Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Home Again

So I haven't seen the new Meyers-Shyer film but I've read some of the reactions, the tweets, a few reviews. And this profile of her by my friend Amy Kaufman. It's one of those movies with a cute trailer, a winning Reese Witherspoon, and a Brentwood house to die for. It makes me miss LA, and it makes me miss the silliness of LA, the brilliantly lovely artifice. (England is not without its own artifice; each city has a unique claim.) It makes me think of delicious houses on the west side, with immaculate, sparkling kitchens with carrera marbled surfaces that make you want to make bread, even if you're not a baker, of light pouring in through big windows, the sound of the birds, a glimpse of pink bougainvillea, a civilized terrace with a couple of chaise longues in a muted beige, and perhaps a cashmere throw next to the NY Times (they only get the Sunday edition, for the Styles section, natch). It reminds me of friends houses, or, specifically, industry friends houses, with discreet housekeepers just out of frame as photographs are taken, and forced niceties, even of the most genuine kind. Of parents just out of touch with reality, and materialistic children (oh, honey, they'll grow out of it). It reminds me of the gauzy reality of Los Angeles. Not now perhaps, when it's being assaulted with the highest temperatures and the worst fire on record, but most of the year when it's pleasant and 75 degrees, and you don't have to worry about coats, raincoats or walking shoes. When you can wear ridiculously inappropriate dresses and heels because you're driving your air-conditioned car, and there is no weather to think of. It reminds me of perfect restaurants whose first thought is ambience and making the farm-to-table feel authentic. Of patrons that are so hip that they could be from central casting.

And you think I'm being catty? No, this is the LA I love. Along with the melon-pink sunsets, and the way the brown haze has a terracotta glow to it just above the hills, the way you can listen to the radios of the people driving next to you on the 101. Where you're not alone in loving Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, or where Larry Mantle is something you can discuss with your kids over dinner. The way you can have a yearning for an al pastor taco and you know exactly where to find that truck. The way that your friends don't know what mud is, and every hand you encounter is manicured with square, perfect nails in effortlessly chic shades. It's like, you just know.

I miss the shop girls with the Hermes bags. The perfect high school dads who are attorneys during the week, who wear Nike and Adidas to show they know casual, who shop at Supreme, because they're down, and drive Teslas and Priuses because, you know, Range Rovers are just not cool. I miss the Brentwood Country Mart, the moms who hang out at the Starbucks, the ayurvedic spas, the pho joints on Western, where you go to feel smug, because they're, you know, the real deal.

And the sunshine, and the kindness, and the warm smiles that may be vapid, but at least their hearts are opened, and their bellies filled with green juice.

Yeah, so, I'm jealous I didn't make that movie. That movie makes me feel like home. That movie makes me wanted to snuggle up on our old brown leather sofa with the weird homemade cushions I got in Del Mar when Minky was horse showing and I can't resist a home store, with my kids, in sweats, eating chopped salads from La Scala, and watch a bad rom com set in the city we love, with all its fakery. It's all for Hollywood, but we're winking at each other anyway, because we know it too, and we're in on the game. It's our genre. It's how we live, which just a sprinkling of a veneer of unreality, under sunny, blue skies, and the roar of motorbikes ridden by aspiring actors in their muscle shirts coming up from the canyon. It's pretend. It's make believe. But it's our make believe.

Addendum: A friend just put up an article on grief from Thrive, which I randomly clicked on. Here are the first two sentences:

Another way to say that you are grieving is that a part of you is stuck in a moment in time. 
 Sometimes the cause of the stuckness isn’t the grief itself, but the fact that you don’t even recognize that you’ve lost something and that you need to grieve. 

1 comment: