Dating in LA requires body armor. Here are a few of the amazing characters I’ve met over the past year (part 1, very likely, in an installment of stories):
Backseat Driver: I had decided, again, to cross all men off the list (edit: when I was more actively dating, this happened every few weeks). A random – i.e. someone who would float in and out of the texting picture – texted out of the blue one morning. The last time we had talked, he flaked out on a plan. In my anger I said: sure, we can do coffee – now. It was 9 am on a Sunday morning. He agreed. I got there first and had to guide him in by phone. As he was driving toward me, I swore I saw a figure in the backseat, but my brain said: no way; there cannot be a human back there. Sure enough, he pulls into a metered spot, bounds over, gives me a hug like nothing is out of the ordinary – all while I’m staring at a man in his backseat. Me: um, there’s someone in your backseat. Him: oh, that’s my cousin; he’s doing some work. Me: your cousin can join us – this is weird, I don’t want to leave him there. Him: he’s fine; I told him we were coming here. We would proceed to get coffee and sit outside (I must have looked over my shoulder at least five times in the direction of the shadowy figure in his car) for no less than an hour. The cousin never got out. The guy insisted on walking me to my car. On the way, I waved at the cousin. While our conversation was actually decent, I could NOT get over the man sitting in the backseat the whole time. Who does that? Were they going to snatch me and carry me off into the sunset? Sell me off to some full-figured black market? Why didn’t he EVER get out?! What.the.hell?
The Engineer: very cute, Jamaican, ridiculously cute with one of the best smiles on the planet. Well-educated, NY transplant. Crazy sense of humor like moi. Great dancer. We did all kinds of things together: dinner, coffee, movies, concerts, clubs, exploring. It was “easy”. We would date off and on until I realized he was going back to his ex-girlfriend with every sudden disappearance. He didn’t understand how baffling the behavior was to me or that I didn’t want to be a thing of convenience. I still want to rearrange his cute face.
The Lawyer: smart, funny, super tall. Something of a catfish situation. He may have been sensitive about his size (I get it), but even his face looked like it belonged to a different person. I suspect he may have sent pictures of himself when he was in his 20s when, in fact, he was nearing 40. We went to my favorite dive bar, he was possibly smitten. Grabbed my hands and clutched them like he was going to propose most of the time we were there. He directly asked if I was attracted to him; I said no. Thankfully, he didn’t rage in the middle of the bar. We said bye and parted ways.
The Writer: Big, cute guy. Worked in “the biz”, wrote books and worked as a screenwriter. Fun on the phone, somewhat self-absorbed in person. Told me I could “Google” him (because he’s famous). [I had already done that.] Gave me a bone-crushing hug and googly eyes upon meeting me. Nice enough but spit on me at least twice while on our one date due to, I think, a possible speech impediment. Proceeded to tell me he wanted to give me a copy of his book (me: you bring copies of your book with you? him: you never know who you’ll meet). I walked to the parking lot with him to do so; said book was in his car – in bringing his car down, he didn’t bother to get out of the car to deliver the book. Instead, he opted to beep at me to retrieve it. He was also driving a burgundy Subaru wagon circa ’99. None.of.that.was.ever.happening.
The Walker: very cute though on the slim side (not my usual… ). Worked for a nonprofit, had a previous life in teaching and music (was also a drummer). Lives literally within a mile of me; he invited me on a “walk” for our first date (he knew I had been working out, he liked to walk too, I thought this was a possible new chapter in dating…). We met up, walked, there was some kind of chemistry but a lot of talking about just him and his life story (sigh; here we go again). We walked nearly two miles when I decided I needed a beverage of some sort. I asked if he wanted boba or coffee (or something), he semi-agreed, and we walked to one of my favorite places. The second we passed the threshold of the parking lot to the shop, he screeched to a halt and said he had to go. Two seconds and a hug later, he was booking it the other direction. Never to be heard from again.
I am only certain about one thing as it pertains to meeting men in LA at this point: the story will likely be odd enough to be added to this list.