Sunday, May 13, 2012

You mean not everyone here is a Lakers fan?

Before I moved to LA my friend John told me that I should be a Clippers fan and outlined several reasons why I should like the Clippers over the Lakers. My response to him was “The Clippers are an NBA team?” Clearly I don't watch that many NBA games but I guess I just assumed everyone in LA was a Lakers fan. Everyone isn't...and its not only because Lamar Odom is gone. 

Much like DC, LA is a city full of transplants who came to pursue their dreams, bringing with them identities of from their home to add to the larger identity of the city. However, the size of LA lends to what seems like a series of suburbs and sub-identities as opposed to a collective identity. This came across most clearly to me through discovering people's sports loyalties. There are a number of franchises which are trying to capitalize on the huge potential market of LA and its surroundings. These competing franchises (Lakers/Clippers, Dodgers/Angels) and the void left by no current NFL team, seem to magnify a lack of collective sports culture for LA and ultimately a lack of city wide identity. I'm not saying LA doesn't have an identity, quite the opposite, but “Los Angeles” seems to just be an umbrella term for a wide range of smaller sub-identities.

In DC, Maryland and Virginia (aside from the transplants—and there are a lot of them with quite strong sports loyalties) most everyone is a Capitals fan, most everyone is a Redskins fan (except for that one random Cowboys fan everyone knows), most everyone is a Nationals fan (except for the old school Orioles fans), and everyone just wishes the Washington Wizards would just go back to being the Washington Bullets. There's a collective sense of identity, from the Virginia and Maryland suburbs to the inner city, which really seems to bring the area together. Or more accurately gives reason for people to mourn together after losses...

But, when the Redskins win, people in DC are immediately happier, customer service is better, people tend to smile more, spirits are lifted! I don't feel like there is a city-wide equivalent here but there are pockets of it. That isn't a bad thing, its just different.

On a personal level, the Washington Capitals 2011/2012 season ended last night so I now have to turn my attention to my adopted LA team. The LA Kings have made advancing in the playoffs look easy, only losing one game in the first two rounds of playoffs. (I happened to be at the one game they lost to the Canucks—I take this as a sign that I am bad luck.) I never thought of LA as a hockey city but I have met some enthusiastic and loyal fans which I think is an example of these pocketed identities. So I'm jumping on the bandwagon and I'm happy to take on a new identity as a Kings fan. Second only to the Capitals of course.  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Don't Trust a Bro

Please excuse my reference to a 3oh3 song as I hate those guys. I also promise that my next post will be more lighthearted.

In my last post I introduced the concept of a Southbay Bro. As I've been hanging out in the Southbay a fair amount, I have come across a few of these. So I guess mine is a normal girl meets bro story. Bro and girl get along pretty well. They joke around, they flirt, the usual. Bro regales girl with compliments about how beautiful, funny, intelligent and great she is(all of this is true, of course).  Except there are a few hurdles, twists and turns which make this story a hot mess.

In the past 3 weeks I've found myself involved in more drama than I would usually ever care for. Those who know me well know that I avoid conflict at most costs. I tend to look at things from a level headed perspective and when needed act as a mediator in conflict, rarely, if ever, being the cause.  When I found myself in the middle of a circle of drama, I started to wonder if life in California has already started to change me. Was I suddenly more prone to drama just by being in a new place?

I just recently turned 25 and this birthday was the first in a long time that I was cognizant about how different I felt. I'm no longer part of the 18-24 “young people” demographic bracket and its like a slap in the face.  I'm not the same rambunctious 21 year old I used to be. Now when 21 year olds try to hit on me at bars I feel like I need to ask for their guardian's signature before talking to them. My previous youthful sense of carelessness has turned into caring more about the future and the long-term. At 25 I feel like I have a stronger sense of clarity than I did before. I obviously have a lot to learn but feel like I generally know who I am and have an idea of where I want to end up.

This same mentality has translated into my dating life. I haven't gotten more careless, I've gotten more careful. I am afterall a beautiful, funny, intelligent and great person and I know what I deserve. But the aftermath of this incident has left me feeling like I was too careless and let my levelheadedness fall by the wayside.

I said in my first post I came to California because I wanted to be thrown into a sense of uncertainty. I wanted to have chaos in my life. Not having the comfort of leaning on people who I know and who know me well, I wanted the challenge of finding new friends and navigating a new terrain to find people who are equally as awesome as the friends I have made in life thus far. Well I wanted chaos and that is what I got. Ultimately I'm happy here. Shit happens and people make mistakes. Its certainly not the first time I've been hurt and it probably won't be the last. It's all part of the adventure and while it was a less than desirable situation which threw a wrench in my happy and peaceful life in California, I believe that it will only lead to more clarity about the type of people I want to surround myself with. I know I've found some of those people here on the west coast and I hope that we will continue to be friends.

I know eventually I'll look back on my first 2 and a ½ months(I can't believe it has only been this long) in California and laugh. But in the meantime—blame the bro and his carelessness. Blame the bro for thinking he can do what he wants and just talk his way out of it. His brotocol is brocially unacceptable.

I think its too soon to tell what the overall moral of the story is but when you hang around the Southbay, you can save yourself a lot of trouble by following one simple rule: Don't trust a bro.