I Am Absolutely Certain, Without a Doubt, That “The Doc” Loves Me! I Think…

(Head-up….this was from a draft I had written a long time ago but never published.  The below story happened in MAY! Much has happened with The Doc and I since, but I had to get you caught up on a very important evening…)

Sigh.

I saw The Doc again.

I debated writing this blog because whatever unfolds from our interactions is always SO REAL and SO DEEP that it’s almost too hard to write about. But nonetheless…

It’d been a few months since we last saw each other.  That was after I politely told him to stop contacting me.  His random messages of “What’s up babe?” on any given Wednesday but with no follow through or plans to see me was too much for me to handle, so I thought “Outta sight, outta mind” should do the trick.  I needed to move on.  He had politely agreed, and didn’t argue.

For two months straight I tried my best to forget about him.

I failed miserably.

The Doc is EVERYWHERE and never far from my mind, as hard as I try:

I drive past a hospital or pharmacy – I think of him.

I hear a reference to Belize – I think of him.

Someone plays a reggae song – I think of him.

I travel to Terranea Resort – I think of him.

I meet someone from USC – I think of him.

I’m breathing – I think of him.

See? Bad.  I’d want to reach out but never did.

But then I got this freaking kidney stone thing that landed me in the ER and the whole fiasco really, really made me miss him.  And it gave me a really, really good reason to reach out to him.

So, naturally, I did.

I emailed him, gave him a quick run down of what landed me in the hospital, and told him I’d love his feedback and opinion on whether or not I should take these two prescriptions they gave me. (I hate taking pills, if I can help it.)

He emailed back right away and said he was leaving for the airport for a meeting but that he’d call me when he got back later that night.

He did call.

He was meeting his boys to play basketball so he only had a few minutes, but he gave me great feedback and said we’d catch up more later.

A few text convos and a week or so later happened.

Fast forward…

It was Saturday and I was looking forward to a second date I had planned with Mr. Marketing.  As much as The Doc is…well, my unavailable soulmate in scrubs, I am also a very realistic person and am seeing and meeting other great guys.

Unfortunately, Mr. Marketing cancelled our plans due to family stuff that afternoon. Jerk! Dang it!

I was bummed.  Kinda sad, actually.  And I hate getting cancelled on last minute.

Actually, I’m being dramatic.  For two seconds I was sad.

I read his cancellation text and then immediately text The Doc.

“Happy Saturday!”

He responds right back.

“Happy Saturday to you, too, sexy lady.  What’s up on your side?”

Success.

I already knew two things:

1. He wanted to see me.

2.  He wasn’t busy that night.

Sure enough, I was right.  I really know this man.

Later that night, I brought myself and a tasty 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon over to his place.

cabernet-sauvignon-2009

I pull into his garage and recall how perfect our cars fit in there next to each other.  He’s in there doing laundry, which I can say is probably even MORE perfect of a scenario.

He gives me a huge, big hug and kiss on the neck.  His smile is enormous.  I’m sure mine’s bigger.  I’m SO excited to see him.

We make our way upstairs and he breaks open the wine.

The mood is light, flirtacious, fun.  It’s us.  It’s always exciting and we both haven’t stopped smiling or laughing for a good 10 minutes now.

He asks me what happened to my plans that night and I tell him (vaguely) that “…people cancelled and wanted to re-schedule…”

“People?” he asks, coyly, as he smiles a knowing smile.

“Ok,” I say. “One person in particular.”

I shake my head, he smiles, and we both know there are others involved here but that it was working out for the better with the two of us right in this moment.

I’ve always loved our honesty.

We catch up.  He tells me I look good, despite the kidney stone nonsense, and I get scolded for not drinking enough water.  He’s always giving me loving medical advice.

He tells me his cousin says hi.
I want to tell him to give his cousin my number so i can tell him to knock some sense into The Doc and wake up and smell the coffee here and realize I’m the perfect woman for him, but I don’t.  I just smile and think it’s special he mentioned that.

And then he tells me that he’s looking to buy another house in Belize.

“What?!?!” I shrieked.

To catch you up on something – he was against another bidder on a property there about 6 months ago, but he lost.  When he called me to tell me that he didn’t get it, I told him he lost that house because of fate.  I wasn’t in on it with him, and that we should buy our dream house there together. I was half-serious, and I’m sure he thought it was cute.

