The first thing you notice when you drive into town is a giant billboard that says, “Life is better with teeth.” No I’m not making this up. I have pictures. Ask me, I’ll be happy to provide them.

What are the chances, I mean really what are the chances of me moving to such an armpit – especially after I actually did the research? Welcome to Euphoria the sign said – not it’s real name of course, I don’t want to offend any of the people whose fate it is to remain in this little nightmare.

Euphoria is a tiny, Northern California town. It’s just miles away from what would be considered a big city – if you live in Euphoria – a college town called Chico. I actually got a job there for a short time while living in Euphoria, but I soon found something closer to home as a bar manager in a family restaurant. This seemed like the better choice and so I quit said job in Chico. Not all was honey and roses however, at the family restaurant.

The job was not difficult. It was close to my house and the hours weren’t bad, which is why I took it in the first place. I was in charge of inventory and tended bar during the day, through the lunch rush. But I was also the manager of the single bar tender who had worked there for a long time; a young, pretty redhead who was crazy and hated me on sight. No, this was not my conjecture, this is what the General Manager of the restaurant told me.

During my 5 month stay in Euphoria, not knowing anyone, I made a lot of phone calls to be sure I hadn’t lost my mind. I had the sneaking suspicion I had, other wise why would I be here? Nightly conversations would find me whining while having a glass of the same (different spelling).

“The girl hates me! I don’t know why she didn’t just take the bar manager job when they offered it to her, before I got here.”

I’d take a sip of wine while my friend on the other end of the conversation said something supportive.

“I know…right…yeah, that’s what I thought!” me.

I would pause while friend continued to be supportive and then I’d elaborate.

“No, she doesn’t even know California food code and resents it when I remind her. I can’t force her to do what she’s supposed to do. They told me she’s had a hard life and I should just be patient and get this, the GM told me not to take this personally. She’s hated every bar manager they’ve had!”

I’d take another sip of wine while comfort was received.

“I’m just not sure how much more of this I can take. I hate it here!”

I still went to Chico when people from out of town came to visit. I did this so I could remind myself that it wasn’t all bad living in Euphoria. At least I could drive to Chico. When I think of the comparison it makes me laugh and then shudder at my time spent in Euphoria.

Euphoria is also near another small town called Paradise. My realtor was from Paradise. A friendly woman, who strongly suggested I consider living there instead. But unfortunately, she showed me the house I would eventually fall in love with and buy – only to live there five months and leave, renting my beautiful little house to a nice man who was from Euphoria and understood what it takes to live there.

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