All Spring, thanks to my son’s lacrosse schedule, I’ve been spending my weekends in an alternative universe where the oceans breezes blow and the palm trees sway. It’s a place called Pacific Palisades, a town so close to perfect that even the name has more syllables than the average hometown. The zillion dollar houses, from charming bungalows to seaside manses, are maintained to the highest landscaping standard known to mankind. (There must be some sort of Mandatory Rose Bush law in the Palisades.) The women sport yoga pants 24/7 and the men drive Range Rovers, if they are not driving Audi R8s. The children have perfect complexions and Disney-star hair. Main Street is filled with unique boutiques and the usual chain stores ,buffered by exceptional zoning laws. Even the ATMs in Pacific Palisades are a little bit more generous than those in the rest of America: they dispense fifty dollar bills, not the usual twenties, because apparently no one in Pacific Palisades ever takes out just forty dollars.
Pacific Palisades, now that lacrosse season is over, I’m going to miss you.
My younger son finished up his last game of the season yesterday, a 4-2 loss in the league championships. But, really, I was loser. I had come to look forward to our almost-weekly treks to the perfect town by the sea. Apparently, the movie-set ready Pacific Palisades High School was the only field open in all of LA for games, so many Sundays we left landlocked Pasadena and drove an hour to paradise to play. Before this season, I’d never spent much time there, except by watching Curb Your Enthusiasm which is filmed there at Larry David’s actual home. My husband, the real estate guy, says it’s the perfect place to live if you never have to go anywhere. Well, if I lived there, I wouldn’t leave.
On my last Sunday in the Palisades, I walked the streets of the charming town while my son’s team warmed up, as was my custom. I felt like the baristas at Starbucks were just getting to learn my name. Yesterday, they called me Ashleigh, which is pretty close to Lian. I took in the delightful farmers market and a few open houses in homes I could never afford. I strolled the art fair, bought some brownies from some charming teens supporting Heifer International and almost signed up for a month -long membership at Yogaworks, then I remembered that I didn’t live in Pacific Palisades.
I was only visiting.
With a heavy heart, I walked back to Pali High, home of the Dolphins, the Stadium by the Sea and a new natatorium that will rival Beijing’s Birdcage. Then, I spotted a sign on the fence at the high school: AYSO Sign-up Happening Now! Hey– Maybe my son would like to be a soccer exchange student in the fall.
And I could return to the Palisades and pretend for another season that I lived in Paradise.
Embracing my Chaos, Lian