Part 8: Ok Alize & Ok Stupid

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Wednesday January 15th, 2014

I woke up the next morning from the debacle of OkJordana, but it didn’t really bother me anymore because I decided to turn it around. I decided to make light of a bad situation, and not let one horrendous sushi experience ruin one of my favorite forms of food. I had this idea and I put it to work that afternoon while I was at the gym. I picked up my phone and I text Alize:

“Hey, I was wondering if you could help me out. I need some suggestions for a good sushi place in the Sherman Oaks/Studio City area.”

She texts me back a few minutes later saying…

“Well that depends….do you mean for taste & price, or for environment?”

“Taste and environment are key.” I say.

I never address the issue of price because at this point I don’t really care. I just want to go out and have a good time with her, which I know I’ll have regardless of where we go. She comes back at me with a handful of places and restaurants so diverse that I suspect she actually did some googling on the matter. It takes another few texts for me to find out that her favorite place is Teru Sushi in Studio City on Ventura boulevard.

“Ok thanks. You’ve been really helpful.” I write

“No problem.” She responds.

“One more thing…” I say “Would you also know of a cute Korean girl with freckles and tattoos that would want to join me for dinner at Teru Sushi in Studio City? I hear it’s really good.”

Obviously, I’m referring to her, so I put the phone down and await her response which should be coming any second now because she has already responded to like five other texts of mine, and this was a cute and original way to ask her out, right? I thought so. I had been looking forward to this all day. Then….nothing. Nothing for like ten minutes. Ok, so I do a few more reps on the machine, then I check my phone again….still nothing. No response after fifteen minutes now. Strange I thought. Weren’t we just texting back and forth not twenty minutes ago? Did she not appreciate my roundabout way of asking her out? Didn’t she have a good time with me last weekend when we went to see a cool movie and danced at a cool club and then she woke up in my cool bed, or did she come to her cool senses and realize it is pointless to date a guy who is 13 years older who also currently, but not permanently lives with his ex girlfriend? No response just didn’t make any sense to me. I finished my workout early, and I went home to bitch and complain to my roommate, but not after I sent her another text half an hour after I got no response from my last one.

“I guess you don’t know anyone who fits that description. Thanks anyway.” I say begrudgingly.

Was that too dramatic? Probably, but come on..almost an hour went by and she hasn’t responded? What the fuck? Did she decide to take an impromptu road trip and can’t answer her phone? Not even at a red light? Was there an earthquake or a natural disaster that ONLY affected people who live in the valley like in the summer when it’s ten to fifteen degrees warmer in Burbank than it is in Hollywood? Am I being a little too overdramatic in this case?

“I think you’re being a little too overdramatic” My roommate says.

She’s right, and of course….forty-five minutes later I get a text from OkAlize.

“R you annoyed I didn’t text you back right away?”

Oops. Now I have to find a way to cover up the fact that I was being a little pisser and shrug it off as if it didn’t bother me at all.

“Not annoyed, but a little bummed. In fact, I was so upset that I had to pull the car over because I couldn’t see the road with all these tears in my eyes.” I say.

She finds that funny because her “LOL” told me so. We end up making plans to go out to sushi this weekend. Crisis averted.

Saturday January 18th, 2014

I swear the waiter at the restaurant was hired by some special needs or equal rights work related program. He was kind of green and dopey… but not dopey because he meant to be, dopey because he laughed at his own bad jokes and he couldn’t find his wine opener all night because he had left it on our table. He also had impeccable timing and came up to take our order at the same time I was telling Alize about how the Trader Joe’s near me doesn’t give out free samples anymore.

“What’s that? You work at Trader Joe’s?” The waiter asks.

Bad timing dude, cause that’s not AT ALL was I was saying, and besides, I wasn’t even saying it to you.

“Ummm, no.” I respond.

“Oh, cause I thought you said something about working at Trader Joe’s.” He said. “I like that place.”

“Yeah it’s great” I say. “By the way, here’s your wine opener back.”

What was this guy talking about and why was he eavesdropping on our conversation in the first place? Alize and I got a good laugh out of that and we went on to drink a bottle and half of wine and eat a good amount of sushi which was a thousand times better than the shit I was served in Venice the other night. After I paid the check, we went to the Firefly and she played me some of her original music off of Soundcloud. It was pretty good. She bought me a couple drinks at the next bar we went to and we danced a little bit before we both decided we had had enough of the nightlife and we went back to her place for a night cap.

I walked into her bedroom and I looked around. She had the typical twenty something year old set-up. A closet of clothes bursting open at the seams, framed pictures of her and her friends in Halloween costumes on the night stand and a large set of stackable plastic drawers in the corner that you get around the “Back to School” sales at Target. Then there was the bed….a Queen sized mattress that was covered in pillows and stuffed animals which also was a mere two inches from the floor. I had a bed on the floor when I was her age. Oh my God, did I just say that? I did, and on that mattress which was so low to the ground that you have to push yourself up with your arms to even attempt to get off of it is where the next few hours played out. I don’t remember exactly how it happened, but after a half hour or so of making out and rolling around on her sheets I decided to pop the question.

“When was the last time you had sex?” I said. (but what I really was asking was “When do you think you’re going to let ME have sex with YOU?”)

Now, I know that this may seem direct and possibly a bit out of line, but it’s not really considering we are in her bedroom on her bed, we’ve gone out about four times, we are a little drunk, a lot turned on, and everything that has happened up until now leads me to believe that she actually likes me. Sex is the next evolutionary step in dating. I mean, you don’t bring a guy back to your place and invite him into your room unless there is a part of you that wants to eventually sleep with him at some point, right? I had to know. I had to put it out there. After a few more questions, she responds like this.

“I just feel like sex complicates things” she said.

No shit it complicates things. You know what else complicates things? Bringing an older guy into your bedroom and making out with him on your bed on a Saturday night after you finished a bottle and a half of wine and four vodka cocktails between you. I mean, I can understand sex complicates things, but doesn’t the aforementioned scenario do the EXACT same thing? Look, I totally get where she is coming from and to some extent I agree that sex complicates things. There is a part of me that is totally willing to just go along with whatever type of relationship this is becoming because I have a good time with her, she’s pretty to look at, and I wouldn’t want to jeopardize that for any reason including my instinctual desire to see her naked. I could easily never bring up the idea of having sex with her again, and maybe I shouldn’t have brought it up to begin with, but I have to at least let her know where I stand on the matter before anything else happens.

“You’re right. I totally understand and respect that logic.” I say. Then I add… “But at some point, I’m going to want to complicate things.”

We talk for a little more and she tells me there is “other stuff” we can do instead of have sex. Ok, I’m cool with that. I’ve always said my favorite page in any book is the one right after sixty eight, and right before page seventy. We CAN do other stuff, but it’s not going to happen tonight because it’s sometime around 3:30 in the morning and we both are tired and fall asleep….with our pants on. The next morning I got up and drove home. I was really late for my shift in the stock room at Trader Joe’s.

Thursday, January 23rd 2014

I had been in contact with Alize all week. We actually were texting each other pretty much everyday at this point and I had already made plans to see her again Saturday. It was free museum weekend in Los Angeles on January 25th, which means they didn’t charge admission to go places like LACMA, or The Getty. They also didn’t charge for the National Geographic exhibit at the Annenberg Space for Photography which is where I suggested Alize and I go before dinner at Outback Steakhouse, for which I had a $20 gift card. What? You can’t use gift cards on dates? Look, dating has been getting expensive and I realized I either had to start cutting back on these dates with her, or I had to find cheaper things for us to do. This next date accomplishes two things. We get to see visually stunning images of life and culture from a another world, AND experience the indulgent decadence of going out to eat in suburban America at a cheesy chain restaurant with our beers and “Bloomin’ Onion” already paid for thanks to a Christmas gift I got from my mom. Cultured genius.

It was about 7pm when Alize texted me on Thursday. She wants to do something and invited me to come over for a couple glasses of wine and maybe watch a movie. An impromptu movie? On a weeknight? Hmmmmm, I know what this means. We’ll probably have a glass of wine and a cigarette on her porch, maybe she’ll show me the bistro set she bought at Ikea earlier today on her back patio. We’ll go into her bedroom around 10pm to start watching the first fifteen minutes of a movie on her computer who’s ending, plot and storyline we won’t remember the next morning. We will probably have it playing in the background while we do “other stuff” on the bed until they roll the credits. I know I won’t have sex with her because of what we discussed the other night, so there’s that. Irregardless, I would love to come over for a “movie.”

I head over there when she gets back from work. I pull up a few minutes after 9pm and sure enough, she’s sitting on the front porch with her roommate and she offers me a glass of wine. We chat for a little bit, and then she brings me to her back patio where we smoke a cigarette while sitting on her new bistro set from Ikea. She lures me back into her bedroom and she plays me some music she likes from an artist named LP and I immediately recognize the song from a bank commercial they used to play all the time. I never really digged the song then, but sitting there on Alize’s bed watching this live performance video on You Tube really changed my mind. I loved the song. It’s really good and after we watch a few more music videos, she tells me she downloaded “The World’s End” on her computer and she puts it on as we kick off our shoes and lay back on her bed against the wall. She has this one unicorn pillow she loves named Charlie. It’s shaped like a unicorn, but it’s rectangular and the arms and legs are popping out from the corners. It’s cute and it looks like something a six year old would have.

“Aww, have you had this since you were a kid?” I asked.

“No.” She says with a smile. “I just got it off of Ebay last week.”

A 25 year old buys a stuffed unicorn pillow? I mean, it’s odd, but it’s also kind of cute. See, I liked that about her. I liked that I chose to find her antics interesting and some of her choices funny. I like that she called me out the other day with the whole text back debacle. I liked that she is a little bit off and slightly eccentric like me. I like that we started making out seven minutes into the movie and I like that for the first time since we’ve gone out she has allowed me to steal second AND third base in the same night. Something is definitely different right now. I think our clothes are coming off, and there is a part of me that is really thinking something could happen that shouldn’t really happen, but there is another part of me that knows that it kind of feels like she WANTS it to happen. I have all these thoughts racing around in my head at the same time. I feel like I should just continue doing what I’m doing to her. You know the “other stuff” that she said we could do to each other because I know what she said the last time we were in this situation. But wait, were we ever really in this situation before? And then she surprises me with these five little words she says through her bated breath.

“Do you have a condom?”

What? Do I have a condom? No, I didn’t bring a condom. Know why I didn’t bring a condom, because the LAST time I was over here we established that you think “sex complicates things.” Remember saying that? You only said it four days ago and we haven’t talked about it since then so I didn’t plan on anything changing in that short amount of time so no, I did not bring a condom. Why would I bring a condom when I know that I won’t ever get a chance to use it? I mean, they say to always be “prepared” but when the person I am attempting to sleep with tells me that it’s not going to happen due to certain “complications” I completely think I am safe to come over to watch a movie WITHOUT bringing a condom.

“I have one in my car.” I say. And I do too. I’m prepared, kind of.

“It’s ok.” she says. “I think I have one.”

She starts rummaging through her drawers and I am secretly wishing that she won’t be able to find what she’s looking for. I am so not prepared for this I think to myself. I don’t want to fuck anything up with her because I like this girl and I don’t know if she is testing me, or if the sex thing is really happening now. Then, she hands me this bright colored condom and I immediately realize that this is really happening right now. The condom is small and yellow and wrapped up in a non descriptive plastic jacket. A no frills condom? Weird. Did she get this from a clinic? Is this a leftover from when they handed them out in her high school health class? How long has that condom been in there? It’s not inviting, but then again, no condom is. Let me just be totally honest here. I hate condoms. I absolutely despise wearing them and I would bet that a good portion of the rest of the men in the world would agree with me. Women don’t seem to understand how uncomfortable and awkward they are to put on and once they are on, how seemingly desensitized sex becomes for a man. Yeah I know to practice safe sex and all, but I can barely feel anything other than the fact that I am aware there is a thin layer of some sheepskin material in between me and the girl I am trying to have sex with. That’s right, I said “trying” because sometimes it takes me one or two tries to get it right. Plus there’s always the “loss factor” that could come into play. That’s when you put on a condom and within seconds your shit goes from straight up midnight back to 6pm in a matter of seconds. Condoms are a hard dick’s kryptonite.

