The Worst Part About California

Don’t believe anything the tourist ads, or the hipsters with their million dollar trust funds, tell you. California has a lot of downsides.

Sure, the weather is typically pretty nice; although, there are even some bad parts to that. For one, you no longer have much change to the seasons, which is sort of depressing. There is something very beautiful about the fall of leaves; about the first snowfall; and, about the beginning of spring and of summer. You don’t get that in California. But it also rains a lot here during the winter, and California is entirely ill-prepared for it. We don’t have proper drainage, no matter how many floods there are. Despite all the landslides of mud and water, which kill people every year, we do nothing to put up proper drainage walls. And don’t get me started on the lack of fire protection.

The bad things about California go well beyond that, though. There’s the cost of living, which is exponentially higher than most of the country. The $27 cake at Whole Foods down the street from our apartment is only $8 at the Whole Foods just outside Chicago. Our electric bills are higher. Our water bills are through the roof (despite the fact that we live right along a body of water). And our rents are almost double what they would be in other, equally as nice, areas of the country.

The hipsters are overruling California, making the environment a terribly narcissistic and pretentious place to live. Every weekend there are local, hippy fests wreaking havoc on traffic and the peace and quiet some of us enjoy – crappy music festivals, art walks where people sell paintings of local scenery, farmer’s markets with absolutely no health standards at all. The last time we went to the farmer’s market, I bought strawberries and the guy put down his macaroni salad and licked his fingers, then grabbed my bushel of strawberries and got macaroni and mayonnaise all over the bag.

Then there is the overwhelming hillbilly population, leftover from all the Okies that came over during the Great Depression to pick fruit. They have racetracks in almost every city it seems. Every county has a fair, and it isn’t a classy fair; it’s an “eat fried butter and wrestle with pigs” kind of event. The streets are lined with trucks covered in mud from their most recent four-bying excursion. Guns are big. Overalls are big. Beating you wife is huge.

Everyone is trying to break into the film industry, which is an awful industry (to say the least). It uses people for everything it can, and then spits them out quicker than you can say “this was a mistake.” The people that actually keep a job for a while are expected to sacrifice everything. My husband is one of them, who sacrifices lunch breaks, weekends with his family, and night after night after night of just a little bit of quality time to satisfy his bosses. He doesn’t even know how many personal days he gets every year, it’s been so long since he took them. And when confronted with the low wages and high demands, the only response is: “most people in the film industry don’t have families.”

The lifestyle in California – even if you are not in the film industry – is so ridiculously fast-paced and high stress, everyone is always rushing. Everyone is always on the go. No one has time to be nice, or to say “hello” to a stranger. That’s considered rude. People cut you off, flip you off, and feel entitled to take your place in line because they are in a hurry. At the grocery store the other day, a woman cut in line in front of us at the deli because she said her daughter was waiting for her. Really bitch? The grocery workers just let it happen, because in California it isn’t what is fair or what is common courtesy, it’s who has the biggest voice.

It isn’t just all this, though, that is the worst part about California. And there are other miscellaneous nuances that make the place miserable. The traffic. The cost of doing anything besides breathe. The horrible public transportation. The jobs. The education. The public schools. The corrupt politicians. The union stranglehold. The homeless. The way people treat the homeless. The beaches with warnings that hypodermic needles could be buried in the sand.

All this and more is not, and never will be, the worst part about California.

No, faihtful blog followers. No there is a much different thing that is the worst part about California. None of this will ever top it, either. “What in God’s name could be so awful, so heinous, to top all of that?” I’m sure you are asking yourself.

Simple answer: the ghetto trash.

Yesterday I went to pick up some soup, because we’re all sick and I wanted something spicy to clear out my sinuses. I parked my car, went in to get my soup, and came out to find that a car had been parked next to mine, and it was completely blocking me from getting into my car.

The drivers of said car were standing outside of it, two of them making out and one of them smoking a cigarette. Clearly a gang bang was about to happen.

For a brief second I thought about trying to squeeze in, but when I saw that their mirror had been smashed down by my driver’s side door, I decided to just politely ask them to move the car.

I was very nice. They were kids – clearly teenagers, driving their parent’s car. I was very, very nice.

“Is this your car?”

The girl making out put her gum back into her mouth, looked me up and down and said “yeah, what’s it to you?”


“Ok, well I can’t get into my car without scratching up yours … do you think you could move your car just a little?”

The guy smoking said “sure, sorry about that ma’am.” Then the girl piped up again, “you don’t have to be such a bitch about it.”

The guy had already moved his car by then. I got in my car and drove off.

This is the worst part of California. It’s the medical assistant who acts like you’ve morally offended her because you called to schedule an appointment with your doctor. It’s the cashier at Starbucks who gives you attitude because you point out that she gave you the wrong change. It’s the waitress that acts like she’s doing you a favor to let you pay to eat in her establishment. It’s the girls in the bathroom at Target that tell you you’d better “watch your back” wearing clothing that people don’t like. It’s the trashy kids sitting on cars in the parking lot, making out and dressing like total skanks. It’s the people that are constantly on guard, totally abrassive, and ready to call people out for something they have not even done.

California is filled with it. It’s in even the nicest of communities – which ours is fabled to be. This ghetto trash, these bottom-feeders, are what make California intolerable. Because while the weather issues are annoying, the cost of living sucks, and the hipsters and film industry get under your skin, they don’t get in your face like ghetto trash does.


