California Dreaming

I feel like I’ve wrestled a Sasquatch. I’m not kidding every bone in my body is sore and as for my mental state well, it’s questionable. The culprit for my misery is driving to California to move my daughter (and her car) back to school. This is something they don’t tell you when you wait till your almost 40 to have your last child – by the time you’re moving that kid to college your knees are angry and your back is so over the schlepping.

Because this is our daughter’s sophomore year I thought I had the whole move in down to a science. In fact, I was very proud, boastful even, that we weren’t taking that much stuff to California. I mean why would we? It’s not like they don’t have Targets in So Cal.

Let me now share with you what a colossal mistake that was because here’s what happens when you “wait till you get there” to buy apartment swag – you spend way too much money and the trips to Target start to enter the double digits. Not to mention that the Southern California Targets are simply not up to snuff.

Okay maybe that’s not 100% accurate. The Target’s are fine. A better way to put it is that I missed my  home Target. Also, my home Target believes in providing you with bags for your purchases.

Sure, in California you can buy a bag but when you do when get major attitude from not only the cashier but also the person behind you. By our seventh Target trip I had gotten over the public shaming and would just announce to everyone within a ten feet radius that I was from Kansas and we’re a free bag state.

Aggravating our already frayed nerves and lower back pain was the fact that my daughter did all the California driving since she knew where everything was. It was like being on the Disneyland Matterhorn bobsleds – a lot of fast starts and stops with whiplash as your reward. Making the excursions even worse was my husband growling every couple of minutes, “Someone tell me again why we let Bella go to school in California?”

Adding to the “we’re idiots” tally was our decision to reward ourselves for all the heavy lifting we did by going to the aforementioned Disneyland because nothing says rest and relaxation like walking 15 miles through a theme park.

After Disney I decided I needed to go to my real happy place – Fashion Island. It’s a swanky outdoor mall in Newport Beach full of shops that I can’t afford but I still like to enjoy the ambience. At one store I decided to treat myself to a fancy skin cream.

As the make up counter guru started testing creams on me she began aggressively feeling my face and then called the other consultants over where they also began poking my cheeks and forehead. At first I thought this was some kind of California face massage thing but it turns out that I was the only woman they had seen in a while who didn’t have fillers or Botox.

I played the Kansas card again and told them this was how we rolled in the sunflower state. It was better than the truth – that I was broke because my daughter goes to school in California and that I was afraid of needles.

Finally, after six days either on the road, at Target or moving stuff into an apartment we made it to the beach and that’s how California gets you. You sit there basking in the low humidity and sunshine watching the waves break and the palm trees sway and suddenly you think, “This is the life” and that thought lasts until you get back in your car and hit traffic.

4 thoughts on “California Dreaming

  1. Janet says:

    I have a sophomore in college too, but she’s just at KU. I whined a lot getting her all moved back in to her apartment, but realize after your story that I had it pretty good 🙂 Still had entirely too many trips to Walmart and Target but at least I was close to home.

  2. Sakinah Baksh says:

    I don’t live in California but I have to drop my sister to college every day by bus. I end up having to catch 7-8 buses a day, on top of my day job. So I can relate to the body aches at least 😀

  3. Julie says:

    Lesson learned! Next fall, prior to your trip, grab a handful of those silky, luxurious, bright red and white Target bags and take them with you to the Southern Cal! Imagine the amazed crowds that will swell around you, gasping in amazement! Shoppers behind you won’t sigh with impatience since they will be so fixated on your prize! Just imagine the glee and cheers from the Target suits in their Minnesota headquarters when they observe your brillant Target branding, with not just one reusable (definition “ugly”) bag, but two full fistfuls of multiple bags brimming with Target products! Why, you will be celebrated and applauded and cheered on! Can a throne on Target’s Rose Parade where you reign as Ms. Target USA be far behind?

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