Why L.A. is over-rated (and why I love it anyway)

Last night I  listened to Dylan attempt to put together her “easy-to-assemble” shoe rack, hearing rounds of furious hammering followed by angry squeaks coming from the living room around the corner and I was happy.

Not over-the-top reach for the stars in my own elation happy, but the kind of happy when you realize  your life is eerily similar to an easy-to-assemble shoe rack in that the instructions suck, there’s a few pieces missing and if you had enough money, you’d probably buy one that’s already been put together for you.  And that’s ok. Because this isn’t the time in your life, where you buy shoe racks that are fancy and made of handcrafted wood –slaved over by keebler elves in a rack city, rack-rack city, far, far away from here. In Germany probably.

Or wherever.

Whatever.

We are slowly but surely furnishing our home. That means now a grand total of 4 pieces of furniture. Which is huge. I’m sick of lifting things. I think I have a permanent tweak in my left shoulder. Little things people. It’s the little things.

Having a nearly empty house entails the following:

1- Tons of room for activities. constant dance parties. And space to do the Worm without injuring yourself (which yes, I can do.)

2– Eating on the floor. Cross legged. Like savages. Like Indians. Like Pocahontas.

3. Attempting somersaults  And failing. Attempting hand stands. And failing. Attempting cartwheels. And bruises.

4. Concluding that despite the ample room for activities, you are still not (nor will you ever be) a gymnast.

Once again, it’s whatever. I know where my talents lie. I can sing a killer version of every Disney song in the shower. I’ve got a wicked jump volleyball serve. I’m more of a Cyber Monday than a Black Friday girl. I like cat jokes, pop culture references and making lists.

And speaking of lists.. I got something special for you all today. But first!!!

An awesome quote:

“There’s the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on a bet that you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.”

Let’s discuss this. Or rather, let me talk about it and you read. Go get some coffee. I’m going to ramble.

Sometimes, I think about the polar-opposite Meg. The one who plays it safe. Waits for life stability to come before taking a chance. The one who majored in business. The one who works in e-commerce. The girl who wears a lot of pants suits. Shops at banana republic. Wears sensible flats. Saves her money. Saves her dreams. Someday, she’s going places. Someday, she’s just going to get into a car and drive somewhere. Someday.

Someday is now sensible Meg! Put on your Hilary Duff take a chance pants and get outside you twat!

Then there’s the other Meg. When I moved out to LA, I got the feeling that both my parents thought I was going to join a sex drug trafficking circle and lose all recognition of the person I was– to become the person that Los Angeles would make me. I had several friends implore me to not lose my “mid-western” charm living in California. It’s like my whole world thought that my move would change the very root of the person I am and make me into a callous, shallow, drugged-out, sex-crazed democratic hippie. The truth is, I was a little afraid of this too. And did it? Have I changed? Is the above true? I guess that’s up to you.

But despite this initial over-arching fear, I got to say… I like the way Los Angeles looks on me. I’ve never felt so fun in my entire life. I live on the west coast. That makes me naturally interesting right?

…And I continue to fight between these two people. The one who plays it safe and the one who jumps off a cliff. I’m a balancing act of finding the perfect equilibrium between them.

My life is exciting. But if you’re sitting in your office, thinking yours is not, know that I have those moments occasionally as well. Tis life kids.

Anyway. Back to my little point. Los Angeles. Smog nation. Traffic town. Ze Citay of Angels.

Much like my constant banter between the two people I am, I find myself finding Los Angeles exactly as you would imagine followed by being everything I want it to be and more.  It’s over-complicated, over-crowded, over-the-top, completely and absolutely over-rated. And here is why.

10 Reasons why L.A. is over-rated

(and why I love it anyway)

10. Celebrities are Over-rated

“So do you see like famous people, like all the time?”– first question out of everyone’s mouth when they ask me about living here.

The answer to this question is yes. and no. And I don’t care. And I’m really bad at it. And I don’t care.

And here is why:

Celebrity sighting (for me) is  extremely anticlimactic.

I mean they look tired. and make-up less. And bored. And they have thinning hair (at least the guys.. and you know how I feel about good hair). And they wear oversized sunglasses and trench coats and you kind of want to be like I don’t get it. It’s also totally possible this is all just me. But honestly, unless it’s Adam Levine or J.Timberlake standing in front of me in Whole Foods- as McKayla Maroney would say, I’m seriously not impressed.  Because, Oh wow, there’s the guy from Always Sunny buying a tomato! That’s exciting Batman, can’t wait until he gets over to the cheese aisle. Here’s all I’m saying: Adam Levine letting me burrow inside his sweater for 30 seconds? Awesome. Adam Sandler getting gas? .. Can he pay for mine? No? Well then, I don’t care.

