Yesterday, I grabbed some morning coffee at the Starbucks near my new home in California to change things up from my usual Panera.
As I waited, a man came right up to me and said, “were you a model?” He thumped his chest, “I was a Hollywood talent agent for many years, and you look like you could have done some modeling work.”
Could have been a model. Groan.
See, that’s the thing about California. It’s so unpredictable. There’s gazillions of ppl. Anything can happen any time. Which, is part of the fun. Let me assure you, not one single person ever came up to me in the urban Panera I frequented in Kansas City and said, I was once a Hollywood talent agent. And, really, that was OK too.
I nodded yes at the man’s smiling face under his faded blue Dodgers cap. Even though the only time I was ever paid to model anything was once on vacation with my ex-husband in Barbados. A crew from Macy’s New York was there, shooting swimwear for the spring advertising campaign and the model on duty turned into a diva and wouldn’t work. Voila – so I was the stand-in for two days. For which I received two hundred dollars and got to keep the swimsuits and the sunglasses.
Not that my new friend needed to know any of that. He was plenty pleased he’d guessed correctly.
“I knew, it, I knew it!” He said, practically fist-bumping, he was so excited.
See, that’s the other thing about SoCal. There’s so much youth and beauty here. So so so much fixation on how things look.
When I first got to Kansas City after I moved back there two years ago, I was surprised how much I missed the focus on the superficial. Yes, I’ll admit it, I did. I missed wearing a nice pair of loafers or an actual outfit vs. a puffer jacket over the same jeans every day. I completely underestimated the ridiculous, insane luxury of wearing sandals year round.
Those first few months back in the Midwest, when I got really blue, I’d doll up in one of my ‘LA’ outfits, dab on a bunch of makeup and grab my landlord (who’d once been a boyfriend) and lug him to some picturesque or quaint location I’d found and he’d snap away so I had cool stuff to post on social media.
The image here is taken on the lawn of the stately Nelson Atkins Museum of Art in midtown KC on a late January afternoon. One of those deep winter days when it reaches a teasing sixty-five degrees and thaws things to the point where people cautiously walk around outside without coats, sniffing the clean air. Not for long. The ground is still rock hard, there’s a faint bite in the breeze and you know you’ll need that cozy puffer once the sun slips away.
But for just a glorious hour, boy did I enjoy cavorting around like a model on that lawn. Inhaling the winter fresh scent of the crackly leaves scattered over the hard, cold earth. Feeling the sun warm my face, wearing a sort of hatched up version of something I might have worn in California.
Model for a day. Why not. You can be whatever you want in California. There’s so many people, nobody ever knows the difference.