UpDATE: The Architect

I learned so much this weekend.

First, I learned that as much as The Architect intrigues me, it’s not a match.

Without divulging too much detail about his personal life and continuous drama with the mother of his two children, I’ll say this much:

We all have baggage.  We just have to decide how much strength we have to carry a heavy (or lighter) load.  And when it comes to a very fresh, very new potential relationship, this includes you and how much of their baggage you choose to deal with alongside them.  Especially when you’re close enough to be trusted with and learn all of the craziness happening from a pretty early start.

There’s a LOT.

Long story short, the level of his “baby mama drama” is like an 11 on the 10-point scale.  And even though she’s this famous blonde Hollywood-type you’ve most likely seen on a TV show (a Dr. who talks about relationships of all things!), according to The Architect she’s bat-poop cray cray.  A fraud and total hypocrite who is somehow “obsessed” with Mr. Architect, as he says.  The stories he shares with me about her are like nothing I’ve heard and it makes me appreciate the people in my life who are SANE.

They’ve not been together for over 6 years but as a very active dad in his two daughter’s lives, it’s inevitable and almost unavoidable drama for him on a daily basis.

I learn more and more during our date this weekend:

After not seeing each other for a month or so, The Architect invites me out for brunch.

I was curious to see how he was doing (new developments for him on the work side of things) and we do have a special connection.

We spent a few hours in the warm, sunny SoCal city of Manhattan Beach.  After we ate at Ocean View Cafe, we walked down to the ocean.

He shared with me the latest gripes and groans about everything going on (his ex, his latest client who won’t pay his full rate, etc) and I found myself feeling sad.

Sad for him because it’s never any fun when one parent uses the kids to manipulate the other parent.  Sad for him because I know he loves his daughters and his ex puts so much unnecessary strain on those relationships, and after 16 years of it, he’s TIRED.  And finally, sad for him because the majority of what he talks about now is almost all negative.

I’m a glass-half full type of woman and maybe when I’m 56 I’ll be a Negative Nancy, too, but I certainly will do everything in my power to NOT be!

In addition, I can’t STAND people who are negative.  Or not just negative, but who only talk about the bad things in life.   He might speak about actual facts of a situation that he can’t do anything about, but there’s always light to find in a situation, too.

I much prefer to keep things positive, happy, light-hearted and fun.

Much of what he talks about is just repetitive, too, and I’m not a fan of a broken record.

I AM a fan, however, of acknowledging the bad stuff but then changing things up and to start focusing on the positives we see right in front of us.

Fast forward…

He knows I have plans later in the day (another date!…although I didn’t share that), so we head back. I drop him off.  We hug and he gives me a kiss goodbye.

It didn’t feel “final” or anything, but in my heart he’s definitely moved into The Friend Zone.

Which, of course, SUCKS because now instead of getting it for free, I’ll probably have to pay him to build me that dream house, in which I won’t be living in with him.  Sigh.

Mr. Architect: An UpDATE for Date #1 – When we first met

Bringing you up to speed on Mr. Architect, my future (maybe?) house builder “if this works out.”

It all started when he asked me to meet for a late Saturday lunch. We met at Casa del Mar, a swanky hotel about 5 minutes from me, in Santa Monica.  This is my favorite place to meet to watch the sunset.  There are HUGE windows and the hotel is right on the ocean. It’s gorgeous.

We met up and to the right, in the library part of the elegant lobby.

We met up and to the left, in the library part of the elegant lobby.

I’m nervous to meet him, but look reallly cute.  I was wearing a dress, high heels and my fab new spray tan.  (Btw, don’t judge the paint.  Everyone looks better bronzed, and my white butt needed some color! :) I felt very Californian.)

I had plans to meet my girls for brunch right before (just down the street, at another fabulous hotel, Loews), and then would head over afterwards to meet him.

He had texted me to meet him “in the upper bar, at the library.” Extra points already for giving me specifics. I love that, and it’s a big hotel.

I walk in and see him across the way.  He stands up from his chair, smiles, I wave and cross over to him.

He then reaches out his hand and helps me up the 3 steps to where he was sitting.  Well, folks, we have a gentleman on our hands! I appreciate the assistance as I’m wearing 4 inch heels.

He immediately makes a comment about how great I look and I’m pleasantly surprised to see him look even better in person.

