December 18th, 2013
I’m standing outside of the gastropub they call Plan Check somewhere in West L.A. I don’t recognize the streets here, but I recognize the names. I recognize them because I do all I can to avoid them. Sawtelle. The 405. Sepulveda. (pronounced seh POLE vid-a) for you people who aren’t aware. And I bet if your area code isn’t 213, 323, or 310, you probably don’t know what I’m talking about. Oh and 818, you don’t count cause you live in the valley.
I should have avoided going out with OkJessica, just like I avoid West Los Angeles…..AND the valley, but we’ll get to that later.
I click the box and read this message
“Hey…I don’t smoke crack! Not on the weekends at least
Message from something_about_lip_gloss”
Ha! She’s the first one to reply to the fact that I put “you don’t smoke crack” in my profile under the “you should message me if” box. And since she said the only time she DOESN’T smoke crack is the weekends I already know her intentions. Very witty. I like that. I like her too, immediately. I gotta come up with a good response back. What does it say on HER “message me if” box.
You should message me if….
You aren’t a big fat weirdo.
Ok. This is almost too easy for me. She also listed “honesty” three times on her profile as a lie deterrent. This is going to be effortless at first to go out with her, but then get real complicated after the second or third date when I eventually have to talk about my living sitch. But wait a second….I have never met this girl, but she comes off as funny, witty, pretty, and somehow I’m already physically attracted to her…well at least as much as I can be two dimensionally. I’m already thinking about the third date with OkLipgloss, and I maybe if one and two go well I would eventually get there, but right now I have to write her back something good, and get ready for my date with OkJessica that I’m ironically not looking forward to.
“So you just smoke it on the weekdays?” I write “Hmmmm, I suppose that could be acceptable. It is Christmas time after all. And since we’re being honest, I’m only a big fat weirdo on Mondays, but I’m fine the rest of the week.”
I would have to wait to get a response from OkLipgloss, because right now I am driving to west L.A. to meet the OTHER asian girl, OkJessica.
I had been texting with OkJessica the last few days. She has a strange sense of humor. One that does not directly translate well to a visual conversation. She kept saying that she wanted to go out somewhere, but every time I suggested a place or asked her if she knew of a place to meet, she would change the subject. She would never give me a straight answer, and since I don’t know the west side that well, I left the location of the date up to her. She couldn’t decide. We went back and forth for a few hours. I felt like maybe she was a little apprehensive to meeting me, so at one point I texted her that it’s ok if she feels a little weird about meeting someone from online because I felt like with all the misdirection she was giving me, she wasn’t fully committed to it yet. I send her a text, and the response I got was this.
“Maybe it is a little weird for YOU, but I’m totally fine with it. How about Plan Check on Sawtelle at 7:30pm?”
Ok, finally she actually sets a time and place, but notice the capitalization of the “YOU” Pretty passive aggressive huh? Wait, was I being PA first? I don’t know. But that only took three hours to accomplish. I wasn’t too keen on her tone and there is a part of me that wanted to cancel the date immediately. But another part of me just checked out the restaurant on Yelp and really wanted to go eat there. Plus, she’s Asian! I’ve never dated a asian girl….yet.
I get to the restaurant early and find suitable parking. I walk up to the place which is completely packed with west side hipsters and dolled up persian and asian girls. There is no place for me to sit inside, and no place for me to observe the room. Is that Jessica over there? No, she’s just Japanese. Or Chinese. I look at her pictures online and she seems like she could be ANY of these girls. All I know about her is she is about five foot four and she’s asian. She likes to go to warehouse parties downtown, and she works in some software office doing something with computers, and her pictures are extremely non-descriptive. She looks hot in them, and she wears sunglasses and other ones are filtered and she told me she just got back from a trip to Japan. This may come off as being a little racist, but I’ve always had a fear of dating an asian girl and then going out with them again but not being able to correctly identify them from every other asian girl. It’s not like I’m saying they all look alike, but sometimes, they do. I’m having a difficult time already and I feel like I see her drive by the restaurant a few times, but at this point, that could have been anyone.
I get a call from OkJessica and then I immediately remember I broke a cardinal rule by not talking to her on the phone before we went out.
“Where are you?” She says.
“Standing outside in front of the restaurant.” I respond.
“Oh, I see you.”
