Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Always a Valley Girl: Colorado vs. California

The Valley is like a vacuum--you can leave, but you'll always get sucked back.

I don’t know how many times I heard some form of that joke growing up, but my fear in high school was that I'd never leave The Valley. Just like in the movies, I was a small-town girl who wanted something more than the small-town life. I had to escape.

I can safely say that I feel differently now. Besides just growing out of my teenage angst and moving to a different valley, I’ve come to appreciate the landscape and culture that has influenced me even when I thought I was fighting everything it valued—i.e. wrestling and football heroes. I’m not saying this to be nostalgic (though nostalgia certainly plays a part) or because I want to move back (I DON’T!) but I have realized that I can’t and don’t want to escape the perspectives I have from growing up in The Valley. So the joke is true; I’ll never truly escape, but that’s okay. To celebrate my valleyness, I’m going to start a series in which I share my valley perspective.

To kick it off, I’d like to address the California controversy.

This summer, a few of my co-workers and friends were under the impression that I hate California because of the song “California Gurls” by Katy Perry. Let me make this clear: I don’t like that song, but I’m not totally against California. My mom was born there, my dad served his mission there, I have family still living there, and there’s a chance I will end up living there. So I don’t hate California…I just think Colorado is better.

I could argue over the climate, the landscape, or the people, but I’d rather argue over the songs. On California’s side, we have doll-like Katy Perry and “California Gurls” (the Beach Boys just weren’t specific enough):
California gurls, we’re unforgettable
Daisy dukes, bikinis on top
Sun-kissed skin, so hot, will melt your popsicle
California gurls, we’re undeniable
Fine, fresh, fierce, we got it on lock
West Coast represent, now put your hands up

I can appreciate feeling fine, fresh, and fierce, but the rest is a little shallow, no? I mean, I feel sorry for California girls if they are only described as being able to melt a popsicle.

On Colorado’s side, we have the folksy (and okay, not very well-known) Townes Van Zandt and “Colorado Girl”:
The promise in her smile
Shames the mountains tall
The promise in her smile
Shames the mountains tall
She bring the sun to shining
Tell the rain to fall

I don’t mind being represented by this at all. Having a smile that puts the Rockies to shame? That’s a pretty amazing smile. And he’s not even talking about brilliant, white teeth, but the promise, that something special, in a smile. It just makes me happy to be a Colorado girl.

So to me, the clear winner is Colorado, but don’t be sad California, I still think you’re okay.

2 comments:

Clancy Clawson, the author said...

The only thing I agree with in all of this is when you said Katy Perry is a doll. She sure is.

Mortensen Baby Farm said...

You are too cute! I love it!!