Melissa Stetten: I went from humble Midwesterner to jaded LA dweller

February 4, 2014 • Culture


Growing up in the Midwest is a million times different than growing up in Los Angeles.  My parents never would have let me ride my bike to school alone when I was eleven down Santa Monica Blvd.  My bike probably would have been stolen by then anyway.  Kids don’t walk down the street to hang out in the woods to smoke cigarettes because there aren’t a lot of  “woods” in LA.  I’m so jaded that I expect sunny days all the time.  When I have friends or family visit from Michigan I forget what their lives are like and could care less if I see a celebrity.

Here are some more things Midwesterners aren’t used to:



I didn’t go to a super bowl party this year.  Instead I went to a yoga class and listened to a girl sing and play the accordion afterwards because it was the instructor’s birthday.  First of all, that would never happen in the Midwest.  Second of all, I guarantee that 90% of super bowl parties had hummus and vegetables instead of cheese and ranch dips.  If I brought a hummus plate to a super bowl party in Michigan, nobody would eat it.  Snacks are not snacks in the Midwest unless they are deep fried or filled with butter.


I’ve said the phrase, “What the fuck, no valet?” more times than I probably should have.  The first time someone valeted my car in LA I didn’t know what to do.  Handing my keys over to a stranger? What am I, nuts?  I don’t even think valet parking exists in Kalamazoo.  Maybe I just didn’t notice it because the thought of paying a few dollars to someone to do something you could do yourself was not very Midwestern of me.


People hunt in Michigan.  They kill all sorts of shit.  It’s totally normal to have deer and moose heads hanging in your house.  If you have a rug in your house that’s made from bear fur and has the scary head still attached, you are really fucking manly.  If you walk around in West Hollywood wearing real fur you will most likely get a bucket of paint thrown on you.

Famous People

When I first moved to LA I saw Will Smith at Best Buy and I was talking about it for days.  I recently saw Adrien Grenier at LAX and gave him a hug because he’s friends with an ex-boyfriend, and I didn’t even give a shit.  I’ll see famous people at the grocery store and be like, “eh who cares.”  My sister visited from Yosemite and we sat next to Steve from 90210 at a restaurant and it was a huge deal for her.  I forget that people from the Midwest aren’t buying sandwiches next to Halle Berry every day.


I will freak the fuck out if a coffee shop is out of almond milk.  I can’t drink soy milk, that shit causes breast cancer!  I was in Michigan last summer and ordered almond milk in a latte and the barista was like, “huh?”  Us pretentious LA dwellers are such divas about our coffee, but if I’m gonna pay five dollars for some fucking coffee it better have low calories and be delicious.

I feel like such a pretentious piece of shit now. UGH.



  • mopmonkey

    Pretentious? No,you just have to adjust to the rules where you are,Midwest, or either coast,so different.

  • The girl in that pic looks like she follows the book of the road

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