Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mommas of Malibu

Fives miles over the "hills" of Woodland Hills lies a gem called Malibu, a marvelous beach city that perfectly epitomizes the pride and glory of Los Angeles:  boobs, blondes and benjamins.  If you choose to forgo the traffic congested 101 freeway and cut through Calabasas, the short drive to this beach city is a treat on its own as you are greeted by the scenic, picturesque view of the Malibu Canyon and make your way down towards the Pacific Coast Highway.

Malibu is the perfect getaway when the temperature reaches 110 degrees outside and all you really wanna do is air out your sweaty pits and relax by the beach where it's a perfect 80 degrees (weird how 5 miles can make THAT much of a difference in weather), so when Shi's client invited us over to his restaurant at the Malibu County Mart called Tra Di Noi for a lunch meeting last Saturday, I said yes faster than Ludacris could say fuck y'all, y'all!

I'm all about free food and chance encounters with celebrities.

I sometimes shy away from coming with him to these meetings as it would require me to zip my trucker mouth shut for a good couple of hours to avoid tragically embarrassing Shi and risk blowing his deal.  I find that this is particularly difficult when: 1) You're trying extra hard not to show that you're fatally gagging on your salad; 2) You anxiously clutch your camera underneath the table ready for a celebrity sighting, only to sorely disappoint yourself later on because word on the street is, celebrities avoid these places on weekends, and 3) Your baby's idea of fun is playing throw-and-fetch Sophie the Giraffe with mommy.
Malibu County Mart is quaint and homey with a nice little community park in the center.  Perhaps the only difference between this park and the parks we're all used to is that this one is surrounded by retailers like 7 for all Mankind, the House of Ralph Lauren and  James Perse, while right around the corner is the overpriced, overrated and over-pretentious restaurant that is Nobu.  Excuse my naivete but I'm also not aware of any other parks that give you a fantastic view of the Pacific Ocean as well as the half-naked surfers suiting up by the highway (if you know another park that has all of the above PLUS a good view of a nudist beach, please do share).  I think it was somewhere between the first few bites of my carpaccio salad and wiping Yuna's drool that I realized I would like to come back to this place next weekend and the rest of the remaining weekends of my life.
As soon as we were done with lunch, I excused myself and left Shi alone with his clients to continue mind fucking each other into getting the better end of the bargain.  I happily took Yuna and we went for a stroll around the area, curiously popping in a store, then popping out after 30 quick seconds, frightened of the $200 price tag I saw on a plain white t-shirt.  We would then again enter another unassuming boutique, have a cardiac arrest, then exit within a minute. Repeat.

 The only place I genuinely got excited about because of its awesome baby line AND didn't subject me to an aneurysm was Kitson's.  Paying $68 for 3 pcs of onesies suddenly seemed like an aisle 14 green light special versus $200 for a plain old tee.

 After my leisurely stroll, I decided to head straight to the park and wait for Shi to finish up with his meeting.  I'm not gonna lie, it was Yuna's very first time in a park, and I was worried that she'd be overwhelmed by the sight of  *gasp!* real live kids playing and all that greenery.  You see, my daughter and I are all about going to malls where the climate is always pleasant, restrooms have fancy hand sensors and there's no added pressure of making awkward small talk with other moms, so this park thing is new to both of us.

So there we were taking in the lovely sea breeze and  starting to really get into our roles as new creatures of the playground when I spotted an ultra skinny, blonde and botoxed Asian mom clutching her Blackberry in one hand and pushing her limited edition Bugaboo Chameleon with the other.  She wore a hot pink and dangerously short Juicy Couture terry tube dress and espadrille wedge heels and I gawked watched as she sat herself down the park bench to set her squirming 2 year old toddler free to mingle with the rest of his sandbox buddies who were all probably famished coming from their weekly baby fencing match.

Then the rest of our pleasant Malibu experience came crashing down.

