The Second Act
by MEREDITH HIGHT
It has now been a year since I moved to Los Angeles. And I still don’t know how to drive on the freeways. A couple of weeks ago I attempted to get on the 101, hook up to the 110 and then jump on to the 10, which sounds kind of sexy and uber Angeleno when you say it all together and really fast.
When I first moved here, I would just look at the freeway veterans who would toss out these combinations in one quick breath and wonder what they were talking about. Then I would smile and nod, pretending to understand.
Admittedly, I only tried to pull this 101/110/10 thing off because I was supposed to take something to La Brea to Hollywood or something, and I got turned around and wound up seeing a sign for the 101. I thought it would make for a good alternative.
Trapped by traffic on the 110, though, I began to think I had made a terrible decision. I wasn’t sure exactly where I was and there weren’t any signs and we weren’t moving and I was panicking at the thought of having to turn around and start all over. My iPhone was telling me to take exit 38 which was just a quarter mile away, but that didn’t make any sense because I was at exit 6 and I was supposedly going the right direction.
This is the point at which I started crying. Getting lost is a metaphor for life. Where am I? How did I end up here? How do I get home? Where is home?
So I pulled off the freeway and got reoriented, only to determine that I had been going the right way the whole time. The iPhone was telling me the right thing – but since I can’t see small print and don’t understand numbers, I had mistaken 3B for 38.
I drove home cursing the traffic and congestion in Los Angeles. But the next day I went to the beach and was reminded why I live here. In the end, Los Angeles redeems itself with its proximity to the Pacific.
But all that beach time means a girl needs to keep her business all trimmed up, nearly year round. No one wants to see a burrito hanging out of that Speedo, OK. These people in California mean business about taking care of your business.
I decided to try sugaring over my usual waxing, because it’s more natural and supposed to be less painful. Also, there was a coupon on Daily Candy. I need to take advantage of any opportunity to save money here in Los Angeles, because the cost of living is unreasonable and I am going broke. Actually, I’m not even going broke anymore, I am just broke. Mostly I don’t mind, though, because the weather is so good.
I arrived at my appointment prepared for a relatively painless procedure. "So what you are going to need to do is take off your shorts and your panties and shoes," she said. "Then you can lie down."
"OK," I said. "Is there like a sheet or cover or paper panty or anything? I mean when I went in for a trim in Texas, they practically draped me in blankets." But this girl just started laughing. "How am I supposed to work on you, if you have anything on?"
I see her point but quite frankly I think she saw more of me than my own gynecologist has ever seen or will ever see. Not only that, but once she started the sugaring I began to realize this procedure was not as painless as promised.
“I don’t think I can do this!” I screamed. “This fucking hurts!”
“It’s OK!” she shouted back. “You can do this! Just hang in there!”
All of a sudden I felt like Mary Lou Retton or I don’t know, Nancy Kerrigan. I just had to do it; I had to power through.
I took a few deep breaths.
I closed my eyes and thought about the Kardashian sisters. They have dark, long, lustrous locks, and I bet they, too, have to endure near agonizing pain and torture to keep it trim down there.
"So do you have a boyfriend?” she asked.
No, I said.
Must I constantly be reminded that I am not getting any?
Then she started trimming around the edges. Weedwacking, I suppose, is the best analogy here. But in her efforts to be thorough, well. I am pretty sure she fingered me at one point.
The sad thing about that is that is the most action I have gotten in months.
No really, it’s OK. I have a plan and his name is Adam Brody. I did a little research on the internets. He’s approximately my age, he lives in Los Angeles and he dated Rachel Bilson for three years. This leads me to believe that he likes brunettes with brown eyes, so theoretically, I have a real shot at this.
The only issue is that he is an actor, and actors need a lot of attention. I am too self-absorbed to pay that much attention to anyone other than myself. However, he is probably away on location a lot, which means I would still have plenty of time to myself.
So that could work out really well.
I’m not crazy.
The truth is, even though I have been molested by the freeways and purported experts in painless lady trims, I do love living in Los Angeles.
There are moments so magical, they defy description. In fact, they are not moments; they are scenes. Like sitting on the fake lawn outside the Standard Hotel in Hollywood with a smattering of friends one night, as a slight earthquake shakes the ground beneath us. Some of us feel it, but some of us feel nothing. We continue to talk about Flannery O’Connor and dresses and Roman Polanski. Lying in the grass and laughing underneath the stars in Palm Springs at four in the morning, in front of a mansion formerly frequented by Marilyn Monroe. Going to the Farmers Market for lunch with coworkers and realizing that I was eating at the same table, sitting in the exact same place just a year ago. Yet, I was in a completely different place.
Stopping by the gourmet market for french macaroons afterwards and standing in line, somehow knowing that however magical it has been, the best is yet to come.
Meredith Hight is the senior contributor to This Recording. She tumbls here.
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