There some thing that are unique to Central Valley people. We are in the middle of one of the most diverse states in America. Of course we have our own idiosyncrasies as we live between the bustling Bay Area and the low key Los Angeles area.
As we try to cut our own paths that combine the best parts of those above and below us, here are some things that only Central Valley natives encounter.
We don’t really get Mystery Spot stickers. We have all been and it is a really cool place, but what is the fascination with slapping a gross yellow bumper sticker on your car to prove that you visited Santa Cruz one time?
We have all thought about buying a Bear Republic shirt. You know, the ones with the California flag on it somehow. You are browsing in the mall and you stop pushing hangers and wonder if you need a shirt that says “California” on it. But then you keep pushing hangers because you are California enough.
We judge other people on their water use. “Oh? Someone left the faucet running while soaping up their hands? We are in a drought! Shame on you!” Our eyes narrow and we send out passive aggressive tweets with “#DroughtShaming.”
We always know the best places to get tacos. In any part of town, in any neighboring city. We all know where the roach coaches reside and the telltale scent of roasting asada draws us in. Even if we are in a city we have never been before, a Central Valley resident can size up a taqueria by just standing in it. If there are no nopales or housemade chips, we bounce.
We generally know how to spell methamphetamine without having to think about it anymore.
We all have that one friend who dresses like a cowboy. He wears immaculate boots to class that make you wonder if he has ever set foot in a dairy or farm, and he often wears a Carhartt in the winter. Somehow he has a slight southern accent and is infatuated with chewing tobacco.
We all have a photo on Facebook taken at Yosemite. It has probably been our profile photo at one point. But who cares? We live next to the most beautiful park in the world that people travel from all over to see. So rock that cover photo of Half Dome with the amaro filter.
We have argued over whether french fries belong in burritos. It certainly isn’t authentic, but it tastes fantastic. But fries take up much needed space that could be used for more carnitas. But it is literally called “The Californian” when you order a burrito with fries. The debate continues.
We have low key tried to put our hair in a man bun. We saw it become popular in Southern California, and then spread to Northern California. We were bewildered at first, but now we are stealthily taking rubberbands in our bathrooms when alone to see if we can rock the look before we admit that we cannot and brush it out.
We usually own an umbrella, but we can never find it when we need it because we haven’t had to think about using it since the last time that it rained – like a year ago.
We are one of those lucky and special places that gets to decide what our culture is because we have such a diverse population. So cheers to the Central Valley, and cheers to our irreplaceable experiences.