Friday, May 18, 2012

Country Vibe

After watching the Hart of Dixie finale...

Wait, before I continue: judge that if you want, but this happened:

Yeah, that's a ripped dude in a wife beater taking it off in the rain. #ladypron

Now, I may be slightly (shut up) outside the demographic of the CW but I refuse to act like I'm not a sucker for a hot guy with his shirt off. I have a pulse. And, as I've mentioned before, having been a "yankee" interloper in the South, the fish-out-of-water plot speaks to me. I lived that. (If it's not Southern, it's Yankee. The fact that I was from the West Coast was immaterial in arguments about my lack of yankee-ness and where California stood in the "war of Northern aggression". I actually own a NY Yankees hat from that period in my life because I wore being different with a bit of pride. Call me a yankee? Sure, whatever, I'll own it.)

I clearly remember my friend Mary yelling at me our freshman year, as I lamented some other thing that Louisiana didn't have that California did (salad with something besides iceberg lettuce, avocados, vegetables that weren't boiled to an indistinguishable mush, food that wasn't fried), "God! If California is so great why don't you go back there!?" It was my, as Southerners say, come to Jesus moment. "Oh. Maybe I should appreciate this place for what it is and not for what I wish it were?" And I did. And I loved it. Because for every aversion to al dente vegetables there was boudin and gumbo and free liquor. All the free liquor. Not to mention the amazing cultural differences. (Small town Samantha excitedly saying "There are so many Orientals here!" remains one of my favorite cringe inducing college moments ever. Not only that, there were like 60. In a school of 20k.)

So other than not having hot guys at every turn like the TV show (Ahaha! It was undergrad, there totally were. What up former baseball player crush?), the show is cute and has that decidedly Southern feel. (I still hate the Lemon character but I don't get to write the script so...)

With that decidedly hot, sticky, Southern attitude emitting from my TV, even if on a Hollywood studio lot that I'm pretty sure was the same one they used for Gilmore Girls, it leads me to miss the South. Which leads me to reminiscing...

That same friend Mary who yelled at me would take me home with her every now and then, as I was the weird kid 2k miles away from home without any parental influences around. (If I had a nickel for every, "You're from San Francisco? But you came here for college? Why?" conversation, I might not have had to take out loans for law school. If I had a dollar for every, "You're from San Francisco? Isn't everyone there gay?" conversation I definitely wouldn't have. I love the South. It's not perfect. The response, as I got older, was "Yep. That's right. They spring up fully formed in the Castro. All the gays in the world are in San Francisco. It's not like they moved there from less tolerant places or anything.") Mary's family had this amazing house on the Amite River. It really had two houses on the property and a fire pit and a freezer full of steak our broke college selves got to eat because her dad was an attorney that had a client who paid in meat. I only vaguely remember her parents being around but her twin brother and other siblings and their assorted frat brothers and friends would be and we'd drink beer outside by the fire pit listening to classic rock and pop country, laughing, carrying on, being the absurd undergrads that we were. It was pretty damn idyllic.

Add in that the show, despite any kitschy failings, has a solid soundtrack of country hits, the Spotify mix of which I may have been listening to too much this week and I am all sorts of missing South Louisiana, hanging out in tank tops and shorts and flip flops down by a river drinking crap American beer. I want to do that now!

Yet I'm stuck in a city that doesn't even have a country music radio station. (Every so often we get one, not enough people listen to it, it disappears, lather, rinse, repeat.) This means I am certainly not in a town with a Bud in cans, peanut shells on the floor, country blaring from the jukebox where everyone sings along to the parts that aren't in the David Allan Coe song ("Let me let me let me!"). There is no respite in the city for my rose colored college nostalgia. The closest we have to a country bar is The Saddlerack. The website autoplays really crappy music (including that awful Cotton Eyed Joe song) and it's in Fremont which might as well be Lubbock. Really, who goes to Fremont? Typing in "Country Western Bar" on a Yelp search led to highly amusing results. We got a new Tex-Mex place, but I'm pretty sure that's far more upscale than what I'm in the mood for. SF, for all it's wonderful offerings, does not know from foot stomping Southern places. I don't want a hand blended concoction by a mixologist. I want something far more...redneck, for lack of a better word. Anyone got any suggestions? If not I'm just gonna have to go buy up all the Abita, turn the heat on the house to 80, blare some Keith Urban and my friend JR's favorite song from our sophomore year "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy" (real song, y'all) and fake it myself.

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