Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Nothin' plastic about the Southern Tier

p.s. this is a GREAT addition, thanks to my brother, Eric. It will get you in the mood for this blog entry:

Having grown up in Los Angeles, I took for granted all the incredibly over-enhanced/nipped/tucked fake looking people. In LA, it seems almost unusual if someone has NOT had any type of surgical proecedure done. Things couldn't be more different in the Southern Tier of New York where we now live.

It really struck me when we landed at LAX in June after being away for about 5 months. We got off the plane and it seemed like the first thing I saw was an apparently "hot chick" (from the back, at least)- very aerobicized tight body in tight black pants with long blonde "hair" (extensions). By all accounts, this was supposed to be a beautiful young woman. That is, until she turned around . . . the HORROR!!!

Not only was she not a hot young thing, but she was approximately 65, overly toned, overly tanned, and appeared to be formerly-Jewish Beverly Hills lady with waaaaaaay too much surgery to give her that all-American blonde look (NOT).

Anyway, I don't think I've seen a fake pair of boobs or a fake nose or suspiciously plump lips since I got here. With the decreasingly expensive cost of surgery, I think it's more of a cultural thing: unlike LA's bizarre focus on looking younger than you are, it seems like age is actually a valued thing around here.

There are several lawyers in my office who are in their 80s and 90s and literally come in every day. I talked with one of them for awhile yesterday and man is he sharp at 92 years old. He fielded several client calls while I talked to him about the old days, like when his father (a sitting New York State Senator) died when he was 15 in 1929 and his whole family had to go to work to stave off economic doom.

I feel like that same lawyer in LA would never make it into the office everyday, not just because it takes so much energy to brave the 405 freeway just to get to work, but because he might literally be seen as more of a slip-and-fall hazzard/liability than the very wise and cool guy he is.

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