UpDATE: Meet Mr. Birmingham – Part Two

(If you haven’t read Part One, click here)

As we’re seated in the fancy lounge area on a comfy couch made of velvet, a waitress approaches us and leaves us the cocktail menu. 

The room is occupied by tourists speaking other languages, families that look like they just walked off of a Ralph Lauren Ad, a group of friends, another group of older, wealthy couples, and people on dates.

Several times I catch people sitting nearby staring at us, and I can’t figure out if they’re trying to figure out who we are or what.  Celebrities frequent this hotel, so perhaps the out-of-towners are curious.  This does happen frequently to me, however, and just the other night at a charity event someone asked if I was on TV.  Hmmm.  Anyways…

It’s definitely “First Date Jitters” happening, and we’re both a bit nervous, as expected.  We make small talk, and he orders us both some wine when she returns.

He asks great questions and we continue to find out that we have even more in common.  Some quite interesting things pop up.

He asks, “Where’s the #1 place you want to travel to in the world?”

Without hesitation, I respond with confidence, “Dubai! I’ve been obsessed for years.”

He’s SHOCKED because he admits that’s the #1 place he has on his list! Weird.

We learn that he we both play piano, and played percussion in band during high school.

I learn that he was very involved in mentoring kids in schools back home in Alabama, that he was a season ticket holder to the Atlanta Hawks, and that he has three older sisters who he’s very close to.

He was married for 12 years, but divorced back in 2010.  I learn that she had a small town mentality, which is fine, but not when she knew he was meant for bigger things and therefore tried to hold him back.

We can definitely relate on this one.

He tells me he thinks I’m amazing, and up until that moment, didn’t think I was real.

“Real??” I ask.  “I’m real and sitting right here in front of you!”

He admits to deleting his OkCupid profile earlier that morning, and hoped that meeting me tonight would actually happen.  I guess something about my profile and pics was “too good to be true.” 🙂

We chat for a long time about life and his move to Los Angeles and why this all happened for him.

Typically, everyone who moves here has a dream they’re pursuing.  This guy has quite the story already.

He’s an engineer who works remotely from home.  He has two major clients (think big govt contracts) which pay him very well, however his heart is in being a writer.

He decided to give it a shot awhile ago and ended up being hired by a magazine to write for them.  They loved his stuff and that lead to him being put in contact with CAA – one of the world’s largest agent/manager companies that represents top talent in the entertainment industry.

Apparently, he had written two screenplays (aka – movie scripts) that these guys really loved and made him an offer to come work for them.

They flew HIM out to Los Angeles and put him up until he finds a place to live.  As of that day we met, he had just signed on with an Agent at CAA.  Amazing! He’s already off to a great start, and has accomplished something most people in LA work towards their whole life and never see come to fruition.

I’m totally impressed, and loving how ambitious this guy is.

We talk about our families and other things we like to do for fun, and then it’s getting late for him because he’s still on CST and hasn’t adjusted.

He pays for the bill and we head towards valet to pick up my/his car.

As I pull up to his hotel to drop him off, he mentions I should come hang out with him some more.  A bit surprised because I thought he was tired, I agree and am happy because I really didn’t want the night to end so soon.

He’s still quite the gentleman and kind of distant physically, so I’m feeling comfortable with that.  Definitely not affectionate.  I get the sense he’d still like to continue the great conversation.

We take the elevators up to his room.

We enter and after I set my purse down on the desk, make my way over to the balcony outside.  He opens the door and we step out onto his balcony, with the most amazing view! We’re right in the middle of the hotel and can view beautiful fountains across the way, and the glorious CAA glass office building right across the street where hours earlier he shook hands with several gentlemen and struck a deal with his future.

We both love nice cars and he points out this ridiculous Range Rover parked outside, below the hotel in valet.  He had told me he heard it earlier and that it must have a custom V12 engine in it – it sounded like a Lamborghini, he said! Crazy.  And definitely a sick car.

We stay out on the balcony for awhile longer.  The conversation is so easy and comfortable.

We come back inside and since there’s no couch, we both make our way to the bed.  I see a magazine he’s picked up that says, “The Top 25 Things to Do in Los Angeles” and instantly get excited.  Since I’ve told him I’d be happy to be his tour guide, I start flipping through it.

