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Things everyone else stops doing after 30—but Angelenos don't

Written by
Brittany Martin

Go ahead and criticize Hollywood for its obsession with youth all you want, but can you really say us real-life Angelenos don’t try to stretch our younger years out as long as we possibly can? Compared to our peers in other cities, L.A.-dwellers seem to keep on living the young (occasionally, though not always, good) life well past the age of 30. Maybe it’s just because nobody can afford to buy a house or settle down, but we think there might be something peculiar about the city that keeps us doing these things way later in life than folks elsewhere.

Wearing flip-flops outside the beach

In most of the world, the hot-button question might be "are leggings really pants?" but here in L.A. we never doubted the propriety of athleisure for all occasions. Instead, we ask ourselves "are flip-flops really shoes?" And a whole lot of us seem to be voting yes. While anywhere else, toe-thongs go by the wayside after the days of sketchy dorm showers, here in L.A. we see grown-ups wearing them as everyday footwear throughout the year—even on rainy days—and not just at the beach or pool.

Caring about Disney

There is a whole culture around Disney stuff out here, and it’s not just for kids. There are special days when adults put on fancy costumes to go to a theme park together, people without children subscribe to super expensive locals-only park memberships that cost more than people in some parts of this great land spend on rent, there’s even a dating service just to match-make amongst Mouse-lovers. Outside of L.A., adults who get that excited about cartoons would raise some serious eyebrows.

Waiting in line to get into a nightclub

You know how in “Bound 2,” Kanye calls out the girls in the club because they “Rock Forever 21 but just turned 30”? We don’t know for sure that the was talking about a club in L.A. (just like we don’t know what’s up with Kanye in general these days, honestly) but we do know that wasn’t meant as a compliment. And yet, drive by any of the more garish Hollywood clubs on a Saturday night, and you’ll see awkward queues of would-be dancers in tiny dresses and untucked button-up shirts who look like they’ve been making the rounds since “In Da Club” was actually played in clubs, and they show no signs of giving up the nightlife any time soon.   

Smoking weed

As Prop 64 just recently showed us, there are a lot of California residents over the age of 18 who see no problem with adults having access to recreational marijuana. In some places, smoking weed might carry the stigma of a misspent youth surrounded by cheesy Bob Marley posters, but in Los Angeles, it’s pretty mainstream well into one’s 30s and beyond. Even that ultimate resource for the aspirational thirtysomething lifestyle, goop, recommends various dispensaries in their L.A. guides. It's for 'wellness,' you know.

Lying about your 'real job'

We’ve all started our careers as ‘aspiring’ something-or-others, but in most places, a few years past graduation, folks move on to actually being that thing. Or settling for being some other, less-creative, possibly soul-crushing thing that pays the bills. But here in L.A., dreams stay with you. It’s considered pretty normal here to tell people that you’re a filmmaker, a writer, a comedian, an artisan ceramicist or whatever it is you want to be, even if the majority of your income comes from pulling espresso shots or writing corporate ad copy. And we have to say, that commitment to being whatever weird thing your heart says you are regardless of what regular adult society tells you, might just be one of the things we love most about living here.   

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