Just sayin’.

9. The beach is over-rated.

It’s like a gym membership. Its existence nags at you all day long because you know you’re paying for it and it’s also right around the corner and everyone else is going without you. My brother always says (Hi Nick), “you never regret going to the gym.” (of course he does). The beach is the same story.  When I get there– I’m like: this was a good decision. Good work Meg. Because good god it’s beautiful! I love sunsets and sunrises and I just appreciate my life so much more when I’m on my bike and I’m riding beside it. But despite this, it’s existence nags at me. The time I don’t spend there I feel like I should be. And THAT feeling is over-rated.

8. Traffic is over-rated.

According to Time Magazine (Yeah, I freaking researched this bitch. Get at me, college kids), commuters in LA spend an average of 70 hours in traffic a year.

I thought about this some and have decided that doesn’t seem like a lot. That’s about 3 days just sitting in traffic. In the long term, that seems like barely anything. I’ve probably spent longer than that doing my nails. 

However, at the same time,  I am convinced that Time magazine is actually lying to me. Because sitting in traffic in my car is only one component of “traffic” that I regularly endure living in LA. I wait in line literally everywhere.

Let’s talk Costco. Costco used to be an enjoyable place for me. I used to be a huge fan of free sample Sundays and bulk food and obscenely large shopping carts. Since moving to LA, going to Costco is like going to an upper level of hell. I never get free samples. Why people STAND IN LINE for a measly morsel of a veggie burger is beyond me. Here’s a PSA. You can pick up a bulk package of 17 of those bad boys in less time it takes you to wait in line for one eighth of one. And people are mean! One time a lady hit my cart with her hand. Like seriously, how rude are you. I almost bounced a 24 pack of gala apples off her stupid mom hairdo. At least some string cheese (60 per pack!!.. bargain alert). But I restrained myself. Zen Meg. Everyone hates it here. Be the more mature Costco Member.

Traffic is over-rated in LA. In cars, On-foot, In Costco. That shit is Bananas.

7. Sunshine is over-rated.

Los Angeles is a city that averages 330 days of sunshine a year.  It’s insane. It’s beautiful. It’s overrated. Here’s why:

You know when it’s nice outside and you’re like aw shucks, I really shouldn’t be indoors, I should be outside enjoying this nice weather because sunshine is a commodity I can’t afford to not take advantage of? Yeah. Imagine that shit EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Like you’re laying in your bed, slowly dying from a hangover that is both criminally unfair and life-ruiningly painful and the sun is shining outside taunting you with it’s existence. Like Meg, screw you for drinking too much whiskey. You are a bad human being. You are hiding from the sun. You are a vampire.

Or those days where you aren’t even hung over. You just want to sit on your couch and watch 15 lifetime movies in a row (totally acceptable behavior) and you’re like it’s cool because it’s rainy outside and that means God wants me to do this. Well what if God makes it sunny and perfect and beautiful outside? Then what? I’ll tell you then what. Then you feel like an asshole for sitting on your couch all day.

6. Rent is over-rated.

I sold my first-born child and several organs to afford to live here.

Is it worth it?

To me?

Yes.

Is it actually worth it?

No.

California is a money raping monkey. My view is of my neighbors wall. I mean I go around the corner and up a block and the beach is there. So that part is sweet. But still man, come on! It’s a little rough. It’s manageable, it’s survivable. But it’s insane. Every month my checking account gets absolutely Hurricane Sandy’ed (I’m so not PC- Sorry.) So.. Pretty much entirely wiped out. So thanks for that California. You little over-rated rent monkey.

5. Men are over-rated. (women are too)

Oh stop, like I’m going to tell you my secrets.

Here’s all I’m going to say. Los Angeles is just like Kansas City is just like Denver. I’ve said it before I’ll say it again.  A valuable lesson for us all is that there is no magical land of Oz full of perfect guys. Los Angeles is full of jerks, idiots, ditzs, losers, and man children–  just like everywhere else. Yeah I said it. Los Angeles men— YOU are over-rated. You who roll up your pants and wear cotton cardigans. You hipster surfing business ninjas with an affinity for marijuana and whiskey cokes.

Sigh.

…I love every single one of you.

