Saturday, January 11th, 2014.
I wake up at like 7am this morning and I’m a little hungover from the night before. The night before when I started drinking a bottle of wine at midnight and finished it right before 1am. I would go back to sleep for three more hours and wake up feeling more refreshed and ready to make coffee and undoubtedly, await my fate. Drama, I will never fail thee. Around 11am as promised, a text comes through from Alize
“hey…so let’s go to the movie, deal with a little interrogating, and if anything, hang as friends?”
The “F” word. I hate it. But she’s not saying let’s “just be friends” yet, she just constructed a trap door to get out of the situation if she feels the need to. Smart move…I would have done the same thing. It’s clever and I like that…and while we’re on this subject, maybe I need to create a trap door for myself. Like a “mental” trap door so I don’t fall into a mental trap with Alize.
I like her but realistically, I know I could never be her boyfriend. A., I don’t want to be anyone’s boyfriend right now and B., I live with…well….you know. I can be taken seriously as a man of my word and I do look the most like my pictures I’ve been told, but because of my living situtation I know I can not be taken very seriously as a suitor. I guess I have to accept that for now. Besides…I’m not falling in love…and I’m not giving her that mix cd. That would just be a little too high school.
In my head I hear advice from Ice: “Go man, go..but not like a yo-yo schoolboy. Just play it cool, boy. Real cooooooooool.” That’s from West Side Story. I did a little musical theater back in the day….and I was also on a volleyball team with 6 other thespians called The “7 FCB’s” Which is an acronym for “7 Faggy Choir Boys. (Take it easy, it was the 90s) Ironically, years later I would find out that in fact only one of the members of the 7 FCB’s actually turned out to be gay.
OkAlize and I go to see “Her” at 8:30 at the Arclight theater in Hollywood that night. We Uber from my apartment and after the movie we hit up Hemingway’s and the interrogation begins. She asks a lot of questions about me and my ex like when we last dated, when did we break up, when was the last time we slept together, how long she has been living with me blah blah blah blah….I basically tell her the entire and complete truth and two glasses of wine later I somehow find myself bumping and grinding with okAlize to “We Can’t Stop” by Miley Cyrus on the dance floor around the bar. We both stop when the deejay plays that track and We give each other a look of shock and surprise that reads… (THIS song is one my guilty pleasures so please don’t judge me for it.)
“I love this song!” I shout to her.
“Me too!” She says with a smile.
For someone like me who doesn’t go out and dance at clubs like this a lot, it’s coming pretty easy to me. I have some good moves, or at least moves that look good enough with flashing lights and a hot asian girl that’s up on me. Five or six songs and a couple public displays of affection later, we decide to uber it back to my empty apartment and open that bottle of wine I had in my kitchen.
We’re on my couch making out and I’m playing some music from a mix cd that I will never give to Alize. There are two half full glasses of wine and a little roach of a joint on the coffee table and there is no one home but us. She tells me that she is very protective of herself and I tell her some stories about times when I was careless with my heart to make her feel at ease. More making out, more stopping and talking and more puffing of cigarettes and it’s sometime after 3am when I start to find myself growing tired of this. I mean, I like kissing her and I mean JUST kissing her because Alize is STILL not letting me do anything else to her BUT kiss her and it’s been going on for what feels like forty five minutes to an hour. It’s like I’m stuck inside an extended make out session on an episode of Saved by The Bell. All that’s missing is the canned “Ooooh’s and Ahhhh’s) and Screech of course. It’s fun…but I’m not 15 years old anymore. I really like her, but I’m kind of bored and I’m really thirsty at this point. Actually, I’m parched and I’m definitely in need of some water. Who knew making out was such a dehydrating experience until now?
I’m thinking to myself…what am I doing here? What is she doing here? Where is this going to lead to, because she’s clearly not making any effort to suggest that she wants to leave. Can she drive home? Should she drive home? Do I offer her a place to stay for the night? Did she wear a cute white dress and grind her ass in my crotch in ‘da club on purpose to tease me? Am I ever going to get laid on this date? “Yes” and “No” to those last two questions. Respectfully.
“I think I’m just going to sleep here.” She says as she stretches out on the couch.
“On the couch?” I ask.
“Yeah, it’s comfy.” She says.
“Ok.” I say. “But if you want to sleep in the bed, you can do that too.”
She stops and looks at me awkwardly and I respond with the obvious….
“Don’t worry, I’m not going to try to have sex with you or anything like that.” I say sarcastically. Then I walk back into the bedroom and turn off the hallway light. Ten seconds later Alize follows me in.
“Hahaha….” She laughs
“What’s so funny?” I say.
“In my mind I pictured it like you two would have bunk beds or something.” She states. “I’m getting into your bed…but don’t touch me” she teases.
“Don’t touch ME” I say back to her.
She climbs into my bed, pulls the covers over her and then she falls asleep. I don’t touch her or even try to make a move at all. I’m asleep within five minutes.
