“You can be a hardcore bitch and a ****, but if it's only at death we see you surrender then I say we kill you now.”

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Pretty Pompous Pavillion Patrons

During the first 6 months of my new life in rural West Virginia, I was consistently amazed by the manners of the community at large. Even the overall wearin’ deer huntin’, toothless ZZ TOP men in dilapidated camo painted trucks, smiled and held a door open for you (regardless if you were a man or woman). In the supermarket here, the term “Excuse Me” is generally used as an amiable, “I’d like to get by you please” rather than the old hostile gesture “Get the F*%@ out of my way”, that I was used to. I was a stranger in a strange land, a land wear the pleasantries my mother instilled in me, were being used by everyone else. I was a happy displaced LA-LA girl, in a sea of old fashioned neighborly manners.

Family obligations forced me to return to the homeland soon after my 6 month-iversary. Looking out of the plane’s window I stared at the city lights. In the past those same lights signified I was home. A long long time ago, I used to drive up to Mulholland and watch the city lights, twinkling, like a magical blanket that revealed my own purpose in life. Who knew that many years later, it would be the vast blanket of stars viewed from my back porch. However this particular plane ride, the lights were overwhelming, I never realized just how big and cumbersome Los Angeles was. At the moment of realization, I unconsciously exclaimed aloud: “DAMN! It’s ridiculously huge!” The passenger next to me glanced over and said, “Is it your first time to LA?” I said: “Yes!”

The main reason, I return so often is that my mother has Parkinson’s disease and takes a daily dose of Aricept. She has great humor about her condition, which helps her get through the day, but what else would one expect from a stoic German retired nurse! Her current favorite quote handed down from her mother: “What can’t be cured must be endured” (if I hear that one more time.....)

The first morning back home, we were up early, to go to the grocery store. Mom love’s shopping at Pavillions in the heart of Sherman Oaks. I have always had extreme displeasure shopping at this particular store because the elite executive wives are all in there with their Pontine Paus hand bags and perfect work out suits, and their perfect cell phones, and perfect hair with perfect skin and their perfect snotty demeanor with their nannies pacifying their perfect genius babies. I never understood why women who don’t work need nannies, babysitters yes, nannies no.

However, Parkinson’s has allowed my mom the opportunity to have some PERFECT fancy accessories herself; she’s got a cane, a walker and a wheelchair. This day she opted for the sleek look of her haut couture walker. At the store, it was an excruciatingly slow walk down the produce aisle, where my mother was enjoying picking out her own apples, something she doesn’t get to do too often. As she grabbed the perfect crisp Red Delicious from the bin to place in the plastic bag, this woman in her late 30’s looking like an aging Paris Hilton, PUSHES my mother out of the way so that SHE could get to quinces without even an F-You excuse me. My mother lost her balance, and luckily I caught her before she hit the ground. By the time, I got my mom steady, I was itching to right hook the little pompous Pavillion patron’s perfect nose job.

At that one instance, I felt white hot anger I had not felt since I left 6 months prior. Leaving my mother for a brief moment at the produce aisle, sitting securely in her walker, I ran to the doors, feeling like a young country boy with his first surge of testosterone during a school yard fight. As I looked out the tall glass doors, there she was, on her perfect cell phone getting into her perfectly none more shiny black BMW and screeching away.

All I wanted to do was whisk my mom away from this god-forsaken place and bring her back home - my home in West by God Virginee.


The National Parkinson's Foundation

Walking Stabilizers


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