I could have sworn I was starring in my very own Twilight Zone episode, or perhaps a remake of The Stepford Wives.  Only this time, the wives had plumper lips, silicone breasts and stone-cold frozen faces.  I looked around me and saw  pashmina wearing moms carrying their Hermes bags, being followed by their blonde brood and their full-time Filipino nannies.  I almost called on one of the nannies and almost shouted: "Hey girlfriend, fellow Filipino here!  Reprezzent!" but I was too busy staring at these moms in awe with my mouth hanging open that Yuna shot me a stern look as if to say, "If anyone asks, you're not my mother."

I also saw a couple of flawless preggo ladies enjoying an afternoon stroll clad in the sheerest and tightest of tank tops and long flowy skirts walking hand in hand with glowing replicas of David Beckham and Ashton Kutcher.  They stopped to chat with the Hermes moms for a bit as they walked past before heading to the courtyard to watch a community ballet recital. God kill me now.

I may have been as significant as a used condom to these people, but I've never felt so unwelcome yet bemused my entire life.  It was obviously clear that I stuck out like a sore thumb. Was it just me or is there a big sign on my forehead saying Valley Girl?  Or maybe they could tell I haven't showered?  Beats me. All I  know is that the upside to this is that nobody really stopped to talk to me, so that crosses off my fears of having to small talk.

Shi arrived a few minutes short of me attempting to take a good shot of blonde Asian lady to send to my friend who has a fetish for spinners and I felt a wave of relief knowing that it's almost time to go home.  We took a few pictures to document Yuna's first park experience then left the place with me still dazed in confusion.

It's true that we live so close to Malibu, just a quick trip over the hill.  Living in the suburbia that is San Fernando Valley (aka the porn capital of the world) sucks you in a bubble sometimes, and you forget that there are great neighboring cities out there, bursting with energy that cannot be found in the Valley, because you are too busy complaining about the 110 degree heat, the hellish 101 and 405 interchange, and the fact that there's nothing else to do but go to the Topanga Mall. But then, after spending a couple of hours in a place that's unapologetic about its exclusivity, I couldn't wait to haul my ass back to Woodland Hills, where comfortable normalcy is defined by the smell of curry and incense drifting out of our loud Indian neighbor's home.


Ashley said...

Ha! Malibu Country Mart is something out of a movie. I looked at a little dress in the childrens store there and it was $385! I almost passed out. I love the suburban bubble of the valley!

Tinafromtheteethingmom.com said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tinafromtheteethingmom.com said...

And I thought I was the only one who felt this way! Thank you for affirming that I'm still normal Ashley. You rock.

Kitten said...

Sounds very intimidating! How do you like hanging out in the park? Did you and Yuna like it? Did she like looking at the trees and the leaves??? :)
I've turned into a park person since Nadine was born... maybe because the central park in our neighborhood is really nice, has a cool waterpark by the kick ass playground, AND the restroom is soooo nice and posh, could easily beat a number of nice hotel restrooms! :)
Anyway, LOVE the photos, very artsy!

Tinafromtheteethingmom.com said...

Kitz: I think I would've enjoyed it more if I came with other moms and their babies (we would have had a blast talking about the local moms) OR if it were a different park. Though it was nice sitting under a tree with Yuna and watching other kids play, it got boring after an hour and the more I stayed, the more confused I got.

*The photos were taken using my iphone! Lol. I have the hipstamatic app. Really cool app, makes me look like I actually know what Im doing. you should get it :)

kitten said...

Yeah, it is true that it is so much fun with other moms and their babies. I tried going by myself once and I didn't last an hour. With the other moms, there's just so much to talk about. Conversation and laughter makes time fly. If you ever end up on my side of the state, I'll take you and Yuna to the park... it will be a pleasant and fun experience (plus, I promise you will not miss the restrooms at the mall, seriously this is the poshest park restroom I've ever seen, lol).

*Thanks for the tip, I will check out that app! :)

Carri said...

At least the Topanga Mall is big enough to get lost in! :)

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