  1. Andrew Stillman

    a….fucking…men. amen.

    but that’s why northern california is better =) (don’t hate me for saying that. haha.)

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I hear that from a lot of people actually!

  2. Connie

    California or elsewhere, I never fail to be consistently ASTOUNDED at how rude people are these days. What ever happened to manners and “please and thank you” and this sort of thing? What ever happened to respect and decency? I believe these things simply don’t exist any more. 😦

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I totally agree! I am flabbergasted by people’s rudeness these days. What the hell is going on?

  3. rich

    I’m in new jersey. We got all that too.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Yeah, I think a lot of it is all over. It’s definitely the worst and ugliest part of California though.

      1. rich

        my general idea – without any expertise – is that each coast has an attitude, and the nice people are scattered in the middle of the country.

      2. Heather Christena Schmidt

        I agree, without any expertise of course myself. Where does the close-minded trailer trash fit in on the map, though?

      3. rich

        between maryland and florida.

  4. cheryl

    I don’t know Heather. I live in California and I see a lot of good. We have our problems here but its that way everywhere. Chicago has murders everyother day. Drive byes,. yes you have the 4 seasons, but you also have bitterly cold weather and hot and miserable humidity in the summer. Smart ass kids are everywhere. I think you are homesick for your family.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Well, the blog was about just the worst part of California. While I am homesick, I do believe that there is something terribly wrong with some of these things I mentioned. Of course a lot of this stuff goes on everywhere, but it’s definitely been here in California that I’ve encountered the worst rude behavior.

  5. It’s A Dome Life

    That second to last paragraph…that is becoming the norm. People are so weird and rude. I don’t understand it. I wanted to barf a little when you described the strawberries, and that girl that was all mouthy about her boyfriends bad parking? I had a little fantasy in my mind of running her over. I know. Send me to virtual Internet jail if you are the thought police. I just couldn’t help myself.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I don’t understand why people are so rude now too! What the hell is going on?!

  6. Lorraine Gouland

    Sounds a lot like small town UK – except the weather, of course.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I think it’s Smalltown EVERYWHERE, but some of it seems to be a lot worse here than other places. You give and take I suppose.

      1. Lorraine Gouland

        Yeah you give and take but if you don’t like it, you don’t like it – nuff said. I lived in a pretty Yorkshire seaside town for 7 years and I never felt at home there. I made good friends. I had a social life but it just didn’t fit. I’m a country girl and need wide open space (such as you can get in England!) and greenery and red mud etc, etc so I came back to the Westcountry. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, that’s better. If I ever end up in your part of the world, we’ll go for coffee and have a good old bitchfest! XX

      2. Heather Christena Schmidt

        I think a lot of people go through that – it just doesn’t fit! There is nothing wrong with that; in fact, the only thing is wrong is staying where you aren’t happy!

  7. Runner Dad

    First, great blog. Second, check out where you can post a photo next time. You can also download and print out cards to leave on people’s cars. Lastly…$27 for a cake. Robbery!

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Oh, I am there right now… AWESOME! Thanks so much! And you are right, it is robbery!

  8. Ashley@sorry kid

    . No one should never have to endure that… There are plenty of assholes in the midwest but clearly California is taking it too far…

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I think there are plenty of assholes everywhere! But you are right, it seems to be getting to be out of control, at least in my community!

  9. diswanderlust

    Love it. I am a Cali native and my dream is to move but that will never happen, sigh. Which reminds me, in college I did a comic for the school newspaper of the seasons of Cali….yup you guessed it, a tree with leaves, in the sun, every season. Anyways, you nailed it on California so just from that I am a new loyal blog and twitter follower and will share your Cali post for sure. See? I am a nice Californian, which is rarer than diamonds….or something.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I have found some nice Californians, and as you said they are rarer than diamonds. I think some of this stuff happens everywhere, but some of it definitely is Cali-specific … LOVE the cartoon. It’s so freaking true.

  10. jimcolv

    Fcuk California!!! Glad I never moved there. But like alienredqueen said, that type of shit happens in Anytown, USA. The whole country appears to overrun by complete douches. The normal folk stay at home with aluminum foil helmets….

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      YES! The whole country does seem to have been overrun by douches. Why in the hell is that?

      1. jimcolv

        I stopped allowing myself to care so much. It only causes me heartache because I really don’t see things improving overall.

  11. alienredqueen

    It’s not just Cali. It’s becoming a country wide epidemic. I wanna smash someone in the mouth almost every time I have to go out in public. MY doctor’s receptionist hung up on me yesterday.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Yeah, I don’t doubt it is elsewhere. I just think it is the worst of California, and it’s really bad in our community. That’s awful that you got hung up on yesterday!

  12. Words for Worms

    The Midwest wants you back. Illinois loves you. We have our own ghetto trash (and a helluva lot of hillbillies) but they’re FRIENDLY hillbillies. And the vast majority of cashiers I’ve encountered are actually nice. Sometimes they even make small talk! (I live in Illinois. South of I-80. So. You know.)

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      South of I-80 you say? I am 30 seconds away from packing my stuff and just driving back. I need my Midwest back!!

      1. Words for Worms

        C’mon home. We’ll fry up a tenderloin for you.

      2. Heather Christena Schmidt


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