When you live somewhere for a certain amount of time, your surroundings start to affect you. The language, the culture and the mannerisms of the city begin to root themselves in your behavior.
Live in New York too long and you’ll start to hate cab drivers. Spend a few years in Colorado and all of a sudden, jam bands are actually kind of cool.
I’m an East Coast transplant who has called the City of Angels my home for almost five years.
Los Angeles has a very specific (and strange) culture, and try as you may to resist, it will get to you. Here are nine things that will inevitably happen if you stay in Los Angeles too long:
1. You Will Be Invited To A Birthday Party… For A Dog
To LA dog owners, dogs are not pets. They are, in fact, little people who just so happen to walk around on four legs and communicate exclusively through barking, whining and chewing on furniture.
As such, these little four-legged people are entitled to the same things as a “normal” (ie: human) child, including a birthday party for all of his two and four-legged friends.
Yes, there will be party hats. And dog cake. And gifts (you will be expected to bring a gift).
2. You Will Start To Say Ridiculous Things Like, “But Seriously, Kale Is Delicious”
Maybe it’s because people in LA spend a disproportionate amount of time at the beach compared to the rest of the country or the fact that this city is the epicenter of the entertainment industry, but regardless, diet, fitness and acquiring physical perfection are kind of a big deal here.
Now, don’t get me wrong; I am all for taking care of your health, but LA takes it to a whole new level.
Hang out here for too long and you will find yourself arguing that spaghetti squash TOTALLY tastes like pasta (when truthfully, a vegetable is never an adequate substitute for pasta) and that spinning is SO fun (truthfully, spinning is not fun.
No one actually enjoys spinning. I know this because I spin every week. Intense cardio is a necessary evil but I assure you, it is so NOT fun).
I guess justifying our insane diet and fitness habits is the only way to make them seem bearable. If you can convince yourself that getting up at 5 am to run up and down steep sets of stairs is enjoyable, that almost makes it true… right?
3. The Word “Juice” Takes On A Whole New Meaning
When most people hear the word “juice,” they think of something sweet and delicious, like Capri Sun. But in Los Angeles, the word “juice” means something else entirely.
Here, juice consists of liquefying various vegetables into a frothy green substance and then doing your best not to grimace as you attempt to choke it down.
Are these juices good for you? Sure. Do they taste good? No. But, as I mentioned above, we sure try to convince ourselves they do: “Seriously, the celery beet juice from Nektar is TO DIE for.”
The truly hardcore people of this city partake in juice cleanses, which is basically three to 10 days of subsisting on nothing but these green elixirs.
While there is no scientific evidence that this has any health benefit whatsoever, people here argue that it “cleanses your system” (whatever that means) and makes you feel amazing (which is questionable, as when I did one, all I felt was hangry).
4. You Will Start To Sound Like “The Californians” From “SNL”
“Get back on San Vicente, take it to the 10, then switch over to the 405 N and get off at Mulholland…”
LA residents talk about how to navigate the obscene amounts of traffic in 100 percent of their conversations. And, you are fast friends with anyone who gives you a shortcut that will help you avoid the 101 at rush hour.
5. You Will Consider “Brunch” An Actual Hobby
Brunch is not only a legitimate hobby here in LA, it is basically an Olympic sport.
You will spend a significant amount of time researching potential brunch spots, comparing the pros and cons of different restaurants (“so this one has bottomless mimosas, but they don’t validate parking…), assembling the right group of people for your brunch crew and then taking multiple photos of your egg white omelets for Instagram (#brunchlife).
6. You Will Date A Hipster
LA is crawling with hipsters. Hipsters have trust funds but drink Pabst Blue Ribbon, wear beanies in 80-degree weather and grow handlebar mustaches. And, I promise, you will eventually date one of them.
I also promise, when you break up, you will immediately regret ever sleeping with a man who thinks jean shorts and a denim vest is a fashion-forward outfit.
7. You Will Become Either Indifferent Or Obsessed With Celebrities
There’s no way around it — Los Angeles is full of famous people. When you first move here, you will find every celebrity sighting EXTREMELY exciting (OMG, that guy was totally on an episode of “Law and Order: SVU”). But, you will eventually get used to it and one of two things will happen.
You will either become completely indifferent to celebrities, realizing they are just people (albeit, very rich and attractive people), or you will become a “celebrity hanger-on” and become obsessed with the notion of becoming famous yourself.
You will brag to all your friends about how you were “totally two tables down from Ryan Gosling at Katsuya last night” and spend your days sending in audition tapes for reality TV.
8. You Will Stop Believing In Normal Relationships
Los Angeles is one of the absolute worst cities in the world for dating. Don’t get me wrong; you will likely go on many dates and some of those dates will be with attractive, interesting people.
But, finding a real-life, grown-up, healthy and committed relationship in LA is akin to finding a unicorn… and then riding said unicorn to the moon.
In other words, it is highly unlikely.
If you are looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right in LA, you will absolutely be disappointed (for those looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right Now, you’ll probably be fine).
Chalk it up to the fact that there are so many attractive people here and very few of them are looking to settle down.
9. You Will Think About Leaving LA
You will hit a breaking point when you live in LA. One too many dog birthday parties, juice cleanses or terrible dates will leave you seriously considering whether or not to pack your things and move somewhere more normal.
But then, you catch one of those epic LA sunsets, or take a drive down the PCH with the top down and the waves crashing in the background.
Or, you hike to the top of Runyon Canyon and the panoramic view takes your breath away, and then, you realize there’s nowhere else you’d rather call home.
Los Angeles isn’t perfect and if you live here long enough, you will grow to hate certain things about it. But, these things will never outweigh the things you love.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m late for brunch.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It