OkJessica walks up wearing a bland and boring black sweater and grey pants. She carries a messenger bag, and is not wearing sunglasses. She is cute and petite, but I already can feel her energy and it’s extremely awkward and completely… asexual. I am starting to wonder if she would notice if I just ran off and got back into my car and drove away. She says hello and goes in for the hug, and I say hi and counter with the extended handshake. Neither a hug nor a handshake happens. We just bump into each other and both let out a nervous cackle. There are no tables available for immediate seating, so she puts her name on the list and we resign to standing outside for a few minutes while hopefully someone inside is getting our table ready.
“So, you work around here?” I ask.
“Yeah I work at (insert software company name here) down the street.” She responds. “Where do you work?”
“I don’t really have an office. It’s more like freelance work.” I say.
Great. There goes that. There are the inevitable questions that will always get asked on the first date, and with both of our answers going absolutely nowhere, I am now shadowed in a handful of moments of silence which are luckily broken up by the hostess letting us know our table is ready. “Thank God” I think to myself. Can I pre-order my second drink now, cause I KNOW I’m going to have at least two.
We are sitting outside on the busy out door patio of Plan Check. It’s a nice place and a nice table. I compliment her choice of place to meet, and it’s then that she explains how terrible she is at making decisions. I guess that’s why she was so undecided the last few hours about when and where to meet. She goes on to tell me that she has been on OkCupid for the last six years and she meets all sorts of people, mainly for friends. I know this is never going to turn into a dating scenario, but I feel at least a bit more comfortable because now I know that she is an “old pro” at meeting people online, but possesses horrendous planning skills to actually make plans to meet them anywhere. She has nice skin. It’s amazing skin actually. It’s shimmers like porcelain, and it’s perfect. I notice it right away when I’m talking to her. But then I can’t help but also notice the excessive and distinct outline of eye liner she has decided to apply to her face. Maybe this is an asian thing, but it appears that she has drawn on more eyeliner than needed to almost make her eyes look slightly larger than they really are. Again, not being racist, just uninformed. Is this is a “cultural thing?” I decide it’s a vodka night, double please. A few minutes later my drink is delivered and I couldn’t have sucked it down any sooner than if it was delivered to me intravenously.
We decide to order a few appetizers and she goes through the menu and we each pick two from their “create your own app plate” mix. We ordered some meats, cheeses, and olives that come with some sort of bread and a tapanade spread type thing. I start asking her about her job and I immediately zone out and start to wonder about the other asian girl and what she thought of my message. Was I witty enough? Is she going to find it funny? Does she also wear too much eyeliner to accentuate her eyes when she is out on a date as well? Is this just a normal for their culture? I guess I should stop day dreaming about one girl that isn’t here, and pay more attention to Jessica who is actually sitting right in front of me, so I check in with her every now and again. I start fumbling over my words for some reason and the only thing that saves me is the waitress coming back to check on us.
“Would you like another drink?” She asks me.
“Yes!” I say before she can even finish asking her question.
I am so adamant about ordering another drink, I don’t even notice that OkJessica still has half a glass of wine to finish before she can catch up with me. Is that rude? Do I even care at this point? No. Jessica tells me about her trip to Japan and then she asks me if I like twinkies. Twinkies? Is this a trick question? Does she mean the dessert or is “twinkie” code for something she can do to me under the table to help me forget how awkwardly uncomfortable the last 15 minutes have been. I take the safe route, and I tell her I in fact do like twinkies, and she hands me a Japanese dessert that closely resembles one wrapped in cellophane with a bunch of foregin writing on it. Apparently, she says instead of cream, it has some sort of Japanese gelatin inside of it.
“I got this on my trip. You can have it.”
“Wow, thanks.” I said.
I reluctantly take the twinkie and I put in my jacket pocket, immediately wondering if she somehow laced it with cyanide before she handed it off. We start talking about music and she rattles off the names of hundreds of groups I have never heard of, and five that I mention I like. The waitress returns with my drink and then she asks me for my I.D. She says she’s sorry but she forgot to ID me before the first round of drinks. I guess that has happened before, but it’s kind of too late already right? Regardless, I oblige and hand her my ID. After the waitress returns it to me, OkJessica snatches it out of my hand and looks at it surprisingly.
“You’re 37 years old?” She asks in a manner that leads me to believe she is NOT happy with that information.
“Yeah.” I say “I probably should tell you I’m not 32 like it says on my profile.”
She looks at me like a deer in headlights…..
“You’re a liar.” She says accusingly.
