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A tough relationship that's worth the effort

Ruben Navarrette Jr. on

SAN DIEGO -- One of the longest relationships in my life has also become, lately, one of the most complicated.

I love her. We're soulmates. We've been together forever. Yet, in the last few years, I've thought a lot about leaving her. Maybe I'll leave a note, thanking her for the good times.

I thought I was over her for good in the 1990s, when another suitor caught my eye. When that fizzled, I wandered from one relationship to another. About 15 years ago, she called. She wanted me back. I came running. This is where I belong, I tell myself.

And yet, in recent years, it's become tough to stay. It's always been a give and take, between us. But lately, I seem to be the one doing most of the giving, and she just keeps taking. Still, I stay.

Besides, my parents adore her. She's part of the family.

After all these years, she's still beautiful to me -- and interesting, too. But I've been around a time or two and I've learned you can find beauty just about anywhere.

 

California, you're a looker. You're easy to love. But, even as a native son, I admit, you're not easy to live in.

A recent poll by the Public Policy Institute of California found that 48% of residents believe the nation's most populous state is headed in the wrong direction.

Of course, there is still beauty in just about every direction. The weather, vistas and national parks are first class. Given that you can spend the morning on the beach, the afternoon in the mountains, and the evening in the desert, it's no wonder the Golden State is America's unofficial capital of leisure.

The chatter at local backyard barbecues used to be about weekend plans. Now, it's often about how expensive it is to live here.

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