He’s wearing some sort of golf shorts, a polo with its collar popped, underneath a light blue sweater – its collar also popped. Ah, yes, that man has style.  He’s an architect, after all.

He’s also wearing a fitted baseball hat.

Now, I’m not sure where or how I grew to LOVE a man in a fitted hat, but there’s something about that look that drives me crazy! Maybe it’s from my appreciation/fascination with athletes.  They can really pull that off.

I sit down at the couch next to his chair, in this small area with a few other comfy chairs and a flat screen TV on the wall.  It’s warm and sunny and a perfect Saturday afternoon.

We begin to chat.

The conversation is going great! He’s telling me about his family, growing up in SoCal, a bit about his work, etc.  I’m telling him similar things.  There’s a lot of smiling and laughs.  My cheeks hurt.

I ask him why he wanted to contact me and what he liked about me/my profile.  I’m always curious.

He tells me he likes that I’m smart, “put together,” and beautiful.  It’s really cute, because he’s trying to be super polite and wants to elaborate on that one more, and I can tell he’s looking for the right words.  Words that won’t offend me, but will get his point across.   He did a good job.  I blush.  I’m flattered.

He takes his hat off and puts it on the table in front of us.

I ask him to please pick it back up – and to put it back on, but backwards.

He smiles, and does it.

I die.

I look at him and his matching blue hat, and think, “This man can not be 47 years old as it said in his profile! Wow, he looks good.”

At that moment, he leans over and asks for a kiss.

Wait, what?? I just met you! But then again, you are wearing the heck outta that damn hat…

He gives me a sweet kiss on the lips.

I died again.

Those lips!

We continue conversation for another TWO HOURS.  A few more kisses snuck in.

I learn two things:

1.  This man doesn’t care about PDA.

2.  He knows what he wants.

In the meantime, a family of 4 visiting from another country (maybe Ireland or England) comes over to our area to watch the Australian Open on the TV.  A mom, dad, son about 13 and daughter, 21-ish who comes back from the bar with a drink.

Mr. Architect and I are chatting amongst ourselves.

He still has the hat on, backwards.

He’s leaning over to me to tell me something quietly, but stops abruptly, and says, “I think she just took my picture.”

What??

“Yeah! I think that girl just took my picture!” he says, quietly and in shock.

I turn my head to the right, where the girl was sitting, and sure enough, she’s holding her iPhone in the “I’m-trying-not-to-look-conspicuous-while-I-take-your-picture” way.

Well, what the what?!

She looks away.

He’s confused, yet flattered.

I’m smiling, laughing to myself.  Hell, I’m flattered.

He does look like someone famous.  An athlete (he’s 6′ 4″), the backwards hat, his attention that would glide to the sports on the TV in front of us occassionally.  Yep.  I can see what she was thinking.  I also remember that we’re in a high density of tourists area and people not from Los Angeles hope to run into a celebrity during their stay.

Awkward and awesome at the same time.

The real irony here, however, is that his ex (and mother to his two girls, 10 and 15) is somewhat famous.  A well-known TV personality who I went home later to Google.  Yep.  She’s someone.  He’s all too familiar with the Hollywood scene, and prefers to remain in the background. (This makes more sense now and I recall how he doesn’t like having pictures up online.)

So, we’re there nearly 2 1/2 hours by this point and he says he needs to put more money in the meter where he parked.

We get up to leave.

We walk across the street.  His Range Rover is up the block, so I suggest I wait for him at the bottom of the street.  When he comes back we can watch the sunset on the ocean.

He heads up the hill to his truck and not a minute later two of my girlfriends who I had brunch with earlier pop right up in front of me! They were still hanging out in the area and had seen us walk right past them moments ago.

They saw my date! And I wanted them to meet him, so moments later I’m introducing him to my girls.  Random! Awkward! Awesome! haha I love them, and it’s now fun to have them put a face and name with the shenanigans I dish later on. :)

We all walk across the street to the sand so we can watch the sun go down.  My girls decide to part ways, though, and Mr. Architect and I are now alone again.

We stroll on the promenade, walking slowly, talking and holding hands.  He’s very affectionate.

We find a spot to sit and talk some more.

We’re being all cute and kinda lovey-dovey and flirty and people are watching as they pass by on their walks.  (Something I learn to get use to on Date #2, Date #3 and Date #4.)