I have all these thoughts going on inside my head and I am having a hard time putting this stupid piece of rubber in it’s place, and I realize that saying I’m having a “hard time” is kind of a play on words right now. I’m not that drunk, so why is this happening? Am I nervous? Fuck yes I’m nervous. I like this girl a lot and based on what she said the other night I don’t want to fuck this up. However, after a few minutes of stalling and trying to make it fit, I think my dick just fucked it up for me. I can see by the look on Alize’s face she is now aware of the same truth as I am. That truth being if I had to choose a particular brand of ice cream to sum up the events of this night, that brand would be “Mr. Softee.”
softee

I blew my chance. I fumbled the ball at the one yard line. I tried to explain to her that I just got in my head and that I really like her and that this has nothing to do with her and it’s only happened one other time many many years ago. I tell her I don’t want to fuck things up and she smiles and says she understands, and it doesn’t really seem to bother her anyway but it bothers me. And you know what else bothers me looking back on it now? Why didn’t she do anything to help out, you know? You can’t play with it a little bit or give it a little lip service to get it going again? Nothing? You have hands, right? Isn’t this a precise time to put your “other stuff” rule into a effect? Can I call her out on this matter, no. I probably shouldn’t. All I can do is lay back down and try to relax and eventually, fall asleep while the credits start to roll in the movie that we haven’t payed attention to for over an hour and a half.

Friday January 24th, 2014

I didn’t sleep very well that night. I never slept well at her place, but I did appreciate the fact that Alize made us coffee and breakfast the next morning. It was really sweet. She put some coconut spread on a piece of gluten free toast and to be honest it tasted exactly the same as butter on toasted bread. We talk for a little bit and everything seemed to be ok. I mean, maybe it’s just not meant to happen to right now I think. Maybe things will be different the next time and maybe I shouldn’t worry so much. I definitely need to get out of my head, that’s for sure. Then at around 10am she goes back into the bedroom to take a nap, and I say goodbye and head home to meet up with a friend of mine who asked me to edit a video for him for indiegogo. I have an uneasy feeling driving home. I don’t know what it is exactly, but something is different. Something just doesn’t feel right.

8:00pm

I’m at The Well having a drink with my friend at late-night happy hour. I tell him about what’s been going on in my world of dating and he is bitching about his current girlfriend and in a roundabout way he suggests that I have it better than he does. Sure, I’m free and I’m single, but I share an apartment with my ex girlfriend, and my dick doesn’t work in clutch situations. Wanna trade? He laughs when I tell him the story of last night and I try to laugh with while I’m a few drinks in and I’ve almost totally forgotten about what happened (or in my case, what “didn’t happen”) the night before when my phone rings. It’s Alize. I go outside to smoke a cigarette and I take the call.

This is one of those calls that comes out of nowhere, but I knew it was coming. At least she called me, right?

“This is totally not about last night” is how she starts the conversation. And when I hear her say that, all I can think is that this phone call is TOTALLY ABOUT LAST NIGHT. She goes on to say how she really likes me and she has a lot of fun with me and I’m a really “nice guy” (I almost puked when I heard THAT line) and how she feels like things are headed in a bf/gf type direction and how that just isn’t what she wants right now. I don’t want a girlfriend either I think, but what I would like is to go out again and have another chance to finish what I started but those words never get a chance to see the light of day I just add a few “Uh-huhs” and the occasional “I get it,” because I really do get it. I kind of sensed this was going to happen. There is a part of me that knew that I would have gotten this phone call even if we DID have sex last night. I’m damned if I do, and I’m damned if I don’t. I appreciate her honesty but I can tell that she’s either protecting herself from her own feelings, she doesn’t want to get too close to me, or she is completely mortified by what happened last night and could never look me in the eye again without breaking out in laughter. Either way it really doesn’t matter.

“I just don’t want anyone to get hurt” She says.

“Yeah I understand.” I respond.

And I really do. I don’t want to understand, and I’m really depressed about it right now, but I get it. If this had gone on for a few more dates, maybe it would have gotten too serious for the both of us. Maybe it already has. Maybe we’ll go out again in the not too distant future? Maybe we won’t.

“Maybe we can get coffee sometime as friends?” She asks.

There’s the “F” word again.

“Yeah, maybe.” I say.

But I know that is never going to happen. What else is there to do? I say goodbye, hang up the phone, and go back in and finish my drink. I ask my friend if he wants my $20 gift card to Outback Steakhouse.

“That’s not happening anymore?” He asks.

“Nope. Not with this one.” I say.

“My girlfriend hates chain restaurants.” He says.

Wow, who hates chain restaurants? Maybe he should break up with her.

Monday, February 24th, 2014

It’s been over a month since my last date, and in case you are wondering, no I haven’t heard from OkAlize, and I haven’t tried to contact her either. Nor have I heard from OkKimberly, OkMaddie, OkJessica or any of the other OkWomen I went out with. I didn’t really “accomplish” what I set out to do, but in the end, I think that’s ok. Sometimes things don’t work out the way you think they will. In the beginning, I kind of thought it was going to be easy to go out with these women, and I was right. It was kind of easy to “go out” with them, but everything else that followed was more difficult than I had imagined. I was annoyed at OkJordana’s stubborness, I was enraged at OkKimberly’s devotion to praising the band Imagine Dragons, and I was enamoured by OkAlize’s ability to make me laugh harder than I had in a long time. I learned a lot about dating. What to say, what not to say, and when to say it. It was entertaining, and maybe I had been looking at this whole situation the wrong way. Maybe I shouldn’t take it so seriously.

Here’s OkCupid, this dating website set up with all these profiles of women. There are pictures, information and a narrative to follow. It’s kind of like watching a trailer for a movie. If you like what you see, then you try and get tickets for the show by asking her out. If it’s sold out, that’s a bummer. It’s too bad, but there’s always another movie to see. And if you really like the movie you’re seeing now and want to see it again, you go to the sequel. That’s pretty much online dating in a nut shell. Am I ever going to buy one of these movies? Maybe. Maybe not, but I’m always going to be amused by the situation and interested in what happens next. Plus, according to my credit card statement I just became eligible for the 30,000 reward points bonus, and they raised my credit limit! How about that? Ok Stupid….you didn’t get laid, but your FICO score went up. In addition to that, I now know of at least half a dozen cool, hip bars and restaurants that I can bring someone else to on a date.

Thing was out of all of them, I really liked Alize. I could have actually seen myself dating her if things were different and I didn’t live with my ex,or lie about my age or if she actually WANTED a boyfriend. I mean, I would have bought her movie in heartbeat.

I sit at my computer staring at the screen in front of me. I got to say, since I left OkCupid, I kind of miss getting e-mails saying I have a message from some random girl. I miss getting those notifications saying that “someone likes me” and I kind of miss trying to find someone who I can go out with once a week and enjoy a few cocktails with while trying, but failing to keep our hands to ourselves in public. I miss the game, and now I know how to play it better. I’m a romantic at heart, but what I have to realize and accept now is that if it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it still feels good sometimes to know that people find you attractive and want to flirt with you, and possibly are thinking about sleeping with you. Who doesn’t like that kind of attention? Who doesn’t want to be wanted? This experience gave me a lot of confidence. I was able to write this whole blog because of what happened and maybe I should do something with my stories while not letting this new found confidence go to waste. I’m definitely going to do something with these stories. Now about that confidence….

I open Safari on my computer and I click the tab I labeled “OkC.” I log back into OkCupid and reactivate my account for the first time in two months. I guess I kind of want to see what else is playing at the movies.

Part 6: Ok Alize

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January 3rd, 2014

It’s been a couple weeks since I had a date. My last encounter with OkJessica left me feeling a bit perturbed and slightly slighted. The week after was Christmas, and then New Years followed almost immediately, like it always does. I called OkLipgloss on Christmas Eve. I kind of forgot it was a holiday and not just some random Tuesday. Maybe that was a mistake, but the one thing I did appreciate was the fact that she text me back saying “I know it’s rude to text back a callback but I’ve been sick and bedridden all day.” I think she’s telling the truth, and I’m surprisingly impressed by her text-side manner. There were a few other possibilities for dates in hand but unfortunately both OkLipgloss, and OkManda got sick the same week. I never met OkManda, but OkLipgloss called me back two days after Christmas and I got to know her for about half an hour on the phone before we hung up. We talked about music, food, and doing ecstasy which I told her I hadn’t done in about 7 years. She hates molly and so did I. She mentions her favorite pills were the “crowns” And I tell her, that’s actually a Rolex symbol, not a crown. She’s impressed with my drug-related knowledge, and she tells me a project of her is wanting to give ecstasy to senior citizens and watch their behavior and make a documentary movie about it. That’s a great idea I say to her. We make plans to go out the next week when she is feeling better and meet at the French bistro on Franklin Ave in Hollywood called La Poubelle. Christmas was over and the New Year was upon us and I had been texting with her a lot the last week and she had this really fun and silly sense of humor that I immediately bonded with. She sent me a picture of her squeezing a rubber chicken and in the picture the eggs were coming out of it’s butt.

chickenballs

“How does this make you feel?” She asks.

I responded with “It makes me hungry for an omlette.” So weird and random, but I like that style of humor. We had an instant rapport. Her name is Alize, and that name is very close to her real name. I almost decided to change her name completely like some of the others, but I feel like I would be doing her a disservice if I decided to change it because it’s such a cool name and it’s really unique. I practiced saying it at least 25 times before we spoke on the phone. It’s like saying “Ah-LEE-zay.” On the morning of our date I wake up with a funky ass scratch on my forehead so I inform OkAlize and I ask her not to stare too obviously at the center of my head tonight because I have this obnoxious scratch in the middle of it.

“Ok.” She says. “I’ll just stare at the spot to the left of it.”

I get to La Poubelle a full fifteen minutes early on January 3rd, but beforehand, I stop at the Gelson’s to pick up a pack of gum. I need fresh breath. I’ve also had this weird tradition of chewing a piece a gum before every date, and then putting it in a bar napkin when I get to the bar. I don’t know why I do this, but the most obvious reason is it’s a nervous habit. I’m kind of nervous and completely confident at the same time. The Gelson’s doesn’t have my brand of gum so I grab a pack of something peppermint and walk over to the bar. It’s filled with all sorts of people as it should be on a Friday night in Hollywood. There are no seats at 9 o’clock unless we are ordering food and there nothing at the bar except for a big douchey hipster with a beard, who is being loud and obnoxious while he drinks beer and sips what I assume is some sort of cheap whiskey like Evan Williams. His slurred words are echoing throughout the bar and I’m hoping that Alize makes an appearance soon cause I somehow managed to save one seat. I get a text from her telling me she is running little late. Traffic. Of course. Thanks L.A.