I told him I didn’t want to hear about this new one.

“Why not?” he asks.  “Because you’re not in on it with me?” He smiles.

Ah ha! He remembered.

Honestly, I can see this picture of us living in paradise painted so clearly in my head that I don’t want to hear about it unless it’s going to happen. So I ask him one question:

“You can tell me about it but ONLY if the answer to this question is “yes”…

“Ok, shoot,” he says.

“Will I ever see this house with my own eyes?”

And without missing a beat, he says, “Sure! Why not?”

I get all serious and say, “Yeah, ok. Whatever.  I don’t invite myself to places that I’m not wanted…”

He corrects me.  He’s serious, too.  “You’re here now, aren’t you?”

We’ll see.

Anyways, he tells me about this amaaazing property on the tropical blue waters of the Caribbean Sea.  I picture him, me and a hammock and I go into dreamland again.  This fairy tale is amazing, isn’t it?

Back to reality…

We talk for another hour cuddled up on the love seat, have the TV on in the background, laugh, catch up on work and careers, and finish the bottle of wine.

It’s getting late now.  Time to go to sleep.

We head upstairs, a now familiar trek. I mean, we’ve known each other for awhile now.

Sorry to let down you about any juicy, racy, sexy details, but the rest of the night is literally a PG situation – we sleep/cuddle and nothing else.  About 90% of the night he’s spooning me.  He’s even affectionate in his sleep! Perfection.

I wake up early in the AM to the sound of my phone buzzing.  It’s a new message on OkCupid.

The Doc is turned over and snoring.

I check it, cuz, hey why not.

Side note: At this point, for those of you following this never-ending love story of The Doc and I who are all like, “What the heck is she doing?? Why’s she holding out for this dude? He’s clearly not into her the same way…” Well, just hold it one hot second.

I’m not in my 20s anymore.  I’ve worked in the dating and relationship space for years and know many former clients or friends who are relationship experts, authors, speakers, therapists and more.  I’ve learned a ton and feel pretty healthy in my choices.

Besides, if I WAS all into him (and only into him) I wouldn’t have been excited to check my dating app notifications while snuggled under his 1200 thread-count sheets while he slept beside me.  :) I’m optimistic, yet realistic.  Big difference.

I check the message.  It’s from a new guy.  Cool.

I also check my texts.  More late night messages from others who are pursuing me.  Cool, but I don’t respond.

The Doc is still sleeping but I do kinda have a guilty conscience so I put my phone back on the bedside table.  They all can wait.

I’m fully awake now and it’s about 8am on a Sunday.  No going back to sleep for me, so I lay there and look around.  His master bedroom suite is so familiar to me and I’m always amazed at how neat and orderly it is.

The pile of books on his bedside table include “The 5 Love Languages” and “What On Earth Am I Here For?” by Rick Warren.

I know what he’s here for!!!!

Unbeknownst to him, the answer is clearly for him to find me, fall in love and live happily ever after.

I’m WISHING that it said that on page 42 or something and all he’d have to do is stumble across it eventually.

But it doesn’t, so I’m left to let the Big Man Upstairs handle the timing or outcome on this one.

An hour or so passes by and FINALLY he stirs awake.

He leans over and kisses me gently on my head.

“Good morning.”

I smile.

I tell him “Hi…” and that I should get going soon.

Honestly, I have no plans, but never want to overstay my welcome, and also I recall him saying he had plans to meet his mom for lunch. #perfectson

But I did not expect what would happen next to happen.

For the next THREE HOURS, we laid in bed and talked.
(TALKED, people! I swear to goodness.)

He didn’t want me going anywhere.  I was officially trapped on this cloud.

But seriously, the stuff we talked about was deep.  It was real.

Real deep.

It didn’t start off that way.  In fact, it was our usual catching up conversations.

Conversations that couples have on lazy Sunday mornings who are conquering life together, as a team.

He caught me up on his work, his less-than-amazing boss, his recent accomplishments and his busy travel schedule lately.  Meetings, conferences, speaking engagements. He’s killing it out there.

I’m so proud of this guy.  He’s a star at his company and is looked to for knowledge and expertise that guys 20 years older don’t have.  His intelligence, drive and ambition is one of the most sexy things about him to me.

The hours tick by and we’re still cuddling and talking in bed.

We’re both in the comfortable space we’ve become accustomed to.  He stops for a moment, kissses my forehead and says..

