Something I need to deal with


A house in the neighborhood. One tiny area of grass, FIVE sprinklers.

I have a problem. The wife says it well: “I worry about you as you get older. I worry you’re becoming an angry old man.”

Again, I have a problem.

We moved to Southern California. Orange County, to be exact. It’s gorgeous here. Great house. We’ve met nice people. Beaches nearby. I have a dream life—writing books, kicking back, picking up my kids from school.

And yet, all I can see are sprinklers. And car washes. Water flowing down the sidewalk. More water flowing down the sidewalk.

I want to strangle people.

Then strangle them again.

California is in the worst drought in state history. It’s really, really, really bad—and nobody here gives a shit. Nobody. And. There’s. Nothing. I. Can. Really. Do. About. It. I’m washing my dishes in the sink instead of running the dishwasher. I don’t flush with every pee. We don’t have real grass, so there are no sprinklers, and I haven’t touched the car’s dusty exterior.

But, wait, that’s not the point. The point is—I feel this unquenchable need to punch someone in the fucking face, while quoting Public Enemy. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy was a number one jam/Damn if I say it you can slap me right here.” And I’m not that person. I’m not. I love life. Love my kids. The wife. I don’t want to be an angry person. Not now, not in the future.

But I am angry.

But I don’t want to be angry.

But the drought.

But the beautiful weather.

I don’t want to become the person who thinks nothing of problems, and just goes through life smiling and indifferently sprinkling away.

And yet, I sorta need to be.

4 thoughts on “Something I need to deal with”

  1. I’ve heard of Californians being fined for violating the no-watering bans. While it’s no fun to be the one who narcs on people, is that an option? It would at least get their attention.

  2. I said it earlier. In less than 10 years you will move to Northern Cal, Oregon, Colorado or some other place where people think more like you do.
    Southern Californians are arrogant to the max, they don’t care about the world or anyone except themselves.
    I realize that is a generalization but what I am saying is there are far too many people in that part of the country that believe image and consumption are what matters.
    There are indeed environmentally conscious people, but they seem to be an exception.
    Either accept the jerks or move hate will age you.

  3. Jeff, I don’t intend to pick on the area you moved into but I do want to observe that you just plopped yourself down in one of the areas that has a good percentage of the oblivious, entitled and completely self centered type that has given SoCal one of it’s stereotypes. I’d like to suggest you do the good fight and try to win hearts and minds but I honestly think you’d do just as well by fighting the ocean.

    Take heart, though, they really are the minority. Most people just quietly do what’s right and don’t waste energy fighting the ocean.

    (Says the guy who moved out to IE horse country and isn’t missing OC a bit)

  4. We were lucky enough to recently sell our postage stamp sized house in a Southern California suburb, with a felon as a neighbor, for more than a half million dollars. A place where neighbors used hoses to spray leaves off their driveways and the armies of mow and blow teams would use gas fume-belching blowers to do the same. We’re going to finish up some business and go north. Just as the settlers did 150 years ago, we’ll end up where the Oregon Trail finishes. Someplace with water and air. We know that many in Oregon will not welcome us. That’s OK. We will befriend those who do. I grew up in Southern California and still deeply love it in many ways. But the phalanx of condos, the SUVs, the hilltops sliced off for McMansions and the economy built on various types of Ponzi schemes (a.k.a. real estate speculation) has robbed it of most of its charm.

Leave a Reply to JOregon Cancel reply