He’s laying on the very farrrrr edge of the bed, away from me.  It’s cute.  We’re like in Junior High, afraid to get too close to each other…lol.

He turns on the TV and we continue to talk, watch the show, flip through the magazine, etc.  We’re laughing and flirting a bit, and he’s still asking great questions here and there.

It’s super comfortable.  And the tension just melts away.

All of a sudden we hear a loud car engine start up outside the window.  We BOTH immediately jump off the bed and run to the balcony, saying, “THAT’S IT!!!!”

We laugh as we quickly open the patio door and sure enough, look down to see that new Range Rover with the V12 engine started up in valet.  We watch (and listen) as the guy who owns it drives off down the street below us.  The sound is ridiculous! (and one that I absolutely love)…

We both laugh at the fact that we immediately both jumped up and went to go look at the same time….lol.  Two peas in a pod.

The bed beckons again and we resume our positions, but this time a bit closer.

I’m finding awesome things we can go do in this magazine, and he’s excited about future plans I name off that sound interesting to him.

He’s back to watching TV and at one point I look at him and he’s watching me.

He asks, “If you could be anywhere, where would it be?”

I hesitate for a second, but only because the answer that immediately came to my head sounded so cheesy that I didn’t want to share it. But heck, I’m never one to lie and always believe in being authentic so I say,

“Right here, actually.”

He smiles.  I smile and look back down at my magazine, a little nervous.

“Really?” he asks.

“Yeah,” I say. “And I only say that because I believe there’s no other place I’m supposed to be other than right here right now.”

He agrees that this feels nice and definitely comfortable, and I wonder if all this time of being single and dating I’ve just been waiting for a guy from Birmingham, Alabama to finally get to Los Angeles…

 

 

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….

False Starts & Orgasms – Part I

Attention faithful followers of my shameless shenanigans!

NEW GUY ALERT!

Yes, folks.  There’s someone new on the scene and he’s worth blogging about.  The online dating gods have conspired yet again to bring me a “match.” Well, that happens all the time, actually.  But we spent almost all of our time together this last weekend, so it’s definitely more than an algorithm’s suggestion at this point. Read on.

About a month ago:

1. He sends me a message on OkCupid (remember I deleted my Plenty of Fish account awhile back)

2. I check him out, think he’s cute and interesting and funny, so I respond.

3.  We go back and forth for the next week or so.

4.  We finally exchange numbers.

5.  We text.

6.  I leave for a trip out of state a few days later.  I’m gone for a week.

7.  I return and we make plans to meet.

8.  We have a few conversations via phone.  Yes, folks.  A real conversation on the telephone.  Rare.  I treasure it.

9.  We make plans to meet on a Saturday night.

10.  But THEN….those plans fall through.   He basically flakes on me.  I’m mad/disappointed, yet honestly was too tired to go out that night anyways.

11.  He KNOWS I’m mad/disappointed and profusely calls/texts me the next day apologizing.  He had a misunderstanding of the plans.

12.  He’s cute and funny and he’s APOLOGIZING so I forgive him.

13.  After reading him the polite version of the riot act about how my weekend time is precious and usually pretty scheduled in advance and how I LOVE when a man makes a plan (ie – “How about we meet for coffee on Saturday at 3pm?” instead of “Well maybe we can cross paths on Saturday night…”), and also how 3 other guys contacted me the night we were supposed to go out (FUN FACT: including Mr. Too-Young-Tyson-Beckford!… who I haven’t heard from since I turned him and his hot, gorgeous, skinny jeans-loving self down), and NOW he understands.  He feels bad.  And he realizes he needs to “step his game up” because I’m clearly a “popular woman…” Um, yes. Whatever the case, communication is all I ask for.  Still cute.

There’s the backstory.

Here’s the rest:

Armed with his new knowledge about how I roll (I love a solid PLAN and all…), he calls to ask me out to dinner, Saturday night.  Reservations are at 7:30pm and we’ll have dinner and drinks at this cool place he’s been to before.  RESERVATIONS!

Now, let me share something.

I feel this is way too much for a first date. What if I don’t like him? Or, worse….what if he doesn’t like ME?! That makes for a very awkward dinner.

