California Is Nice To Visit But Living Somewhere Pleasant Is For Cowards

Photo by Daniel Gorostieta on

After a recent trip, I’ve concluded that California is, indeed, as beautiful as advertised on reality television shows starring women with lips so bloated they can barely open their mouths to speak — keeping third wives quiet is, I assume, the whole point of lip injections — but I will never move there. Only a spineless blonde with enough Restylane in her (or his) head to float in the shallow end would actually live in a vacation destination.

Though the weaker members of even my plebeian circle have fled the hustle and bustle of my chosen home for a slovenly idyllic lifestyle, I plan to remain right here suffering until I take my last ragged breath of toxic air. I’m staying put, and if you’ve got a problem with it, you can suck my fat toes, which recently endured an unsettlingly underpriced pedicure.

But California has it all, they say. Great weather and culture! Water and mountains! Good for you, I say, but I prefer to live in a place where it’s either too hot or too cold to go outside for eight months out of the year so that I’m forced to stay barricaded indoors living a vigorous life of the mind, got it? Reading all seven volumes of In Search of Lost Time in the span of one calendar year and telling every woman I’ve ever met that she absolutely must read it if she wants to have even the vaguest understanding of romantic love — how’s that for culture? As for water and mountains, we’ve got tall structures aplenty and gleaming bodies of water, all of which I frequently admire from a very safe distance because a spray of even the faintest river mist will give you gonorrhea.

Life is easier on the West Coast, my friends say. We can afford things, small luxuries that greatly enhance our quality of life. The pace is slower here, the lifestyle healthier. People are friendly and everyone’s so much happier! All of which sounds lovely — if you’re the kind of yoga-brained sloth who only buys books at the airport. I, however, will die while screaming at a dog walker for locking her bicycle to the gate in front of the five-story home that belongs to my neighbor (who’s never once spoken to me, by the way, but then again she spends most of her time at the country house) while walking six blocks to the laundromat in a blizzard.

Why do you choose to suffer, my friends ask? Because life, I tell them, is a torment meant to be not enjoyed but endured, according to the many marginally accomplished mentally ill artists and intellectuals I’ve admired throughout my miserable life. Also, I’m better than you.

So go, I tell you, flee this wretched hellhole I call home! Move to a place where the sun is always shining, the flowers always in bloom, where the mountains crash into the vast, virginal ocean. Go to California, start a family, send your tan, skateboarding kids to public colleges where they’ll receive Ivy League educations at a fraction of the price.

Meanwhile, I’ll be here, hunkered down for the winter though it’s only mid-September, surviving on dollar pizza and righteous indignation. But come February, I’ll visit you — for exactly five days, no more, no less. I’ll take in your technicolor vistas and eat your fresh fruits and plunge my pale body into your cold, salty sea. Then I’ll return home even more miserable than before, resigned to my fate as that most esteemed of all citizens: a first colonizer of Mars. Life is tough up here but I just had to get out of New York. That place is downright uninhabitable!

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