What? Is it really that big a deal? Come on, everyone lies about something having to do with their age, weight or height. Get over it. She wants to talk about lying?? Well, how is this any different from her lying about the shape of her eyes by using all that make-up to make them look bigger??!? It’s the same fucking thing, right? She looks at me as if I’m the lowest form of douchebag west of the 405. What’s the big deal? It’s just a little white lie and by the way, we just met…..I DON”T EVEN FUCKING KNOW YOU! Calling me “liar.” How rude. I try to explain to her that it’s just kind of normal for people over the age of 30 in Hollywood to lie about their age. She doesn’t get it. She is kind of being a little bitch right now. I’m sweating, because I’m somewhat embarrassed. I try to make it up to her and show her a picture of Rocco, the bunny. She isn’t amused. She doesn’t like bunnies. Who doesn’t like bunnies? This is not going well, and I haven’t even told her that I live with my ex-girlfriend. I’d probably get a chardonnay to the face if I gave up THAT information. She is repulsed by me and my lie, and now I’m REALLY starting to wonder if that jap-twink she gave me has poison in it. At this point, all I know about OkJessica is that she’s 26 years old, hates rabbits, and works at some computer software company off of Pico. She thinks I’m a liar, and she’s been meeting a bunch of guys online for six years and then becomes friends with them. I have a distinct feeling I will not be one of them by the end of the night. Oh yeah, and she also deceives people with all the liberties she takes from using too much Cover Girl.
Eventually, the moment passes and Jessica has moved on from berating me about my age, to some forgettable conversation. She is less peeved now, I think. All I want is for the check to come. Again, I will take one for the team and pay because I get the points, and I’m the idiot who decided to go against my better judgement, and go out with this girl in the first place. The check gets dropped off and then OkJessica says the nicest and most appealing six words.
“Do you want to split it?
Really? Ok. So this is the saving grace here? I’m only paying for half. I guess she’s not that bad after all, I think. I would never go out with her again, but she’s not that bad cause she suggested we split the check. It doesn’t take a lot to impress me sometimes.
“Absolutely I do.” I respond.
She asks for a ride back to her place, and I oblige. I won’t bore you with the details of the three minute car ride home where she hijacked my car stereo and plugged in her i-pod to play me some weird space-rock. By the way, I HATE when girls try to change the music in my car. HATE it. No one really likes people who do that sort of thing, so just stop.
We say goodbye. Maybe a meaningless “talk to you later” was mumbled to each other, and she left. She closed my car door and I immediately pulled a u-turn and drove back to home, to where I belong…. the east side.
On the ride home, I was still a little pissed that she called me a liar. I didn’t really have a “bad” time. It was comical and weird but it was still kind of entertaining. I mean, at this point, I am seriously doubting that I’m going to meet anyone off OkCupid that I like enough to actually want to sleep with them. I know what I said when I started this thing about getting laid, but that’s not entirely true anymore and to be totally honest, I’m kind of picky. I also know that I’m not for everyone. I also don’t like being called a liar and made to feel like I’m being dishonest. Maybe I was a little, but it’s not like I showed up looking nothing like my pictures, bald and like fifty pounds overweight. That would have been really dishonest.
I park my car and turn off the engine. I reach into the glove box to get the case for my driving glasses, and I see that japanese junk food staring back at me. I grab it and I get out of the car. I throw the cake up in the air, I tell it to “fuck off”, and I proceed to kick it over the fence into the vacant lot behind my apartment building. That felt good. Then I text OkJessica:
“I had good time tonight. Let’s do it again. By the way I just had that twinkie. It’s delicious. Thanks!
How’s that for a big fat lie?
As expected, I never hear from her again. I’m not even remotely upset. I think to myself… that night sucked, but I gotta go back and eat at Plan Check again. That place was fucking good.
What’s the point of all this again? Oh right….to try and get laid? Jesus Christ, what a stupid idea. It seems so trivial at this point. I’m not even getting laid, and I’m not really having any fun. I think about deleting my OkCupid account for the fiftieth time….until I see I have a new message from OkLipgloss. Maybe I’ll make one more effort. They can’t all be bad dates, right?
I click the box to read the message…
“Who isn’t a big fat weirdo on Monday? People drive like crap, tell themselves they are starting a diet, and are depressed it’s 5 days from the weekend. I’m happy because I get back to the pipe.
In all seriousness, I can’t stand addicts. Anyways, Are you excited for the holidays?!”
I am now….