I took the summer off. From what, you ask? Good question! Not that anyone would confuse my schedule here with a Bangladeshi factory worker or even Ryan Seacrest’s — still, I have things to do, sometimes very important things. Seriously, the spas here aren’t going to stay in business if I don’t get my $12 massage at least once a week. And, last I checked, those green smoothies after yoga don’t just drink themselves. Honestly, I just wanted to spare everyone updates from our trip to Los Angeles that were likely to read as follows: “Look at us! we’re driving on the 405…….and now, here we are on the 10 freeway driving some more….oh, and brace yourselves – here we are on Wilshire Blvd — you guessed it, still driving.” Pretty exciting stuff!
Although the immediate urge to update everyone on our summer activities didn’t hit me during our visit, there were a few things that jumped out at me that might bear mentioning. We flew into LA on one of those hazy, mid-summer days, and looking out as we landed, I was struck by the contrast between the color saturated jungle island we had just left and the sprawling, lusterless concrete jungle we were coming to. I’ve lived in Los Angeles most of my life and often the city simply fades into the background as I go about my daily life. But this time, I felt like I was seeing it with new eyes. It’s funny (at least to me) what you notice. First, I think I spent three hours on one trip to the grocery store. I’m fairly certain the produce guy asked security to follow me around the store due to my overexuberant handling of the nectarines. Have you seen (or really looked) at what’s available at the grocery store? I can tell you, I used to shop every week but, I never noticed or appreciated how amazing it is to have all that, right there, anytime you want it! Thank you Trader Joe’s!
Second, being away from advertising is a relief. The first ad I noticed when we got back was a Target ad – where a mom is shopping for back to school stuff and filling up her cart – it was sped up to happen quickly. To me, it looked more like frenzied, crazy person frantically grabbing everything she could rather than a sensible mom shopping for school supplies. Instead of creating a longing for #2 pencils, I just wanted that woman to get some adequate medical care. Yikes!
And thirdly, back to LA means back to driving, myself. Now I’m not going to sit here and say I love sitting in traffic on the 405 or that spending hours in my car on mind numbing errands is my favorite thing to do. Nonetheless, there is a certain freedom I miss about having a car, driving that car, by myself, and going wherever I want. If I need Millk of Magnesia or Preparation H, I don’t need to ask someone to take me to get those things! As one crazy, English mom at Green School explained to me — “it’s impossible to have a proper secret love affair when your driver has to take you to the trysts” Now that’s something I hadn’t considered…but, you have to admit she does have a point. At the risk of sounding entitled and ungrateful, and as much as we love our driver, Indra, I can’t wait to get behind the wheel again.
Now, the real reason we went back to LA was to celebrate my father’s 70th birthday. My mother planned a lovely party for him and we didn’t want to miss the festivities. In lieu of a real present, we made him a movie. It “stars” many of the friends we have met here in Bali including Indra and Gede who I’ve mentioned many times on the blog.
If you’re interested here’s the link: