slutty underwear that is accented by see-through pants or some other form of spray-painted clothing.

3. You must have very long hair. Your hair must also have a slight wave to it and lots of layers. Think Brooke Shields in "Blue Lagoon." It doesn't really matter what color your hair is, as long as it's long and wavy and smells like vanilla.

4. You must wear slimy lip gloss. Tons of it. You must have so much shimmery shiny lip gloss on that it looks like you made out with a grease vat.

5. You must be very, very stupid.

6. You must be vocal about your political beliefs; however, you must not be a registered voter, ever have campaigned, or know who is running for office. You must talk about political issues a lot (gay marriage, abortion, illegal immigrants), though you have no knowledge of politics.

7. You must wear designer EVERYTHING, no past seasons, no exceptions. You must also spend thousands of dollars on important items like matchbook holders and doggie collars. Because that makes sense.

8. You must have a little dog that you can dress up like a princess. This dog must also have a very unique name, like "Cupcake," "Queeny," "Buttons," "Fi-Fi," or some other brilliant tag.

9. You must be very into animal rights and protest for "PETA" despite your extensive collection of leather shoes, handbags, belts, and car seats.

10. You must never sweat. If you do sweat, it is called "glistening," and it's more like God-given sparkles for your skin.

11. You must be very, very stupid.

12. You must get wasted all of the time and giggle a lot. You must fall off of bar stools, make out with boy band look-alikes, and profess your undying love to whichever stranger you've just made out with. Oh, and you have to make out with girls a lot. But that's not lesbianism, right?

13. You must blank stare your dates and then pretend to have an intelligent response to their one-sided conversations.

14. You must have huge, shiny teeth.

15. You must pretend to love sports but not know how to play any of them. This is when a boy can "teach you how" and bump and grind all over your spray-painted on outfit.

16. You must love Obama. But not know who he is.

18. You must be very, very stupid.

19. You must have attained only a fourth grade education, have lots of money, and treat everyone around you like crap.

20. You must hire established and brilliant designers (i.e. Karl Lagerfeld, Valentino, etc.) to perform menial and mindless tasks like designing your dress for your 18th birthday party. You must also talk to them like they are stupid and smack your gum while doing so.

21. You must have unprotected, unplanned sex with EVERYONE but never contract STD's or get knocked up. This would be unbecoming and be too realistic for TV audiences to handle. Unless you're a celeb. Then you and your rich and stupid boyfriend can never commit to each other, have bastard children together, and the general public will ooh and aah and think it's all wonderful.

This is my very minimal observation for the lovely rich slut buckets seen on TV. What sucks is that so many women look to these idiot hoes as role models. Women as cynical as myself are not as subject to the brain washing, but high school girls certainly are more susceptible. And the GUYS. Are you kidding? Guys love these kinds of girls. I don't get it.

My little sister and I were talking about two things yesterday. Guys and our lack of substantial income. She reminded me of back in the day when she used to charge her boyfriend every time he'd make any contact with her. This might be a dollar for a hug, or five bucks for a kiss, or whatever. I am not sure what the pay scale was. Anyway, she kept all of the money in a jar, and by the time she was a sophomore in high school, my mom found it and asked her where she'd gotten all of that money. My sister said she'd been charging her boyfriend for the past several years. My Southern Baptist mom was mortified and gave a speech on "abbreviated prostitution" and made my sister give her boyfriend the jar of money. There was so much cash in that thing that he bought a brand new mountain bike.

Simply brilliant. Bill Gates has nothin' on my little sister. I don't get enough game to fill a jar with enough cash money for a new bike (maybe a pack of gum on a good month), but it's definitely worth checking into. I mean, if all guys want is some booty, and they love stupid women, couldn't we all unite and somehow use this to our advantage? Considering we're in an economical crunch, it would be quite admirable, if you ask me, for women to start using their ASSets to make some cash money.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Therapist? Or the rapist?

I had an interview today for a tutor position in the UCLA area of town. I was supposed to have this interview on Wednesday, but after getting lost in the "hood" and stuck on the 405 for about a thousand hours, I had to reschedule it for this afternoon. This embarrassed me a great deal because I am so anal about always being early, but I guess these things happen. On Wednesday (the day for which the interview was originally scheduled) I drove downtown to pick up my friend Bobbi from Union Station, and somewhere during the course of my route, a scary Mexican man approached my car and beat on the passenger windshield. My life flashed before my eyes and I envisioned waking up in a Mexican dungeon adorned with those little "Day of the Dead" skeleton figurines all over the place, lethargic in a bathtub full of ice with my kidneys missing and my head shaved. This is when I hopped on the 405. And waited. And waited. And waited. I felt like I was stuck in a stand-still parking lot from Hell that stretched far beyond oblivion. I have found that I can never predict L.A. occurances, whether they pertain to traffic, shopping, or people. Let me tell you about today.

