Friday, March 26, 2010

Valley Girl

Going home is never easy. The trips are often loaded with excitement and anxiety, comfort and pain. But more specifically my hometown, the San Fernando Valley, is filled with so many markers of my life. Most of them are exits off the 101 Freeway. I see Vineland and I think of "Whipple"- the name my brother and I call the apartment we grew up in. Since my father sold it I have never driven past it even though he only moved a few blocks away. I see the Woodman exit and I think of Notre Dame, my high school where I did so many stupid things and had so many good times. But then I see White Oak and I still get chills even on an 80 degrees day. If my father and I go to the movies when I'm home, I'm often nervous I will run into someone from high school. They will awkwardly ask me how I've been and what I've been up to for the last ten years. And I will quickly say, "Living in New York." My Dad once told me that he thought my frequent moves to New York were a sign of me "running away." He said that LA represented a lot of pain. But I can't think of a more pain-filled city than New York. He does have some point, a lot of painful things happened in the Valley. Although I certainly didn't run from anything. Since the time I ever had a sense of what The Valley was I have always had a love-hate relationship with it. The Valley is known for the porn industry, the movie Valley Girl, and the abuse of the word "like."I never quite fit in and yet I am a Valley Girl through and through. When my friend Morgan and I get together, we talk so fast and in a rhythmic language that I feel most people in New York would tease us for. The Valley is easy. Whenever I come home, I slow down, I remember, I run. The weather in the Valley is something I cherish now, something I definitely took for granted as a kid. But as I visit home more often and spend even more time away, I realize how much I miss the easiness of the Valley-the family members I have stationed every few blocks, the beach year round, the good burgers and awesome Mexican food, and lately I have missed the friends I once had. Every once in a while I will check out some pictures on someone's facebook page and get lost in my memories of these friends that I dropped in a night. I used to look at the pictures and judge them. "They're all doing the same thing, " I would say. And its true, they all use the same language from high school, hang out with the exact same people, and do their make-up the exact same way from when we were Sophomores. But now when I see the pictures I think to myself, they are all so damn happy. None of them have done anything spectacular or traveled much or tried much of anything different, but they know how to have a good time and part of me wants nothing more than to have a drink with these Valley Girls. I miss the posse of girls I used to have, even if I did stupid things with them and always, always, always got into trouble with them. They were fun and I could use some more of that lately. Here's to the Valley and all of its sparkle make-up girls.

2 comments:

Carmen said...

you are already away?! i was just thinking that i haven't seen you all week. now i have to wait another! thighmasters when you get back!

tony said...

no! still here! i leave on monday. where u at?