UpDATE: Meet Mr. Birmingham – Part One

Okcupid has been working overtime for me lately.

After a pretty decent break of being on it (and instead, focusing on Tinder’s shenanigans) I logged back in about two weeks ago to peep the scene and check a few messages.

I noticed a guy from Alabama had viewed my profile and the bow tie he was wearing in his profile pic was enough to get me to click through to check out his whole profile.

He has style. Nice.

The fascination had just begun.

The first line of his bio states that he’s a “confident, established, successful gentleman.”

Now that’s all relative, as I’ve learned through previous situations, but I’m curious to learn more, and am definitely looking for someone who’s more established than not.

I skim his profile and it leaves other  nuggets in there for me that I love, like that he’s a “relationship guy…who prefers to only date one woman at a time ..sorry if that offends anyone….”

Well, what the what?!

Offended?!

No, charmed.  More guys in LA need to adopt this concept.

Continue.

He’s an “engineer by trade, but a writer by heart.”

We’re already similar in that we’re both 50/50 right-brain/left-brain.  Nice!

Then it says he’s in the process of relocating to LA.

I wonder if he’s been here already and that this profile is old, but I send him a message saying. ..

“I’m the best tour guide you could ask for in LA, if you’re looking for one!”

He responds back,

“I was hoping you’d say that…!”

We exchange a few messages back and forth.  He says he’s arriving to LA on Thursday and that I should contact him then.

We’re both excited to meet each other!

The days go by and we text and play phone tag until we finally have a chance to connect on Sunday.  He’d been here a few days already.

I reach him on the phone while driving to my gf ‘s birthday party.

He totally has an accent! A true Southern Gent, born and raised in Alabama. Refined, and I love it.

We talk about things we like and don’t like and we learn we have a bunch of things in common already. Hmmm, interesting!

I don’t really have any friends from the South here in LA, so this is different for me. All I know is that everyone there is friendly, polite, takes their time and loves good food. Kinda like the Midwest where I’m from, I guess. 🙂 Fun!

We’re both available later that evening and I make plans to pick him up.  He’s staying at the Hyatt Regency until he buys a house, and won’t get his two cars (yes, TWO cars) delivered here until Monday, so I arrive.

I call him and he says he’s walking out.

Soon I see a man in a light-colored, striped seersucker suit on the phone, walking towards me.

Yes, folks. Seersucker.  The South is alive and well.

We hang up and I get out to hug him hello. He cleans up nicely, and can totally pull it off. I learn he’s always styling.

We get in my car and he’s kinda quiet, and chuckling.

I ask him what’s up. He says,

“We drive the same car.”

“What?!”

Haha…yes. Apparently we have matching BMWs, except his is white and mine is black.

“I’m walking up to your car thinking,  ‘This woman is not driving my car…’lol….”

We add this to our already long list of things we have in common. 🙂

We take a 4 minute ride over to Beverly Hills and to one of my favorite spots for great first date drinks, The Peninsula. I already knew he’d love the vibe.

We pull up to valet, amongst several Bentleys, Rolls Royces, an Audi R8, and more. I love this place.

the peninsula beverly hills

We head to the very fancy lounge and sat down to talk and have some wine.

He’s very calm. Confident.  Refined.

And totally wearing seersucker!

I’m quite intrigued by this man, and I know the evening is about to get interesting.  This is not an ordinary guy…

To be continued….

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The Doc, His Cousin and Me: An Interesting Threesome

After a long somewhat stressful, definitely busy week at the office I was ready to just come home tonight and chill.  It’s a Friday, I’ve survived the post-Valentine’s Day madness, and I just want to kick back.

Earlier, I declined an invite to meet a new guy from OkCupid out for drinks (and yes, I deleted my Plenty of Fish account for certain reasons, but OkCupid has been there like a trusted standby.)

I had already re-scheduled dinner plans earlier with a girlfriend for another time.

Another text comes in.  I decline a second invitation to head out to party with a guy who I’ve known for several years, who’s interested in dating me (even though I’d rather just be friends).  He’s so much fun, but definitely not near me in Santa Monica right now, and I don’t feel like driving anywhere.

So I’m chillin’ on the couch, eating some dinner and watching American Idol on the DVR when guess who calls me out of the blue?

The Doc.

My heart skips a beat and I debate not answering.  I’m sooo tired.

But, HELLO! It’s The DOC!