“Hey.  Don’t ever stop talking to me like you did again, ok?”

He’s kinda sad, definitely serious.

The Doc has actually communicated something that he wants from me.  Fascinating.

I feel bad now that I did spend the last few months ignoring him and cutting off all communication.  I guess the guy noticed.

I agree and tell him I’m sorry and then tell him that as hard as I FRICKIN’ TRIED, I couldn’t stop thinking about him during that time anyways.  My plan had backfired.

Then The Doc tells me I’m never far from his mind.  He’s always thinking of me and praying for me and wishing me the best.  Always.

Well, dangnabit.  I had no idea.

We end up basically professing love for each other.

Not the “Let’s-get-married-tomorrow” kind of love, but the “We-really-care-about-the-lives-of-each-other-here” kind of love.  It’s one I’ve not ever experienced.

And yes, it’s not the one I’m exactly looking for, either.

I do feel amazing, however, and protected and special, and….loved, in this moment.  I try to hold onto it for as long as possible, knowing that as soon as I get up out from under the crisp white down comforter we share, it’ll be back to reality.

And back to my OkCupid and Tinder messages.

Strangely enough, I’ve come to appreciate both situations.

We spend a bit more time together in bed (still only a PG situation) and then it’s time for me to leave.

As I head to my car in his garage, we’re both smiling.  He kisses me one last time, gives me another big hug and I’m on my way.

I drive all the way home with a smile….and a peace in my heart.

 

Tinder: Crash and Burn 101

Tinder

In case you either live under a rock or are married (both are perfectly fine), there’s this new dating app called, Tinder.  It runs strictly on your smartphone.

I think they called it “Tinder” because the idea is to set your love life up in flames as quickly as possible.

Let me explain.

Known as the “hook up” site and a reputation for quick, meaningless connections within a few miles of where you’re currently located, Tinder requires less effort than blinking your eyes and about 2 brain cells to determine whether the “match” displayed on your screen is someone you want to like or not.

If you like their pic and have read their short bio (if they’ve even written one), you take your thumb and swipe right on their pic to let them know you’re interested. (For the uber curious, you can click to see up to 5 total pics…if they’ve actually uploaded them.)

If they’ve already done that same “swipe right” process after seeing your profile, BADABOOM! You’re a MATCH! Cupid can go back to sleep now and your hot and heavy adventure can begin.

Given my extensive knowledge and current practice using other dating apps, I’d say this one’s at the bottom of the spectrum in terms of finding someone amazing, who’s also truly looking for a long-term relationship.

Except for this guy I met on Tinder last Friday who I’ll probably marry….

But more on that later. :)

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. 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.

upDATE: Mr. I Want to Be Married

A quick update for those of you wondering how my coffee first date went with the guy who sent me the text message about ONLY wanting to date someone if it meant it’d lead to marriage. Rare, I know, and I was excited to see what this guy was all about.

We met on a Saturday morning for coffee in Pasadena, halfway between where he and I live.

First impression? Cute! About my height (I’m 5’9″) and nice arms.  Great smile, too.

We hug hello and then get in line to order some caffeine.

We’re at Starbucks and he’s a total Californian when he asks to have his drink made with 20 different specifics about it.  I’m more the simple, laid-back type. I order straight off the menu.

We find some chairs and a table outside and begin to talk.  He’s either kinda nervous or a bit more on the uptight side, I can’t tell.  I’m definitely laughing (and making him laugh) more than the other way around.  Hmmmm….a sense of humor is a dealbreaker for me.

So he asks me a question and as I’m answering it he interrupts me and says, “How’s your drink?”

I’m confused.  It’s coffee.  It’s good.  I ask how his is and he’s not happy.

“It’s not strong enough.  See, I like to really do things.  If I’m paying for caffeine, I really want to…..feeeeel it.”

Oh, my.

He says he’s like this in all areas of his life.  Very extremist.  Including his cleaning habits, grooming habits, working out habits and more.  He actually says he’s like OCD, without the obsessive part.  And he assures me that he doesn’t expect this of other people, it’s more just for him.

I have a quick vision of him flipping his lid cuz I left a dish in the sink for the second time, and quickly come back to reality.

He’s so unhappy about his drink that he says he’s going to go change it.  He asks if that’s ok and he’s already up out of his chair.

Ummmm, I guess.