But it’s just me and him there, really.  The conversation continues…

The topic of his age comes up, and I want to verify that he’s really 47, as it says on his profile.  I love an older guy, and prefer someone in their 40s, but I just can’t believe that he’s that old! He looks much younger!

(Side note: I later asked my girls who met him how old they thought he was, and they said “late 30s, if that.”)

He reacts strangely, and just smiles.

Oh, no.  You did not lie on your profile, buddy! Did you??

He tells me he’s not 47.

I immediately begin to get nervous.

I ask again, demanding that he tells me how old he is.

Maybe he’s younger? Or not, wait, maybe….older? Oh no, how MUCH older?

He chuckles a little and says he’ll tell me.  He’ll be honest with me.

“I’m actually fifty.  Fifty…five.  55 years old.”

WHAT?!?!?!

Holy amazeballs, Batman! That can’t be right.

I feel like I’ve just been given the biggest shock of my life.

“Yep, it’s true.  But only for a few more weeks.  I’ll be 56 in two weeks.  On Superbowl Sunday.” He smiles a big smile.

WHAT?!?!?!?

I look for a paper bag to breathe into.  This is not what I was expecting.

I’m 33.  That’s a 22 year difference!

Ummm…ok, focus.  What do I do now? Hmmm….everything was going so great!

I look at him real close and just shake my head.  I don’t believe him.  He has to be younger.

But then he goes to tell me that he knew I wouldn’t respond to his message on Plenty of Fish if I had seen his real age.

He was right.

And now I think I’m kinda glad he lied.  Otherwise I wouldn’t be here on this fabulous date.

So at this point he’s conscious that I’m either two seconds away from bailing on this date and never talking to him again, or kissing him cuz he’s clearly the hottest AARP-card-carrying member I’ve met. (Omg, please don’t let that last assumption be true. How old do you have to be to qualify for AARP?)

He grabs my hands and then my waist and pulls me into a hug.  He gives me a playful kiss and that helps calm me down a bit.

I decide not to bail, but my mind is still reeling.

We have a bit more conversation and then we know it’s time to get going.  He had something to do with his daughters at 6:30pm.

We say goodbye, but not after me giving him crap about his age some more.  I appreciate that he was honest with me in person, and I know that a lot of people lie in their profiles about age.

And for some reason, I’m more curious than creeped out about this guy.

I’m fascinated by who he is, what he does, his story, his personality.  All of it.

I mean, there is an age difference.  And he was building Denzel Washington a house when I was still in high school (as I later found out), but I think I’m ok with that.

I think. :)

The shenanigans continue…

And a question for you!

Mr. Architect – Will you build me a house?

Apparently Plenty of Fish (POF) doesn’t let you send someone a message if you haven’t at least uploaded one picture of yourself first.  THIS kind of a rule is amazing.   Online dating is so much better when there’s pics.

Yet Mr. Architect found this out the hard way when he came across my profile and immediately wanted to contact me.  (He later tells me how and why he initially reached out.)

Seeing as how he’s a very private guy, he didn’t want to upload any pictures.  However, he saw me and wanted to contact me, so up a picture went.

Operation: Talk To This Girl, began.

First, he added me as a Favorite.

I ignored it.

Big deal.  Tons of people add me as a favorite, but never do anything beyond that.  Plus, your profile’s pretty blank, dude.  Not interested.

A few days pass.  He then sent me a message:

“Good morning…”

That was it.

So, naturally, I ignored it, also.

Not because I’m a snob, but if that’s all you’re going to give me in your first message, I’m not interested.  It’s not my job to create your profile (or conversation) FOR you!

Besides, after the hundredth first-ever message from guys like: “Hi.” “Hey there.” “What’s up?” “Hey beautiful.” “How are you?” ….I want to stab my eye with a pencil. Where’s the originality?!

Points for someone who knows how to communicate! Yes, even online, it’s a stretch nowadays, and someone who can string together more than two original sentences is already sexier than the other “Hi” guy. Ugh.  Kill me.

A few days later, this guy who had actually listed his profession on his very limited profile as “Sales Professional”, decided to give it one more shot.

He finally sends:

“Hello,

You’re gorgeous and I think you’re just stunning! And I’m sure you’re bright and put together as well, and I would love to talk sometime, or if you’re up for it, even meet……I’m a 6’4″ architect ~ funny, bright, cool laid-back guy who is also very fit.

You can check me out via my website (insert his company website here) and or contact/email me on FB.

