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‘Say These Words and I’m Yours: Let’s Get Tacos:’ Five Ways to Show Love in L.A.

Photo by Rebecca Aranda

[dropcap size=big]G[/dropcap]ary Chapman published his book about love languages back in 1992, sharing with the masses five main ways to show love and to be loved. It covers things like acts of service, quality time, and physical touch. This fundamental love language model has since taken the world by storm, inundating our timelines, feeds, and dating profiles. 

But that was back then, and this is now—2020 in Los Angeles. Don’t you think it’s time we decided to define love for ourselves? Here are five ways we Angelenos show and receive love.

Offering a ride to or from LAX

When I first moved to Los Angeles, it was made very clear to me that a ride to or from LAX meant one thing and one thing only: Your person loved you. And for good reason, too: LAX is a hellhole. You hate it, I hate it, we all hate it. Nonetheless, it’s what binds us together as a city, along with also hating those guides to L.A. written by New Yorkers. Time runs differently at LAX, by which I mean it can either drag on forever if you get there too early or it flies by if you are running late and having an anxiety attack because you swear you are going to miss your flight. 

You could be stuck between terminals or waiting for a Lyft for eons. It’s the proverbial dotted i in the Jeremy Bearimy of airport travel. But lights shine brightest in the dark, do they not? If you look for it, love actually is all around LAX. Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate. General opinions on Twitter or the news may make it out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. At least not at LAX where I’m either anticipating happiness before hopping on a plane to see loved ones or happy to be back in Los Angeles. 

And hopefully, someone is there waiting for you in the arrivals gate or someone just gave you a big hug before going on your way.

Picking you up from LAX in rush hour traffic is my love language

— Anna Akana (@AnnaAkana) January 28, 2020

Generosity in parking

A friend of mine went on a few dates with a boy who, before a date, gave her detailed instructions for several places where she could park for free. Every word of that sentence gives me goosebumps. Detailed instructions. Several. For free. Who says chivalry is dead? While the stars didn’t quite align for the two of them, Marcus lives on in our hearts, forever raising the bar for love for each person in our friend group. My boyfriend, bless his soul, will routinely move his car from his gated parking spot and search up and down his street for parking so that I have a spot when I come over. Even. Before. Street cleaning day. Who’s to say I would’ve known that I deserve this level of love before Marcus? Thanks to him, I now know to look at a boy and bravely say, “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to move his car.”

Commuting for friends or lovers

Did I choose to fall in friend-love with people living from Monterey Park to Canoga Park? Maybe not. Do I hate driving in rush hour traffic, trying to reach a bar before happy hour ends? Maybe yes. But in L.A., saying “Let’s meet on your side of town,” is simply another way of saying, “I love you.” It’s a way of showing generosity. It’s like this tangible thing you can point to and say, “Hey man. I love you this many rush-hour miles’ worth.”

Showing up

In a town of creatives, there are gigs aplenty. And when your partner is taking an improv class or your friend is launching her zine, you show up. It doesn’t matter where it doesn’t matter how good, it doesn’t even matter if it’s raining. You show up as if to say, “I like you very much. Just as you are.”


Three words, twelve letters. Say them and I’m yours: Let’s get tacos. In the vernacular of Angelenos, tacos are their own language, with at least five iterations or dialects. Here at the Taco, we’re fluent in them all. Forget looking for your person or for your lobster. Find me with my taquero who knows his way around the trompo, and around my heart.

The five love languages:

Words of Affirmation: This is a good taco.

Acts of Service: I made you a taco.

Receiving Gifts: Here's a taco.

Quality time: Let's go get some tacos together.

Physical touch: Arms around a person wrapped in a warm hug, like a taco.

— Daryn (@DarynEdwards) July 11, 2018

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