California girls, as Katy Perry once wisely said, are undeniable, unforgettable, fine, fresh, fierce, they’ve got it on lock.
It’s a pervasive image in popular culture and the media, that of the blonde girl with sunkissed skin, smiling and flashing a mouth full of blindingly pearly whites as she rides shotgun in her 6’2”, equally blonde and tan boyfriend’s, who is most likely a lifeguard named Chad, red Jeep. They’re probably speeding, but the highway patrol is understanding and sympathetic to their cause, since they know the weed dispensary closes in half an hour and you gotta do what you gotta do to get that (legal) fix.
Unfortunately, this is only half of the story, and it has given way to a certain stereotype that has haunted me all my life, because while I am from California and I am a girl, I did not grow up inhaling the sea breeze, and I’ve never even met a blonde guy named Chad, much less ridden shotgun in his red Jeep.
No, I experienced none of that, because I am a Northern California girl, and I come before you to set the record straight and make clear the difference between being a sun-kissed waif hailing from the Southern regions of the Golden State, and being a farmer-tanned product of the Northerly regions.
Being a SoCal girl means being within Ubering distance of Disneyland at all times, and (obviously) holding year-round passes, allowing access to the Happiest Place on Earth whenever one’s blissful little heart so desires.
Being a NorCal girl means living within walking distance of a 7-Eleven no matter how far away from them you think you’ve moved, and all you can really hope is that the one nearest your home has a decently-stocked Redbox and doesn’t get held up too often.
SoCal girls easily make friends everywhere they go, as a result of the light buzz they and everyone around them perpetually operate under.
NorCal girls are unwillingly roped into arguments with the guy in line at Walmart who unironically sports a “Don’t tread on me” bumper sticker on his muddy pickup truck and firmly believes that California needs to be divided into “a bunch a goddamn pieces” in order to “keep those fuckin’ cucks separate from the TRUE patriots, the REAL Americans.”
He is probably aggressively chewing tobacco for the duration of this argument, and will undoubtedly walk away from the exchange thinking he “won.”
A girl from Southern California is irritated when she gets stuck in rush hour traffic on the 405, which obviously harshes her mellow.
A girl from Northern California accepts it as a matter of course that she will be trapped behind a John Deere tractor for at least seven miles on her commute to work as a dental hygienist or nurse at the local hospital.
A SoCal girl dates a plethora of young and handsome aspiring movie stars in her youth (courtesy of her wildly active Tinder) and only chooses to commit to one if she’s particularly “feelin’ it.”
A NorCal girl is lucky to match with anyone who isn’t actively shooting a rifle in his profile picture, and eventually gives up on Tinder and opts to settle down with the first robust-looking young man who decides to approach her at the school hoedown.
She will have known ahead of time, through her network of friends and gossip, if he is well-endowed—by which I obviously mean whether he is set to inherit a farm or other such desirable tract of land when his leathery-skinned, rock-ribbed Republican father passes away from a heart attack at 65.
If she decides to have children, a SoCal mother will name her offspring something unique, like “Rainfall” or “Plutarch.”
When she inevitably has children, a NorCal mother will give her kids trusty and reliable names, but she’ll put a fun spin on them by giving them unique spellings, like “Brittannee” or “Jaxxin.”
When her spirit passes on into the next realm, a Southern California girl’s funeral will be well-attended by a multitude friends she accumulated over the course of her rich, vibrant, and fulfilled life. Her attractive, genetically blessed family will mourn delicately in their onyx black Versace funeral attire.
The event will be well-documented on social media and in the local papers. Panera Bread will cater free of charge. Jennifer Aniston will likely be in attendance, Brad Pitt at her side. The two will have reconciled and reunited in the wake of such tragedy.
When life kicks her in the ass and tells her it’s time to move along, a Northern California girl’s funeral will appear, from the point of view of someone not in attendance, to be a sea of cowboy hats and blue jeans. The cousin nobody ever mentions because he went on a bender and ended up getting caught with a crack pipe in the lobby of an abandoned Marriott delivers a moving and eloquent eulogy that leaves everyone in tears.
The attendees will eventually depart from the ceremony and go to lunch at Sierra Nevada, because, in case you haven’t heard, Sierra Nevada is a Northern California institution, and damn if a little death is going to get in the way of supporting it.