FOOD = HOME

Leaving Home, Starting Anew and “San Diego” Rolled Tacos

Maj-le Bridges
6 min readMay 4, 2023

Can a transplanted Californian leave her California attitude behind?

An orange neon sign reading “The Taco Stand.”
Photo by Daniel Lee on Unsplash

Californians are assholes.

Especially those of us who hail from Southern California — the unending 200-mile snake of traffic and press of humanity from northern Los Angeles County to the Mexican border. We act as if we’re smarter, better looking, and are having more fun than everyone else. And of course, we need to tell everyone about it in the most condescending way possible.

“Oh, you live in South Dakota? That must be… uh… nice. Can you stream Netflix there? How many yards, or miles, or whatever of snow do you guys get per week?”

But under our frozen Botoxed foreheads, our Crest Whitestripped smiles are strained. Yes, there are dozens of beautiful beaches to spy wannabe starlets in the latest bikinis by Ozempic. The dazzling ocean is impossible to reach on most days due to traffic; there’s no parking on all days due to millions of people; and the best beaches are definitely closed due to sewage. There is perfect weather (if you don’t like winter, fall or spring) and unlimited world-class cuisine that you can’t afford because your two bedroom, 3/4 bath “cozy” bungalow in an “up and coming” neighborhood set you back $1 million.

I was born and raised in California, and loved it, but I realized that I couldn’t offer my kids the same lifestyle that I had growing up. I couldn’t afford to live the rollerblade in the cul-de-sac, tuna noodle casserole lifestyle to which I was accustomed. I got to the point that even if I could afford it, I no longer wanted the palm trees, aloofness or the glorified rat race.

So I left.

Like so many Californians who have moved to Florida, or Idaho or Texas, I was done. The Los Angeles Times has reported that California’s population dropped by more than 500,000 people between April 2020 and July 2022, with those leaving surpassing those moving in by nearly 700,000.

But a funny thing happens when you drop an entitled, narcissistic Californian into new environs — we don’t change. We still act as if everything was better in California. In my new home state, multiple times per day I’m tempted to roll my Latisse-eyelash…

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Maj-le Bridges

Gen X-er, recovering lawyer, frustrated writer, Lego enthusiast and serial creative. Medium Top Writer | Published in Start It Up & Age of Awareness.