1. GO ON A DATE TO GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY
Obviously Griffith Observatory, with its beautiful view and implied romanticism, is a never, ever, ever first date. I mean, a person you bring to that location, THAT person is the one you want to be with for longer than a few drinks, a couple weeks tops. But I’m not even talking about that. I wouldn’t even take a significant other to Griffith Observatory until I knew this mother fucker, this guy right here, this was the one I was set with for life. Because then I could at least point out the cliche of going on a date there without looking like a total desensitized asshole. I mean, when you throw down the blanket, the basket full of cheese, wine and crackers and look out into the starry (read: smoggy) night before your hands slide toward each other to hold…ugh, I can’t.
2. HIKE BEHIND THE HOLLYWOOD SIGN
When I think of hiking, I think of wearing a heavy backpack full of compasses and Nutri-Grain bars and carrying a walking stick and maybe your sneakers even have tiny little spikes on the bottom, so you don’t lose your footing. L.A. hiking is an entirely different beast. A much lesser beast. It’s girls wearing leggings and taking selfies. Throw in the Hollywood sign, and nope, count me out. Way out. Unless a hike is for my actual exercise (HA!), I’ll pass.
3. PAY FOR VALET PARKING
Valet parking is completely avoidable, you guys. I refuse to pay $5, $6, $7 for some guy to pull my car into some mysterious lot far off where he wedges my car in with the rest, like one of those weird wooden parking puzzles. You know the ones. Loop the block maybe five thousand times, and you’ll be able to find some side street parking that’s free (or at least only a dollar). Trust me.
4. DATE AN ACTOR
This one probably comes off as rude because it’s 80% of the gay male population here. But hey, coming home to hearing about how your audition didn’t go well or how you didn’t get a call-back isn’t something I’m interested in hearing about. I get it, I get it, you’re passionate and creative, and, I mean, so am I, but it’s a lot of ego-feeding that I certainly don’t need to deal with when my own self-esteem is already in the gutter.
5. CALL ANYTHING PAST 3PM BRUNCH
People. 10 a.m., 11 a.m., even into noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. I’ll even give you 3 p.m. After that? It’s not brunch anymore. Stop sipping your mimosas at 3:13 p.m. and pretending you’re still having brunch. Look around. I bet people are chowing down on burgers and chugging beers. It’s pre-dinner time. Then again, maybe not. It is L.A. after all.
6. PRETEND I LIKE GOING TO THE BEACH
I’ll go to the beach, sure, but I’m not going to pretend I enjoy it. I KNOW. Blasphemy when you live in L.A. How can I not like the beach? Allow me to explain. Everyone in L.A. is hot. I’m not hot. Everyone at the beach is basically naked. People-watching and gawking may be great, but not when I’m too busy awkwardly covering myself up and feeling like I should go to the gym more. Also: back in the midwest, I tanned like a beautiful bronzed goddess on the shores of Lake Michigan or wherever. On the coast of the Pacific Ocean? I burn like a lobster. Oh, and sand. I fucking hate sand. It gets everywhere and god help me when it gets wet and in my shoes, and the LAST thing I want to do is bring the beach home with me.
7. NOT COMPLAIN ABOUT TRAFFIC
Double negative, what up! The one thing that brings all of L.A. together, the collective conscious and conversation: traffic. It’s the one thing I’ll never not do — that is, complain about the traffic and parking and anything else that involves commuting. As much as it’s exactly the thing that makes staying in touch with people more physically challenging, strangely, it also is that one thing that brings us all together. So, let’s continue to complain about it. All together now.