It's not just another thing the phone company wants to overcharge you for. It's a serious condition that has been making my morning commute plus or minus two hours for the past few mornings. It's local, because it should take me 35-40 minutes sans traffic. It's long distance, because, well, it's a long time. It's less time sleeping, eating, laughing with the bear, less good mood left at the end of the day, less energy, less time for my side pursuits, less TV, less everything good in life. I have been spoiled by my choices in the past few years to pay a little extra to live within a 10 mile radius of my office. I know people do worse commutes for their entire lives. I don't know how they do it.
As for alternate meanings, it can be my friends in undergrad who coined the term. They had boyfriends at our school. Due to our crazy studio schedules, they rarely saw them. Hence, they had long distance-like relationships despite being local. It can be the way the bear and me dated until we moved in together. 40+ miles apart, no visitation rights during the week, gorging on each others' company during the sweet weekends, and trying to fit our separate friends/errands/hobbies inbetween. Or it can be having friends within Southern California, but never seeing each other due to everyone's ever busy schedules, tiredness from all being overworked, and the fun traffic. It can also mean space, sometimes too much space, sometimes healthy space.
Whine whine whine, I know. I am trying to start to take active steps toward lessening the local long distance in my life where it's negatively impacting me. Where it provides healthy space and boundaries, I will leave it be. "When you don't know where to start, start anywhere."