So, duh, I answer.

He wants to know what I’m up to tonight.  Him and his cousin (who I’ve heard many things about) are looking for something to do, and he says it’d be nice to see me.  They’ll even come to me so I don’t have to drive.

So an hour and change later, I’m walking across the street to our local watering hole, which is ALSO the same place I had my housewarming party where The Doc and I slow danced for an hour, holding each other and catching up after not seeing each other for awhile.  Obviously special memories.

I meet his cousin.

He’s tall and built, just like The Doc, and also from Belize.

They’re both dressed nice – The Doc in a salmon-colored Nike polo shirt and jeans and his cousin in a nice collared shirt and jeans.

I’m feeling floored that I’m being introduced to family members for the first time tonight, but hey, whatever.  I can roll with it.

The Doc immediately tells his cousin that the last time we were here together he and I “slow danced to an uptempo jam while all her friends carried on around us…it was great…”

…and all of a sudden I realize that The Doc has DEFINITELY told his cuzzo about who I am and what I mean to The Doc, on more than one occasion and knows things like I’ve stayed at his house before, and how we both love when he makes coffee in the mornings with his new French press contraption.  And, he’s not shy or embarrassed or squeamish about these details.

Refreshing.

It’s almost like we’re dating.

We all laugh, we joke, we have a GREAT time.

His cousin, more than once, laughs at my jokes or high fives me for giving The Doc some crap about something or other (I like to give him a hard time…he loves our sharp, witty banter).

On several occasions, his cousin looks at The Doc after something I said and goes, “I approve” as he points at me and smiles.  “Yeah, man…”

At one point, his cousin says, “I’ve never seen him smile so much.  He wasn’t even smiling til you walked in, and now he can’t stop!”

It’s cute.

We banter, we flirt, we order fancy drinks (of which they are both connoisseurs of good drinks) and talk about several things, including love and relationships.

Yes, we went there.  In a light-hearted kinda way.

I have no problem telling The Doc that he’s more of a “Tinder than eHarmony kinda guy,” mostly to test him and his lack of commitment conversations we’ve had so many times in the past.

But tonight he actually defends himself!

Which is weird cuz that’s not like him.

Plus, we’re talking about all of this with his cousin, too, who’s very much a part of this conversation.

I’m finding it very interesting how open and vulnerable The Doc is being.  Not only with me, but in front of his cousin, too! We’ve had many a deep conversation by ourselves, but this is unique.  I know they’re super close and it’s obvious he’s comfortable in this space.

The Doc tells me maybe he IS more of an eHarmony target customer but that most people just don’t know his heart is actually on the other side, so they can’t find it.

I joke that he just shared with me where his heart is, and whether or not he realized that, and he says, “That’s ok that you know.  I know you won’t break it.”

Breakthrough.

I tell him “that’s true” and deep down I know that if this man truly gave me his heart, it’d be the world’s best love story, and that I’d love him more than anyone I’ve ever loved in my life.  There are SO many things I love and respect about who this man is as a person.

His cousin goes to the bathroom at one point and The Doc pulls me close and tells me how good it is to see me.

I’m in familiar territory but I refuse to get all goo-goo-gaa-gaa over this moment, because I never know really where he’s at.  My heart is protected now, too.

Eventually the bar is closing down so he takes care of the check.

We walk out and he wants to walk me home (across the street) like a gentleman.

I hug his cousin goodbye as he waits for valet to get their car.  He says he definitely wants to see me again, and that we’ll make plans.  I like him – he’s cool people!

The Doc walks me to my door.  We stand reallllly close to each other, we hug, he tells me I smell good.

We banter, I give him crap about the whole “Tinder vs eHarmony” thing again, he tells me to quit, smiles, he thanks me (again) for coming out to meet them, and I thank him for meeting me here so close to my place.

We kiss, and I wipe some of my very red lipstick off of his lips after.

“Oops, sorry,” I say.

He shrugs and says, “I like it.”

We then hug and say good night and he watches me walk away, with this big cheesy, adorable grin on his face.

And there ya have it.

A random night with The Doc, where he wanted me to meet his cousin.  So I did.

It means everything, nothing or something in the middle.

Too late and too much to figure out with this guy, so instead, I’m heading to bed.

The story of The Doc & I continues…

Shenanigans, indeed.

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. 🙂

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!

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.  🙂