Well, life is exciting and full of surprises.
One of the things I always try to keep in mind while dating in Los Angeles is to have no expectations. I know what I want (both in a relationship as well as what I’d like to experience while dating). So it’s always interesting when you’re about to meet someone for the first time IRL (translation – in real life) from first meeting them online.
This blog update is about the guy I briefly blogged about here. Catch up if you need to. Here’s what happened:
It’s Thursday. I get home from work, grab a quick bite and then start getting ready to meet him at the place we’d decided to meet at in Beverly Hills, The Peninsula Hotel.
First, I have to tell you how much I appreciate a man with great communication. PRICELESS. This guy has that part DOWN, and I’m so grateful. I get a text from him while I’m getting ready – confirming we’re still meeting. Nice. Yes, yes, we are. (One of the biggest source of nerves when it comes to meeting someone in person is the fact that they might just flake on you. Rude, but it happens.)
I text back to confirm, but need an extra 15 mins from initially planned. He’s cool with that, too.
I’m getting ready. Now, as much dating as I’ve done, how “dressed” I get depends on a few things: How interested I am in the person, What mood I’m in and Where we’re meeting. Today? Shower, hair, makeup, and a dress. Yes, a dress. We were going to a nice hotel lounge in Beverly Hills, after all. I’m totally fine wearing jeans anywhere I go, but based on this guy’s pics on his profile I felt dressing up was probably a good call.
He texts me that he’s on the way. I LOVE this text the most. That lets me gauge how long it’ll take him to get from his house to the hotel, and how much time I need to leave my house so we arrive at the same time. No one wants to wait awkwardly by themselves at the spot.
I look good. I throw on my 5″ heels, too. Hell, why not. He says he’s 6’2″, which means I’ll be juuuuust a bit shorter than him still, even wearing heels. #winning
He texts me again to let me know he’s arrived…he’s “sitting down.” I am LOVING the play-by-play.
I text him “Ok…5 mins” and take off to leave, since I’m done getting ready and live just down the street.
I pull up to valet and ask the gentleman with the fancy hat and vest where the bar/lounge is. I enter the doors and walk down the hall. I see him out of the corner of my eye. He’s secured a corner area, with a couch, table and a few chairs around.
He stands up to greet me with that million dollar smile I recognize from his profile pictures and gives me a hug.
He’s dressed up! He’s wearing all black – a collared shirt, black dress pants, black leather dress shoes and a Gucci belt.
Dang. Too-Young-Tyson-Beckford has competition in the “Most Gorgeous Man I’ve Met in LA” category and I am again reminded that Los Angeles is full of beautiful people.
OMG. He’s so hot…
I sit down beside him on the couch and for the next 5 minutes we work out the normal “first date” jitters. We’re both nervous. The thoughts that normally come into my head start fluttering around…
What does he think about me? Does he like how I look? What should we talk about? Is he really that gorgeous? Is this real life??
I’m normally a pretty confident chick and rarely feel intimidated, but sometimes people get to me.
He waves over the waitress (whose name he got when he first arrived) and politely asks to see the drink menu. We both order some fancy $17 martinis and then launch into conversation.
The jitters leave pretty quickly because he compliments me early on. He tells me how beautiful I look and that he’s glad we finally had the chance to meet. (Finally? Ummm…you just sent me our first message online 4 days ago! But I’m not complaining. I like to meet people IRL sooner than later to determine if there’s that in-person chemistry.)
We talk about a lot – our upbringings, how much he loves his 84-year-old granny, and what his friends call him as a nickname. (“Pretty Boy” is one of them. Big surprise!) This is where I find out how to pronounce his name…lol. It’s what I thought, and it’s actually a pretty cool name – even missing the vowel that should be there. ;)
We also talk about what we do for work. This is the part that gets “Hollywood” and for those of you reading this blog who don’t live in LA, you may enjoy this part a bit more.
So it turns out his brother is in the NBA and used to play for the Los Angeles Clippers. He was his personal assistant, which means he had a front row seat to about as “Hollywood” as you can get here (at least on the sports side of things). Athletes are also celebrities and that life epitomizes my favorite saying, “Work hard. Play hard.” Those in their inner circle, live pretty much the same life.
He launched into numerous tales of what it was like to have Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan come hang out at his house, how the hoochie mama groupies would always show up at their hotels, and how crazy that lifestyle is overall. I’m sitting there listening, both impressed and not-impressed as I’ve had my own moments of this lifestyle in LA, including standing next to Blake Griffin in the player’s parking garage after a game at the Staples Center. Heck, I probably saw my date at one point or another during a game. I use to live downtown LA and my friend who works for the Clippers would always hook me up VIP style.
He also tells me that his ex was Whitney Houston’s hairstylist. And also, was the one who sadly, found her the day she died. Strangely enough, we were sitting just across the street from the Beverly Hills Hotel where it happened. Talk about epic Hollywood stuff. Once again I think to myself, “Is this real life?”
I was born and raised in the Midwest with no television or interest in Hollywood, and here I am (again), smack dab in the middle of another now-normal conversation.
