Saturday, October 4, 2008

An open love letter

Dear Sacramento,

It's been way too long since you and I spoke. How are things? Do you miss me? I miss you. In fact - surprise! - I'm coming to see you in less than two weeks! Hang onto your Governor's Mansion: We're going to make San Francisco and L.A. wish they were as cool as us!!

But seriously Sac. How are you. It's been, what, a year and a half now? Are you still under-the-radar as ever? Did you ever get over my relentless comparisons to Austin, Tx? That wasn't very cool of me. But then, I was so bitter about your 2-hour parking meters, the way you cast me aside after exactly 120 minutes every single work day - including Saturdays! A girl can only take so much, so many parking tickets, before she longs for the infinitely more relaxed and lenient law enforcement of Austin...a place where cops, it's true, still ride bicycles.

(In all fairness though, Sac, I realize now that I probably shouldn't have started placing old parking tickets under my own windshield wipers whenever I parked anywhere, in an effort to trick your hawkish and unfeeling meter maids into thinking they had already given me a ticket. Most of the time it worked, even if they were tickets from San Francisco! Or sometimes other people's tickets from San Fransisco! You have to admit - that was pretty damn crafty. But as I soon learned, that is actually illegal. As you proved that one time you booted my car.)

We had some good times Sac, you and I. Sure, there were a lot of lonely nights copy editing at the magazine, but somehow, you always knew how to bring a smile to my face. Like that one time I was walking back to my car at 3a.m. in the morning after a long night of edits, and that homeless woman stopped me in the dead of night to ask if I wanted to hear some opera, then lifted up her arms to the sky and bellowed forth her own charming, slightly slurred and definitely drunk rendition of "Figaro!" Or "William Tell Overture!" Or whatever! That was totally awesome.

How about that other time when I was having a really bad day, a mere 15 miles away in Davis holed up in my little grad school apartment, shedding tears over a vitriolic email some college freshmen had just sent me accusing I really didn't know that much about Charlotte Bronte - honestly, the nerve - and a bus that ran by our house every day decided to start driving on the sidewalk? Until crashing into our neighbor's recycling bins? And then the slightly hungover college student driving it stumbled off, scratched his head, and pointed at the still-living, tail-swishing squirrel that he "expertly" managed to maneuver a bus around? That little bit of absurdity completely made my day, and you deserve to know how much I appreciated that, Sac. (/Davis.)

Now, Sac, you've always known that Austin in my first love. The music! The art cars! The mind-boggling combination of NRA-loving Republicans and Nader-loving vegans! Austin loves me and I love it back, and nothing is going to change that. Even when I horrify everyone at Common Interest Karaoke with a wretched rendition of Rick Astley. Even when I run into old teacher friends, while posing naked. EVEN when I pee on myself and on the floor, in front of my fiance! Austin accepts me for who I really am, public embarrassments and all.

But let me say something, Sac. I miss you, ok? I miss your your coolly business-like exterior, the way you call your state governor "The Govenator." I miss eating buckets of smoked tofu at Crepeville, and I miss your gay bars with swimming pools. I miss my dentist. I miss your hidden vintage shops, your local fascination with fruit pies, your adorable little Victorian houses in Midtown AND all of your "America's Next Top Model" contestants (take that, L.A!). Mostly, I miss the people you (and Davis) gave me: funny, smart, beautiful friends who made me forget how much I longed for Austin (and who didn't slap me silly every time I whined about it).

So Sac, get your meter maids ready: I'm coming for you! Let's drink Californian wine just because we can, laugh smugly at any lounge lacking the "ultra-" prefix, and eat more sushi than is reasonably appropriate!




Ajay Miranda said...

I was born and raised in central Cali. The family used to drive north to Sac-town every once in a while. I remember liking it a lot, but I was 10 at the time. So I wouldn't trust my recommendation.

That Austin Girl said...

Ajay! That's cool. I lived in the Davis/Sac area for 2 years, while going to grad school. I bet you and I shared some similar Sac stomping grounds! (Whoa alliteration.)

claire said...

Aw Tolly! I have to somewhat sheepishly admit that this is my first time reading your blog, even though Anna's been telling me to read it for about 3 years now. She's exactly right -- reading this blog feels like talking to you! Such a delight!

I am *SO* excited that you're coming to visit... Sacramento is waiting for you with open arms!