With nowhere to sit, and a low tolerance for loudmouth bearded craft beer drinking toolbags, I decide to stand outside and wait for her. This isn’t going exactly how I planned, but that wouldn’t really factor into the rest of my night. About five minutes later I see her pull up to the valet in an early 2000’s black Mustang GT. I am instantaneously impressed. She’s gorgeous, dressed in heels and wearing some skin tight black jeans and leather jacket. It looks like she stepped out of a music video. She reminds me of and Asian Joan Jett, and she would later tell me she sings and writes music so I wasn’t that far off. Her looks are anything but deceiving. I have this feeling she is exactly who she says she is fromt he start. We hug each other, and it’s nothing short of familiar to me. I tell her about the overcrowded La Poubelle and the douchey hipster, so we decide to go to the somehow less crowded Birds further down the block. We walk in, and two seats immediately open up for us at the bar. That’s some impeccable timing might I add.

The next two hours go by so much faster than I remember. I order vodka and tonic, she retaliates with vodka and water with slices of lemon and lime. I make fun of her for her “Bella” tattoo on her wrist which she absolutely got because of the Twilight books, and she gives me shit for having a tattoo of a cat getting electrocuted on my leg which I got for no real good reason other than I had a friend who tattooed people out of my kitchen back in 1995. She likes Entourage, but hates Vinny Chase just like me. She has big features, and huge lips and I catch myself staring at them for a few seconds every time she says something interesting, which is every other word. I’m interested in her, and I forget for a minute that Alize is 25, she was born and raised in Los Angeles, and right around the same time that I was getting ready to graduate high school in New Jersey, she was in Van Nuys getting ready to graduate…to the 1st grade. She is mainly Korean, but mixed with some sort of European decent because I also notice the freckles on her face. She tells me her roots but it’s kind of a mixed ethnicity and I think the last thing she says is that she is part Welsh. I would later tell my friends that she is Korean and British, and she thought that was actually really funny. I can’t help but notice that we both have tattoos on opposite arms. I have one on my left wrist and right forearm, she has one on her right wrist and left forearm. I immediately think to myself that she is some female mirror image of me… give or take 13 years. Wow, look how self indulgent this date is making me look. I don’t really care.

It starts to get loud in Birds and at some point, we decide to leave the bar because they are blasting Led Zeppelin at such a enormously high decibel level that I feel like both my ears are going to fall off. We make our way back to La Poubelle which has cleared out a bit, although the hipster douchebag is now barking some story to his friends out on the patio.

“Good…stay there.” I say out loud as we walk in. She smiles and laughs and we take a seat at the bar inside and order some food.

Here is one major revelation I can make from going out on all these dates. Chicks love brussel sprouts. They are the coolest most hip vegetable in the coolest and most hip cities in America right now. You tell some girl you know a place with really good brussels, and you’re almost guaranteed to get a response, maybe even a date from it. It’s the latest pick-up line. Works every time for me. Seriously. So of course we order the brussels and some frittes, and I have one more drink because I want to be coherent for the remainder of the date and the three block drive home. She has four drinks, and I have three. She drinks me under the table the first night I meet her. She thinks she sees someone from a CW Vampire TV show at the bar, and I do not recognize who it is, and I have no idea who she is talking about. This is the only time I felt like remembering our age difference is 13 years. It never bothered me again. But what bothers me is the fact that I have to eventually tell her that I’m really 13 years older, not 8 years older like she thinks now. Things are going pretty good and I’m having a great time and I know it’s not going to be tonight. Definitely not tonight. I’ll tell her on our next date. I swear to God.

I pay the check so enthusiastically, that you would think I actually enjoyed it. Oh wait…what’s this feeling? It feels like I a spark with her and that I had fun on the date, and I’m attracted to her both two AND three dimensionally now. This is like… I want to see her again and I don’t mind paying because I actually WANT to pay for her because I enjoyed her company, instead of paying out of the idea that it’s part of a man’s basic dating protocol to pay. I haven’t felt like this since I met my last girlfriend 7 years ago.

We share a cigarette as we wait for the valet to get her car, and I want to kiss her, so I stare at her lips to tell her so, but I don’t see an opening yet and then neither one of us see her car pulling up in front of us until it’s already there. We do the whole verbal “I had a good time, maybe let’s do this again” dance, and I know we both mean it. She hugs me goodbye and then smells me and says….

“What is that?”

“You mean my cologne?” I ask.

“Wow, you smell like whiskey and vanilla.”

“Thanks?” I say

She laughs and asks me for a piece of gum. I pull out the pack I bought earlier and she sees it and freaks out.

“Oh my GOD!” She exclaims like a valley girl, “I have the SAME kind of gum! “Sweet Peppermint!

I’ve never bought this gum, but before I have a chance to say that, she pulls out her pack and I am staring at two identical light blue pocket packs of Stride: Sweet Peppermint flavor gum. I NEVER buy stride. This is so weird that I think it’s cool. I immediately think this girl is the one…. for right now.

She texts me the next morning thanking me for last night and thanking me for the drinks and the food and reiterates that she had a really good time and hinting to the fact that she would like to do it again. So would I.

January 8th, 2014

I’m hiking with a buddy of mine, and we’re talking about and comparing OkCupid date stories. I tell him about the crazy girl, the frumpy girl, the invisible girl, and the typical asian girl I went out with, and then I wrap it up with OkAlize. I’m looking forward to seeing her again.

“We have another date tonight.” I say proudly.

“Have you gotten laid yet?” He asks?

“Nope, not even anywhere close.” I say.

And I really don’t care either. He tells me about his stage five clinger and some crazy psycho bitchy blonde west side girl he banged on New Year’s Eve. I’m not jealous or envious at all. Ok, maybe I’m a little envious that he is getting some and all I’ve managed to do was make out with one girl whose tongue reminded me of kissing wet pasta, but I have another date tonight and we’re doing something I love doing. Drinking beer, and eating burgers. For the record, that is the sexiest and most intriguing date a woman can ever suggest to me. I’m sure there’s something sexier, but throw in watching some hockey or football, and add some chicken wings to the tab and it would be hands down the best date ever.

That night, I pick up Alize and we head to the Blue Dog Beer tavern in Sherman Oaks near where she lives. It is ironically crowded for a Wednesday but we put our name in and we go to the bar to get a beer. She already has her debit card out in her hand when she asks me what I want. That was sweet, I think to myself. She’s not totally expecting anything, and she is making an effort to be equals. She must like me because this is not typical girl date protocol. Or is it? I’m not a girl, so I wouldn’t know. But this seems like this is “I like this guy and want to buy him a round” type of stuff. It’s rare on the first or second date, but it’s always appreciated.

We get our table and look through the menu and we settle on some burgers and fries and more beer. Eating a hamburger with someone on the second date means you throw all your inhibitions about etiquette out the window. I’m a messy eater first of all, but it doesn’t seem to bother Alize one bit. She works for a family as a nanny most of the time watching their kids so she is used to being around mess. She writes and sings and works on her music with a producer at night and on her days off. She’s a huge lover of all different types of music and I can tell she has passion for her craft. It’s sexy. She has confidence that is beyond her years and she knows of these cool and obscure bands that I’ve been wanting to listen to. I tell her about this group called HAIM and how they are all sisters and it’s off kilter modern new age indie rock and I just got their album and she gets excited cause they’re playing Coachella and she’s going and I promise her I’ll burn a copy of the cd. She has three more episodes of Breaking Bad to watch before it’s over. I ask her how why on earth is she out with me when she should be home watching the last three episodes of the best television show ever. (in my opinion) I can’t believe I have so much in common with her, especially since she was born in 1988, the same year I was getting my first cd player and watching Who Framed Roger Rabbit in the movie theaters. I don’t want the check to come because I don’t want the date to end, but when the waitress drops it off, I pick it up like it’s no big deal and I pay for the food. She thanks me and suggests we go outside for a smoke.

OkAlize and I are sitting in my car smoking when I notice there are apartments right above the burger place and I comment on how convenient and difficult it must be to live within a stones throw of a burger bar.

“So do you have a roommate?” She asks.

Hmmm…ok. What do I say here? The “I have a straggler” line? The “I’m roommates with a hot girl” one? We share an apartment and used to sleep together five years ago but don’t anymore, and BY THE WAY there are two beds in the same room that we have to share because all our money is tied up in paying for this TV pilot we’re about to shoot? Maybe I can go with something in the middle, but I settle on something so close to the truth that you’d think I have an honesty policy in my glove box next to my insurance card.

I start with “It’s a weird situation” and somehow through the fumbling of my words and the natural selection of the phrases I used, it all comes off so eloquently and she isn’t even the least bit turned off or weirded out by it. Do I tell her that my roommate used to be my ex? No. Definitely too much information for tonight has been offered up, and if this date continues and we get a little drunker, I feel like a lot more will be on the table too.

“Do you want to go to this dive bar I know of.” She asks. “It’s called the Chimney Sweep.”

There’s really only one way to answer this question. Do I want to continue to hang out with an attractive Korean-British hybrid girl with freckles and good taste in music who I met on OkCupid who is a lot of years younger than me, but who also hates Vinny Chase and loves Breaking Bad as much as I do?

“Absolutely I do.”

We arrive at the bar, park, walk in, and head to…the bar. It’s divey and dark and there’s barely anyone here except for a few locals and the deejay that is setting up for karaoke. She starts a tab and orders me a beer and we sit back and chat about her singing and her family life and her parents and her little brother. She grabs the book of songs at the end of the bar and asks me if I’m going to sing. Hahaha….There Is NO way I’m doing that tonight. She teases me a bit, and I take it and then I tell her I used to sing in a band and play guitar regularly but I’d have to be kind of drunk to sing karaoke in front of a girl I just met less than a week ago who I’m out with on a second date. She doesn’t call me a pussy to my face, but I know she’s thinking it. She smiles and then she orders us two shots. She goes with Fireball, I go with Jameson. I tell her about my mental allergy to cinnamon and she gets it. I’m going to end up drunk with her doing something I shouldn’t be doing later tonight, and by “something I shouldn’t be doing,” I mean she’s somehow going to convince me to get up in front of everyone in the bar and sing a song.

There is a free shot to the first person who signs up for karaoke. OkAlize puts her name down first, takes the free house shot, and walks over to the deejay corner and tells them which song she wants to sing. The music starts playing, and I know this one already. It’s “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morisette. I fucking love it. She is a real good singer, and an even better performer. She is making out with the microphone as she exudes a captivating sense of sensual sexiness, and somehow when she sings the line “And every time I scratch my nails down someone else’s back” I sure do feel it. I wonder if she is the type of girl who really would go down on me in a theater, just like Alanis says she does. Maybe I’ll find out if I’m lucky.

She finishes her set, the audience claps and she makes her way back over to me at the bar. Then I say the dumbest thing ever.

“You were really good, babe!” “BABE?” What the fuck am I saying?!! I never use that terminology, especially not with someone I just met kind of. I actually despise the word “babe” but somehow I hear it coming out of my mouth as the most natural and instinctual first thing to say to her as she returns to take a swing of her blue moon. Babe. It will always remind me of that talking pig movie, but I guess it didn’t for one split second. I never called her babe again, but it doesn’t seem to phase her either way. The next thing that happens is her kissing me….hard. It’s our first of many public displays of affection at the bar that night, and another shot of Jameson for me and Fireball for Alize later, it’s time for me to get up and sing. They didn’t have any Counting Crows in the book and it’s a bummer because it’s my go to for the ONE other time I did karaoke in Southern California. And if you don’t like Counting Crows or think they are douche rock, that’s fine with me. You are entitled to your opinion. I also share that same opinion about Dave Matthews Band which to me, is like the epitome of douche rock, on steroids. I settle for another song that has been given a bad reputation, but I know is in my vocal range. “Iris”, by The Goo Goo Dolls.

I’m a little buzzed, and I’m taking this song WAAAY too seriously but from five feet away Alize and some random couple she just made friends with all seem really into it. They’re sway dancing as my voice almost cracks slightly on the high note and I reach the end where the people on the smoking patio can hear me belting out “I just want you to know who I am.” I feel like such an idiot, but somehow it doesn’t even bother me one bit.

