I was walking the babies (my dogs) Abe and Abby. Without fail, Abraham gets into everyone’s face immediately, and yes, it can be a little overwhelming. He’s so excited, friendly, lovable and outgoing that his personality is unstoppable. He’s got one goal in mind. Every day, it’s Abraham’s mission to find as many new humans to greet. And if he’s real lucky, he’ll manipulate them with his big grown eyes long enough to get them to pet him.
Abraham loves touch; it’s his love language. Meanwhile, Abigail my little 5-pound Japanese Chin insists on remaining aloof. She gains the spotlight quickly with her pretty long white coat and her dainty princess-like gait. However, most strangers learn quickly that she’s not as excited to see them as they are to see her. She acts like a cat and is so independent, so autonomous that she couldn’t care less about those who dote on her.
It’s not uncommon for people to talk to Abe and Abby. During a recent walk, one lady asked Abigail if she was “underwhelmed.” It was the first time I ever heard anyone describe her calmness in this way. It reminds me of the East Coast versus West Coast mentality. Living back East, out West coast and many places in the in the middle, I have learned that there are usually two kinds of people: the overwhelmed and the underwhelmed. You can probably guess which coast is considerably overwhelmed. Partly due to weather conditions, most of the East Coast is hit with bad weather conditions. Compare New York to California and there really is no comparison. New York and most of the East Coast experiences four seasons; California, on the other hand, experiences temperate, sunny days most of the year.
Californians can travel via their own vehicle, while East Coasters especially New Yorkers have to hustle to catch a cab or the subway. New Yorkers seem to be overwhelmed almost all the time. They are on the go, as life seems to be on fast-forward. Everyone seems to be in the “get out of my way” attitude, shoving and pushing and “watch it you idiot.”
Cab drivers seem to be on a suicide mission swerving and speeding, running lights — be careful if you are a pedestrian because cars in New York will run your ass over. They don’t stop and cops have better things to do then to come pick up your body. So, when some of us New Yorkers head towards the West Coast it can result in culture shock. At least in New York people tell you what they feel.
In Southern California people use sarcasm, polite condescension and even try even “kill you with kindness.” Specifically Los Angeles, everyone thinks they’re going to be the next A-lister. Head to Orange County and people throw their degrees, titles, and money around. If you don’t belong to sorority or fraternity in some parts you can feel left out. Others seem to be able to smell if you’ve got money, or not. You don’t have to say a word. You can dress to match their style, flaunt your degree, and or job title. But, they’ve got an income bracket that is acceptable to them and if you don’t meet their social standards, then good luck trying to form friends that actually would like to get to know the content of your character. It’s a very superficial world full of snobs, spoiled brats, uptight valley girls, and frat-beer drinking rich boys. Their daddy’s and mommy’s are all rich business people, lawyers, doctors; you name it.
And some that actually act like snobs aren’t even from the South bay or come from lots of money. But, somehow they come to Orange County, the South bay, and to Los Angeles forgetting where they came from. They come here and suddenly their egos become inflated.
The Bottom Line
Depending upon where you came from, you’re either down to earth having worked hard for what you achieved in life so you don’t take anything for granted. Or you decide to create an entirely new identity, one that is better than any of the “low-lives” you grew up with or anyone that might resemble your past.
Either way, people are going to be real or fake. There really is no other default position. And I have learned that regardless of where I came from or where others have come from; I am in control of my own experiences because I am in command of my behavior and reactions to life. As most of us have learned, I haven’t always been proud of the way I react or respond to others. We can all be guilty of reacting poorly to those that especially push our buttons. We must remember that we can’t control other people and how they behave towards us or towards those around us. And like Abraham, you can be out going, lovable, and insatiably optimistic, but even Abe’s learned that not everyone is a dog lover. Abraham’s learned that some people aren’t always friendly and will not pet him no matter how hard he tries. But, the one thing I do know is that regardless, rejection has never had an affect on his happy go-lucky personality. I continue to get praises from all sorts of people claiming that Abe’s got to be one of the happiest dogs they’ve ever met.
This world is full of pessimistic individuals, those that have perpetually bad days and especially those that have formed long time social cliques that you’re never going to be welcomed in. Not everyone is going be open hearted, open minded and embracing. Having said this, you should keep in mind that the world and the universe doesn’t center around you. In other words, someone’s chip on their shoulder has nothing at all to do with you. Abe tries to meet new friends each day. If some reject him, that’s fine by him. He goes about his business and searches out for those that are just as affectionate and excited to meet him. I’ve learned a lot from watching the way my dogs interact with complete strangers. In life, you’ll meet plenty of people that aren’t willing to reciprocate your friendship, companionship, and or affections. But, the world is a very big place with plenty of folks that are interested in getting to know you.
This entry was posted in Culture & Tech and tagged Authentic Self, California, Dealing with Rejection, Dealing with social cliques, East Coast, East Coast Attitude, Interpersonal Relationships, Real friends, Sarah Ban Breathnach, Self Acceptance, Sorority mentality, Superficiality, West coast, West Coast Attitude.