Monday, October 6, 2014

The Negatives

{I'm posting every day this month for the 31 Days writing challenge!
Click here to see an introduction and a list of all the posts I've written so far.}

Okay, so you’ve seen a few pretty awesome things about Santa Barbara so far, and there’s a LOT more where that came from.  But since it’s Monday, and Mondays are not usually my favorite, I thought today would be a good time to share some of the negative feelings I have toward Santa Barbara.  

The awesome thing is that I can fit pretty much all of my negatives in one single post, so the pros obviously FAR outweigh the cons for this place.

So here are the five main things I don’t exactly love about Santa Barbara, in no particular order:

1. There is no Target.  “But Tabitha, how do you even LIVE without a Target nearby?”  I know.  I ask myself the same question fairly regularly.  Now, supposedly a Target store is in the works for Santa Barbara/Goleta, but I’ve been hearing that for the past five years, so I’m not holding my breath.  My prediction is that they’ll start construction the day Joe and I decide to move away, because that would just be my luck.  

2. It’s really, really expensive to live here.  Like, REALLY.  Renting or buying housing here is ridiculously stressful, unless you want to live in a little crappy, beat-up apartment in the worst possible neighborhood – and even then you’ll be shelling out more money than you’d like.  And I haven’t done any detailed studies, but I’m pretty sure that shopping in general is more expensive here than a lot of other places.  A cute dress at Ross in Santa Barbara might be $25 while the same exact dress is at a Ross in the L.A. area for $15.  (The prospect of having children and living on one income in this town is pretty unlikely for us right now, though I’m still holding out hope for a miracle.)

3. There’s no Barnes & Noble.  This one probably seems fairly minor to you guys, but we used to have Barnes & Noble (and Borders before they went out of business completely), and I loved going there to browse the shelves.  I have a Nook eReader, so I do a lot of my book shopping electronically now, but nothing compares to holding a real book, fanning through the pages, smelling that lovely book smell.... The good thing is, I recently discovered Granada Books, which is the only bookstore in Santa Barbara (to my knowledge) that sells NEW books.  It’s a small, locally-owned bookstore, but they seem to have a good selection of new releases, and the staff is very friendly.  (So, okay, I guess this one is a pretty minor complaint.)

4. “Santa Barbara people” can be a bit superficial/airheaded.  Now, let me clarify: this is just a broad generalization about some people I have encountered or observed in my six years here.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been walking down State Street and overheard conversations like this:

Girl #1: “OMG, did you see that girl’s shoes?  Like, what was she even thinking?”
Girl #2: “Seriously!  I’m totally gagging right now, ugh.”

And this is one I actually overheard in line at Chipotle the other day, I kid you not:

Girl #1: “Oh.  My.  God.  This is the longest line in Chipotle history.”
Girl #2: “Oh.  My.  God.  I want to dieeeee right now, what is going onnnnn?”
Girl #1: “OH.  MY.  GODDDD.  I don’t even want a burrito right now but we’re already in liiiiiiine.”

(Seriously, they kept saying that phrase just like in “I Like Big Butts” you know what I mean and they weren’t being silly.)

It actually makes for pretty entertaining people-watching, and thankfully, my friends in the area are not

5. People here flake out on plans a lot.  This might sound harsher than I want it to, but I’m all about keeping it real here, so I have to mention this.  We’ve planned parties or game nights where 10 people said they were definitely coming, and then two people showed up.  And of the eight people who didn’t come, maybe half of them told us they weren’t coming with at least half an hour of advanced notice.  The others just never came and never let us know what happened.

I guess maybe it's something about living in a place with this sort of laid-back, “it’s all good, bro” mentality?  All I’m saying is, this never happened to me in other places I’ve lived, and it’s happened quite a few times in Santa Barbara.  I totally get that things come up, sometimes we accidentally get double-booked, etc.  But the frequency of this sort of occurrence is noticeable, and it does bum me out sometimes.

(And if you are a friend of mine and you think I might be pointing fingers at you, please know I’m not trying to do that at all!  I love ALL our friends here and I’m not holding any grudges about this kinda thing.  Besides, I’ve been that person at least a couple of times, too!)

Also, in case you’re thinking, “Maybe you’re just not as cool as you think you are, so people don’t really want to hang out with you,” let me state for the record that I’ve talked to a few other people in the area who have experienced this same thing!  (I mean, I’m sure I’m NOT actually as cool as I think I am, but still.)

In the grand scheme of things, these complaints don’t even hold a candle to all of the things I love about Santa Barbara, which you will be bombarded with for the next 25 days of this series.  And don’t worry – I will be mentioning some AWESOME things about the people here that far outweigh any criticism of their time management skills.


  1. Only in Santa Barbara can you find a $200K mobile home!

    Also, have you been to Chaucer's Bookstore (near Gelson's)? It's a pretty big one with a good selection.

    Book Den across from the library has used and new, as well, though it's smaller than Chaucer's or Granada.

    1. I think I went to Chaucer's once several years ago! I hardly ever find myself in that area, but I should check it out again. I think I've been in Book Den once or twice as well. Aren't both Chaucer's and Book Den mostly used books? (Not that I mind that! Sometimes I just like the feel of a brand new, crisp-paged book.) :-)

    2. Book Den is both used and new, but I think Chaucer's has more new books. Last time I went, which was less than a year ago, I seem to recall seeing mostly new books :-)

      One of my favorite scents in the world is the smell of pages from a brand new book. It's not uncommon to find me greeting a new book by riffling through its pages and inhaling! :-D

  2. I love visiting Santa Barbara. I live in Bakersfield, so you can imagine why. LOLOLOL. We have plenty of Targets, a Barnes and Noble and we don't have beach/valley girl speak, but we do have people who were born and raised here with slightly southern accents. We are so close geographically but eons apart culturally. Glad to have found you via #write31days today!

    1. I was born in Bakersfield, Julie! Small world. :-)

  3. Love that you are being brutally honest. Sometimes we need to hear it. And I hate that we don't have a target here.

    1. Thanks Schauna! Seriously, the no Target thing is almost enough to make me want to move away, lol!

  4. You know I have to say it: I believe in miracles!


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