Cheers,
(insert his first initial, last initial here)”

NOW we’re talking! I loved the extra info. And a girl LOVES to hear she’s stunning and beautiful.

I was listening…

I loved the mini-pitch of who he is (an architect, huh?), and that he gave me extra links to look up (ie – stalk) him online.

Winning!

So, naturally, I stalk.

Before I even consider responding, I jump to his website.

Oh! Very nice! I see pics of his portfolio from some projects he’s worked on and I’m immediately impressed.  I see the same picture he’s uploaded to his POF profile under the “About Us” tab for his Residential Design firm.  A lengthy bio explains not only who he is, but that he specializes in the Classical tradition, with special emphasis on American renaissance period between 1880 – 1930.  He’s LEGIT!

I remember that I had listed “Interior Design” as one of my interests on my POF profile, because this stuff fascinates me.  I’m immediately intrigued.

So then I stalk him on Facebook, and after jumping over to my FB app to type in his name, I find we already have 10 friends in common here in Los Angeles.  Whoa! That’s gotta be a good thing, right?

So I respond to this very patient man’s message and let him know how glad I was that I didn’t have to stab my eye with a pencil (j/k).

I loved his note, told him I was interested and then gave him my digits.

I ended my note with:

“PS – If this works out, will you build me a house?”

Joking, of course, and a few hours later I receive a text from him.  He announces who he is and that yes, if this works out, he’ll build me a house. :)

I smiled, took a quick trip down Fantasy Lane to pick out some fabulous drapes, beautiful paint choices and shiny slabs of granite, and then went about my business.

Next step: a phone call. After that? A date…

Mr. Ab-City Surgeon

I’ve seen a lot of abs in my day.  Guys who are super cut, extremely fit, with tight abdominals that show muscles I didn’t know existed.

For some really crazy reason, I seem to attract a lot of guys in LA who are in tip top shape -personal trainers, actors, models, etc.  And all this, despite the fact that my time spent in the gym is less than a fish spends on land, but hey, they’re not complaining.

I’ve even dated a celebrity personal trainer for about 8 months and we never worked out together ONCE.  He was fine with that and totally into me.

While you have to be attracted to each other, and it’s important to live a healthy lifestyle, newsflash, ladies: curves, confidence and a sense of humor are IN.  :)

Which brings us to Mr. Surgeon.

First of all, I find it interesting that I’ve now met several men in the healthcare field recently.  The Doc, a home care nurse (two dates in now…blog coming perhaps), and now a surgeon.  Strange? Hmm. Maybe.

Regardless, I must let you know about Mr. Surgeon, a new prospect I met this week on OkCupid.  Here’s why he’s blog-worthy.

If you’ve any experience with online dating, you know that it’s a crap shoot.  There are literally millions of singles online.  A good handful of those aren’t real, and the vast majority of them are at least PARTLY fictional.  People tend to lie and/or stretch the truth about their age, height, weight, career, hobbies (would everyone stop tying to pose as a world traveler? Please, Jacque Cousteau, you really don’t travel that much.)

So when I see a profile that has outrageous claims, immaculate pics and a lengthy description filled out for each section of his profile that’s also 99% free of any grammar or writing errors, too?!?!?!, I immediately put up skeptical antennas.

So I come across Mr. Ab-City Surgeon recently, who earned this name due to one of his pics in a Halloween costume.  He’s wearing a bow-tie and cuffs, sunglasses, pants and Calvin Klein underwear, which I can see the tops of because he WASN’T WEARING A SHIRT!

He was, however, wearing his abs, and the definition was pretty ridiculous. No shirt needed.

It immediately reminded me I had to do laundry.

Now, again, I’ve seen plenty of washboards in my day, but this guy was also donning a big, bright smile.  My weakness. I LOVE happy people.

I further flip through his pics and see him (with clothes) in scenes at the beach (ok, well, he did have his shirt off there, too), a few with his gorgeous chocolate labrador, one flexing on some rocks by the ocean (hello, biceps, too), and one of my favorites – him scaling a glacier. Sure, why not.

But that was all just icing on the cake, really.

I skip to read his thoroughly well-thought-out profile and it only gets better.

He’s a surgeon.

And a personal trainer.

And a volunteer.

And wants to start a business.

And a Christian.

And…totally cute, and funny, and charming, and HAS TO BE FAKE.

I mean, come ON!

