The other day, on my way to the LACMA, a lady in her mid 40s and I started talking on the 740 Red Rapid bus. She and I were getting off the same stop around Wilshire and Cochrane and I asked her if she’s going to the LACMA as well. Unfortunately, she could not. I don’t know what exactly compelled us to open up to eachother but she began telling me her life story about how she ended up unemployed, after years of being an elementary school teacher. She was at her wits end with making things meet, having volunteered anywhere and everywhere, hoping to land a job somewhere teaching.
She told me about her extensive experience in creative writing, having been published, and teaching in Russia and elsewhere abroad. But no matter what experience she had, she was either under-qualified or over-qualified. Then the heart-wrenching bit: she was on her way that day to meet with an attorney about filing for personal bankruptcy.
Anyway, I told her about my job on the ship and how as much as I love SoCal, I needed to leave a little bit to save money. I explaiNed that she could do the same. After a long conversation with her, we had to part ways. Before she left me at the LACMA, she stopped and said, “Thank you”. “For what?” I replied. “For showing me not all Locals are all about themselves. You didn’t have to listen to me talk about my life and problems.” So I said, “No, I didNt. But just because I’m a local doesn’t mean we are all arrogant. The truth is, as a local, there have been times where I thought Out-of-towners were the rude ones: trying to take our jobs and complain about how hard it is to live here, all WHILE insisting on living here. It didn’t make sense to be where you were unhappy. But now, I know that everyone has a separate idea of what it meAns to live here. I’m just sorry you have encountered some rude locals because thats not the Cali I know. ”
I haven’t heard from this lady since even though I gave her my contact info. But she always reminds me how some Angelenos and people from SoCal can be perceived as arrogant or uncaring, while we see Out-of-towners as people who expect Too much and who stereotype us. As a proud SoCal-ette, I ask that whether you’to from LA, Long Beach, San Diego, Palos verdes, Torrance, South Central, or even the inland Empire, take a moment and just be happy for where you are. Atleast we can choose our snow~