The cons to living in L.A.

One, two, three… FOUR years… That’s how long I’ve been a Los Angeles resident. There are moments that I cannot believe that much time has passed. There are other times where it feels like I’ve been here a lifetime. Most people that I know here in L.A. think that I’m a local, but I am not. A few are even surprised when I tell them I’ve lived most of my life in Virginia. I’m not sure if that is because I have adapted so well to L.A. life or I just fit in better here. I’m hoping it is that latter rather than the former. I’d like to think I’ve not been assimilated like the borg. There some definite negatives that I don’t care for.

One is the superficiality that is rampant in the city. The superficiality supports the largest number of attractive people I have seen in my life. There are parts of town where one simply goes to admire the eye candy. L.A. is truly the place where you can find “the beautiful people”. On the flip side, I can honestly say that I have never seen so many stupid people in one place. Highly attractive = stupid… Trust me on this one. I also have not experienced such snobbery over what I was or was not wearing. Only in L.A. will a broke, but fashionably dressed Target cashier snub a high-level employee of L.A. Unified School District with a Master’s Degree from USC and a graphic designer at an up-and-coming Creative firm. (It was freaking barbecue! No one told me that you were supposed to scour Vogue for the latest fashion and have a full face of make-up!) In retaliation, I have developed my own sort of snobbery. If I feel someone is not is not up to snuff intellectually, I politely disregard you. I even have gone so far as to volunteer to work overtime to avoid going to a particular party or event. It’s bad I know, but I don’t want to risk lowering my I.Q. I can count on my one hand the number of people that I choose to associate with on a regular basis. Everyone else gets a guest appearance and a smile.

The other downside is the traffic. Don’t worry! This is not a rant about the miserable L.A. traffic. I am merely stating the facts of the matter. As a L.A. local, you come to realize that you cannot fight traffic. It is a animal with habits all its own. You learn to work around it. For example, this is the only time in my life that I have happily accepted a 5AM-2PM work schedule. I am willing to wake up at pre-dawn simply to get on the freeway before the rest of the population. And it pays off. My commute from my house to my office is approximately 18 miles. I transverse the city from one corner to the other. I don’t actually ever leave the city. Not bad, right? Not quite. My morning drive to work takes 20 minutes. (Thanks to the crack-of-dawn schedule.) My afternoon commute varies from 30 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes. My afternoon travel time is influenced by several variables…. What time did I leave the office… Did I leave before 3pm. Is it a Friday? etc., etc. It’s mind boggling. The upside is that I know my way around better than most. I have have most of the city and the surrounding freeways mapped out in my head. I also can read the flow of traffic and decide my routes. The other byproduct of the traffic is that I’m what I consider a better driver. Although I think in other parts of the country, I may be considered an aggressive driver. Oh well! You gotta do what you gotta do…

Despite some of these cons, I like living here. I am not crazy, I promise. For all its cons, there are pluses to living here. However, I will reserve extolling these virtues for a separate post.

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