I’m so intrigued and fascinated that I decide to send him a message.

Typically, I will view a profile and see if the guy checks me out in return (they’re notified).  And if he does, I let him decide to send me a note or not.

However, there are the rare few who inspire me to write something clever and witty, in hopes of sparking a conversation.

That’s it.  Mr. Ab-City Surgeon was getting a message.

Here’s exactly what I wrote him:

“(insert his name he left in his profile)…

Your profile can’t be real….lol!

I’ve seen a lot of online dating profiles and yours is pretty outstanding. It started with your adorable dog, then the Instagram pics that’d make most pro photogs jealous, then the line of “…Although I love doing surgeries…”, followed by the abs and bowtie, glacier climbing and “Christianity and very serious about it.”

I mean, really? You’re a total catch! If you’re trying to destroy that already high bar of expectations women have in LA, you did it with flying colors. Very nicely done, sir. :)

Please tell me you’re single because your awesome life simply doesn’t allow you time to find an awesome woman counterpart (which is prob why you’re here on OKC). THAT I would believe.

Regardless, it’d be great to get to know you if you’re interested.

Cheers and best of luck in your search!”

And off I sent it.  Into the ethers of OkCupid and the Internet to see if the man would:

A.) look at my profile, and
B) respond.

I gave it a 20% chance that he’d respond.  I know this “type.”  He hadn’t been online in a few days, so I knew he wasn’t active.

I was so impressed by this dude that I posted about it on Facebook. (Hello to my friends who I’m connected with there and saw that post!) I asked them when they thought he’d respond.

And one of my girlfriends predicted three days…and wouldn’t ya know it? THREE DAY LATER, he responds to my message!

HOLY EXPLETIVE!

I about lost my mind when I saw the blue, blinking notification come across my phone.  “New Message” on OkCupid from (insert his profile name).

After I got done flipping my s*** for a good two minutes, screaming and freaking out, I regained composure and checked his message.

Much to my surprise, not only did he respond, but it was the beginnings of a legit conversation!

He said:

“LOL! You’re too funny, (insert my name here)…and yes, my profile is very real :-)

I actually joined okc a few years ago after a friend of mine encouraged me to, then I got tired of it so I took a break from it for a while. My work/projects have definitely contributed to my single status but mostly I just haven’t quite crossed paths with the “right one” yet. I’d be lying though if I said that I didn’t appreciate having my “Single” card. Ha! How long have you been in LA?

- C”

And there ya have it.

I responded accordingly, stating that I was glad to know I made him laugh….and that he’s the real deal.  I replied with a few other questions and sent it off.

So now we wait, some more.

Either he’ll never respond again, he’ll respond with a few more questions and eventually want my number to talk and/or meet up, or we’ll get married.

Statistics say it’ll land somewhere in the middle and I’m going in with zero expectations, as I do with every new introduction I make.

I’ll be sure to keep you posted on this one.

That’d be hilarious if he was a heart surgeon.

The shenanigans continue…

Pretty Accurate Description of Online Dating – gifs style

Given my extensive experience of both personal and professional use of online dating sites, I’d say this pretty much sums it up!

Click the link to see all the steps in the “cycle.” Heehee…

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 12.30.03 PM

 

 

 

Mr. Booty Call

Wow, where do I start?

The beginning, I suppose.

About two weeks ago I received a message from a handsome Latin lad on OkCupid.  A rugged-looking, great smile with beautiful brown eyes that sparkle.  He’s an ex-Cirque dancer who’s traveled the world and now single, living in LA and working in post-production for a large company in the entertainment industry.  He liked my profile and wanted to see if I was interested in meeting up to ‘take a coffee.’ (The broken English is very cute.)

I think he’s really great-looking and sounds interesting, so we send a few messages back and forth over the next week, and eventually exchange numbers.

Last night he texts me to see if I was available to take that coffee – he would be in my area before having to meet a friend out.  Perfect.

We decide to meet at a nearby Starbucks, and as I approach he texts “Here?” I respond that I’m crossing the street.

(Side note – texting the play-by-play the moments before arrival and meeting a stranger for the first time comforts me.  Thanks to quick texts,  you don’t have the be the dork in the coffee shop looking at every new person who walks through the door, thinking, is that them??? Are they still coming? Am I too early? Did they find parking? When will they get here?! :))

I see a man with a beard step out of Starbucks and look at his phone as I make my way across the street to yet another first date scenario.  I’m feeling excited! The anticipation of who this new person could be in your life definitely fills your head each time, moments before every first date actually happens.

