Los Angeles is a walking cliché of itself. If you’ve ever been, you know that it’s not hard to find proof that the stereotypes you’ve heard are based in some real big truths. But that doesn’t stop the overcrowded farmers markets, the highways jammed with Priuses carting yoga mats in the back seat or the juice bars from popping up with almost as much frequency as Starbucks. And the best part is that everywhere you go, you can count on being entertained by overhearing ridiculous conversations about everything from script writing, Botox and acting to celebrity gossip and the undeniable benefits of B12 injections.

But the weirdest thing for me as a Midwestern transplant is that one day you will overhear these conversations coming out of your own mouth. All of a sudden you’re saying things like, “I just started getting colonics from this amazing woman who is also psychic.” And then it won’t stop there … “She’s got me taking Chinese herbs and eating non-pasteurized goat yogurt.” And you hear how strange the words sound coming out of your mouth but you’re just going with it anyway. Cause if you’re me, you love getting your monthly colonics and the goat yogurt is actually really good.

And once you just start embracing the LA-ness that is slowly creeping into the fabric of your life, it goes from a slight concern to a full-blown infection. But unlike the flu, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment that it takes over. For me, it might have been the first time I went to pick up my goat yogurt, which is illegal and has to be purchased directly from a farm ’cause that’s where goats live. Luckily for me, there is some guy named Steve that goes to the farm and brings the yogurt to an unnamed location in Los Angeles where I can shadily give him my wad of cash for several mason jars filled with delicious probiotic treasure.

The first meeting did not go off without a hitch. When I arrived, he took a long time to come to the door, and the longer I stood there, the more nervous I got. What if I ended up on the nightly news for some crazy illegal bust of non-pasteurized goods? I had heard that it happened in a Santa Monica farmers’ market once. Just then, a police car drove by… so of course I started to sweat. Finally he came to the door, and he is beyond high – I mean, absolutely out of his mind. I mentioned how I was there for the yogurt and nothing else and I gave him the money. He walked me out to my car with the illegal yogurt and put it in my trunk. I quickly sped away hoping to not also be busted for whatever else he might be dealing.

The next day I got a text from Steve (who lives in my phone as Yogurt Steve). He was asking me when I was going to come by and get my yogurt. Apparently he was so out of his mind that he didn’t even remember that I grabbed the goods. And it was at that moment I realized that maybe being so dedicated to my future healthy digestive tract wasn’t going to be easy, that settling into a more LA existence meant having to deal with more people just like Steve. I felt like I was flirting with danger. And I can’t say that I didn’t like it.

But when I head home for the holidays this year, I probably wont bring up Steve, yogurt or my psychic hydrotherapist. Nor will I casually drop the name of my acupuncturist or my actual therapist who is also so sensitive that she’s actually empathic (don’t worry, I had to Google it, too). Nor will I rave about the new infrared sauna place that opened in my neighborhood. Cause one LA stereotype I never want to become is a casual namedropper.

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