Recently there’s been a lot of talk about this billboard that a clothing company in LA put up. It’s obviously a publicity play, and it was a good one. The company got a lot of attention and was the number one trending topic on Facebook. I had a chance to look at the company, and I wish them a lot of success.
We were brought up to never root for another's failure. “Someone else’s success does not limit yours” was a principle ingrained in us. This blog is not about one clothing company or another.
The point is to respond to their message: “Los Angeles > St. Louis.”
I won’t deny that LA is a fun city; I’ve been there many times. As a young man, I can appreciate their beautiful people, great sushi, and fun night life. They have incredible weather year round, and it’s not uncommon to see Hollywood stars at your local grocery store. As an enormous Rocky fan, if I saw Sylvester Stallone at the deli ordering some pastrami, I would lose my mind. There is something very cool about that – no doubt about it.
But, after every single trip to the city of Angels, I say to myself, “Get me home.”
Now I’m not a homebody. I’ve been blessed to be able to travel all around the world. I know from experience that some of the prettiest sites, best food, and most enjoyable weather happen in cities outside of the Midwest.
But that doesn’t matter.
When I call for a reservation to a restaurant in the Midwest, I don’t get asked who I work for. When I meet new people at a bar, I don’t get asked what neighborhood I live in. When I pull up to a valet, I don’t get funny looks for driving an old truck. And when I walk into a store with my nine brothers and sisters, I don’t get asked, “Why would your parents ever have so many kids?"
There are some truths in life. People matter. Authenticity matters. Loyalty matters. Honesty matters. Trust matters. Relationships matter. FAMILY matters. The danger with a blog like this or a billboard like that is in painting everything with a broad brush. LA has a ton going for it: weather, beaches, Rocky, raw fish, etc. And I’m sure there are trustworthy, authentic, loyal, honest, family men and women in LA. There have to be.
But I will say this: when it's all said and done, we have the values. And I’ll take that 10 out of 10 times. In the heartland, we help each other out. Our handshakes are as good as a contract; our families are the backbone of our culture; our friends are there for life.
I love living here, and will never move.
Oh yeah, one more thing, keep em – the Rams (and their mustaches) suck.
-Jimmy Sansone, Founder
The Normal Brand