Baby's First Dispensary

Once again, let me take you back in time, to the moment when I wrote this about three weeks ago…

Guys. GUYS. I packed an entire California vacation experience into a single day. I’m in LA for the week but my free time is pretty much limited to today so I went to bed at 8 last night, got up at 7, and started crossing things off my activity list.

I’m staying on the West Side, in a super random neighborhood. I’m in a tiny “suite” that’s basically a walled off portion of someone’s house that is really nice but missing really weird stuff like a trash can and I had to download an app to adjust the temperature. I’m barely going to be here, I have a shoot starting tomorrow so I’m assuming it’ll be long-ish days. Luckily we’re shooting kids and kids aren’t allowed to work until they physically pass out (fucking pussies amiright) so we probably won’t have 14 hour days.

This morning I got up and put on black leggings and a black sports bra, looking like the New York-ist bitch with my pale stomach and perma-squint in the bright, oppresive sun. I jogged from my situation down to Venice, about 4 miles. Now 4 miles is usually on the high end of what I’ll do but I can do it. But THE HILLS. I complained about this in my first LA trip post about a year back and I just want to take a moment of your time to do it again- there. are. so. many. hills. And they’re steep, only a few degrees south of a right angle. There were beautiful houses all around that had a Brady Bunch meets Nancy Meyers movie starring Diane Keaton vibe. The really nice ones were perched at the very top of the hills, looking down at me, judging my apartment dwelling, rom-com averse self. A few times, I forced myself to try to sprint up a stretch of the incline. I’ve never been so off about judging the level of my fitness. I would get about 5 steps then I would have to stop, doubled over, wheezing, knowing that if I fell down I would roll down the hill into the ocean and drown and that would be the end of The Draft and I’ve already paid for my domain for the year so that would be wasteful.

I got breakfast at a place called The Rose, which the internet told me about. I didn’t go there completely because it was named after me, which weirdly enough it was (it wasn’t) but, you know, it didn’t hurt. I sauntered in, chest puffed, ready to dine alone, which is the ultimate example of my brand, which I like to call Power Single. I sized up everyone up around me, evaluating whether I could take the hostess in a physical fight should it come to that. Nothing left to lose. She showed me to my chair, and slid a menu in front of my face. Unceremoniously she grabbed the second set of silverware across from me that was clearly not going to be used and whisked it away dramatically, which I took as her basically slapping me in the face with a glove. Ever the adult, I rose above it and didn’t leap across the table to take her down.

I looked down to see a special call out on the menu that a Brooklyn cafe was doing a pop-up at this restaurant. The BK spot was a place that I’d never been to, but had been following on Instagram for months and for a second I considered ordering the praline pancakes that have been clogging up my feed, which I hadn’t actually tried before. I instead I chose something native to this extremely foreign country, some eggs with a side of kale and extra gratitude. There was a “wellness drink” section of the menu. The culture shock was staggering.

After brunch I went to a nail salon, just the closest one to where I was standing on the corner, and had a really bizarre mani pedi experience. When the guy finished painting my toes (by the way having a man paint your toe nails is the most pure form of patriarchal revenge, I highly recommend it) he dropped my foot and looked at me and said “Ok goodbye” and then gestured towards the door. I sat there, assuming I had misheard him, because both my fingers and toe nails were nowhere near dry, and then he dd it again. So I stood up and looked around, wondering where the dryers were. From what I could see, they just didn’t have them. And I’m sorry if this makes me sound high maintenance but not having dryers at a nail salon is like ordering ice cream in a cone and the ice cream guy just depositing a glob of ice cream directly into your hand. Of course, you’d figure out how to eat it, but something about it just isn’t right and everything would get covered in sticky liquid. Half of the reason why I get nails done at a place is so I can wear nail polish without actually having to sit still for too long.

So instead of continuing to stand there figuring out what was happening with no clues at all I decided that I would leave, wet nails and all. I decided that the inevitable smudges I got from opening the door were worth not being in this awkward non-conversation anymore. The problem was that I had been wearing sneakers. I treated myself to a pedicure, which I do about once every three years, and it had been entirely spontaneous. I didn’t leave the house this morning thinking “damn my toenails need my attention today.” But as I was sucking down coffee number 2 walking down the street, I just thought to myself, “You know what girl? You deserve to treat yourself” and then I cut out my own uterus for thinking that sentence and went in.

