Category Archives: Los Angeles

Into the fire

            There may be a few posts up this week about moving because, well, we’re moving.  On Friday.  For those of you who missed the memo (or slew of memos), let me recap.  We have been living in London for almost two years.  We were slated to return to Philadelphia, where we owned a house and had a preschool picked out and were a few hours away from J’s parents.  Where we knew the best places to get pancakes and had all of my business contacts.  A comfortable place, the geographical equivalent of pajamas.

            And then we were not returning to Philadelphia.  The powers that be wanted us in Los Angeles.  And sometime around December, the final decision was made.  Anyone who has spent December in London will realize that LA starts to look pretty good when the light comes out at 8, makes a few half-hearted attempts at daylight, and then disappears completely well before 4.  So, we scrambled for preschools and rushed to sell our house and found ourselves some temporary housing.

            And, now, we’re moving to LA on Friday.  We’re moving to a city where I have spent a total of 36 hours in my entire life, a good chunk of that at the airport.  We’re moving to a city where the major industry is a type of entertainment I have indulged in three times since my eldest child was born three and a half years ago (and two of those were Harry Potter movies).  We’re moving someplace where apparently, everyone has to drive everywhere.  This last scares the shit out of me, because I am hardwired pedestrian.  I just do not like to drive.  I find it annoying.  And a bit rough on the air I breathe.

            However, what scares me the most is not the driving.  Or the housing costs (sweet heavens, please tell me why the housing recession does not seem to be making much of a dent).  And, although I am mighty nervous about how the kids will adjust, it is not even the hunger strike that Zach will inevitably go on for our first week there that worries me the most.

            What wakes me up panting for breath in the middle of the night is that I am just not good-looking enough to live in LA.  I did fine in Philly, where people intentionally stick their middle fingers up at New York by refusing to wear black.  I did OK in DC, because I was younger then and everything was kinda higher – above the equator – in those days.  I did great in Chapel Hill because of all those chemistry graduate students wandering around with barium compounds in their hair making the rest of us look good.  I was alright in Charlottesville because back in those days I used to put a little bit of, you know, time into my appearance.

            Nowadays, however, my morning routine takes about seven minutes, and that’s including four for brushing my teeth.  I have never been much for wearing makeup, and I only dig it out for fancy occasions.  I might start now, except eye makeup feels funny when I try to focus on writing and lipstick comes off on my water glass.  Now, even the things I used to do have fallen by the wayside.  I don’t even own contact lenses anymore.

            To make matters worse, it has come to my attention that feminine maintenance has grown more complicated over the last 15 years.  Like, what’s with the eyebrow shaping?  I am expected to pay someone to change the shape of my eyebrows?  Seriously?

            Yes, I know I could learn how to do all of this.  I just don’t want to.

            Well, at least I will be hitting LA with a good haircut.  I scheduled an appointment with my hairdresser here for a week ago, figuring that way I would not have to think about it for awhile after hitting the ground.  He is a fantastic hairdresser, and he has always made me look as good as can be expected given that I refuse to straighten my hair or use product and do not own a hairdryer. 

            I think last week he might have been smoking some rare form of crack, because the haircut he gave me makes me look like a cocker spaniel with a mullet.  Thanks, dude.  And, so, I came home from the salon, close to tears, but reassuring myself it could not be so bad.  Surely, everyone in LA is not as good-looking as they are made out to be.  There have to be SOME people there who are not failed movie actors.  I read a few blogs to make me feel better, and came across this post.  Thanks for boosting my spirits, Becky.

            And, so, on Friday, we move to the land of the tan from the land of the pasty and pale.  We move to the land of the boob job, the tummy tuck, and the “war of the brows,” which is apparently a battle between the leading eyebrow pluckers.  And me?  I will be just pregnant enough to look fat, the only woman in a 300 mile radius wearing glasses, and will be sporting a haircut that makes me look like a canine with an 80s fetish.