If you looked around the bar after my performance, you could find me and Alize making out sitting in a leather chair next to the fireplace in the bar. You could also find her sitting on my lap in that same chair doing the same thing near the same fireplace five minutes later. It’s then that I realized how much I hate public displays of affection…. unless I’m a part of them. We played some pool, had another drink, and then we went out on the patio for a smoke. It’s there that I tell her I’m really 38 years old, and it’s there that I come clean about my living situation and tell her it is in fact a one bedroom apartment that I share with this girl, but she is my business partner and my friend and we’re doing this because we’re helping each other out and all of our money is tied up in shooting this pilot which we’ve been working on for the last six months. She asks me if I hook up with my roommate and I tell the truth when I say no, but I don’t remember if the question she asked was “have I ever” or “do you ever.” I just shake my head and say no, because that’s the best answer for now. Who needs to know that I once dated my roommate way back in 2007, but we broke up for good in 2009? I know she isn’t a threat or an issue…ok maybe an issue but Alize already knows I’m 38, I live with a girl, and I share a room with two queen sizes beds in it, and she is still making out with me and putting her head on my shoulder…albeit because she might have been a little drunk, but still. We’re way too comfortable for me to take a chance of ruining this night with the truth. I’ll tell her on the next date. I swear to God I will.

We leave the bar, and we drive back to her house. She lives a few blocks from the 405 and Sepulveda and I make my way through the back streets using my GPS because Alize is a little confused as to where we are. Ok, she’s really drunk. I got to just be a good guy here and drop her off, kiss her good night, and make sure she gets in ok. I eventually pull up to her house and I keep the car running.

“I had a great time tonight. Thanks for making me get up there and sing.”

“You’re welcome.” she says with a smile. “You want to come sit on my porch?” She asks.

After about three seconds of deliberation, I decide to turn the car off and hang out for awhile. I spend the next two hours sitting on a futon outside of the house she rents with two other girls that luckily has a fence built around the outside so no one can see us while we make out and run our fingers through each other’s hair. We’re kissing each other and prodding each other, and I go to make a move that I think might be a bit premature, and of course she agrees by pushing my hand away from her jeans in a playful manner. I’m not even the least bit disappointed. I had to try, I tell myself. I had to. It’s chilly outside and there is a blanket over her and I’m dying of thirst and need water, but I don’t want to break up this session by asking her if she has anything to drink, so I put up with it for a few minutes more before I realize it’s after 4am and I should probably get going. Reluctantly, I somehow pull away from her lips and from her embrace which is actually comforting me and it is unlike anything I have felt in awhile. I like it. I really like this girl I think to myself, but I got to keep one eye open, much like I have to do on the ride home because I’m starting to think I’m a little too drunk to be driving. I make it home safe thanks to my prayers and the emptiness of the 101 at 4am and I promise myself NEVER to drive that intoxicated again. But was it the alcohol, the night with Alize, or a combination of both that made me this way? I guess it doesn’t matter because I’m home, and I’m happy, and I’m alive.

I text her the next morning that I had a blast last night and she responds a few minutes later expressing she had fun, but is a little hung over and paying for it at work today.

“Yeah, we were a little crazy last night.” I say. It’s ok to get a little crazy sometimes I think. Everything went great on that date and we text each other back and forth the next day and already are making plans for the weekend which is only two days from now. It’s my cat’s birthday I tell her, and I send her a picture of her, (the cat) that I posted on Facebook, and she tells me to tell my cat she said Happy 13th birthday. Aww, that’s cute….it’s also kind of gay that I’m sending her pictures of my cat but it doesn’t seem to matter because she asks me if I want to go see the movie “Her” with her this weekend. I haven’t had a third date with anyone yet because I haven’t liked anyone enough, but when she asks me if I want to see the new Spike Jonze film, I almost text her “yes” as I simultaneously go online to the Arclight website and purchase tickets for the movie in advance. She then goes on to tell me how much she liked the HAIM song I sent her and then that gives me the idea to do something I haven’t done for a girl I like in a long, long, long time. I make her a mix CD. Oh God….it’s over. I’m done. I must really like this one. I know because I have now chosen to use the words from someone else’s music to try and express to her how I really feel about her in this moment. It’s a big step for me. I’m channeling my inner John Cusack from the film “High Fidelity.” The 80s & 90s would be proud.

My roommate has been out of town all week. OkAlize knows the truth now, so I should definitely take advantage of having the place to myself for the night, right? Right. I make these plans for her to come over here tomorrow night for the date and I tell her she can park her car “underground” in my extra spot (like from the movie Singles) and then we can Uber to the Arclight so neither one of us has to drive. We can be responsible adults, and most importantly, she has to come back to my place to get her car. Hahaha…it’s a set up, and she goes for it because I knew she would.

Friday Night, January 10th 2014

I’m putting the finishing touches on a playlist I’m going to burn for Alize called “Songs To Make Out To.” I also burn her a copy of the HAIM album and I wonder if it’s too much to give her BOTH cds tomorrow night. Isn’t that like overkill? Maybe. Maybe I’ll hold off on one of them, but then something happens that completely takes me out of my creative mood and changes my focus for the night. I get a text from her that says…..

“Hey. I wanted to bring something up….I don’t want to make a big deal out of it. But I looked up your FB when you sent me that cat pic, and I saw some things that lead me to believe that your “roommate” is in fact an ex. Are there some things you were withholding? Or am I completely wrong?

FUUUUUUUUUUCCCCKKK! FUCK FUCK FUCK!!! FUCK ME! This fucking SUCKS!!!! Oh man, this is the fucking worst. This is absolutely the fucking worst thing that could have happened. FUCK YOU FACEBOOK! Why do you have to even exist! Why the fuck am I even on Facebook? I thought my privacy settings were up to date! Why does facebook keep changing them, and what did she see on my profile that made her believe my roommate is an ex? Oh right, the 124 mutual friends my roommate and I have in common, the status updates where I tag her and I at dinners at cheesy chain restaurants, and the four dozen or so photos of us at numerous sporting events, vacation spots, bars, restaurants and other friend’s weddings. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. It’s true Alize was snooping, but I would have done the same thing if the roles were reversed. I can’t blame her….and A part of me is a little bit mad at myself for leaving such a firewall like that open and unprotected. But another part of me knew that this would eventually have to come to light. I just wished it could have been me who told her the truth like I was planning on doing tomorrow night.

I text back and forth with her that night, and I try to explain to her that I really like her and it’s tricky because I don’t want to push her away by giving her that much information all at once. I know I should have just told her the other night, but against my better judgement, I didn’t. All I can do is apologize and listen to what she is saying when she tells me it’s a heavy subject, and when she tells me there are a lot of red flags, and when she tells me she’s “absorbing” after I ask her “Is that it then?” I have no idea how this is going to go. I have no idea if I’ll ever see her again, but I bet if I consulted the magic eight ball it would definitelty say “not very likely.” My heart sinks deep into my chest like the anchor of a boat thrown overboard to the bottom of the ocean floor. This is the worst feeling ever. I know myself and I know the truth and I know that I deserve to be happy at some point in my life. Maybe this is my chance, and this ONE fucking living situation in my waking life is blowing it for me. What a cockblock.

I’m angry. I’m angry that it isn’t five months from now that I met Alize when I won’t be living with my ex. I’m angry because what’s the fucking point of all this? Every time from here on out, as long as I still live with my “best friend/business partner/roommate-ex” of mine from 2009 and try to date other girls, I’m going to have to eventually tell them about this part of my life and they will most likely run away, laugh at me, or not take me seriously at all. What is the point of meeting anyone new? I can’t find the point anymore.

I make the decision to end it once and for all. I choose to break it off before anything else happens. It HAS to be done, so the very next thing I do is log on to OkCupid, and I deactivate my account. It’s over. Say goodbye to NJSS777.

Sometime after midnight, after a lot of going back and forth with “how would you feel if it happened to you” questions and “I understand how you might be a bit apprehensive” responses, Alize comes to a conclusion, and sends me this text:

“Ok, thank you for apologizing. I’m just going to give it some thought. I’ll text you tomorrow. Have a good night.”

Have a good night? How the fuck can I have a good night now?

Part 5: Ok Jessica

okstupidlogo

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….

Part 3: Ok Maddie & Ok Emily

Tuesday December 10th, 2013

It’s been an interesting week and a half. I have spent the last 10 days messaging with girls on OkCupid, and I’ve been getting some interested responses back. Sometimes though, I’m not getting any response back at all and I’m fine with that. That’s just how it goes I guess. I don’t respond to all the messages I get either, mainly because the things they write are just really lame and unoriginal like “Hey there!” or “How you doing?” Or my own personal fave…”Seems like YOUR lips are MY competition.” What?!?! Who the fuck writes that expecting a response? Generally, I don’t respond if the message isn’t interesting or totally weird like that one. Sometimes I won’t respond if I just don’t find any of their pictures appealing to me. Now before you get all judgmental, let’s be honest. You have two tools to use when trying to connect with someone online. Your pictures, and your words. If I don’t find you attractive in a picture, or if I’m not interested in what you have to say in your profile, then you’re 0 for 2 and that’s a strike out in the online dating world. Sorry, it’s two strikes and your out, not three. In real life, it’s kind of the same thing. Try to spout off a cheesy line to a pretty girl at a bar and you get laughed at and ignored the rest of the night no matter how smooth you think you are. It’s simple enough, and I play by the rules although I don’t necessarily like the “game” sometimes. For example, if a girl and I “like” each other’s profiles on OkCupid (and yes there is a rating system) I send her a non intrusive message with some witty comments about something she wrote on her profile. Then I wait. If I don’t get a response back in two or three days, or the response I get is two to three words, she’s either not interested, or obviously wound too tight for me. Or possibly playing some weird type of mind game which doesn’t interest me. I get that some girls are hesitant to meet guys off of a dating website, but then I have to ask the question WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING ON IT IN THE FIRST PLACE??? I think some girls just like getting the attention. I know I do. Here’s what I know. A very attractive female friend of mine joined the site a few weeks after I did. I was averaging about 50-60 visitors a week, and maybe three to four messages. She was averaging over one hundred visitors and messages a week. A WEEK!! She had so many messages and visitors that they couldn’t post the actual number because they only allotted two digits for the count! “You have 99+ messages in your inbox” My confidence level was pretty high after the last two weeks, but I couldn’t imagine getting THAT much attention. Men are just extremely more desperate I guess.

Now, before I get into OkEmily or OkMaddie, I should probably explain what happened with OkKimberly…
Ok, so I wake up the next morning and I see she responded to the sarcastic text I sent her after our date. Get this…she says she actually DOES want to go out with me again. I’m really starting to wonder if that was a typo or is OkKimberly just a complete and total nut job. I literally laughed out loud when I read that text. I mean seriously, I had the worst fucking time. It was probably the 2nd worst date I’ve ever had in my life. I would never go out with her again…. BUT I still kind of hinted at making plans to get Yogurtland with her throughout the week with absolutely no intention of ever really following through with it. Mean? Maybe. Vicious? Hardly. I just wanted to see if her venom from that night was still having a poisonous effect on my body. She made one of the worst impression on me in the history of my life. Needless to say…I never talked to OkKimberly again.

