I am a 37-year-old single female who is a native of San Luis Obispo. I have lived in this town my whole life. I live off of California Boulevard, close to Campus Bottle, due to cheap rent and a na've (but short lived) belief that bad behavior will not be rewarded and ... I want to be a Cal Poly student.
Don't misunderstand me. I don't want a degree. I don't even particularly want to go to a single solitary class, or learn anything. I just want the rewards, lifestyle, and "Get Out of Jail Free" cards that most Cal Poly students seem to enjoy.
I want the Lexus SUV and a replacement when, inevitably, I total it during a drunken mad dash from Farmers' Market back to my Fredericks Street five-bedroom house. (Well, actually it's legally only a three-bedroom, but the garages make great living quarters and since there are 10 of us living here and one bedroom has all the beer keg refrigerators in it well, you can see how we'd need to be "creative" with our living arrangements.)
Mom and Dad didn't spend $850,000 on this place for me to just let all my friends flop here, spill beer in the carpets, throw gasoline on the barbecue pit every weekend, and vomit in the hydrangeas ... oh wait, yes they did.
I want to be a Cal Poly student. I want to be a card-carrying part of San Luis' population that can put upholstered furniture in the front yard in the rain till it turns black with fungus and mildew.
I want to park in the fire lanes and no one does a darn thing about it. I want to let my friends toss hundreds of red beer cups in the streets and no one charges me a single dime. I want the Police Department to tell my neighbors to move when they call at 2 a.m., complaining of noise.
"What did you expect, Mr. and Mrs. Jones? You live in a college town. Now let them have their fun."
Yeah, I want that.
I want local merchants to kiss my butt when I come in their stores with my Platinum MasterCard. I want them to fawn all over me and my Paris Hilton-wannabe posse of foul-mouthed Poly Dollies. I want them to ring up my $250 pair of jeans while I talk on my rhinestone pink cell phone, peppering my conversation with the F-word. Oh, and I want a Mommy and Daddy who make sure I will never, ever see a bill.
I want a college president who acts like every phone call from a concerned citizen is the first one ever received, who has perfected the art of acting "so shocked and surprised," even when it's the 10th complaint of the day about underage drinking, students breaking downtown business windows, or lighting the trees on fire in their own backyards with M-80s.
I want to adopt a pit bull puppy, name him Harley, then dump him when he's 6 months old at Animal Services, without any remnants of responsibility. After that, I'll get two kittens, a boy and a girl, then let them have a litter of their own kittens since it's soooooo cute. I'll want to dump all those, too, when they're done being cute, so please leave room in the kennels, okay?
I want to be a Cal Poly student. I want to live the life, enjoy the perks, and drink myself half to death for, like, four or five years. I want to work a part-time job for $9 an hour that should go to a local professional and should pay more like $15 an hour. But I want it so I can have extra beer money. I want all this ... and then, I will leave. I will leave nothing behind but memories of 3 a.m. sirens, red beer cups, a destroyed party house, and seven pieces of furniture on the sidewalk or in someone else's Dumpster. And then, San Luis, I want to send you my little sister to do the same thing all over again. ?
Amy Mordan is a San Luis Obispo resident who thinks Jerry James is her hero. Send comments to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.