My main problem with LA, and I don’t necessarily know if it’s exactly a problem, but the main thing that I notice about LA that is incongruent to me, is how everything and everyone is linked to films and/or the entertainment industry. I mean, I know, what kind of a moron am I if this comes as a surprise, but the reality of it is much more intense than any expectation someone who hasn’t lived here before may have.
The signs were there a few hundred miles away from the city, in the wilderness of Southern California, where I was during ‘Oscar night’, staying with Scott’s family soon after I first arrived in the US. (NB: when I used to write London Preppy I referred to my boyfriend as Scott. I will continue to do this now, even though Scott is a different person. My boyfriend will continue to be Scott until the end of the internet. However many different people this name ends up representing. Let’s make things easy. Who are these people anyway, to deserve their own nickname, etc). So anyway, yes, little town, middle of nowhere, Oscar night. Well, Oscar night is a big thing, and the whole average Southern Californian family watches it and has seen all the films and makes informed comments and discusses the actors referring to them by their first name (“Scarlett has a great singing voice…I mean, Scarlett has many great things, but also a singing voice”). As in, everyone’s involved. This is their award show, for their people.
Then you get to LA, of course, and almost everyone around you has a job that’s got something to do with celebrities / entertainment. I haven’t been here long enough yet to decided which of these jobs in particular I value the least and, in all honesty, I really hope I’ll never pay enough attention to differentiate between your publicists, your producers, and your network executives, but all these people (so, most people in LA then) have two things in common: a) they’re very, very loud, much louder than you and me, and b) they incessantly share celebrity anecdotes, but in a contrived, pseudo-implicit way that tries to come across like, yes, they represent Oprah Winfrey / that hot guy from The Vampire Diaries / Blake Shelton, but it’s not a big deal, you know? The answer to that, of course, is that it really isn’t a big deal, but I’m not sure they know it.
Then again, people may just be making (loud, very loud, that’s a given) conversation about their every day lives and that involves talking about their celebrity encounters and I’m just reading too much into it.
The point about all the above is that, unfortunately, my own personal interests don’t overlap with the interests that are the norm here in LA. I’m not saying this in a snooty, I’m-better-than-you way, which would be really quite pathetic, but in a pure, factual way: I don’t watch films. I can’t watch films, I just can’t sit through them and I don’t know anything about them. I’ll sit there in a room on my own and happily listen to albums or read books for hours, but there’s something about films that doesn’t hold my interest and something about actors that really puts me off. I think it’s the extroversion.
So in a city full of extroverted people talking loudly about they things that they do, or the things that other extroverted people they work for do, well, my reaction is to completely disappear, keep my mouth shut and stay in my apartment. LA is the place where a functional, quiet introvert can turn into an agoraphobic sociopath in need of psychiatric help. I’m typing this home alone on a Saturday night.
If I do end up writing on here more often, I've decided to close all posts with a quote from somebody I overheard here in the US. These are quotes that might not be 'only in a America' (I haven't been to every country in the world) but they certainly are 'never in the UK'. So.
Never in the UK quote
Overheard in Whole Foods on a Sunday afternoon:
(Heavily tattooed female, late 30s, angrily, to friend) "I'm a stylist, not a designer [pause] well, I'm a DJ now, anyway"