A few days ago I set a date to meet with OkEmily at The Village Idiot on Melrose. I think it was a Thursday night, and I was kind of looking forward to this one. OkEmily and I are a 92% match. I was definitely taking that into consideration since I carelessly overlooked it the last time. OkEmily’s pictures online are all instagrammed and filterrific. She’s pretty, but I’m not 100% sure because of the overuse of the Walden and X-Pro II filters. 31 years old, blonde hair, blue eyes, tattoos, and she hails from Texas, with two big “assets.” Her stats say she is five foot five and she has a great smile in her pictures. She works somewhere in the music business, but it is very unclear from her profile exactly what it is she does. I sent her some message about how we should get a drink together and compare tattoos. She totally buys it, and texts me her phone number 7 minutes later. The afternoon of our date, I call her to make plans because that’s a standard for me. I mean, I’m fine with meeting someone from the internet, but I need to talk to you on the phone and make sure you’re a real person and not a psycho creep before I meet you. I’m sure most women can relate to that last statement. I call her around noon and I don’t hear back from her for a couple hours, which is fine. But then she texts me back two hours later. A call-back
text-back? Hmmm, that’s pretty suspect to me.

Is she afraid to talk on the phone, or just really swamped at work? A text response to a phone call is the epitome of laziness, but I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt here and just think she was busy. We are supposed to meet at 8:45, so when 8 o clock rolls around I start getting ready and primping myself up. Yes, I just said primping. I’m literally about to walk out the door at 20 minutes after 8 when I get this text message:

“Oh my God, you will never believe what just happened! (exclamation point) It all makes sense now! One of my co-workers was fired today and I have to stay and work late tonight to cover her. Would you totally hate me if I asked to reschedule?”

Immediately I want to say yes, I totally hate you right now. You’re a total bitch. Who cancels twenty minutes before a date? And what the hell does she mean “It all makes sense now?” Sounds to me like she is using some crazy revelation to justify her cancelling the date. Did you not know two or three hours ago that you were going to have to work late and couldn’t make it tonight? Are you just finding out now at 8:25pm that your co-worker was fired? Really? Are you just flaking on the date or did I just dodge an MTV style catfish bullet? Maybe that’s why she never called me back. Maybe OkEmily was a dude all along? Or a tranny. Can we still use the word tranny now or is that considered racist? Who knows. I just sit there and sulk for a few minutes before I decide to go out to the Ralph’s and buy a moderately priced bottle of wine and spend the rest of the night drinking it by myself. I’m kind of pissed. No one likes to be blown off, especially twenty minutes before the date is supposed to happen. Plus, did she not read what it said on my profile? I specifically said “NO FLAKES!!” I finally respond to OkEmily twenty minutes later with ”It’s cool. We can totally reschedule. Txt me next week.”

I don’t mean it, and I never hear from or contact her again.

Back to tonight…

I had been waiting a few days for a message back from OkMaddie. She takes like a week to respond with her phone number, but eventually I get it and I call her. She talks about how she enjoyed Thanksgiving and ate a lot of mashed potatoes and stuffing. She’s a vegetarian, but I am willing to overlook that for now. We talk for a bit more to make sure neither one of us is a crazy person, and we make plans to get a drink on Wednesday, but then after we hang up, she texts me to change the date to Tuesday. At this point, I’m fine with whatever as long as the date actually happens and we don’t end up going to the Veggiegrill on Sunset. Unless of course they serve beer there, but I’m pretty sure they don’t. I’m overly cautious now, (thanks OkEmily) cause we’re supposed to meet at 8pm, and I check my phone obsessively at 7:00, 7:15 and 7:30 to make sure she isn’t going to send me a cancellation text at the last minute. Finally at 7:45 I feel like it’s a go and I head out and walk the 7 blocks to the Well on Argyle and Sunset. I take a seat at the bar facing the door, and about five minutes later, OkMaddie walks in. She comes over and says hello and sits down next to me. She reeks of patchouli. I am instantly reminded of my ex-girlfriend from 1998 who also smelled the exact same way. It’s sort of comforting, yet kind of off putting at the same time. Eventually, it dissipates enough for us to order two happy hour martinis. Yes, the Well has a late night happy hour from 5-9 which is why I frequent the place. We get our drinks and we start talking. I’m pretty comfortable with her, and there is little to no anxiety. The two things I worry about on a first date are us having nothing to talk about, or there being no physical attraction. So far, I’m ok with the former and I’m still observing the latter. OkMaddie is wearing what I think is a dress and a leather jacket. It is clear to me she obviously chose this one because of how “accentuated” it makes her upper torso look, and I appreciate that although I never want to get caught looking in that direction. She claims to be around 30 years old and I have no doubt that she is telling the truth, unlike myself. She has blue eyes, bright red lipstick, and her dyed reddish hair falls down on her face in an uneven and edgy style that actually compliments her quite well. She’s cute, and she looks somewhat like her pictures, and I think to myself I’m just going to get to know her and take it from there.

Look, I want to find someone I totally get along with who is utterly gorgeous and stunning and completely cool and sexy without having to try, and without having a superficial attitude about it. And yeah, I want her to be into the same kind of music and movies as me and hopefully she appreciates the fact that I’m an aspiring artist/creative type and doesn’t have a problem with it because maybe she is one herself. But in reality, that’s a tall fucking order and it’s not fair for me to expect that every time I go out with someone new. It’s just not going to happen. Is it?

“How many people have you met off the site?” I ask.

“Like three or four.” She says. “How about you?”

“You’re number two.” I say.

Then she asks about number one, and I tell her the exasperated story of OkKimberly. She laughs when she is supposed to laugh and she then goes on to tell me about a horrible first date she had at the White Horse bar down the street.

“When the check came,” she says “he just opened it up and stared at it for like ten minutes. He was doing a lot of humming and hawing and then he placed a debit card on the bar and said he would pay for his half. His HALF! At this point, I had no choice but to point out to him the huge sign on the wall that read CASH ONLY. He seems oddly surprised even though HE was the one who picked the place to go. We had been sitting there for a good two hours, so I just paid for the whole thing. Then he asked me for a ride back to the train station. Oh no” She says “That is NOT going to happen.”

“That is a pretty funny story,” I say, and now I immediately know I am going to have to pay for the check. At this point, I am ok with that because I am moderately attracted to her. It’s her bravado and sense of humor that keeps me entertained and we decide to order another round of drinks. We cheers each other as I tap the bar before I take a swig.

“Why do you do that?” She asks.

I explain that one of my close friends is Irish and apparently it’s a tradition. She informs me that she is also Irish and has never heard of that.

“Maybe it’s an east coast thing” I say. OkMaddie is from Chicago, or was it Ohio? Yes, it’s Ohio but she went to school and worked in Chicago. She tells me about working on the Rikki Lake show as a producer and how that catapulted her into accepting a job in reality TV production out here in Los Angeles where she’s been living for a couple of years. Catapulted? Seems excessive to me. She tells me how much she loves Chicago and how the Blackhawks are her favorite sports team. I try to muffle my disdain for the Blackhawks, but before I know it she starts asking about my sports background. “I’m a Philly fan.” I tell her, which is apparently enough fuel for her to start reminiscing about the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals where the Philadelphia Flyers would go on to lose to the Chicago Blackhawks in 6 games. “I went to the victory parade!” She exclaims.

“Of course you did.” I say.

She’s into sports and she says funny things and has a dark sense of humor like me, and she isn’t a complete and total bore fest. I am thankful for that. She takes off her jacket and hands it to me to hang underneath the bar. I feel like she is getting more comfortable so I suggest we get a third round.

Let me explain the third round from my point of view. If I choose to have three drinks with a person, I have accepted the reality that one of us is currently or ABOUT to be a little “alcohol enhanced” and I’m comfortable enough with myself and with this person to go there. I NEVER have three drinks on a first date unless I’m either totally uncomfortable, and feel the need to be inebriated to get through the rest of the night, or I’m having a good enough time that I lose count.

The third round comes, and I casually bring up her vegetarianism.

“Is it a deal breaker that one of my favorite foods is chicken wings?” I ask.

“Nope.” She says and then somehow or other, she makes the transition from food to my living situation.

“Do you live alone?” She asks casually.

I could lie here. I could easily say yeah I live alone, but I know that this is a qualifying question. She’s fishing, and because of all the baggage I am carrying with me, it doesn’t make sense to lie. I believe there is still something redeeming about telling the truth in this world, and I’m trying to get through this whole experience without telling too much truth, but also without actually lying because I know nothing good will come of that. So do I live alone?

”No.” I say. Then, as nonchalant as I can, I sum up my cautiously complicated living situation in one sentence. “I kind of have a straggler.” I add. It’s not total bullshit, but it’s also not totally the truth.

“Oh yeah? Me too.” She responds.

Wait, what? You have someone living on your proverbial couch too? This is interesting. She tells me about her guy friend from back home who currently lives with her and literally crashes on the couch in her living room. I tell her about my gal pal I’ve known for years who currently shares my bedroom, (but not my bed) who also lives with me too. I leave out the fact that she was an ex from many years ago. Look, I’m going to be honest, but I’m not going to be THAT honest on the first date. We share stories and complain about how neither one of them likes to do the dishes until they’re piled up and overflowing BOTH sinks in the kitchen. We both laugh and I bring up the fact that my “roommate” got a bunny last year and that we had to section off a part of the living room for his cage. I show her pictures of the rabbit and of my cat and she tells me about her dog and how she constantly has to stop him from rubbing his dick on the side of her bed. I’m instantly reminded of that scene from the movie Garden State where the dog dry humps Zac Braff in the hospital waiting room. “Here comes the lipstick…..”

The third round is over, and it’s getting late and OkMaddie has work in the morning so we decide to call it a night. She tells me she is going out of town next week for Christmas and I tell her I want to see her again before she goes. Am I into her? I don’t know. I like her company and she’s definitely not a psycho, and I found some common bond with her that may or may not work to my advantage. I’m into her enough that I can overlook the patchouli, the vegetarianism, and the fact that she is a Blackhawks fan and I could see myself going out with her again. I walk her to her car and she points out her Jeep Cherokee parked on the street next to the Rite-Aid I hate going to, and then she thanks me for the drinks. I lean in to kiss her good night, and she obliges. I smile, then she smiles, then I put my headphones on and hit play on my iPod as I walk home.

I don’t know if other people in this world are like me when it comes to music and moments. What I mean is, I always can associate music with events that happen in my life. I can tell you what the first three songs were on a mix tape I made back in 1993. You know, when “tapes” still existed? I can remember what song was playing in the background of my ex-girlfriend’s answering machine the first time I called her, and I can tell you in detail about what happened the first time I heard “Welcome to the Machine” by Pink Floyd when I was stoned. But for the life of me, I can’t seem to remember what song I listened to that night I walked home after my first date with OkMaddie. I wonder why that is.

Part 2: Ok Kimberly

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

I’m standing outside of Harmony Gold about to watch a screening of the movie Into the Furnace. I decide this is a good time to respond to the message I received yesterday from Manhattan2LA. Yes, I realize I waited one day before I respond because I feel like that is industry standard. When connecting with someone for the first time, you don’t want to come off too eager, it’s a total turn off. It’s like basically admitting that you are so psyched to have gotten a message from her that you couldn’t hold yourself in for one day. You HAD to respond. So desperado. She writes “You’re super cute. Where are you from?” I respond with “Thank you.” And then after reading through her profile I add the phrase“I’m from New Jersey, like it said in my profile. Also I have a thing for Jewish girls who emigrated to L.A. from New York. That’s a truth I figure to myself, and that is good enough. I’m going to watch this movie with my friend and then maybe write her back later after the Q&A with the director. I’m being coy, but apparently, “Kimberly” doesn’t appreciate coy, because I receive a message from her three minutes later. And then another one, and then another one. Eventually, we set a date to go out and get a drink on Friday. I give her my phone number and I say I’m in a screening and I will talk to her later. I put my phone on silent, sit back and watch the film.

