Memorable Moments in an Alien World

{September 29, 2012}   West what?

I am pretentious. It’s a fact that I know and try very hard to keep under wraps. Because that word just doesn’t have the best connotation, right? There are some things I am openly pretentious about. Espresso. Grammar. Chocolate (clearly all very important). But that’s about it. The rest I hide away and try to ignore.

But I stumbled into unsolicited pretension the other day. I was walking to my car after church, talking with a girl who had just moved to LA. I could see the guy walking in front of us slow down and lean his head back, straining to hear the conversation. Finally he joined us and it became quite evident that he REALLY wanted this girl to go to his community group. My part in the conversation pretty abruptly ended as they discovered they lived in the same neighborhood. I listened as this young man explained the joys of Glendale and gave her directions to where the group was meeting that night.

He remembered that I was still present and mumbled, “Oh yeah, you’re welcome to come too.” Smiling, I thanked him, but declined, saying I was already involved in a community group near my house. He asked, “Okay, cool. Where do you live?”

“Westwood,” I replied.

“Where’s Westwood?” he questioned. And at that moment it happened. I felt the pretension sneak up without warning. How could he NOT know Westwood? Westwood! THE premiere neighborhood in LA. I shoved my pride down.

“Westwood – it’s east of the 405, right by UCLA…” I looked at him, waiting for some form of recognition.


He shrugged and stated, “Oh. I’ve never heard of it.” The he turned to the girl and continued describing the glories of Glendale.

Totally aghast that Westwood could be unknown by someone living in LA, I tried to shake it off. It was then I realized: I am proud of my neighborhood and have been unknowingly maintaining a certain level of pretension regarding the area of LA where I live (which I think we can all agree I ought to drop, but it might take some work!).

I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t know WESTWOOD?!?

Here’s a good quote I found on “community”:

“In the mainstream, with its illusion of unlimited relational possibilities, we can counter dissatisfaction in relationships by simply moving on in search of the “right people.” But community demands we cultivate friendships with people we might not choose ordinarily. Founding friendship on commitment rather than “chemistry” often requires adjustment. At the end of the day, however, we have found that any loss of chemistry in relationships is more than made up for with gains in meaning.”
― Jose Panate-Aceves and John Hayes

I’ll work on the whole Westwood-pretension thing. I promise!

luttrellg says:

Diggin your writing style, Amanda. Thanks for stopping by and liking my page, by the way! Glad it brought me here. Following you now and will be on the lookout for more interesting posts from you.

Take care.

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