So literally TEN MINUTES later, he comes back out after having left me sit there by myself while he went in to try and have the poor barrista fix him the perfect coffee cocktail.

He’s happier now and we continue the conversation.  I’m trying to give this guy a break, and he is actually mentioning a lot of things that I actually value and want, too.

We were in an area of lots of furniture stores and since I needed to start looking for some new things, I mentioned that IKEA was just a block away and that I wanted to check it out that day.  I throw it out there to see if he wants to join me.  He hesitates for a second, but then says that’s cool.

We walk over to IKEA, talking the whole time.  Conversation is pretty surface level and this dude is not showing me any signs of real interest or affection.  Now, I don’t need to have you kissing me within the first five minutes of a first date, but dang.  If you’re acting like my brother or just a guy friend, then I’m not so much gonna feel anything romantic-like for you.

But at this point, I’m still trying to not give up so easily (as so many people dating do) and also don’t mind killing two birds with one stone by checking out what’s new at IKEA, so we begin the maze of Swedish furniture together.

Let me tell you, if you want to know what kind of person someone is on a first date, take them to IKEA and walk through that maze together.  You’ll know so much more at the end of it.

We survived the maze, although I learned two things:

1.  I’m not really a fan of IKEA anymore, even if I want to be ballin’ on a budget for some things.

2.  He doesn’t enjoy too many people in crowds, particularly screaming children.

It wasn’t horrible, but definitely interesting.

He walks me back to my car, hugs me goodbye and says it was a pleasure.  I think he mentions something about meeting up again, but I can’t really recall.  It was a few weeks back now and honestly, I left kinda underwhelmed.

I haven’t heard from him since, and guess what? That’s ok. :)

My Date with the Mattress Expert

There are certain things that a single woman might have to do that would be WAY better to do with a man. Like shopping for a new mattress.

But, alas, until Mr. Right shows up, I get to enjoy awkward tasks like this one by my lonesome.

I need a new bed. I’m moving and had been borrowing one, so I need to buy the whole thing – mattress, box spring, frame, the actual bed, too. Ugh. A necessary evil. However, I DO prefer a bed to sleeping on the floor and I’m kinda excited to make my first ever grown up mattress purchase.

Not really knowing how or where to get started or more importantly, how to buy the right one, I started looking online. I also looked at IKEA on a first date. I asked my friends on Facebook.

Temperpedic. Sleep numbers. Memory foam. Memory foam with gel. Pillowtop. Body forming. Firm, extra firm, extra soft. And on and on.

Mattress shopping is freaking overwhelming! There are just as many choices of different types of mattresses as there are single men in Los Angeles, I swear.

So one of my gfs tells me to Yelp this place near me and go check it out. It’s close by, and since I cancelled my date tonight because a bed is kinda more important right now, I made my way over to the mattress store.

It’s Sunday, it’s in the evening, and about an hour before closing. I walk in and there’s just one guy there.

Oh, great. It’s me, this dude, and a ton of beds that I’m assuming I’m going to have to lay on for him. That’s not awkward at all.

He’s my age, super friendly and turns red in the face during moments when we talk.

He’s very helpful and starts telling me how the industry has changed over the years and how old, metal coils are out and how new fancy solutions are in. He’s showing me an example of a bed cut out, fancy springs and all.

Cool. I’m learning something. But I knew the weird part was coming next.

“What kind of sleeper are you?”

Ummm…. a good one?

Oh. I figure out what he means when he grabs a cardboard diagram of a person’s back. I’m a side-sleeper. (So is he.)

He asks a few more questions and then says what I was dreading.

“Ok, let’s start with these three. This one is the firmest and it goes up from there. Go for it. Start with this one here. “

He points to the bed we’re standing next to and I awkwardly get on the bed and lay down. First on my back, then I switch over to my side.

I can’t concentrate on what it feels like because it feels like I’m a single woman in a huge mattress store with a dude watching me lay on a bed! I totally felt safe because the whole front of the store was windows, but still.  Am I wrong to feel some sort of sexual tension in this situation?

It was weird. He walks a few beds over to his desk to grab his drink while I lay there all awkward. He’s still talking casually about the differences and yada yada this and that, but I think he was trying to give me space to make it a bit less awkward.

I wonder what chapter this is in during Mattress Expert training:

“How to Sell a Mattress to a Single Woman While Being the Only Guy on Duty Without Looking Like You Want to Join Her: Part One.”

