Reason to Love LA #87: It’s hard to be weird here

Warhol meets American Gothic. Click to embiggen.
Warhol meets American Gothic. Click to embiggen.

Saturday was one of those how-can-you-not-love-this-city days for me. The afternoon and early evening were spent with some of my Metblog pals and company shooting guns and eating enchiladas. At night I journeyed back to the valley (aka the inferno) for a friend’s birthday party. The invites had what seemed to be an after-thought-ish line at the end that said “by the way there’s a superhero theme,” and while I will admit I conjure up images of Lynda Carter when I’m in a bind and need to pretend I’m more than I actually am, I didn’t really pay any attention to the theme. Nor did anyone else apparently. Except my friends, L & N, who came dressed as a superhero banana and villain banana (the latter complete with drawn-on tattoos that said things like “wild bunch” and “nana”).

I came a bit late to the party (if this sounds like a metaphor, fine) and when I got there, I asked after L. “Oh she’s in the back,” they said, “She’s in a banana suit.” And here’s the thing about Los Angeles–even in a whitebread (if you ignore the porn) suburb like Chatsworth at a party in a yard with a gazebo, you can come dressed as a superhero banana and, while that’s notable, it’s not bizarre. It’s really, really hard to be weird here. If you’ve lived here all your life, you may not realize what a gift that is. Me, I grew up in Washington, DC where every grown woman dresses like a flight attendant. Open-toed shoes in the workplace are oeutre, and “business casual” means you can maybe take off your jacket if you’re a man. Nor were my years in the upper midwest, as you might expect, spent surrounded by fashion-forward risk-takers. “You’re wearing that to the party?” my former mother-in-law might say. “Well, that’s different.”

I remember at one point in my early 20s I was visiting a friend in Manhattan and we had parked the car in a tow-away-after-8am zone. We were deliriously tired at 8am, but A, my friend, threw on a bathrobe and went out to move the car. She looked like an extra from a John Waters movie, complete with ratty, fuzzy slippers, but it was Manhattan and no one cared. LA grants us this same freedom. It’s really hard to be a weirdo in this city. I love that about this place.

5 Replies to “Reason to Love LA #87: It’s hard to be weird here”

  1. Superhero & villain bananas. Awesome.
    This is also one of the many reasons I love L.A. It’s hard to be weird here, which is especially good for me.

  2. Having moved here from DC, and having grown up in NY, I agree wholeheartedly. In fact, it doesn’t take much to get many Los Angeles area residents to don costumes. Some dress that way regularly. Some are performers, either professionally or at least in their minds. I don’t bat an eye, but I do love it.

  3. I think I’ve seen the banana people before. Did they go to a Lucha Vavoom Halloween event at the Mayan on Halloween a couple years ago? There were a bunch of them. Ba-dum.

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