Now, faced with wet toenails and socks I didn’t know what to do. I panicked, and started pulling one of my socks on, like this was not going to be an issue. A lady from across the room lunged at me in slow motion, yelling “Noooooooooo” and snatched the sock out of my hand. I literally was out of options. So finally they got me a pair of those foam disposable flip flops, which are meant to be on your feet for about 30 seconds so you can shuffle from the chair to the DRYER. They weren’t going to work in the outside world. But I needed it to be over. So I walked, slowly, duck-like, out the door and about a half block before I rounded the corner and found a sunny patch to stand in until my nails were dry enough and I could put my shoes back on and walk away like a normal person. Somehow I came out of this harrowing ordeal with unsmudged toes. Miracles do happen.

From there, I went to the beach. The distance from the pavement to the ocean in Venice is about twelve leagues. I walked across the sand like I was going to see the Baby Jesus. The sand was so hot that I had to pretend that severe heat is actually severe cold which is a weirdly effective way of managing the feeling of burning alive. I honed this method during my laser hair removal sessions. Eventually I did make it down to the water, and wandered up the shore at the bit. Then I cut back up the beach, imaginary ice cubes beneath my blistering feet.

Then it was SHOPPING TIME I bet you can’t wait to hear about my shopping on vacation. Mkay so I bought this bag I really wanted and got a free monogram thrown in. I got coffee at three different coffee shops. I wandered up and down Abbot Kinney and gave myself a sunburn and a caffeine headache. If you’d like more details on this just let me know but I’m boring myself writing about it.

(four hours later)

I’m eating dinner at a gastropub located in a strip mall. A really nice one strip mall. I guess it’s more of a shopping center but regardless it feels weird to be eating outside with an expansive view of a freshly paved parking lot and a fancy faucet store. I just ordered a club soda with bitters and the guy looked like he would do it because I asked him to but that this was definitely the first time he had been asked to. There’s nothing more awkward than having to explain to a bartender that the thing you ordered is actually a thing and lots of sober people drink them because they look fun and they taste pretty much exactly like one of those $12 cocktails but cost 3.

This place has a strict no substitutions policy printed on their menu which I think is so depressing. Hear me out- I’m definitely not endorsing being gastronomically picky. Naturally, I think that if you’re the kind of person who requests substitutions then generally I fucking hate you. But I don’t want to need a rule, you know? I want those people to whom this rule is directed to turn inward and recognize that what they’re doing is wrong.

I mean who are you to know what exact combination of ingredients is going to be delicious? What I just took a bite of was perfect. It has fucking arugula. I see you strip mall burger.

Earlier I had a really novel experience at my first legal dispensary. Honestly I could not handle the fact that it was all above board. The guy who checked my ID was super nice and just the absolute highest I’ve ever seen someone in a legitimate workplace. He lost his place twice while trying to look up the woman in front of me’s rewards account. They only let groups of about 6 people into the sales area at once. It felt like waiting for a roller coaster, or waiting in line to get a mystery package you weren’t expecting at the post office. You know the feeling, when you’re not sure it’s going to be worth it but you’re resigned to waiting in a line to find out.

If have to declare an opinion: this was worth it, if only to experience the bizarro world of legal weed.

While I was waiting in line to be released into the room full of glass displays manned by the crew of budtenders, I started chatting with the woman with the frequent buyer status. She could have been 60 or 85, all I could be sure of was that she was an extremely friendly pothead. She had a lot of questions for me about Brooklyn, all slight variations of “but isn’t it just so loud there all the time?” After a while, she started telling jokes, all of which I loved, a few of which I remember, but only one that I will probably tell out loud myself one day. I can’t wait for that day.

Somehow, when the nice man with gauged ears and a mustache went to ring me up, I was shocked by the amount of sales tax. This is especially pathetic because I have stood in multiple Brooklyn living rooms at multiple parties talking to other privileged white people about how New York should make pot legal and just tax the fuck out of it.

I picked up some edibles, which seemed like the best bet. I wasn’t going to risk flying back to New York with a couple nugs in my carry on, I thought some chocolate and mints would be more discrete. Besides, I kind of like the thing I’ve got going with my delivery service at home. I’ve literally never seen the same messenger twice so I imagine either the turnover is pretty high or just that there are tons of people who looked at the job of dealing drugs and said yeah that feels like what I should be doing. Either way, it’s fast and friction free. And I save a lot of money on the tax.

After the initial shock wore off, I stoically paid for my drugs and left.

The woman at the table next to me right now is reading everything off the menu out loud to her friends. She just gushed over an appetizer (“oh my gooooooooood. Smoked eggplant fritters.”) And I just instinctively looked around for someone to roll my eyes at. This is the real struggle of singleness when you’re a piece of work.

Oh god so now she’s ordering the fritters and her whole table has now said the word fritter too many times and it doesn’t sound like a word anymore.

What a day. The only thing that could have made it better would’ve been running into a Real Housewife. Even one of the less interesting ones, like Alexis.