Luckily, he was really cool and laid back and that helped ease my weirdness, but still…

Imagine making eye contact with a guy while laying in bed and you’ve only known him for ten minutes. Weird!

But after that one, he had me move to the next. And so on and so on. This went on for about 20 minutes, while we narrowed down what I was loving or not loving so much.

He did really know his stuff.

Most of the awkwardness had faded by this point, and thank goodness I’m a pretty confident chick, otherwise I don’t know what I would have done. My hourglass shape is quite the hourglass when flipped on its side, laying down. Add that to him and I locking eyes while he checks out my hips, spine and posture to make sure I’m aligned…yeah, not awkward at all. I was just hoping I left my bedroom eyes Mr. Armani saw the other day at home! Hopefully the bright florescent store lights didn’t make my baby blues at all interesting.

In the end, I think I figure out what I want and he tells me he’ll give me an awesome deal on it. We talk a bit more about the price, manufacturer, how and where they make it, when it’d be delivered, etc, then he hands me his card, shakes my hand… No, wait, correction, he HOLDS my hand for an extra long second, and asks my name. I give it to him, grateful he didn’t know it during that whole process cuz that would have made things reallllly personal.

He thanks me for coming in and for “keeping him company” on such a lonely Sunday night. He’s laughing, of course, and it’s cute.

I thank him for his help and tell him I’ll give him a call to figure everything out this week.

Oy. Single girl shenanigans, indeed.

The good news? Once I buy it, the three people who’ll be sleeping in it will love my bed. Yes. Me, myself, and I shall get much needed rest from all these shenanigans. :)

upDATE: My Final Diagnosis About “The Doc”

To be totally transparent and honest, I went back on my word to not see Mr. Amazing Unavailable again, and totally saw him. A few times, actually. (You can start judging me now…)

But I swear I have a good reason… Lol.

He’s not just some guy I was seeing.

Over the last 5 months, we’ve grown close. He’s become a good friend, a confidant, a sounding board, an advisor, a teacher – and I’ve been the same for him. Beyond our chemistry, there was so much SUBSTANCE there.

I learned his taste in music and his boss’s name, and what’s been bugging him at work. I learned he loves to keep things clean and organized and separates his v-neck tshirts from his regular tshirts. He learned I’m crazy about my baby and how lately I’m missing him while he’s at his dad’s and how I start to have bad dreams when he doesn’t respond to his mother’s texts and phonecalls.

One thing that sucks about being single is that you don’t have that guy there to always talk to. Your best friend, your partner. Someone who’s ready and willing to listen to you, and is there during… life.

So you turn to girlfriends or your sister or… a blog…to communicate your feelings and hash things out.

As much as I love the above alternatives, nothing replaces that heart to heart connection with a significant other.

And this is what I had with The Doc from Day 1.  We always agreed that it was just “easy” with us.  He would call me to talk and we’d be on the phone for hours.  We fit. We clicked. And as he always would say, “We’re on the same wavelength.”

So it was easy to respond to his text to see how I was doing when I was having a bad day recently and needed to talk/vent to a trusted person.

Turns out he wanted to see me (whatta shock, Mr. Cake and Eat It, Too) but when I confronted him on his intentions, he made it clear he truly wanted to console me and catch up.

And we did.

And I actually had a very clear understanding by then of where he was. I had come to terms with the fact he wasn’t ready to entertain the idea of being a “relationship guy.”

Ok, fine. I do love our friendship, too.

So I saw him a few times more and those instances drew us closer again. On all levels.

Cut to last week…

I invited him to have dinner. I wanted to talk to him and get clear on a few things I’ve been contemplating.

I happen to work in the industry of love, dating and relationships, and allllll dayyyy longgggg I consume, organize and communicate about these topics to the world at large.

The fact that I’m living through these topics in my personal life at the same time is a coincidence, and it can get a bit overwhelming. However, it’s also allowed me to really identify what I want in my life.

And here’s an update: As much as I want to find my partner, I don’t want to find my next ex-husband.

Been there, done that. If you want a full dose of pain in your future, marry the wrong guy, at the wrong time.

Too many people spend all their time planning for the wedding, and not nearly enough time planning for the marriage.

So with all of this chatter, both inside and outside my head, I’ve decided to chill out a bit. Really, there’s no rush. Why was I making it feel like there was?? Maybe I was getting caught up in all the hype of “finding love” and the urgent chase that comes with it as a single woman in her 30s.