The thing with Harmony Gold is, it’s a complete sucker of cell phone battery life. Harmony Gold is a movie theater on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, and I guess they must have made it out of ten feet of reinforced concrete because my phone has been pathetically searching for a signal the entire time during the movie and now my battery is down to 20%. I see I have two messages from OkKimberly. (and yes, every phone number I got was prefaced by an “Ok” then their name.) One is a picture of her on the red carpet from the American Music awards with a pair of ghastly ridiculous hipster glasses on, the other is a request for a current picture me. I guess she doesn’t trust my profile so I stall for as long as can, knowing that with each and every text I send to her explaining why I can’t send a picture right now it is only agitating her and further depleting my battery. Finally, I send her a picture of me, my business partner, and our agents on the red carpet. Tit for tat, right? Well, two minutes later she responds with… “Is that Sheila and LyNea?”

Fuck! She knows my agents? What the fuck? How does she know them? What does she do? Why the fuck is Hollywood such a small town?!?! These are the questions that are going thought my mind. She then texts me asking how Sheila’s foot is doing. Her foot? How the fuck am I supposed to know? I think the better question is how does she know about my agent’s foot surgery? My friend is laughing as we walk back to the car, and as we arrive at the watering hole of choice that night, my battery is practically dead. Before it totally dies, I sneak into the bathroom and take the dreaded selfie she has been requesting all night. 8% left, and tomorrow is Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 28th, 2013 – Thanksgiving

I’m at a friends house drinking my fifth glass of wine and digesting one of the best meals I’ve ever had. There is a bunch of us sitting outside drinking and talking, and I bring up the fact that I have a date tomorrow night. One of my friends who is a talent manager asks who she is, so I show her a picture and say her name is Kimberly.

“Wow, she looks familiar” My friend says.

Then, within a few seconds my friend pulls up Kimberly’s full name, Twitter account, Linkedin profile and also tells me what management company she works for. I won’t reveal her REAL last name, but let’s just say it is “Goldman.” (but it’s really not) In a drunken state, and maybe trying to be a little smartass, I text Kimberly to tell her Happy Thanksgiving and to let her know I have turkeys on my socks. Then I tell her I Googled her. I never get a response. I guess she’s not impressed.

Friday November 29th, 2013

I wake up to two texts from OkKimberly. Both are about my socks. She never even mentions the whole google thing so I assume that it must not be a big deal. Around 9:45 she texts me to say she will be done her work calls at noon and for me to call her then. I say ok, and I go back to doing whatever it was I was doing. Thirty minutes later, she calls ME.

We’re on the phone for half an hour. She talks in an obvious East coast accent with a little Hollywood undertone, and low and behold she is a talent manager much like my friend from last night, although OkKimberly specializes in music and band management. Throughout the whole conversation, she comes off as being intrigued by what I do, and I tell her I’m a writer and producer who created a new sitcom, however, I never say I am an actor because of how stupid and cliché it sounds. Everyone out here is an actor or a model, or in a band. I would sound more original if I said something like I spend my weekdays on a ranch in the desert milking snakes part time, and on the weekends I work as a dog and cat food taster, but I would be lying. Besides, I’ve already lied about my age and I’m sure that will eventually come up.

Since we’re on that subject, let it be known that I have every intention of coming clean about my real age and my living situation at some point, just not on the first date. And believe me, my current living situation is a television sitcom waiting to happen. A few months ago, I took in a good friend of mine because she needed a place to stay for a bit, and we were both kind of hard up for cash at the time. It kind of works out because it has to. I was in a one bedroom apartment, so when she moved in we had to modify the living arrangements. There are two queen sized beds in the bedroom, and we share the rest of the house. There’s barely any privacy, there’s never enough toilet paper, and sometimes we get under each other’s skin because we live and work together and we have something of a history. We used to date some 7 years ago. Actually lived together for a year in 2008, but broke up for good in 2009. Somehow, we were able to remain friends, and since then we have become business partners. I know how that may sound to a new girl I am trying to date. My situtation would be a red flag to anyone. Ok, six red flags but regardless, I don’t have to tell my whole life story on the first date, and I certainly won’t be mentioning any of what I just said tonight. What can I say, I have some baggage. Ok, lots of baggage, but don’t we all?

We decide to meet at Fatty’s Public House on La Cienega Blvd in West Hollywood. I take an Uber there and I arrive around 7:45, fifteen full minutes early. Ironically, there is no traffic on the streets, and barely anyone at the bar. I guess I overcompensated. Anyway, I take a seat and wait eleven more minutes before I text her “At the bar.” 8:00 comes and goes without her showing up. I don’t think too much about it. I’m looking through the menu and thinking to myself “this place is pretty expensive… better stick to having a couple of drinks, no food.” I look at my phone and realize she hasn’t responded to the text I sent twenty minutes ago, and also see that it is now 8:15. She is officially late. I hate that. Look, it’s not that hard to send a text that says “running late” or “be there soon” or “ok, see you in a bit.” It’s a huge pet peeve of mine. And right before I’m about to give up on her and start boozing by myself, she walks in, twenty minutes late, looking at her phone as if to suggest she “just got my message.” Yeah fucking right. She says hello, sits down next to me at the bar, and then it begins….

She gives me the proverbial awkward hug and instantaneously the male bartender in his late thirties sporting a pseudo-beard and tight pants struts over and starts to talk to OkKimberly. They blab on and on for what feels like ten minutes about some guy who they both know who used to come into the bar, but no one has seen in months. It’s apparent that she comes here a lot and yes, she suggested this place. I start staring around the room wondering how long their conversation will last before I can get a drink. She writes down her phone number on a piece of paper and gives it to the bartender with the instructions to give it to the guy who neither one of them have heard from in months. Then she proceeds to hand the bartender her i-Phone and charger asking him to plug it in behind the bar. Are you fucking kidding me right now? At this point, I’ve waited almost a half hour for her to arrive and then I’ve been sitting there while she gets the chit-chat with someone ELSE out of the way before I can even have a drink? This is not starting off that good. I wonder if I can bail without her knowing? Her “convo” with the bartender ends, and the next thing that happens is the worst. She turns to me and says….”So, do you want to get a table?”

Ugh, a “table.” Begrudgingly, I say yes even though I feel that sitting at the bar is much more conducive to getting to know someone on a first date. When you sit across from someone at a table, you have nowhere to look other than at the other person without it being obvious you are looking away. Plus, it takes all the fun out of trying to read someone’s body language, which is key to figuring out whether or not someone is into you. I’d much rather stay at the bar I think to myself, but regardless we make our way to a corner table. She sits facing the door, and reluctantly, I sit down facing her with nothing else to stare at but a reddish-type wall. I order a vodka tonic, no lime and she starts out with glass of red wine and says that it takes her a minute to “warm up” to hard alcohol. Was that a dig at me? I can’t be sure.

OkKimberly is about five foot six with long brown hair, big eyes and a pronounced face. She is pretty, but she looks kind of hardened to me. Her nose is a little crooked but she has a slender frame, with what appears to be a nice ass. I can’t really tell. She talks a lot. She talks a lot about being a manager, and where she is from, and her time in New York and Miami and her ex-boyfriend of 7 years that didn’t want to move out to Los Angeles with her. I ask her what she did in Miami and she tells me she worked for a high profile celebrity. She won’t tell me who it was, even though I ask. What a gyp. She doesn’t ask that many questions of me, and I wonder if I should offer up information or if I should just stay quiet and listen. I have already downed my first drink in eight minutes time. I interject with the occasional “Uh-huh” or the obligatory “Oh, that’s cool,” but I’m really not saying anything at all. I order another drink, and OkKimberly finally mans up and orders some hard alcohol. Then she brings up the fact that I Googled her.

“It kind of freaked me out.” She says. But she also stated that she told her friends about it and they said she should be flattered. She then goes on to tell me about her Thanksgiving and how she spent it at the house of some big name director whom she won’t reveal to me. We chat a little more about her night and then she FINALLY asks about me. I tell her I do a little bit of acting, then she tells me a story about some actor she dated off OkCupid and how it didn’t work out, and how he stalked her at a Manager’s showcase in Burbank and started asking her all these questions about why they don’t date anymore. He wanted her to represent him and she expressed to me that a lot of guys have ulterior motives when asking her out.

“Oh really?” I said. “Well, I don’t want you to represent me.”

All I was trying to say was that I don’t have any ulterior motives other than to get to know her more. She smiled so I guess she liked hearing that, and intermittently for about half an hour, I think it’s going really well. She finally apologizes for not texting me back right away as she was on a phone call with a client. I believe her for the moment, and then we decided to order another round of drinks and some food.

I immediately realized I had broken my rule, but I didn’t care. I was actually having fun and I wanted to see where this would go. The waitress kept coming up to us like a lost and bored puppy and kept asking us questions and chatting like she knew us. It was obviously a slow night, but that didn’t stop the deejay from blasting some crappy hip-hop over the loudspeakers that were conveniently placed ten feet from our table. It was loud. Real fucking loud. So loud that I could barely hear what OkKimberly was saying to me before she asked the waitress if the deejay could turn it down. The waitress obliged and someone came over to turn down the music before our ear drums exploded. We ate our food and after the plates were cleared, the waitress drops off two shot glasses.

“What are these?” she asks.

“Fireball shots!” says the waitress. “They’re complimentary!”

Great, but I don’t like cinnamon, I think to myself. I had a bad experience with Goldschlager in 1996 and I never recovered.

“I don’t like cinnamon” OkKimberly says. (Apparently the one thing we have in common other than the fact that we both need oxygen to survive) “How about a lemon drop?”

The waitress frowns and takes away the shots, then returns a few moments later with two sugar rimmed glasses garnished with a wedge of lemon. We down the shots, and start talking about music. I’m pretty drunk at this point, and I like a lot of music, but she starts talking about these horrible bands she likes, and I have to restrain myself from saying something I might regret. I’m getting irritated. She’s so fucking “Hollywood.” She tells me about how cool it was to be in the studio the other day with one of her clients, and as she left the space, she peeked in on the band Imagine Dragons who were there recording some live demo bullshit. I don’t like Imagine Dragons. I find them boring and overrated….kind of like that movie American Hustle, but Kimberly is going on and on about how great they are and it’s taking all of my might to restrain myself from saying anything. She then points out some rapper dude sitting at the bar and tells me that he was in her office the other day and they might sign him. She waves to him and starts name dropping people he’s worked with and the whole time I’m getting more and more agitated that I didn’t say anything earlier about how much I hate Imagine Dragons. I start talking about The X-Factor and how I find that show to be much more enjoyable than American Idol. She defends American Idol for what feels like twenty minutes before I finally blurt out… “That show is so stupid and there’s a reason Simon Cowell left.” “And by the way, in my opinion, Imagine Dragons isn’t very good.” She takes what I say very seriously.

She starts getting defensive with me as if to suggest that my opinion of music is wrong and she states that I probably haven’t had enough life experience to appreciate a band like them.

“I’m 37,” I say in a smartass tone.

She looks shocked. She can’t believe I’m older than her and I tell her I never put my real age online just in case someone wants to call me in for a role that is ten years younger than I am.

“So you are an actor?” She asks with a tone that leads me to believe she thinks I was deceiving her this whole time.

I never said I wasn’t, and besides she knows my agents and she shares clients with them. Obviously she had to know I was “kind of” an actor, right? Seems to me this shouldn’t come as such a surprise to her, but I can tell something bad is about to happen. At this point it feels like we’re fighting with each other and the music is suddenly louder than before, and my once giddy alcoholic buzz has faded into an unnerving state of frustration and anger. This just isn’t going well. I shouldn’t be angry on a first date, and if I am, I should get the fuck out there as soon as possible. I kind of knew this was coming so I flag down the waitress. She asks if we want to order more drinks, and before Kimberly could say anything, I say we’ll just take the check. Kimberly looks at me stupefied as if she just realized, she lost. I fiddle with my phone to request an Uber to come and pick me up and we don’t say much for two minutes until the check comes. I grab it before the waitress can leave and I hand her my credit card. I didn’t even look at how much it was. I didn’t care. I just wanted to get the fuck out of there.

