What I really mean is “10 Reasons Why I Like Houston better than LA”. IMHO.
It seems to me that there exists a wide-spread love of all things to do with the West Coast. Returning from a vacation to the amorphous “West Coast”, I land here in not-as-glamorous Houston, Texas and react like I’m coming home to mamma. The decor may not be as trendy, the scenery as gorgeous, or the food as fancy, but boy does it f-e-e-e-l good!
The sites we saw were truly enchanting, no argument there. The list of amazing things we visited is long. From the Getty, to the USS Midway, to the San Diego Balboa Park. Unforgettable. So what holds me back from saying I’d love to return and really soak up this place for a longer more leisurely stay?
Here’s my list. Here’s why Houston feels better to me:
- 90%+ Humidity. I love it. The moisture brings life to skin, plants and makes the world feel more elastic and vibrant. Not so tight, dried-up and washed out.
- Plastic Surgery not required. I am surrounded by people here who have not had plastic surgery. Not all, admittedly, but I don’t feel like I’ve aged prematurely, and should do something to correct that.
- Soccer Mom vans socially acceptable. I’m still driving around in my 10-year old soccer Mom van, and I don’t want to give it up. It’s not an embarrassment to the neighborhood or my friends. The Mercedes and vans sit happily side-by-side in the driveways.
- Good food does not require a second mortgage. We spent more on food than airline tickets. We were not seeking out the star hangouts, trust me. Isn’t California where much of our produce comes from?
- Up-market spandex workout clothes not required for daytime attire. Athleta, Lulu Lemon, and the like have established a new unwritten uniform for the daytime attire outside the office. Gone are the jeans, shorts and t-shirts of yesteryear. The pressure to upgrade could be costly.
- Traffic is a rush-hour inconvenience… that we all figure out how to work around versus a way-of-life. We learned that much of life is dominated by planning, discussing and managing around traffic. It consumes you. Give me Houston’s trivial traffic snarls any day.
- I don’t have to pretend to like the beach. It’s nice to look at and occasionally visit, but a steady diet of beach activities, sand, cold water, and wind is not my thing.
- There’s less Angst in the air. You gotta love the occasional drawn-out “howdy”s or “ya’ll come back real soon”s. They embrace you just as you are and give you cause for pause in the rush.
- We don’t have to look at our filthy air everyday. I’m not suffering from delusional thinking about Houston’s air quality. I’ve seen some pretty bad smog days from my highrise office windows, but it’s not ever present and from every vantage point in the city. I can do quite nicely without the daily reminder.
- Body image does not take top priority. This is tricky and subtle. We should perhaps be more concerned about this in Texas, than we are (!). I’m not a person who needs to lose weight, so I was perplexed to find myself criticizing my shape, looks and overall presentableness … after just 6 days! Is this some deep-seated weakness of mine, or is there something out there in that smog or the windows of Rodeo drive that caused this?
Alas, I’m sure this won’t be my last trip out there, but a longer-term exploration of life on the “West Coast” is not on my bucket list today.