Monday, September 5, 2011

The LA Thing

Well,  now it's tested. I really don't like LA much. I thought for a long time, it was just my neuroses that didn't like LA. Now I know. It's me. I really don't vibe with LA.

It's fine if you don't need history and moss-covered buildings and cobbly streets and architectural surprizes tucked away in corners. It's fine. The food is good. The ocean is dramatic where the mountains dip down to lift it up. It's always nice to have palm trees wherever you are if you ask me. So that's nice. The weather is good - really, really good. In fact, it probably doesn't get better. Except for me, I would be bored out of my gourd to have that every day of the year. Even 2/3 of the year. But, don't get me wrong, I can see why some people wouldn't ever get bored with it. My husband is one of those people.

The other thing about LA that made me laugh is this: we arrived on Saturday mid-day, rented a car, parked it in the garage of the hotel and never, ever got back in the car until we left today for Santa Barbara. Dinner at Chaya in Venice Beach? We called a cab. Took a cab home. For both of us the thought of being on vacation and spending it on San Vicente Blvd or the 405 or Wilshire over in Hollywood made us itch. So we just did nothing that couldn't be done on foot (after one night in the cab.) I now know this is what we love so much about New York. I just LOVE LOVE LOVE not being a slave to my car. So, we didn't do much in LA. Really nothing except walk along the bluff overlooking the ocean in Santa Monica, walked to have lunch with a lovely couple (will tell you more about that in the next post!), walked to dinner, wrote, walked to breakfast. That is it! No Chateau Marmont, or Viceroy for drinks. Just boring, boring, boring. But, as I was really needing to chill, it was quitea nice kind of boring. I just don't want to ever live there. Or have to return very often.

Today, we headed north for Santa Barbara because Lee's oral defense is tomorrow. (No, this does not involve a dentist or orthodontist - this is all about getting his PhD...:-) When we return to Minneapolis, he will now have to go to work, which seems to make him a little nervous. You know, figuring out how to make a living isn't the easiest thing in the world. And then, once you do figure it out - you still have to do it - to make it happen. That can be even harder. Then, again, sometimes, it all just falls in your lap. That calling stuff is funny business. (I'd love to hear some stories about how you all have found your callings!)

But, back to LA. When Lee lived there from fall 2004 to fall 2007, I had to visit. Well, I was insecure enough that my husband and I were living apart. And I didn't feel at all at home in LA - in fact, I felt like a freak - an Iowa farm girl in my men's Gap jeans and black J crew t-shirts (that's all I could afford at the time.) At least I had a cool pair of Frye boots in 2004. No one else did then, so I probably looked a little like a lesbian in that outfit, come to think  of it.  I just know I didn't look anything like the LA women with their thongs peeking out of the top of their coral Juicy velour pants tucked into their Uggs.  So I hated the place because it felt like a threat to me, to my marriage and to everything I understood. I kept saying that I thought it was kind of shallow and not very interesting or intellectually energetic. Too casual for me. Blah, blah, blah.

Well, who would have known that I still think these things after spending the weekend there? I no longer feel insecure about LA and its women. (NY has cured me of that.) It just really isn't my thing. At least I know that I wasn't crazy then. My distaste for the culture and geography still stands.

I like green. I like lush. I like history. I like (old) architecture. I like density. I despise cars. I like diversity. I like seasons. I like elegant men and women - not overtly sexy men and women. I like to be covered, not exposed. I don't like too much sun (I hate getting my skin burned.)

C'e la vie. We all have our preferences. And one of the great things about getting older is that, if things work out,  you get to live your preferences. What are yours?????

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