I sign the check, and see that the waitress actually charged me $22.00 for those shots. Complimentary my ass. My Uber arrives, and I tell OkKimberly I got to go. She is still sitting in her chair almost in disbelief that the date is over when she tells me she had a good time. “I had a blast.” I think was what she said. I respond with “I’m glad you did. Bye.” Then I get up, walk out the door and get into the black Prius that is waiting for me outside. I am so bummed out and slightly pissed and definitely frustrated on the ride home that I don’t even feel inhebriated anymore. I’m just annoyed. What a waste of time, and money. Although I did get like 300 in points on my card, so the night wasn’t a total loss. Then I get a text message from OkKimberly

you owe me another date” she writes.

I laugh to myself. Out loud for like a minute in the back of the Uber. The driver even asked me what was so funny. I can’t even believe this. I tell the driver the shortened version of the story and then I say “She wants to go out again? Was she at the same table as me for the past three hours? I want to be like, Hey Kimberly, did you go out on anotherdate after I left and have a “blast” with someone else?”
I get home, I finally text her back with…“Do you really want to go out again?” I cannot wait for her response. but it doesn’t come until the next morning.

I light another cigarette and go online to to look at me and OkKimberly’s “match percentages.” See everyone is matched based on the answers to certain questions. The more you answer, the better match you can find. I look at what it says about me and Kimberly and I’m suddenly speechless. What? These are horrible numbers, and they are DIRECTLY underneath her picture. How could I have missed this?

25% Match 12% Friend 53% Enemy.
I laugh to myself a little, because I should have fucking known better. Open your eyes, OkStupid.

Part 1: The OK Setup

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Monday, November 25th, 2013

I am sitting at a sports bar in Hollywood watching the Flyers play the Florida Panthers. The Flyers are losing, of course. My friend is sitting next to me scrolling through his phone and telling me about this date he went on last night. “She was cute, but there was nothing going on upstairs.” I laughed, because I know the type. I also know that there are more women like that out here in Los Angeles, than probably any other city in America. This is why I don’t go out on dates. Well, that’s not the only reason, but we’ll get to that later.

I look over at his phone and I see three rows of pictures of women aged 25-40 in perfect little boxes displayed on the screen. “She looks cute” I say as I go to point her out.

“Don’t touch the screen!” My friend yells. Apparently, if you tap their picture, they know you visited their profile. I had heard of OkCupid before, but I had never used it. I used to find girls to date on MySpace back in the day. Yeah, like way back in 2004, my friends and I were all about hooking up with chicks we met on MySpace and Friendster. I did pretty well on MySpace. I dated a rock star, a porn star, some reality stars, and a newly divorced German muse who took me to Vegas, New York, and Palm Springs. Can you say… sugar Mama?

But that was 9 years ago, and I knew it would never be like that again. I’m not in my twenties anymore, but still… I was curious. Maybe I’d meet someone now who was cool and interesting to talk to and especially nice to look at. Maybe I’d get a good night kiss…but more importantly maybe I’d get a good night laid.”

“Have you gotten laid?” I asked my friend.

“Yeah, but not as much as I’d like to.” He replied.

I thought to myself, right now I’m not getting laid at all. But I wouldn’t mind having the promise of maybe getting laid a “little bit,” even if it’s not as much as I’d like to. Still better than nothing, right? And besides, I like to go out and talk to new people and drink at new bars and have a fucking social life. But I tell you, dating in Los Angeles is one of the most grueling and mindfucking sports there is, so I don’t want to take it too seriously. Then I remembered a week before I had gotten a new credit card in the mail that gives me double points for dining and entertainment purchases. If I spend $1500 in the first three months, I get 30,000 bonus points towards shit like cruises, plane tickets, gift cards, etcetera. So here’s what I would do… I would use this card on every date, and even if it didn’t work out with the girl, who cares? At least I’m racking up some points. Yeah, just like that commercial.

I got home from the bar that night and I started creating my profile. First thing I did, was lie about my age.

NJSS777

32/M/Straight/Single
Los Angeles, California

No way am I going to put my real age in there. I know most people outside of L.A. won’t understand this, but I work in the Entertainment business and out here…EVERYONE OVER 30 LIES ABOUT THEIR AGE!! I swear to God, that’s just how it is. You have your real age, and then you have your Hollywood age which is what age you “play.” I’m 28-35. Deal with it.

I uploaded five pictures, and I was very specific about which ones I chose, and took the advice of my friend who told me to make sure I had a “body shot.” That makes sense to me. I’d be extremely skeptical of anyone on a dating site who only has pictures of themselves from the neck up. You know there’s about 140 more pounds that got cut out of that picture.

I filled out all the sections. I used witty jargon with a slightly saracstic tone that I’m sure has been copied a million times by now. I didn’t give away too much information, but I did make it read like I was eloquent and modern, without coming off as cheesy or cliché.

In the section that read “The Most Private Thing I’m Willing to Admit is…” I wrote, “I have a Denny’s coupon in my wallet.

When I got to the “You Should Message Me If….” section, I wrote… “You’re interesting, You don’t smoke crack, You’re not a flake, or You like to drink.”

I answered 75 “match questions,” uploaded my profile, hit save, and then I went to bed. I woke up the next morning and saw I had 55 visitors, 9 “Someone Likes You” notifications, and a message from a 36 year old woman in West Hollywood who called herself “Manhattan2LA.”

Part 7: Ok Alize & Ok Jordana

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Saturday, January 11th, 2014.

I wake up at like 7am this morning and I’m a little hungover from the night before. The night before when I started drinking a bottle of wine at midnight and finished it right before 1am. I would go back to sleep for three more hours and wake up feeling more refreshed and ready to make coffee and undoubtedly, await my fate. Drama, I will never fail thee. Around 11am as promised, a text comes through from Alize

“hey…so let’s go to the movie, deal with a little interrogating, and if anything, hang as friends?”

The “F” word. I hate it. But she’s not saying let’s “just be friends” yet, she just constructed a trap door to get out of the situation if she feels the need to. Smart move…I would have done the same thing. It’s clever and I like that…and while we’re on this subject, maybe I need to create a trap door for myself. Like a “mental” trap door so I don’t fall into a mental trap with Alize.

I like her but realistically, I know I could never be her boyfriend. A., I don’t want to be anyone’s boyfriend right now and B., I live with…well….you know. I can be taken seriously as a man of my word and I do look the most like my pictures I’ve been told, but because of my living situtation I know I can not be taken very seriously as a suitor. I guess I have to accept that for now. Besides…I’m not falling in love…and I’m not giving her that mix cd. That would just be a little too high school.

In my head I hear advice from Ice: “Go man, go..but not like a yo-yo schoolboy. Just play it cool, boy. Real cooooooooool.” That’s from West Side Story. I did a little musical theater back in the day….and I was also on a volleyball team with 6 other thespians called The “7 FCB’s” Which is an acronym for “7 Faggy Choir Boys. (Take it easy, it was the 90s) Ironically, years later I would find out that in fact only one of the members of the 7 FCB’s actually turned out to be gay.

OkAlize and I go to see “Her” at 8:30 at the Arclight theater in Hollywood that night. We Uber from my apartment and after the movie we hit up Hemingway’s and the interrogation begins. She asks a lot of questions about me and my ex like when we last dated, when did we break up, when was the last time we slept together, how long she has been living with me blah blah blah blah….I basically tell her the entire and complete truth and two glasses of wine later I somehow find myself bumping and grinding with okAlize to “We Can’t Stop” by Miley Cyrus on the dance floor around the bar. We both stop when the deejay plays that track and We give each other a look of shock and surprise that reads… (THIS song is one my guilty pleasures so please don’t judge me for it.)

“I love this song!” I shout to her.

“Me too!” She says with a smile.

For someone like me who doesn’t go out and dance at clubs like this a lot, it’s coming pretty easy to me. I have some good moves, or at least moves that look good enough with flashing lights and a hot asian girl that’s up on me. Five or six songs and a couple public displays of affection later, we decide to uber it back to my empty apartment and open that bottle of wine I had in my kitchen.

We’re on my couch making out and I’m playing some music from a mix cd that I will never give to Alize. There are two half full glasses of wine and a little roach of a joint on the coffee table and there is no one home but us. She tells me that she is very protective of herself and I tell her some stories about times when I was careless with my heart to make her feel at ease. More making out, more stopping and talking and more puffing of cigarettes and it’s sometime after 3am when I start to find myself growing tired of this. I mean, I like kissing her and I mean JUST kissing her because Alize is STILL not letting me do anything else to her BUT kiss her and it’s been going on for what feels like forty five minutes to an hour. It’s like I’m stuck inside an extended make out session on an episode of Saved by The Bell. All that’s missing is the canned “Ooooh’s and Ahhhh’s) and Screech of course. It’s fun…but I’m not 15 years old anymore. I really like her, but I’m kind of bored and I’m really thirsty at this point. Actually, I’m parched and I’m definitely in need of some water. Who knew making out was such a dehydrating experience until now?

I’m thinking to myself…what am I doing here? What is she doing here? Where is this going to lead to, because she’s clearly not making any effort to suggest that she wants to leave. Can she drive home? Should she drive home? Do I offer her a place to stay for the night? Did she wear a cute white dress and grind her ass in my crotch in ‘da club on purpose to tease me? Am I ever going to get laid on this date? “Yes” and “No” to those last two questions. Respectfully.

“I think I’m just going to sleep here.” She says as she stretches out on the couch.

“On the couch?” I ask.

“Yeah, it’s comfy.” She says.

“Ok.” I say. “But if you want to sleep in the bed, you can do that too.”

She stops and looks at me awkwardly and I respond with the obvious….

“Don’t worry, I’m not going to try to have sex with you or anything like that.” I say sarcastically. Then I walk back into the bedroom and turn off the hallway light. Ten seconds later Alize follows me in.

“Hahaha….” She laughs

“What’s so funny?” I say.

“In my mind I pictured it like you two would have bunk beds or something.” She states. “I’m getting into your bed…but don’t touch me” she teases.

“Don’t touch ME” I say back to her.

She climbs into my bed, pulls the covers over her and then she falls asleep. I don’t touch her or even try to make a move at all. I’m asleep within five minutes.

The next morning I’m awoken by Alize getting out of bed by bumping into the fan next to the door as she squeezes between the wall and the mattress to get out. She should have just leap frogged me. That would have been easier but then that would require her to touch me so I don’t think that was an option. We put on our sunglasses and I walk her down to her car and give her a hug goodbye. I open the gate and she drives out of my parking garage. Then I go upstairs to the apartment and make a bold decision. Look, I know I like this girl and I know I’m kind of vulnerable right now cause I’ve basically told her everything about my life, and now she’s seen it with her own eyes and FOR SOME REASON she apparently still wants to date me in spite of all that. That’s a good thing, I know…but I’m still vulnerable and I realize this. So, to counter act the fact that I’m really into her and I know I could get hurt at some point if this continues, I decide to do the next logical thing that serves the purpose of protecting my feelings while not allowing myself to get too attached to Alize. I decide to go out with somebody else. Luckily, before I deleted my OkCupid account I had exchanged numbers with a girl called OkJordana who was at the CES convention in Las Vegas this past week, but she gets back on Sunday. We make plans to hang out on the following Tuesday. And there’s MY trap door.