I much prefer to meet first for a brief cup ‘o joe and let a coffee date organically turn into something more, but apparently this guy wants to do things a bit differently.

Ok, fine.  I just roll with it.  Dinner is going to be at least $125, if not more, but hey, his call.  He’s clearly listening to how I prefer things now and brushed off my suggestions for something simple.  I can definitely appreciate his extra effort.

We have plans to meet at Bar Pinxto, very close to where I live, but a place I’d never been to.  He gets excited when I tell him it’s something new for me to discover.  It’s a super cute, rustic but fancy Spanish tapas bar.  I’m up for it and feeling adventurous.

I’m wearing a purple-blue dress and tall, black boots.  It’s dressy for Santa Monica, yet it’s not.  I love the diversity here.

I’m standing outside the restaurant and then see him walking up towards me.  He’s CUTE! Even cuter in person.  He’s wearing jeans, a collared shirt and a brown leather type of jacket over it.  Stylish.

He hugs me hello and gives me a kiss on the cheek.  Very sweet.

We head inside and are seated.

He’s nervous. I’m nervous.  We make awkward small talk as we look at the wine menu we’ve just been handed.

He’s smiling.  I’m smiling.  This is going to be interesting.

Him: “Do you see anything you like?”

Me: (a lover of wine, but definitely NOT a wino) “Ummm….I’m not picky.  Do you have a preference?”

Him: “Oh, yes. I love Spanish wines.”

I recall we’re at a Spanish tapas place.  There is a large assortment of bottles of wine all around us on display.

I’m quickly sold on the fact that this guy clearly has some culture and cuisine skillz.  YES.

He suggests I try a favorite wine of his and we talk about our day.

He works for Warner Bros and actually had to push back our reservations by a half hour because he was stuck at work on a Saturday getting something ready for a film they’re about to release.  I’m glad to learn he’s a career-guy!

He’s from NYC and was transferred out here to Los Angeles about a year ago for work.

He’s good at his job, yet also has a full-on business plan for what he wants to do with his own company he’s about to launch.

The waitress asks to take our order and I tell him I don’t understand anything on the menu (more or less…it’s all in Spanish) so he politely orders for the both of us.  A few small plates here and there.

The food is amazing!

Mostly things I’ve never heard of or experienced, and I’m loving the adventure as much as he’s loving that he’s the one who gets to watch me experience it for the first time.

The special of the night has squid ink in it and I learn he MUST order this dish.

Like I said.  Adventurous.  That sounds nasty, right?!?!

Well, this man hadn’t led me astray all night and sure enough, it was delicious.

Throughout the next 2 1/2 hours, we dine and talk and bond over squid ink and calamari.

I learn about his family and how he’s very close with his mom, dad and three younger sisters all back on the East Coast.

He also has a 5-year-old daughter and the bi-coastal parenting adjustment has been hard for him.  I can relate and I give him tips about his plans to take her to Disneyland when she’s ready to come visit pretty soon.

He asks me questions about what I do and he’s fascinated.

I share more about who I am and a bit on my work, but mostly he’s a chatterbox telling me stories about living and growing up in New York City and his transition to living here on the West Coast now.

We’re having a GREAT time!

We wrap up dinner and then decide to take a stroll down Ocean Avenue.

We stop to look inside the windows of an art gallery and we both identify our favorite pieces.  He tells me he just picked up some new canvases at Michael’s the other day, and I’m glad to find we also have this hobby in common.  I’d love a “paint date” in the future. 🙂

He walks me back to my car and as we’re standing in the parking lot, he begins to play the “I don’t want to leave but I’m not sure if I should kiss you or just keep talking to you” game.

It’s cute.

He’s been kinda stand-offish all night physically, yet definitely connected.

So it’s getting late and I say I’m going to head home.  We hug and I thank him for an awesome night, with big kudos on picking out a great restaurant.

He’s glad I enjoyed the evening – he’s had just as good of a time as well.

I get in my car and he heads off to his.

On the way home, I realize we just spent about 3 hours together.  Not bad for a first date! All smiles.

I also realize that you’ve read this whole blog and there has been NO mention of orgasms.  Sorry.

That happens on the next date, so I’ll be calling this one Part I.

Stay tuned…

 

 

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.