Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Small Town Girl Meets Big City, Gets Warm Fuzzies; OR There, Not Back Again: A Hobbit's Tale

I, much like John Cougar Mellencamp, am a small town, stay-at-home kind of gal. A 7-minute trip to Wal-Mart might as well be an expedition to Bornia for me.

"Are you kidding me? You mean we need to go to Wal-Mart just to get one little thing? But it's in a whole nother town! (One separates "another" during crisis.)

"Yes, Emily, but it's still only 7 minutes away."

"Did you not hear me?!? I SAID NOTHER!"

I liked my 3-minute commute to the office (4 during rush hour) in Kentucky. I liked that I only used my housekey two times in as many years. I liked leaving my car on and unlocked while I ran into the post office to drop off some letters. I liked that I saw my 9th grade geometry teacher and my friend's boss's wife and my friend's former roommate while in line at the post office. I liked my town's two stoplights. So, naturally, I moved to Los Angeles.

Truth be told, I like adventure too. Elizabeth, it pains me to say this, so please refrain from gloating: I am Bilbo Baggins. Jonny made the observation some time ago, and while I hate to admit it, while I try to challenge it, and while I give it the finger, I cannot deny it. I love tea and good company and good food. I've wanted to tend lush gardens ever since I read Frances Hodgson Burnett's masterpiece in second grade, and I've wanted to live under a hill for as long as I can remember. (When my family lived in Oklahoma, I thought to myself, "These tornadoes would be nothing if our houses were built in hills." No, it did not occur to me that there were no hills in Oklahoma.) Also, I might be, cough, short.

But I'm not just any hobbit, you see. I'm Bilbo Baggins. Bilbo loves his home, but he has to get out of hobbiton every now and then. He has to find rings and fight trolls and fend off dragons. He has to live with the elves and sail to the undying lands. I can't think of a better place to find strange creatures than right here in LA. It might not be the undying land, but it seems to be the unaging land. (E. Taylor excluded.)

As for the strange and new, well:
  1. In Kentucky, we would look outside and see rolling hills; now we see, um, rolling hills. It's just that the new hills are dotted with beautiful, sauced celebrities instead of old Maytag uprights.
  2. I miss Wal-Mart. I never ever EVER thought I would say I miss Wal-Mart. The beauty of Wally World is that you go to one place, load up, and that's the end of it. To get everything for our apartment here, I had to go to 1,2,3,4,5,6 places. Six. Ok, I didn't have to go to six places to get everything. I could've done it in two or three, but I had to go to six to get the best prices on everything. The good thing, though, is that four of those stores were within walking distance. If you'll recall our earlier conversation on 7 minutes, then you'll appreciate that I appreciate stores within walking distance.
  3. The traffic really is that bad, and the parking is worse.
  4. Elevator chat. Perhaps more on this later.
All in all, though, I'm loving it here. We spent Sunday afternoon at the beach, which was glorious. There is a Mediterranean restaurant exactly 1.2 miles from our apartment. Ushers monitor crowds at the movie theaters to make sure no one talks during the movies. There are concerts, shows, and interesting spectacles every single night.

Yes, LA, I think this could be the start of a beautiful friendship. Just don't screw it up.


Six in the Mix said...

This is close to Pioneer Woman in reverse.

Love your hair, Woo.

Organic Meatbag said...

Hehehehe, nice post, although I could be in a Tijuana prison for 6 years and still not miss Wal-Mart...