Tuesday January 14th, 2014

I don’t know much about OkJordana other than I remember from her profile that she is cute, jewish, and looks a little bit like Lady Gaga in her pictures. She wants to meet at the Hammer museum and go to this film screening thing first, and then get a drink afterwards. I say I’m cool with that, but then the afternoon of our date she suddenly decides she “isn’t feeling the Hammer” tonight so she suggests a late dinner. A dinner for a first date? I’m skeptical of that. I don’t like dinner first dates. It’s too personal. I know I’m going to sit across from her at a table which is not ideal for me, but then she sends me a text with these suggestions of restaurants.

“How about Cafe Gratitude, Axe, or Wabi Sabi in Venice.”

I don’t know any of these places but wait…did she say VENICE? Am I about to go out with another girl who lives on the westside? What the fuck! Venice is far. It’s like 45 minutes in traffic. Dude, this is awful! Anywhere but Venice! It’s full of lame ass stereotypes and “hippie hipsters” who are a hybrid of people who appear to care very much about the environment and social issues but they do ONLY because it’s hip and ironic to do so. They’re worse than hippies, but not as bad as hipsters and I don’t mix well with either of them. And why haven’t I heard of any of these restaurants? I do a quick online check and while I’m reading the menus I start to come to a grave realization. She suggested these places because they are close to her in Marina Del Rey, AND she said they have a good mixture of “meat & veggie options.” It’s then that I come to remember that OkJordana is in fact a vegan. Dear God….What the fuck have I gotten myself into?

There are two types of girls I can’t see myself dating. Girls in recovery programs like AA, and girls who practice veganism. The other factor that makes a huge decision in whether or not I’m going to date you is where you live. Venice is about my least favorite place in California. I would rather date someone who lives an hour and half away in some lame ass suburb that is full of strip malls and chain restaurants than drive down to Venice which is 24 to 45 minutes away in traffic at all times. It’s just a sucky city and I don’t like the vibe. I don’t care for it’s rustic hippie broken down charm, it’s scumbaggery collection of people asking you for money or food, and there are too many people trying to make you listen to their rap “demo” or selling their folk art the “boardwalk.” And by the way, I don’t agree with the use of that term. Venice has a stonewalk, NOT a boardwalk. A boardwalk is made of wood not cement, so stop calling it the Venice “boardwalk” cause it isn’t a boardwalk. Know how everyone outside of Hollywood “hates” Hollywood? Well, multiply that by eleven and that’s how I feel about Venice.

I’ve been driving for what feels like an hour and I’m finally turning the corner from Venice boulevard to Abbot Kinney to meet Jordana at Wabi Sabi. AS SOON AS I MAKE THE TURN…. a fire truck comes screaming down the street behind me and forces me to pull over to the side….but the oncoming traffic and other cars parked on the small shitty street I’m on are blocking me from getting out of the way so the fire truck can’t pass me. It is honking it’s obnoxious horn and blaring it’s ridiculously loud siren and I’m screaming at the top of my lungs “OK! OK!” until I can find a way to pull over a few hundred feet in front of the valet stand. Welcome to Venice. No go fuck yourself. I park, and after my heart stops racing from panic I get out and walk to the restaurant. She texts me a minute later that she is next door at “E-Cookie.” E-Cookie is a boutique clothing store with plenty of scarves, jewelry dresses and painted on jorts from 1986….for WOMEN. Jordana is standing there trying to decide on some lip gloss. She is tall, about 5’8’’ and wearing a jean jacket over her long flowery patterned hippie dress which flows down to her ankles. She compliments this earthy outfit with my least favorite type of footwear. Sandals. Not cute attractive sandals that have heels or are made from leather because that would be murder….no, these are more like the three dollar Old Navy vinyl sandals that make the statement “I don’t care about foot support OR looking good in any way shape or form, so I bought these. I smile and say “Hello” to her and I immediately feel no physical attraction whatsoever. Bad sign. This is going to be a snoozefest. I know I’ve only been off OkCupid for a week, but other than her face, she doesn’t look anything like the way I pictured her to look. She had some pictures that made her look fun and sexy and energetic which are all adjectives I would NOT be using to describe her in this moment. Look, I’m not saying that someone somewhere wouldn’t be attracted to her but she’s not for me. I knew in an instant that she isn’t my type. I mean, she’s vegan and lives near Venice. That’s two big red flags for me.

We’re at the table, and I do notice she has nice skin, thanks to her choice of diet I assume, and she has pretty green eyes that she inherited from someone else but there is something off when she speaks. It feels like she’s acting. She doesn’t really ask me a lot of questions but when she does, she somehow brings the conversation back to her and her chocie of lifestyle. TO be honest, I’m asking a lot of questions caused I’m bored and I know women like it when you ask them things. I’m also “acting” on this date. She works at an ad agency, moved out here from New York two years ago and left some really great boyfriend in the Bronx. She just recently broke up with some weird 45 year old rich dude who’s condo in the Hollywood Hills she used to live in for a while with her dog.

“I like to play house.” She says.

Ewww…..that’s gross. That’s just a weird thing to say. Are we four years old? Are you going to go grab me a juice box and some animal crackers from the kitchen before your nap? Can I order two alcoholic drinks at the same time at this Japanese sushi place? I feel like after the fire truck incident and the first twenty minutes I spent walking around a crunchy granola women’s boutique clothing store I am entitled to two, even if it is just to get me through this date. The waiter comes and asks for our drink order. I think about a bottle, but then I decide to order just a glass of wine, and OkJordanna shows off her pretentiousness when she orders sake. She says….”I’ll have a hot sah-KAY.” She pronounces it “sah-KAY” when ordering instead of putting the emphasis on the first syllable and saying SAH-kee like the rest of us. Ughhhh….Thank God we’re at a raw fish place so there won’t be that long of a wait for the food to come out and for this date to end. I normally love sushi, but this is ruining it for me.

Jordana is quite active in the community in the underground Venice scene. She tells me about this political “movement” that she and her Nutella eating friends are getting involved in. “Movement?” Are you planning a rally outside of city hall? Are you chaining yourself to a tree in the name of free love and nature? It turns out to be neither of those things.

“No, it’s a letter writing movement” she says. “We’re going to write 1000 love letters to 1000 strangers all across the world in the hopes to bring love and closeness to people who have been feeling neglected by others.”

Sounds like the plot to a movie I just saw the other night, and how is this in any way related to politics?

“This sounds really familiar.” I tell her. “I just saw a movie the other night called “Her” where the main character works at a company that writes love letters for couples who are in relationships who don’t have the time to write them themselves. Sounds just like that.”

“Oh it’s nothing like that. It’s totally different.” She says.

“Maybe not “totally” different.” I say purposely.

She basically goes on to tell me the “movement” was started a few months ago in San Francisco and has now made it’s way down here to Los Angeles. I again interject that they probably got the idea from the movie I just saw the other night, but she has convinced herself, EVEN THOUGH SHE HAS NEVER SEEN THE MOVIE, that it’s nothing like the movie.

“It takes place in Los Angeles in 2025.” I say

“See? She states. “It’s not even the same time frame.

I really want to say …..But don’t you think there is a small possibility that someone might have read about the idea of that movie a few months ago and then decided to make a “movement” with similar ideas and themes just like in the movie? You live in Venice and you’re a hippie hipster so don’t you appreciate how it’s kind of ironic that the movement is happening at the exact same time that the movie “Her” is gaining popularity and being nominated for awards? Just a thought Jordana, but is your brain working alright? Maybe you need some more protein in your diet. Have a steak, or some chicken….or maybe in your case, some quinoa.

Right at the end of her love letter soliloquy, a couple enters the restaurant, walks by OkJordana, then backs up and taps her on the shoulder.

“OH MY GAWWWD!!!” She screams and jumps up to embrace this savvy and fashionably dressed blonde girl in her early twenties. They gab on for a few and I am introduced to her flashy new friend, Brianna. Jordana calls her the “Socialite of Venice.” Oooh, impressive. I met a socialite. Her friend Chad shakes my hand and he is dressed in some slim fitted shirt and pant combination that doesn’t necessarily seem like he put it together himself. Am I on a hidden camera show right now? These roles are cast way too perfectly. Chad, Brianna and Jordana look like complete stereotypes of the people they claim to be. Rich, socially aware, self indulgent, and privileged. Chad and Brianna are so uber ultra cool that I’m like how is she friends with people who dress like this when she is dressed like that? I don’t get it. The socialite and her boy toy make their way to the back of the restaurant to get a booth but not before Brianna invites Jordana to come by her table and talk about this love letter writing movement. Oh my God, could this be a setup? Did she tell her friends to show up there in case she needed to bail on this date with me? It sure feels like that….this random meeting just feels way too ironic? However, it would be fitting for the location. I am in Venice after all.

The sushi here isn’t that great, but I eat it to kill some time. It’s actually barely good sushi and my dish was over sauced and the whole restaurant smells like fish. Good sushi restaurants don’t smell like this. Jordana eats some kale noodle salad, (of course) cause kale is all the rage for some reason. I remember kale from when I was cook at the Friendly’s restaurant on Route 70 in Marlton NJ… I used to put a slice of orange and two leafs of kale on dinner plates….as a garnish. Now people are spending $13.99 to eat it in a salad. Look how far we’ve come America.

The food is mediocre and the conversation is ok, and Jordana is kind of flirting with me with her eyes but I know I’m never going to see her again and I just can’t wait for the check to come. She gets up to use the bathroom….which happens exactly three seconds BEFORE the check comes. I think she planned that. The waiter stands up the check presenter on the table and I instinctually reach for it, but then immediately pull my hand back. She didn’t see that because she’s in the bathroom….and I just saw that the check is almost $70. Those glasses of wine were $14 each. Yikes. I would also like to add in my Yelp review of this restaurant that Wabi-Sabi is extremely overpriced. Two out of five stars from me.

Jordana returns from the bathroom and takes a look at the check. She scans it, opens up her purse, takes out a twenty dollar bill and then closes it. Wait a second….does that all add up? I’m SURE she had more than $20 worth of food and drink AND tip, in fact, I’m positive of it. Now I’m in a weird spot cause I honestly can’t vocalize the fact that I think she just scrooged me on this check, and I can’t spend too much time looking at it while trying to add up her subtotal either. I feel it in my gut….I’ve definitely just been scrooged. I put my card in the sleeve and tell the waiter to put the rest of the check on it. Who cares, just get me out of here Thinking back, I know she gipped me right there. She had a hot sah-KAY, which was about $8-$9, a kale salad that was about $10 or $11, right there you’re already around twenty bucks…AND THEN she ordered some stupid herbal honey tea for dessert that was $4. Yeah, I had two sips of it, but that clearly doesn’t entitle me to pay for all of it! Bitch! You just shorted me about five bucks plus tip,(Let’s call it $10) and I don’t even like you or your stupid socialite friends. Fuck this shit. I’m out of here.

“I had a good time….but do you mind if I go back and talk to my friends about the movement?” She asks.

“That sounds like a real good idea. You should go do that.” I say enthusiastically.

She hugs me and kisses me on the left cheek, and reminds me to call her next week so she can borrow my screener copy of American Hustle, and maybe we can watch it together.

“I defintiely will.” I say.

That is the first lie and the last sentence that I will ever say to OkJordana. I never talk to her again, but I drive home from Venice back to Hollywood in record time. I’m blasting the song “You Make Me” by Avicii on the ride home because it makes me happy and it reminds me of someone that I like. I make it home in like 16 minutes and somehow the bad taste from the sushi, and the obnoxious horrid irony from tonight’s spark less evening with OkJordana has already been credited as a funny story I will tell someone someday about the that time I dated a vegan.