No. That’s not me, and I’ve never followed the path of normalcy in life.

I’ve decided I needed to chill.

The date:

The Doc picks me up from work. He’s wearing a suit and just coming from a conference with other PhDs and smart folks in his industry. I die.

But I’m looking just as good in my lace dress and heels. He dies.

We really are a great looking couple.

We have an amazing dinner at one of the best sushi spots in Los Angeles, and I watch the sun set on the Pacific Ocean to my left as we talk and laugh. And smile and flirt. Why does it always have to be so romantic with us?! Gah!

(view from our table at Sushi Roku in Santa Monica, CA)

image

We had such a good time that I never found a good time or place in conversation to bring up the conversation where I wanted to propose the idea of slowing down a bit, acting a bit more casual with us yet hoping to see if he’s on the same page of wanting to just only see each other, and see how things go. Perhaps he’d be more open to this pace, too.

So he’s dropping me off and I finally get the courage to bring it up. I tell him I love what we have now and he agrees. After I tell him my new revelation of wanting to pace myself, I ask what his thoughts are about being exclusive. And then he comes straight outta left field and tells me he’s seeing someone else.

BAM.

There ya have it.

Shocked, I ask a few simple questions to try and understand just a bit more about this man’s choices and who this other woman might be. He reveals that she doesn’t connect with him nearly as well, and not nearly as deeply…on many different levels.

Well, duh! I could’ve predicted that. After meeting so many different people over the years, it’s a special thing when you find a rare connection. Ours is very obvious.

I’m hurt but not mad. He’s totally allowed to be seeing other people. Hell, I am, too… and after all, you’re all getting the inside scoop on my dating life, not him. :)

So we’re sitting in his car and I’m now feeling VERY different. Yet very wise.

I’m sad for him because knowing there’s someone else now, shows me he’s really not interested in building anything special with me, or with anyone else for that matter. I also realize that as amazing as a friend as he’s become, and as close as we’ve gotten since 5 months ago, I know what i need to do…

I tell him she’s his safer choice.

I tell him that whatever happened in his past that made him so adverse to wanting a relationship and thinking he’s not adequate enough to be a “relationship guy”, is the same thing that’s going to make me get out of his car and watch me walk away.

I tell him I don’t have the jackhammer required to bust through the concrete walls reinforced with steel beams around his heart, nor do I want to put in the time and effort.

He understands. And he acknowledges this would be the case.

I wish you could see his eyes. They are full of fear and apprehension that I’m seriously about to leave him, yet softened by this man’s genuine feelings of love and care towards me.

If internal contradiction had an expression through someone’s eyes, he’d be the poster child right now.

We talk some more and I’m actually holding up ok in the tear duct department. He sees I’m disappointed but I actually have an attitude of “it is what it is.”

I tell him I’m seeing other people, too, and in fact, there’s someone who works across the street from me who’s been trying to ask me out to dinner for the last two weeks. I also tell him I was practically proposed to by someone from my past who’s re-entered the picture.

He tells me he’s not shocked by this.  He repeats “how amazing” I am. And then he’s silent.

After a pause, I ask him what he’s thinking about. He says he’s processing what I just told him.

Good, I say.

More silence.

I tell him I have to get going. So with pretty much nothing left to say, he asks if he could at least give me a hug goodbye.

I shrug and agree and we get out of the car. He comes around to my side and then gives me the longest hug of my life.

It’s not a hug. It’s an embrace. He’s holding me tight, not wanting to let go. It’s a long, freaking hug.

I wasn’t sure at the time what that was all about, but looking back it felt like it was him silently wishing he could be that guy I need, yet apologizing with this hug that he couldn’t be.

Or, wouldn’t be.

Either way, it wasn’t gonna work for me.

The hug finally ended. We look at each other and I wipe a tear away.

I told him I wish I could say “See ya later….” but I don’t WANT to see him later.

I start to walk away and he tries to make light of the goodbye and makes a joke…

“What about “Til then!” Let’s use the corporate thing.”

I stop, turn around, look at him, and just shake my head “no.” I continue walking away.

No. Nope. Not gonna happen, although I appreciate the closure I had just received.

I think that’s really what I needed to finally close the chapter on “The Doc.”

Prescription = expired. No more refills.

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!

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