0

I have been warned. When I decided to end my eight-year stint in Washington DC and decamp to Los Angeles last summer, my friends in the capital looked at me like I had announced plans to eject myself into space. they rolled their office chairs towards my cubicle and pressed their hands to my shoulder at happy hours. Los Angeles resident are not like the rest of us, they said. These people were preternaturally tan. They drank their kale. If I moved there with my boyfriend in two, they told me, I might survive. But I should not attemp to date in Los Angeles. Between dark basement beers during my last month in Washington, my friends presented me a phantasmagoria of single life in LA. It looks like skeletal Asian models pair-bonding with balding producers over low-calorie cocktail.

Based on my perception I would say happy hours refers to the time that you do not work at your job although is different from what I read in dictionaries.

  1. When it says they were tan, is it reffering to her calleagues or LA residents?

  2. What does it mean "between beers" ?

  3. What do "pair-bonding" and "balding pruducers" mean?

  4. What does it mean "drink kale" ?

Thank you so much.

3

Questions 1 and 4 are talking about the people of Los Angeles. They get tans prematurely (in other words, even in the winter or spring, probably from tanning beds). They drink kale (probably in a smoothie – the important part is that it's considered a drink that is trendy, healthy, and unusual). Taken together, these are small facts that point to a larger contrast in lifestyle.

The phrase "between beers" is simply an idiom meaning "while we were drinking beers together." Taken literally, it means the time in between when one beer is finished and the next one is poured, but, idiomatically, it covers the time between when the first beer was poured and the last beer was finished (and maybe even a little beyond that, if the conversation lasts longer than the beer drinking).

Balding producers are older men who work in the movies. Apparently, they like chumming around with younger, good-looking, skinny models. Extremely good-looking women with men well past their prime – unless you are looking at their bank accounts. All told, it's meant to describe a glamorous lifestyle that in many ways seems foreign outside of L.A.

  • They're preternaturally (supernaturally) tan[ned], not prematurely, but I think all the rest is probably accurate. – FumbleFingers Jul 29 '14 at 16:16
  • @Fumble - Oops! (Although the folks in LA do tan prematurely, even if that's just by coincidence.) – J.R. Jul 30 '14 at 1:34
0

I have been warned. When I decided to end my eight-year stint in Washington DC and decamp to Los Angeles last summer, my friends in the capital looked at me like I had announced plans to eject myself into space. They rolled their office chairs towards my cubicle and pressed their hands to my shoulder at happy hours. Los Angeles resident are not like the rest of us, they said. These people were preternaturally tan. They drank their kale. If I moved there with my boyfriend in tow, they told me, I might survive. But I should not attempt to date in Los Angeles. Between dark basement beers during my last month in Washington, my friends presented me a phantasmagoria of single life in LA. It looks like skeletal Asian models pair-bonding with balding producers over low-calorie cocktails.

I have made some corrections of what I think were typos.

  1. "Happy hours" is not just a reference to time off work--it specifically refers to after-work hours at bars, when drinks are served at low prices to encourage people to come by with their coworkers. These relates to "between dark basement beers," which means "in between drinking beers in dark basements" or thus "while we were drinking beers together in dark basements" ("dark basements" in turn identifies the setting as what's called a dive bar). The speaker means that her (I'm assuming it's a heterosexual woman, since the dating scene described in Los Angeles is between men and women) coworkers are advising her not to move, both during business hours ("my cubicle") and in non-work social hours with coworkers.

  2. "These people were preternaturally tan" ("These people" indicates that the sentence is describing people in Los Angeles/LA). What follows is a lot of stereotypes about people who live in southern California. These stereotypes mostly center around a kind of ridiculous idea of health-consciousness and image being more important than anything else.

  3. Kale is a kind of leafy green vegetable in the cabbage/broccoli family. "Drinking it" suggests that it's been juiced. This is a reference to the very popular trend of juice cleanses. People who do these claim it is healthy; it certainly makes you lose weight (there's very little energy in liquefied raw vegetables). This again suggests that people in LA are completely focused on image.

  4. In tow: the relevant definition is 7(c), which means "as a companion." If the writer moved to LA with her boyfriend, she could be all right, but trying to date there would be terrible.

  5. Pair-bonding: This means trying to engage in pair bonds (the definition I've linked here) which are relationships meant to last for a season for some specific purpose. In animals, that's raising young. Here, the specific purpose is the woman being successful in the film industry. "Pair bonding" also sounds kind of "New-Age-y", or connected with a certain kind of woo-woo spiritualism, which is in line with the juice fasting from earlier.

  6. "Balding producers" suggests that these are unattractive older men who work in the film industry (definition 3). They are dating women who are "skeletal Asian models"--that is, they have managed to achieve a nearly impossible beauty standard. There's a contrast between the attractive women and the unattractive older men that suggests the women are out for connections or money.

  7. "low-calorie cocktails" reinforces the stereotype that everyone in LA is obsessed with being thin and glamorous. Also, "cocktails" means they're drinking fancy mixed drinks, as opposed to beers (which are considered more 'ordinary' or less flashy).

All in all, the passage is supposed to be saying that people in Washington, D.C., where the author currently lives, are down-to-earth people who work in offices, drink beer at cheap establishments, and are "normal," while people in Los Angeles are image-obsessed, always trying to be thin, experimenting with trendy spiritual beliefs, drinking fancy drinks in fancy bars, and generally trying to look good and be impressive.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.