4. Parking is over-rated

There is something innately wrong with the civil engineers of Los Angeles. And it worries me. Specifically the ones who design grocery store parking lots. Even more specifically Trader Joes Parking lots. I’ve lost years of life in frustration. Watch this.

3. Trends are over-rated.

I work at a magazine company. We pretty much tell YOU what is popular. Some editor decides shes going to do a story on color-blocked nails and all of a sudden pinterest is straight BLOWING UP with tutorials and grams (#instaCUTE) in middle America. So by default, I know trendy.

– I know you don’t wear tennis shoes to brunch.

-I know what good ombre hair looks like.

-I know that Chocolate is the BEST coconut water.

-I know ox-blood is the color of the moment.

-That “pop-up shops” and “sample sales” is just every-day native shopping jargon.

– I know that when Topshop opens at the Grove, it will be crowded for over a month and I know I’d get laughed at if I tried to go to Gjelina without a reservation on a Friday night.

…So I get it ok?

And I also kind of like knowing this stuff.

BUT god, it’s over-rated sometimes. If I hear the phrase  “boozy brunch” one more time, I’ll vomit on my tennis shoes. (Which means I’m probably going to).

I wish I didn’t know dry bars existed.

Food trucks are ruining my life. And waist line. And don’t even get me started on Sprinkles Cupcakes.

I’m just saying.. My brain is full. I miss the days when the biggest news in my life was the H&M opening on the plaza. Those were simpler times.

2. Relationships are over-rated.

It is freaking difficult to make friends in a city full of so many people. Really. Even for me. I know that’s shocking and hard to imagine. But if you’ve ever moved somewhere new and didn’t know anyone. Or even if you do know people and you’re just trying to meet new people, you understand. And no kids, college absolutely does not count.

It’s hard to connect with people. And I mean really connect.

This does not include:

– your mutual love of drinking and/or drugs

– your mutual affection for stalking celebrities

– your mutual fear of homeless people

Connecting with people, as you might have guessed, is a little more. And it’s really hard in the bright lights, big city.

I’ve gone to many a party where pretty much the entire time, I was aware of the fact that I was easily  the least cool person here. Everyone had great hair and long legs and looks fantastic in a pair of cut-off denim shorts (I mean seriously) and really actually rocked a mustache in a completely un-ironic way and you’re kind of like WTF! I look like a ninja turtle. Wait, are bangs in again? God, I can’t keep up with you people. I’m going home and painting my nails black.

1. Los Angeles is Over-rated.

So here’s the truth. And it’s exactly what you want to hear. LA is full of surface level, fake, seedy, botoxed, plucked fame loving freaks. It’s materialistic and rude and fast and eats you up and spits you out and doesn’t care about your sob story or your dreams or your petty little ambitions. It doesn’t care that you want to be an actress, a writer, a professional trumpet player. If you can’t pay your rent, if you can’t afford your lifestyle, get the hell out-of-town. The city doesn’t want you. It’s full of attractive, brilliant, talented people and guess what? Here’s the biggest truth of all. All your mid-western parents who told you that you were special? Well, they lied. You aren’t special at all. You’re just another pretty wannabe in a city of pretty wannabes. And it comes down to who you know and who you’re willing to blow.

And that’s the most over-rated thing of all.

The traffic sucks. I get called an asshole by other drivers at least twice a week. The place is littered with tourists and tour buses and people who only want to be your friend because it benefits them. Taxi drivers are mean and don’t take cards (which is infuriating). Parking tickets are inevitable. You constantly feel the need to keep up with the Joneses but don’t have the funds to really do so. You get really good at giving yourself your own manicures. It’s lonely. It’s frustrating. People are flaky.

However, before you go and think that I’ve lost a little light inside of me and I’ve become just another hopeless jaded drone that LA destroyed — here’s another truth:

Los Angeles is a city of incredible opportunity. Of extreme gambles, of luck, of dreams, of fortune. It’s the kind of place you can wake up and truly anything can happen. Today could be your big break. Today could change everything. It’s a lottery ticket city, a day-in, day-out scratch card. Every day you could strike out, but every day you could make a home-run. It’s a place you can see snow and the beach on the same day. Where you can still see the stars.  Where you can be really whoever you want to be.  Where one day you’re an almost homeless nobody and the next everyone knows your name.

I live in Los Angeles.

It’s crazy.

It’s weird.

It’s sweet.

It’s kind.

It’s absolutely perfect.

Yup.

I live in Los Angeles.

It’s totally over-rated.

And I love every minute of it.

m

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s