He sees me walk up and we hug and say hello.  It’s the awkward, nervous moment that happens on all first dates.

“Good to see you! Should we go inside?” he asks.  Thick Spanish accent.  Nice! The beard is different, though.  He didn’t have that in his main profile pic.

We walk inside and he asks me how my day was.  I tell him it was good and he asks what I do for a living.  I tell him and he’s interested.  I then return the question and he tells me where he works.

“No way! I have a good friend who works at that company,” I tell him, and he immediately holds his head and says…”Oh no……”

Now, at this moment, we both start smiling.  The next 10 seconds will be very telling…

He asks who it is.  I give him her name and he immediately grabs his head and says, “Oh NO!!!!! You’re kidding me! Of COURSE I know her! Oh woww…..” SMH.

And then he looks at me and says, “Wait.  You and I, we’ve actually met before. At that….that, um….show, in Hollywood.”

Sure enough, we had.  The lightbulb clicked.  This man and I have met, although very briefly, several months ago during Intermission at a play in Hollywood my friend (his co-worker) had invited me to.

But THEN….it ALLLLLL clicked for me.

This was the same man who my friend had the occasional…um, meeting, with.  A casual work fling she’d told me about, with a hot Latin dancer guy who was all about the sex.

OH SNAP.  This guy is her booty call.

So at this point, we’re both extremely red in the face.  We’re laughing because it’s so awkward, and I’m DYING inside because I doubt he knows what I know. Oh boy.  What do I do now?! And is this really happening?!

So I keep quiet, and as we try to maintain composure, about 2 people who are standing near us ask if we’re actually in line or not.

We were so caught off guard.   I’m sure we were standing there like 2 idiots.  He asks if I’d still like a coffee. I say yes, and we order our drinks.

As we wait for his Passionfruit Tea to be made, we still are just laughing and shaking our heads.  “Awkward…” he says, over and over.

“Ok, right?! And what are the chances?! There are millions of people in this city and we end up meeting!” I marvel.

He agrees it’s pretty crazy, still clearly embarrassed and/or trying to figure out what info I actually KNOW about himself.

So we sit down and he laughs and says we should text her we’re here together.  I laugh and say, “No, wait.  Let’s take a selfie together and send it! She’s going to die….”

And die she did, as I sent that pic of the two of us to her phone – me, one of her good gfs, and him, her booty call – just chillin’ at Starbucks.  On a first date.

Lord, help me.  This city is too small.

I’m a Sucker For a Suit

Last night I was invited to a fashion show. My friend’s clothing line for kids was being featured on the runway and she offered me a ticket.

The show was great and afterwards we mingled with others at the VIP cocktail reception.

My friend introduces me to two gentleman she had met earlier – both wearing suits.

Now in LA, it’s RARE to see a man in a suit. The lifestyle is so casual here that it’s not unusual to see someone in jeans on the red carpet. Dressing up is an exception in Los Angeles so I looooooove seeing a man in a suit. (Blame my lawyer ex-husband who got me hooked on picking out ties. My weakness.)

In LA,  if a guy’s in a suit, he’s either a banker, a lawyer or lives in Beverly Hills. Just my experience. :)

Sure enough, this one guy I had my eye on lives in Beverly Bills.

We chat, we flirt, we play the “guess my age” game with all four of us and then clink our glasses together to “cheers” to us all looking wayyyyyy younger than our actual ages. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for the good genes.

I’m loving that this one guy is 49, but looks and acts like he’s in his 30s.  I love he’s from the Dominican Republic but raised in New York and an NYU grad.  Oh. And that he’s wearing a suit and tie ensemble that probably cost that of a good mortgage payment. I’m not mad.

My friend tells the two guys what I do for a living and Mr. Armani asks me if I also freelance on the side. I tell him I do sometimes and he wants my card. Awesome. He gives me his.

We talk more about us both being single parents, how much we love our kids and what position my son plays in football.

The time passes, we’re having great banter and we kinda drift a few feet over to have a more private conversation. He tells me stories of what REALLY happened with Kobe Bryant and his scandal,  what his famous actor friend (who he won’t share his name) gave him for his 47th birthday, and a few of the film and charity projects he’s involved in.  So Hollywood.