My interview was scheduled for 5:30pm, but because I was unfamiliar with the area, I arrived around 4:15pm. I parked on a side street in a residential area and decided to use my time resourcefully. I sat in my car with the windows rolled down. I began to jot down a grocery list with little pictographic doodles on the notepad. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I see a wee little man with tall gray hair walking down the street towards me. Now, I had only been in L.A. ONE DAY when I ran into Emma Stone, so I now constantly have my eyes peeled for celebs. Immediately I thought to myself, "Holy crap! It's RAINMAN! I mean, Dustin Hoffman!!!!" so I made eye contact. Big effing mistake. The wee man, who was at least in his mid fifties, said to me,

"I hope that you have a nice day!"

Being the courteous debutaunte that I am, I replied,

"Thank you, I hope that you do, too."

Second big effing mistake.

Homeboy decides to make his move.

"So... Are you available? Or are you taken?"

My mind races to immediate "WTF MATE?!" mode. That fight-or-flight survival skill kicked in. I decided to fight.

I wear silver rings on both of my ring fingers. On my right hand I wear a fleur-de-lis ring that resembles a Mignon Faget design. I bought it at the French Market in New Orleans during Mardi Gras one year and have not removed it since. Because my family is from Louisiana and is very rich in French heritage, this ring means a lot to me. The ring that I wear on my left ring finger has a cross engraved in it and was given to me as a gift from my mom for Christmas one year, I think. This ring not only reminds me that God has always been faithful to me, but it also resembles a wedding band from afar, thus keeping the predators at bay.

I very suavely pointed to my left ring finger and said,

"Sorry! I'm taken!"

Which was moderately misleading, but I didn't want Creepy McCreeperton pushing any further.

"Well, I just wanted to talk to you. You're very beautiful. How long have you been in your relationship?"

Crap. Now he was asking for details. I had no details. I suck at lying and it makes me feel horrible.

"Ooooh.... You know....About.... a year."

"Oh really? Well, I'm a marriage and family therapist..."

BINGO. I am hoping to be a therapist, as well. Immediately I went from fight mode to make-a-connection-with-this-perv-because-maybe-he-can-get-you-a-job-or-write-you-a-reference-one-day mode.

"Seriously? I'm gettin my Master's in counseling!"

Mr. Stuck-in-a-permanent-midlife-crisis approached my car. I grabbed my pepper spray.

"Here's my card. Contact me if you ever need any advice."

Cheesey wink.

Lord, help us. If I was into boys that winked, I'd start hanging out at assisted living facilities.
So, home boy walks away with a skip in his step because a woman about thirty years younger than him conversed with him for thirty seconds. I flipped over his card and read it.

"Dr. Don. Success Coach. Hypnosis. Sex therapy."
Seriously. Do I look like a candidate for hypnosis or sex therapy? This man was a fossil. He was probably older than my dad. I make allusions to Anna Nicole and finding a man in a nursing home who is NOT on life support, but let's get serious for two point five. I am in no way, shape, or form interested in dating a man who has stock in Viagra. Plus, I moved out here ONE WEEK AGO. I think the worst possible thing a person can do after making a huge life transition (i.e., big move, divorce, gender reassignment surgery) is jump right into dating. Yikes. Mayday, mayday!
This little blog is just an advertisement for those of you young ladies out there who are looking for a man with "Dr." before his name. Trust me. If they are advertising sex therapy, you might want to flip through your little black book and see if you can email a few exes first. Or buy a cat. Or take a spin class. DO NOT GIVE INTO THE DR. DONS OF THIS WORLD NO MATTER HOW DESPERATE YOU ARE TO START TILLING THE SOIL.
I did check out his website when I got home because I am, apparently, a sicko. The picture of him is from about 300 years ago when he still had dark hair and he looked a little bit like he was campaigning to be a state senator. No mas. His stats should be posted on his site. "Please note that this sexy young bachelor is approximately 4 foot nothin'." Talk about false advertising. In addition to being completely opposed to dating men who would give me autistic children (yes, there is a link between older dads and autism), I try not to date anyone under 6'3". I have far too many pairs of beautiful and expensive shoes with stilleto heels that I am simply not willing to part with and I feel completely uncomfortable towering over short men. Gross.
In conclusion, I have discovered that I am the most well dressed person in L.A. besides Perez Hilton (not to be corn-fuzed with Paris). I wore an interview suit to an interview on Monday only to find that my interviewer was wearing wrinkled khaki pants and a polo shirt. I decided to be more casual today. I wore white linen pants, a black sweater set, and pearl earrings. My fellow interviewees wore torn blue jeans, ripped shirts, and flip flops. Their ensembles were complimented with shower-curtain-ring-ears, tattoo sleeves, and unshaven faces. Classy. I may just start wearing tank tops and cut offs everywhere I go. It does not seem worth the effort to iron if everyone else is going to dress like they just robbed the Salvation Army thrift store.

The South = Nascar and Moonshine

I moved to Los Angeles exactly one week ago. I have never truly been able to empathize with those subjected to stereotypes more fully than in this past week of encounters with the "Left Coasters." I am not saying that I have never had brushes with stereotypes in the past. Come to think of it, I have actually been the victim of numerous stereotypes on previous occasions because of the following reasons:

1. I am blonde. The stereotype that is attached to this reality is: people assume that I am stupid. Does it make a difference if the fair-haired person is a natural or bottled blonde? It seems like we suicide blondes (dyed by our own hands) get more heat. Let's clear something up, folks. Just because Marilyn Monroe and Anna Nicole Smith spoke in breathy erotic tones, had ginormous blouse bunnies, and had the I.Q. of eggplants, does not mean that all blondes, naturally or chemically enhanced, are stupid.