More Hollywood talk and a few more stories, and it reminds me of an important question I asked him on a previous phone conversation. I ask him again:
“So, you’re not still involved in that lifestyle, right?”
His brother ended up getting hurt, traded and out for surgery and then rehab, so it’s been awhile since he was last “out on the scene.”
He repeats that he no longer lives like that and he never really loved all of it. He’s more of the responsible, focused, quiet, laid back and humble kinda dude.
I’m glad, and reiterate that I wouldn’t be sitting here meeting him if he was still caught up in all that. Just not my thing. Been there, done that when I worked in the music industry. It gets old fast. I express how sad it makes me feel for those women whose identity is 100% attached to being seen with a “baller” and how it’s unfortunate that they define their self-worth by being associated with these guys and do almost anything to try get their attention. Uck.
Frankly, that’s why my date first sent me a message. I have a part in my dating profile that says “I’m not your typical LA chick!” And it’s true.
Before you know it, two hours have passed! We had no idea! We were having such a good time chatting that time just flew by. That’s always a good sign.
We decide to get up and walk around the hotel a bit.
Just outside the door to the lounge, I hear piano music. OMG! I love it!
We walk around the corner and find the luxurious “Living Room”, where there is a legit older guy in a suit, playing classical music on a piano. I almost squeal out loud because I’m a classically trained pianist and miss playing so much. Any chance to hear it live is a treat. He’s excited that I’m excited and wants to listen, too. I like his laid-back and go-with-the-flow vibe.
It’s late now….about 11:30pm and there are only a handful of people around. We find another great couch to sit at so we can listen to the guy playing piano and also chat some more, but first, I excuse myself to use the ladies room right around the corner.
I mentioned how I love his communication style, but I also love how polite he is.
One of the ways you can tell how polite someone is, is how they treat the waitstaff. All night he’s been saying “Please” and “Thank you, ma’am”…”No ma’am…”…”How you doing, sir?”… to people around us.
He’s also SO polite that when I return from the bathroom, he STANDS up and waits until I sit down before he sits back down on the couch. Ummm, hello, Mr. Gentleman! He was raised right and as much as a progressive, independent woman of the 21st century that I am, I LOVE old-fashioned chivalry. It is not dead, ladies and gentleman. It’s just rare.
At this point in the date, it’s clear he’s interested and enjoying my company. Same with me. I ask if I can sit next to him and he’s happy to have me cuddle up and sit next to him on the couch. He puts his arm around me and it’s a very romantic scene, folks. The opulence of the hotel, the chandeliers, the mirrored marble fireplace, the music from the piano….mmmm. Nice.
So nice, in fact, I pull out my phone and grab a short video for Instagram/Facebook.
We chat more about what type of music we both like. He likes it all – just like me. I quiz him on giving me a few names of country artists (just to see if he’s full of it) and he comes through. Very nice.
We’re sitting there, cuddled up a bit, our faces very close to each other. He’s staring at me and then gives me the sweetest kiss on the lips. Just one. Nothing crazy. Quite nice. We both smile and then go back to watching and listening to this man play more Mozart.
So it’s now getting late and we both have to work in the AM, so we get up and leave to go get my car out of valet. He’s parked nearby so I tell him I’ll take him to his car.
The end of a first date is weird. If you’re not having a good time, clearly it’s a bit easier to just bail. But it things are going well, what do you do? If there’s chemistry, what then? You don’t want to drag it on too much too fast, but you also don’t want to cut a good thing short, either.
So he points to where he’s parked on the street. I pull up behind his BMW and park.
(Shenanigans Blog Bonus: I normally don’t post the “kiss and tell” parts of the story, but you’ve read this far and want the good stuff, I get it. So here you go. You’re welcome, ladies. And guys reading – you can stop now if you want and just know it was a good date and I went home shortly after. :))
He reaches over to kiss me goodbye and it is no longer just a quick, small kiss. Instead he proves to me that he wasn’t lying when he said earlier in the week that he was a good kisser. I prove him just as right, by confirming he had met his match. His lips are SO SOFT. Omg.
We say goodbye about 5 times and then he wants a proper hug goodbye, so we get out of my car.
He’s all smiles. Well, we both are. He’s a very affectionate guy and he’s holding me and looking at me, smiling that infectious smile.
I shake my head and just giggle and say, “You’re so handsome.”
He smiles back and says, “And you’re so beautiful.” Then he starts kissing me again.
So now it’s really, really late and I have to go. But he doesn’t want to let me go. I don’t want to leave, either. So we proceed to stand there, in between our two BMWs, on the pretty empty streets of Beverly Hills, outside of The Peninsula Hotel, kissing. I’m in the arms of a gorgeous, tall, charming man.
My life is officially a movie.
We say goodbye about another 15 times, and then finally, we mean it. He opens my door and I get in to leave. He says he’ll text me when he gets home so I know he’s safe.
And I drive away, smiling, with my hand over my mouth, saying, “OH MY GOD. That just happened.”
Is this real life??? Yes. Yes, it is. :)