We’re chatting and laughing away and then the shocking moment of the night happens. He says something about being in trouble as a kid and I laugh and say I was grounded my whole childhood, too. He just looks at me and says, “I know you were.”

Um, excuse me? You weren’t there. How did you know that? We just met! What the what?

He answers, “OH, come on. You’re a rebel. It’s all in your eyes…..”

Dang! I’m so busted here, because it’s partly true, although I’ve been playing the professional, classy woman role all night. People tell me all the time I have these eyes…but how do they see this stuff??

I’m literally shocked, and smiling, ask how he could possibly know that (all the while maintaining my innocence).

“Please, I read you like a book right away. What’s that line in Jerry Maguire?…. Oh yeah, you had me at hello.” :)

I’m now blushing yet intrigued and luckily his friend walks over to say he’s got to get going.

Mr. Armani and him came together so he gives me a hug and asks what I’m doing this weekend. He tells me we should get together, and since I live just down the street from him it’d be easy to do. He tells me his travel plans for the next week and says we’ll figure something out. I tell him that’d be great. And they head out.

So now I wait for him to be a man and make a move. Yes, I’ll wait – not with baited breath, but with a vision of me strolling through his walk-in closet….full of ties. :)

Facebook Is a Snitch (upDATE: Mr. Can I Get A Vowel)

It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve turned into a Private Investigator and gone to social media to find somebody to stalk,… err, I mean, look at.

We all do it.

And with new dates popping up faster than the Orville Redenbacker popcorn machine at the movie theater, I’ve got to find extra info on these boyz STAT, yo!

Remember Mr. Can I Get A Vowel?

Well thank goodness he’s missing a vowel in how to spell his name cuz he was the ONLY guy on Facebook that came up in my search. How convenient!

He’s still texting me everyday, calling me “baby” (Btw, what is that with guys? I’m not your baby until we’re exclusive! Do you know how many people’s “baby” I am?? It’s getting watered down.  Ugh.), and he’s tried to see me again (I already had plans that night) .

Let’s see what this guy’s REAL story is…

His profile? Pretty barren and locked down. Most recent profile pic was from 2011, and it was one of the same ones from his dating profile.

I couldn’t see or learn anything else, really. I flipped through a few old pics in an album on the red carpet with his brother, the guy in the NBA. Meh. Whatevs. Nothing too shocking. No women in his pix, just a bunch of guy friends. He still looks good, though.

But THEN… I see it.

A picture on his timeline from 2011, a selfie of a woman he had tagged as “my friend.”

She’s a pretty Asian girl and right away I remember him saying on our first date that he has a crazy, Asian ex. Whatever that means.

So naturally I click through to her profile and lo and behold, her current default profile pic is both her AND Mr. Can I Get A Vowel all hugged up together.

Further, her cover photo is of him and her at a zoo.

Busted.

I dig deeper to find the dates these pics were taken. Turns out, it was awhile ago but she had just re-uploaded them a few weeks back. I can read a public comment thread and see her tell her aunt who commented on how cute they are together that she “loves him very much!”

Hmmm.

Either they just broke up recently and she’s not quite ready to let go of their 3+ year relationship, or they’re still together.

Either way, I ain’t the one!

Too messy. And as I told him, I’m looking for a more serious relationship. I couldn’t expect anyone to be ready to jump right back into one.

I ended up questioning him about it. He said he had already “explained” the situation me. (No, playa, you didn’t. I’m pretty sure I would have recalled that info.)

So I told him I ain’t the one, and he said he wishes me the best and that I deserve the best.

Yes. Yes, I do.

Vanna, out.

Next!

I Think I Got Proposed To…

I owe you all an upDATE from the other night.

First of all, it’s so funny how different the men all are that I’m going out with in terms of relationship readiness. They are keeping me on my toes!

Fresh off the heels of The Doc assuring me he’s NOT interested in anything serious, I meet up with this other guy – an ex, actually.

Well, not technically an “ex” as in boyfriend, but a man I’d casually dated several years ago during my phase where I was not relationship ready.

We always had a good time. He’s funny, charming and a total gentleman. The guy once delivered flowers to me after a simple misunderstanding just to make sure we were cool.

He’s financially stable, divorced for a long time and has two grown kids out of the house. He just turned 48 but looks and acts much younger.

