From October 2015 to August 2016, I was biding my time by delivering packages for Amazon Prime Now and people for Uber. One of my Uber passengers was an 87-year-old man who had been born and raised in San Diego, and had lived his entire life here. He immediately recognized an accent and we had a great conversation during the 10-minute ride, the tail end of which went something like this:
Uber Passenger: “Where are you from?”
Me: La Mesa
UP: No, originally. I’d guess Texas.
Me: Why Texas?
UP: The accent.
Me: Yes, Texas. But I’ve been here for 23 years. Surely I don’t still have a Texas accent!
UP: You do. Are you a Native?
Me: I don’t understand. I was born in Texas.
UP: But are you a Native?
Me: Okay. What’s a Native?
UP: A Native is someone who no longer GOES home because he IS home.
ME: I like that. I arrived in San Diego on April 27, 1993. By that definition, I have been a Native since April 28, 1993.