Article in Today’s Paper

I have another article in the LA Daily News.

Here is the link.


Happy Turkey Day!

I think that after two days the article goes into the archives. So you don’t have to pay to read it, I’ve posted it below.

Bird Flew on Turkey Day

It’s Thanksgiving. The only time of year where the widely consumed sandwich meat, turkey – suddenly has special narcotic properties. The biggest shopping day of the year, the busiest travel day of the year, and the most drunken arguments over why we bother to make sweet potatoes when no one eats them, day of the year.

All US presidents since Truman have pardoned a turkey as an annual tradition. This year I heard the turkey’s name is Scooter. Hmm.

In the 1600’s there were the pilgrims and their newfound menu of maize and wild bird. But this day of thanks wasn’t an American staple until 1863. In the middle of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that the last Thursday of November be a national day of Thanksgiving. I won’t mention how a certain actor showed his gratitude.

In Los Angeles it’s a huge annual football day – where as a city we are all reminded that we don’t have our own team. But we have the Lakers, so shut up!

I ask this: why do all my ideas about Thanksgiving take place in a New England setting? I’ve never lived there. But in my mind’s eye, all the leaves on the trees are colored and the air is just a bit chilled. There’s dark wood molding and a fireplace. The people are sober and plain yet good looking. Basically, my vision of how this holiday is supposed to look straight out of a LL Bean catalog.

But that’s not where I live. Here it’s sunny and 78 degrees. I have a fireplace. In it you’ll find copies of all my bills and a collection of self-help books that I’ve received as gifts. I’ve never actually lit it – but a girl can dream.

There is a certain defiance with any kind of tradition in Los Angeles. It’s a city where there are no dress codes because our celebrities and other important people won’t stand for it. Where the rich are thin and tan…as are the homeless. You can get away with wearing jeans to funerals, weddings and thanksgiving dinner. But the jury is still out on flip-flops (unless you’re famous).

This makes visitors from other parts of the U.S. nuts. “Everything is so casual and informal here,” they whine.

Yes, it is. We have our own take on everything out here in California. But I will remind anyone that criticizes LA for not adhering to traditions – not adhering to traditions is actually an American tradition. After we gained our independence from England, we nixed all holidays and tried to find our own way. Congress actually met on December 25th, 1789. Yeah, it was Christmas, but “Who cares – we’re America.” I would argue that defying the status quo is what makes America great and on a smaller and more recent scale – Los Angeles.

So perhaps you are wearing a tank top to your improv troop’s turkey dinner, ordering Chinese Food with your life partner, barbecuing tofu dogs with your hairdresser, or doing Jello shots with Grampa (again). Maybe you’re having a family potluck, begging your friend to cook, or hopping random parties. You might be going to a single’s mixer, a couple’s get-together, or to your first finger-food networking soiree. It could be a Meetup meets Myspace gathering, your AA group’s buffet, or this year you’re refusing to partake in another dumb holiday. Even if you’re planning something that actually could be in a LL Bean catalog…it’s LA and it’s totally okay.

Happy Thanksgiving!

3 Comments Article in Today’s Paper

  1. dave

    “Where the rich are thin and tan, as are the homeless.”
    that is one really f’ing funny line.

    as to rev. gisher’s observations, i’d add that if everybody who hates l.a. would just get the hell out and never come back, it would be quite a wonderful, and much less crowded, place for the rest of us.

    but then, i live in pittsburgh….

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