During the time we were “dating,” this guy fell for me hard. Like, head over heels. I had some sort of a clue back then, but really didn’t know the extent of it…

One night last week, I was surfing around on Plenty of Fish and there he was! We had originally met on POF, and it was cool to see him single and available.

We exchanged messages and he said he was JUST wondering about me! How strange.

I was uber curious to see this guy again. I had changed. I was ready. Had he changed? Was he still ready? Was the timing better now?

It turned out that his birthday landed on the day after we selected to go out. Cool! One stone, two birds. We’d celebrate.

It took awhile to figure out where we’d meet for dinner. I suggested a few places and he was pretty indifferent.

Now, normally that’s not a big deal, but this is the guy who when we were first dating used to pick two restaurants before our date, and DRIVE to them each, check out the vibe and ambience, look at the menu, and actually talk to the manager to get their feedback before choosing which venue would be best.  Screw Yelp. Just ask this guy…

But, whatever, I just took it as maybe he was feeling guarded and didn’t want to extend his gentlemanly-self quite so soon. After all, I kinda rejected him and broke things off last time.

So we arrive at Bottega Louie, a nicer Italian spot downtown LA. I love this place. He had never been.

We have the “Wow, I haven’t seen you in a long time…” jitters and strangely enough we launch into conversation about dating. Online dating, dating in LA, what he’s experienced since we had last been dating, what I’ve experienced, etc

(Btw, I’ve found this conversation to be a pretty typical one with guys nowadays. Nothing too extensive but we definitely chat about dating and meeting online without any stigma. In the past? Stigma.)

So he’s actually telling me that dating hasn’t been going so well for him. That it’s been hard because he started working the graveyard shift over a year ago for his job and that makes it impossible to date. He admits he’s a bit rusty.

He also tells me he no longer believes in the institution of marriage.

Screeeech! Hold up. Say what?!

This dude HAD changed. But why?

So he proceeds to tell me about a “relationship” he had after me that really messed him up. He says he got played pretty bad by a conniving woman who wanted him to chase her for a year when he really wasn’t interested, and when he did switch from only liking her as a friend to all of a sudden realizing he loved her, she broke it off because the chase was over. Messed up. And I felt bad.

That was over two years ago and he’s over that now. But it had changed him a bit.

So I’m listening to his stories. We order a fancy Italian pizza and drinks and continue to chat.

He’s still making me laugh, in between stories and I’m enjoying his company. He’s really one of the good guys and I can still see that. I tell him I’m having a good time and it’s good to see him and catch up.

And then he drops the bomb…

“It’s good to see you, too. But as far as I’m concerned, we should be sitting at this table as husband and wife.  You should have long since been my girl.”

Ummm…. excuse me??? Did you say WIFE?! #WhatTheWhat

He proceeds to tell me that he held back a lot when we were first dating because he knew I wasn’t really interested in anything long term. He is acting timid and kinda shy and totally vulnerable now, but he continues to share his feelings.

I was “the one.”

The whole time my mind is reeling. Is this guy serious? Is it worth checking out? Maybe we should date again…

He assures me I’d be the happiest woman on the earth, that we’d be great together, and that bit was always easy with us.  We clicked.

I tell him I’m confused because earlier he had said he didn’t believe a happy marriage was in the cards for him. He cleared up that I was a different situation. I was different from all the other women he’s dated over the years.

Oh.

I begin to understand. I’m acting super sweet, caring and aware of his vulnerable state, all the while. But still processing this news…

So the restaurant is closing down by this point and the lights start to come up as bus boys clear all the tables.

It’s getting late, it’s a “school night” and I have to work in the morning, so we head out.

I drive him to his car parked farther away, and he’s making me laugh so hard by random things he’s saying in our small talk conversation. (Sense of humor is MUST for me in a match.)

He reminds me that the “ball is in my court”, he gives me a quick kiss goodbye and we part ways.

So there ya have it! The proposal-ish conversation.

It’s been 5 days since that date and I’m still not quite sure what to do. He’s definitely a different person nowadays. I suppose I am, too. There are new things about him that I don’t love and that rub me the wrong way, but I dunno… Maybe I’m sabotaging what could be a really good thing? Heck, I did it once with him already! (even though the timing was off)

And I further suppose that starting over with each other might just be a good idea. I’ll continue to date and meet other people until I figure things out.

The shenanigans of a single woman in her 30s in Los Angeles continue!

upDATE: Mr. Can I Get A Vowel

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.  :)

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