LA and I have a weird relationship. Well no, to say that we have a relationship would imply that LA cares about me. LA does not care about me. It doesn’t care about anyone. It is a desert and a horrible place to live. It is unbearably hot in the summer and somehow even worse in the fall, particularly in the Valley, yet somehow people still choose to live there.*
It is incredibly dirty. Like people always say how gross and dirty New York is but I cannot believe that it is dirtier than LA. I just can’t. It’s possible that the dirtiness is an illusion caused by the literal dirt that is everywhere, but that’s because it never rains here. Ever.
Just like in Hell.
Living in LA has actually given me conflicting feelings about grass. Seriously. Grass. Because if you have grass, I judge you for wasting water on something as insignificant as a lawn. Yet I just can’t blame you for wanting just the tiniest sliver of emerald green happiness. Yes, it will only be a tiny sliver, because even the lawns in Beverly Hills are ridiculously small. You know how much money my parents’ house and land would be worth in LA? Do you? A lot. Do you know how much it’s worth in Maine?
Not nearly as much as it’s worth in LA.
Yet somehow, I find myself really liking it here. I’ve found good people to have life convos with and who like to do fun things. Did you know there’s a lot of fun to be had in LA? Because I didn’t. I mean logically yes, of course, but now that I’m here I ‘m like hey now, slow down with all these Fun Town shenanigans. I’ve never been exactly hard to please when it comes to outings. Give me a dive bar to drink at, a mountain to hike, or a beach to bum around, and I’m good to go. A great thing about this place is that is has all that stuff and then some. Like a lot of then some. Outdoor movies, epic dance parties, sample sales, comedy shows, and getting to say you had your first kiss on the corner of Melrose in front of a comic book shop.
I’m leaving out something obvious though. The celebrities. They’re everywhere. From hiking the same trails at Runyon to being buried in the cemetery that you’re going to see an outdoor movie screening at.
Out of all the people that I know in this city, one girl has dated a guy from Pretty Little Liars, I went to the same concert as yet another guy from Pretty Little Liars, and the guy I’m dating met one of the main actresses from, you guessed it, Pretty Little Liars.
And those are just the people we’ve met from one show.
Coming from New England this felt like a really big deal until I realized that it just isn’t. They all have to live somewhere, right? I finally stopped being surprised when I saw Chloe Moretz walking down a random ass street in my old neighborhood months ago. I blatantly stared and then called a bunch of people. Don’t get me wrong, as common as it is, it’s still exciting. I would be lying if I said otherwise. Like more recently, I got to chat with one of the actresses from Veronica Mars. I love that show. A lot. Like it gives me hardcore fangirl feelings.
You know what we talked about? Athlete’s foot. For about 20 minutes.
I mean aside from Stephen King and I guess Glenn Close, Maine has nothing going for it when it comes to celebrities. Stephen King is a big deal, but I grew up in the same town that he lives in. The appeal regarding his status is lost on me. That’s the thing about celebrities. They really are just people. For most of them, fame is just an unfortunate side effect of their actual jobs.
Honestly, the whole fascination with them is pretty strange. People’s lives are used as entertainment. Where they go and what they wear are current events. The part that gets me the most is that none of it is even real. Actors “date” to create press for movies. Tabloids spin stories that aren’t true. People become icons become idols.
Us common folk think that celebrities are commodities to be stared at, whispered about, and taken pictures with. Like what is really the point of a picture? To prove that you spotted a famous person out in the wild? They’re not animals. They don’t stop existing when the show is over and the movie ends. I’m not a religious person but there’s probably some pretty sound logic behind not worshiping false idols, you know? These are human beings, not to be idolized, but to be respected. Not because they have familiar faces, but because of the work that they do. At the end of the day, they’re just people doing their jobs, just like you.
With hackers leaking nude photos of female celebrities left and right, our culture’s obsession has reached an all-time high. Even worse still are those who are victim blaming, saying celebrities don’t have a right to privacy because of their status. Like seriously? Fame is such a weird thing. We think that because we recognize a person’s face from a movie or a billboard, we have a right to know what their life is. Some say that they chose this life, knowing what it would be like and maybe they did, but that’s not an excuse to act like they’re exhibits that exist solely for our pleasure.
So I get it. I do. We all have those people whose work we’re actually really big fans of and would freak the fuck out over if we got to meet them. You want to take a picture with this person to remember that magical moment forever? Why the fuck not. But if you’re a show off who wants to feel impressive because you got to meet someone with a recognizable face, then you can get the fuck out.
Stephen King is just a guy who writes books. Glenn Close is just a lady who throws epic Halloween parties. Some of them are great and some of them are the worst. Most will have a conversation with you and be really nice about it, no matter how horrible you are, and none of them are going to actually befriend you, no matter how nice you are. Let’s be real here. You’re probably the kind of person who makes a big deal about befriending someone famous, which means you are not the kind of person someone famous would actually befriend.
Except me. I am definitely going to become friends with Kiernan Shipka. She will be my personal stylist and life guru. I know some people probably think that’s weird because she’s like 10 years younger than me, and to those people I say, just be glad Suri Cruise lives all the way in New York, ok?
Regardless, getting to meet someone famous is momentarily pretty awesome. The kind of awesome that maybe you will take a picture of and that you tell all your close friends about immediately. It’s the kind of awesome they will be immensely jealous of for about two seconds and then promptly forget, because beyond that, no one actually cares.
Just like LA.