2. I am free spirited. I wake up and do whatever I want whenever I want. I do not usually feel obligated to do something just because it pertains to cultural norms or social expectations. Stereotype? People think that I am an alcoholic pothead hoe-bag. I often make off-color comments at inappropriate times and am not embarrassed to sing karaoke sober. I am also outgoing. Somehow, this combination leads people to believe that I walk around with a Jack Daniel's I.V. drip in my veins with a doobie in one hand and KY in the other. I have never smoked pot or done any kind of drug. I also don't drink that much because I can't afford it and I'm terrified of gaining weight. To me, calorie consumption is like having a checking account. There's only so much in that account that you can spend. I'd rather invest my calories in coconut cake than alcohol. And the wild relations issue? I'm quite conservative in that department. STD's and babies? No thanks. I'm too self centered.

3. I am a woman. This means, to the great majority, that I cannot drive, I automatically want to get married and have children, and that I like to cook. Let's talk about the driving issue. I humbly admit that I am not the best parker because I have no depth perception; however, I've never received a speeding ticket and I've never even been pulled over. In addition to the driving stereotype, there is this "end all, be all" idea that women need a kinsman redeemer husband in order to attain happiness and meaning. Let's get this straight, kids. I need exceedingly abundant amounts of personal space and I like to exercise the right to change my mind. The thought of sharing the same bed with a person for the rest of my life and having a permanent roommate is absolutely abhorring to me. This could be because I have not met the right person for me or because I am just not at the point in my life to be excited about the possibility of marriage, but just because I am a woman does not mean that I am on the prowl for a husband (though I often make jokes about finding a wealthy future ex-husband who can pay off my student loans). And the kids thing. Just because I have a uterus does not mean that I want an 8.5 pound human being exiting my nether regions. In the words of someone whom I cannot remember, "Having a baby is like pushing a wet St. Bernard through a cat door!" As fun as that sounds, I think I'll give it a "no thanks" for now. To conclude this section, I do not cook because I am a logical and economical person, and it does not make sense to me to invest time in preparing a meal just to eat it in the end. Consuming food is not a pleasurable enough experience for me to invest hours in grocery shopping, preparation, and clean up. The input simply does not equal the output.

So let's talk about these Californian stereotypes. It seems like people immediately judge me as soon as I open my mouth. I have quite the Southern drawl, I'll admit. I don't ever realize that I speak like Ellie May Clampet until someone says, "Whoa. Where are you from?" Then I remember that I do not blend in with the "Like, dude!" speakers of the West Coast. Let me tell you about my most recent encounter(s).

I was lying by my apartment pool the other day and was approached by a nice young man. He took a chair next to me and we began talking. He and his girlfriend live together in my complex. He was pleasant, well-mannered, and witty. Our personalities clicked well, so we wound up speaking for several hours as we soaked up the sun. In the course of our conversation, he asked me about Tennessee. I told him that I had always wanted to live in L.A. so I made the move at a good time in my life. It was at this point in the conversation that he asked if I knew how to square dance. I said, "No, but I do have a moonshine distillery in my apartment." The idea of square dancing was very intriguing to him, so I eventually told him that yes, I have attended two square dances, but both were in Starkville, Mississippi, and that people in Memphis are predominantly African American. I think that Three Six Mafia and Justin Timberlake should be representative enough of people who come from the M-town. Could you really picture Juicy J and Lord Infamous doing the do-si-do? I don't think so.

Another young man asked my sister and me if our dad likes Nascar. My dad is the most metro baby boomer I have ever met. He is more interested in keeping his 3 week hair appointment than watching Dale Ernheart, Jr. In fact, I don't think that my dad even knows what Nascar is. I have also been asked, about a thousand times, if I like country music. Though I know a lot of vintage country tunes because of my dad's affinity for Hank Williams Jr., there is no genre that I despise more than country.

Also, it seems that people in L.A. lump all of the Southern states together. My landlord has given me the nickname "Alabama," and a group of friends welcomed me to L.A. from Texas the other night. I am pretty sure that there is no Memphis, Texas. It's funny to me to recognize how people view the South out here. People in the South have very well defined views of each specific Southern state and do not confuse Tennesseans with Texans. People in L.A. picture everyone in the South in their whitey-tighties, sitting on the stoops of their log cabins, smoking corn cob pipes and playing banjos.

I am not actually offended at the generalizations that people have made of me because of my Southern heritage. I find them amusing. I could imagine in a few months that the stereotypes could get old, but for now, they are just funny. Ignorance blows my mind. I have had a few "caring" friends share a word of advice about how I should try to "lose" my accent and not say things like, "I'm fixin' to go to the store." Clearly they do not know Ray Hay. If people already assume that I am a dumb party girl, they might as well think that I also smoke a corn cob pipe. I'm sure as heck not changing.