Friday, July 01, 2005

becoming l.a.

At what point does a person know they've assimilated into the place they live in? At what point do we take on new lifestyles that transform us? At what point can I begin to say, "I'm from LA"?

Yesterday afternoon I played 9 holes of golf with a typically LA couple (while pondering some very important issues in my dissertation). Typical if having plastic surgery is a marker of calling LA home. The woman's face was frozen in time, placing her anywhere from 30 to 70 years old. Her skin a beautiful glowing porcelain that had been stretched like a canvas invoking an elasticity my own skin never had. But then her neck was withered as a sequoia tree and her hands were haggard claws. Never having been up close and personal to someone who's had so much work done before, I couldn't help but inch a little closer, engaging in bantering conversation, complimenting her swing, then stepping back in horror at what I saw, my pupils nearly burned off by the collateral damage. It was like rubbernecking at a really bad traffic accident. What I didn't expect was that she was from New Jersey. Hmm. So did LA transform her values and sense of identity or did she come to LA because she wanted bad plastic surgery? It's the proverbial chicken and egg question. While I'm grateful her scary face had no effect on my golf game, I'm wondering if even now as I speak I am falling prey to the idea that appearances matter. That plastic surgery is good. Wrinkles baaaad. Will this face of mine be pulled taut come 20 years time if I'm still living here? After all, I'm finally starting to enjoy Hollywood nightlife. What's next, botox?

(Oh and a happy birthday to Harry. . . not the guy in the picture but someone with a passion for fast cars and mariachi bands.)


helen said...

You are looking mighty fab, hip, and L.A. Did you get any work done?

minsuhson said...

If by 'work' you mean my dissertation then um, yeah, I'm like totally on top of things. Fer sure. Ohh, but if you're talking about surgical work then no. It's the soju baths and smokehouse curing in Seoul that has preserved my skin so beautifully these past months. Thanks for asking though.