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Six months in: the darker side

I posted on my personal Facebook page last night that I’m feeling quite homesick.  No one could more shocked about this news than me.  It was here on this very blog that I shared my delight at reaching the six-month mark in LA with friends, fun and great experiences under our belts.  We were–are–living in the surreal world that is Beverly Hills/Hollywood and we live to tell the tale.

Only earlier that day we were having lunch at my favourite Cabana Cafe in the Beverly Hills Hotel where I missed seeing Harry Styles by a matter of minutes.  (We were already seated waiting for our friend who saw him leaving as he was coming in.  He even snapped a pic for his 11-year-old daughter.)

So why so glum?  I’m not really sure.  I miss my friends mainly.  It’s great to make new friends but it’s the good friends you leave behind that you are sad about–especially when they’re not here to share “the dream” with you.

Truth be told I think the whole “money” thing is wearing thin too.  Don’t get me wrong, we’re very comfortable and we’ve done well, we have a great little life in our corner of the world, we always try to make the most of every situation we’re put in and I don’t like to whinge about first-world (especially BH) problems.

So why’s the money thing getting me down? I think it’s because it’s hard to fight.  Just because our family doesn’t believe in designer handbags until our kids are at least 18 doesn’t mean everyone else shares our philosophy.  And not to say everyone needs to share our philosophy.  I value very much the concept that everyone is different because it makes the world go around and makes for a much more interesting place to be.  But seriously why do kids under 18 (or even 25 for that matter) have to have designer hand bags?  Will it make the world a better place and more importantly will it make the kids better people?

I say this also because my daughter and I were out shopping last weekend for a new dress for her to wear to a birthday party and to dinner when we go to Vegas next week.  She desperately needed some shoes and I said if we find a cute bag for a reasonable price I’d buy her one.  We got some cute shoes but no go on the bag.  It wasn’t a biggie because she’s only into bags sometimes and she knew she’d had enough bought for her that day and (for once!) was satisfied with her purchases.

So why am I going on about handbags?  Well because as we walked through the designer handbag section on our way to shoes at Bloomingdale’s we were looking at the new Furla handbags.  They were so cute and, with 30% off, this sweet little blue bag had Miss 11’s name on it.  We both looked at it longingly.  She wanted it.  I wanted her to have it.  But it was not going to happen and we both knew it.  I was cross with myself for considering its purchase and pleased with her at the same time for knowing she couldn’t even ask for it.  We mourned the bag’s departure never to come home with us.  We were doing what mothers and daughters should do: bond over a designer handbag.

But that’s where it ended.  Not in Beverly Hills it seems where my daughter can count on more than one hand girls she knows with designer hand bags.  Some her age, others older but none of them are over 18, or over 25.  I’m not here to judge.  Nor do I have a right to judge.  I suppose when you grow up with it you think nothing of it.

But as a family still “fresh off the boat” from Australia who comes from a(nother) corner of the world where girls don’t have designer handbags I feel sad.  I feel sad that I think my Miss 11 should wait until she has a designer handbag.  I feel sad that girls around her don’t have to wait.  And I feel sad for the girls around her because I wonder what they are going to want for their 18th birthday or 21st birthday (remembering they’ll most likely get cars for their 16th birthday).  And I feel sad because I actually contemplated buying her the handbag.  That’s not us; that’s not what we do.

They say you are influenced by nature AND nurture and there is no conclusive evidence that one outweighs the other.  One of our mottos before we came over was not to change and not to take life too seriously when we got here; to stay true to ourselves.  Easier said than done.  But we must stay true to ourselves because people will like us for who we are not what we have.  We have a lot to offer and I hope that’s what people are seeing and not the absence of a designer handbag, shoes or clothes.

Only in LA.  Watch this space …

xx It Started In LA xx

Style notes: If you’re not like me and wish to buy your Miss 11 a Furla handbag here’s the link (or of course you might like one for yourself):  Furla Candy Bag.

I’m pretty sure Bloomingdale’s ships worldwide.

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  • Reply Theresaq February 26, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Living in a ‘different world’ presents different challenges doesn’t it? I have had some exposure to that in the past. I think that while it is hard, you should be proud to stay true to your values and the way that you are raising your children. I am sure that there are others in your neighbourhood who also have the same attitude – it is just hard to see them past the bling of the ones who don’t. It always takes time to find the friends with the same values as you but eventually they appear, and you are reassured that you are not alone.
    My 11 year old is also on the cusp of wanting to have a few more ‘grown up’ accessories. We have conversations about age appropriateness, value, etc too. My fingers crossed approach is that she will grow up understanding the value of ‘things’, appreciating the beauty of those ‘things’ and understanding that beauty and $$ don’t always have an equal relationship! Right – off my soap box now too!

    • Reply ItStartedInLA February 26, 2014 at 5:10 pm

      Thanks Theresa, it’s so good to have other people’s opinions–the true value of blogging! Thankfully I have some lovely families and friends around me and I look forward to meeting more. There are actually also people with money who also believe in waiting so there’s a light at the end of my tunnel :-).

  • Reply Marelle Jackman February 27, 2014 at 2:50 am

    Wow designer handbags are even out of my reach in Australia and I am way older than 11! My 12 year old is not into anything designer, she would love some converse high tops – but that is the limit -I also have a 13 1/2 year old who is not into designer handbags but is definitely into Harry Styles (lol) we went to their concert in Melbourne – this was my daughters first ever concert : mind you we were way up in the gods and the band looked like ants (all for $100 thank you very much lol)
    I love hearing about your adventures in LA!! We are venturing to America in September for a holiday : I have been to America a couple of years ago, but mygirls and my husband it is the first time – both girls are looking forward to seeing some “stars” along the way hope we do lol

    • Reply ItStartedInLA February 27, 2014 at 9:33 am

      Enjoy the US Marelle and thanks for your feedback, it’s so good to hear from people especially because this is so new to me. Let me know if you’d like any LA advice on what to do, where to go and stay etc. Cheers, Gwen

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