>How I Know I Live in Southern California

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San Diego is definitely the place I consider home these days, but even after all this time and all this familiarity, there are still moments when I am hit full blast with the reality that this is indeed California! Not just California, b/c really California is two different states with an invisible line where native northerners and southerners do not claim the other side.

Some of you may be thinking shocking, Jenny, really…but after growing up mainly in Oklahoma then spending most of my married life in Malawi, life in California is definitely a culture unto itself.

Here are some ways I know that we are definitely NOT in Kansas (er..Oklahoma) anymore:

*All parking spaces are intended for trendy little mini-coopers. Since I do not own a smart car, nor am I a Keebler elf, I often have to pass up empty spots in search of a place my Brontosaur of a 93 Camry will not too conspicuously jut out into the flow of traffic.

* The blaring lack of mall-sized gas stations every 1/2 mile.

* Sing it with me: “Where have all the cowboys (I mean Republicans) gone?”

* If I walk up to a door at the same time as a man expecting him to open it, and appropriately step aside to allow for the opportunity, I am usually left standing there.
-I would like to insert here that if we get to have boys we will raise them to be little gentlemen even if they are from southern california.

* Not every couple want 5 kids.

* When in doubt, wear jeans, a tank top, and some flip-flops. Most likely you will be perfectly matched for the weather and any social occasion.

* The beach is right there waiting for you to enjoy it.

* I mention a trip to Oklahoma to my husband, the native San Diegan. He replies that he has to check his passport is still valid.

* Church is chill. Our pastor preaches in cargo shorts and flip-flops, but dresses it up with a short-sleeved button up shirt. We have a pancake ministry team that makes pancakes on the boardwalk for surfers and homeless people alike. We have a surf ministry team.

Here are some ways I know that we are definitely NOT in Malawi anymore:

* When giving directions I never find myself saying, “Turn left at the banana vendor.”

* The spiders in my home are tiny and not scary. They are not the size of a crab. They do not scream at you and attack when threatened.

* I went to one grocery store and got everything we need. Including milk that goes in the fridge, not the pantry. Including Oreos.

* Did I mention the beach is RIGHT THERE, waiting to be enjoyed?

These are the realizations that sweep over me about living in southern California. I’m interested in hearing about how the rest of you so calis know you live here and no where else on earth!

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