This post was inspired by Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, a novel that exposes the gothic underbelly of an American dynasty, and an outsider’s hunger to belong. Join From Left to Write on May 20 we discuss Bittersweet. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes. I enjoyed this book. I like family mystery genre (is that a genre?) anyway, so it was a good read!
So glad my college roomie was not like Ev! My freshman year I met Michelle, who was from Boston. I grew up in the midwest, and then moved to California in junior high, so the East Coast was so foreign to me. Michelle even had a different vocabulary-sneakers, pocketbook, market...and I picked up on her lingo quickly (to the amusement of my California bred friends), though not her accent!
The summer after freshman year, my parents let me go visit her for a week or two. I loved it! I fell in love with the history on the East Coast. Everything is so old! Out in California, we were lucky if we were celebrating 100 years of something, but the East Coast was filled with old churches, buildings, just history. Walking around Harvard felt like a dream to me. Michelle and her family took me all around Boston, out to Cape Cod, and to Newport, Rhode Island. I didn't eat any Mexican food (which we Californians eat weekly, sometimes 2-3 times a week in this household!), but tried lobster for the first time, nibbled on the Chinese food leftovers found in all of her friends' fridges, and ate clam cakes.
I just felt like I belonged there. I even begged my parents to let me stay an extra couple days-which graciously they did. Michelle was my best friend, but after visiting her, I felt like I knew her even better. I cried flying back to California. I immediately sent away for college applications to UMASS, BU, Brown, anywhere near Massachusetts or Rhode Island. I was determined to transfer back East...but then I settled back in at home, at UCSB, and realized I wouldn't know anyone back East. No family, no friends, except Michelle's mom and sister, but I knew I couldn't invade on them. The applications stayed in my drawer, unsent.
I still live in California today...haven't even made it back East since then...crazily enough...but hopefully we can get out there sometime soon. Joe and I are saving for a DC trip next summer, which will hopefully include a week in Rhode Island with his family. I can't wait to see the East Coast again...I know the song is "I Left My Heart in San Francisco", but I left my heart in Boston.