The next morning I’m awoken by Alize getting out of bed by bumping into the fan next to the door as she squeezes between the wall and the mattress to get out. She should have just leap frogged me. That would have been easier but then that would require her to touch me so I don’t think that was an option. We put on our sunglasses and I walk her down to her car and give her a hug goodbye. I open the gate and she drives out of my parking garage. Then I go upstairs to the apartment and make a bold decision. Look, I know I like this girl and I know I’m kind of vulnerable right now cause I’ve basically told her everything about my life, and now she’s seen it with her own eyes and FOR SOME REASON she apparently still wants to date me in spite of all that. That’s a good thing, I know…but I’m still vulnerable and I realize this. So, to counter act the fact that I’m really into her and I know I could get hurt at some point if this continues, I decide to do the next logical thing that serves the purpose of protecting my feelings while not allowing myself to get too attached to Alize. I decide to go out with somebody else. Luckily, before I deleted my OkCupid account I had exchanged numbers with a girl called OkJordana who was at the CES convention in Las Vegas this past week, but she gets back on Sunday. We make plans to hang out on the following Tuesday. And there’s MY trap door.
Tuesday January 14th, 2014
I don’t know much about OkJordana other than I remember from her profile that she is cute, jewish, and looks a little bit like Lady Gaga in her pictures. She wants to meet at the Hammer museum and go to this film screening thing first, and then get a drink afterwards. I say I’m cool with that, but then the afternoon of our date she suddenly decides she “isn’t feeling the Hammer” tonight so she suggests a late dinner. A dinner for a first date? I’m skeptical of that. I don’t like dinner first dates. It’s too personal. I know I’m going to sit across from her at a table which is not ideal for me, but then she sends me a text with these suggestions of restaurants.
“How about Cafe Gratitude, Axe, or Wabi Sabi in Venice.”
I don’t know any of these places but wait…did she say VENICE? Am I about to go out with another girl who lives on the westside? What the fuck! Venice is far. It’s like 45 minutes in traffic. Dude, this is awful! Anywhere but Venice! It’s full of lame ass stereotypes and “hippie hipsters” who are a hybrid of people who appear to care very much about the environment and social issues but they do ONLY because it’s hip and ironic to do so. They’re worse than hippies, but not as bad as hipsters and I don’t mix well with either of them. And why haven’t I heard of any of these restaurants? I do a quick online check and while I’m reading the menus I start to come to a grave realization. She suggested these places because they are close to her in Marina Del Rey, AND she said they have a good mixture of “meat & veggie options.” It’s then that I come to remember that OkJordana is in fact a vegan. Dear God….What the fuck have I gotten myself into?
There are two types of girls I can’t see myself dating. Girls in recovery programs like AA, and girls who practice veganism. The other factor that makes a huge decision in whether or not I’m going to date you is where you live. Venice is about my least favorite place in California. I would rather date someone who lives an hour and half away in some lame ass suburb that is full of strip malls and chain restaurants than drive down to Venice which is 24 to 45 minutes away in traffic at all times. It’s just a sucky city and I don’t like the vibe. I don’t care for it’s rustic hippie broken down charm, it’s scumbaggery collection of people asking you for money or food, and there are too many people trying to make you listen to their rap “demo” or selling their folk art the “boardwalk.” And by the way, I don’t agree with the use of that term. Venice has a stonewalk, NOT a boardwalk. A boardwalk is made of wood not cement, so stop calling it the Venice “boardwalk” cause it isn’t a boardwalk. Know how everyone outside of Hollywood “hates” Hollywood? Well, multiply that by eleven and that’s how I feel about Venice.
I’ve been driving for what feels like an hour and I’m finally turning the corner from Venice boulevard to Abbot Kinney to meet Jordana at Wabi Sabi. AS SOON AS I MAKE THE TURN…. a fire truck comes screaming down the street behind me and forces me to pull over to the side….but the oncoming traffic and other cars parked on the small shitty street I’m on are blocking me from getting out of the way so the fire truck can’t pass me. It is honking it’s obnoxious horn and blaring it’s ridiculously loud siren and I’m screaming at the top of my lungs “OK! OK!” until I can find a way to pull over a few hundred feet in front of the valet stand. Welcome to Venice. No go fuck yourself. I park, and after my heart stops racing from panic I get out and walk to the restaurant. She texts me a minute later that she is next door at “E-Cookie.” E-Cookie is a boutique clothing store with plenty of scarves, jewelry dresses and painted on jorts from 1986….for WOMEN. Jordana is standing there trying to decide on some lip gloss. She is tall, about 5’8’’ and wearing a jean jacket over her long flowery patterned hippie dress which flows down to her ankles. She compliments this earthy outfit with my least favorite type of footwear. Sandals. Not cute attractive sandals that have heels or are made from leather because that would be murder….no, these are more like the three dollar Old Navy vinyl sandals that make the statement “I don’t care about foot support OR looking good in any way shape or form, so I bought these. I smile and say “Hello” to her and I immediately feel no physical attraction whatsoever. Bad sign. This is going to be a snoozefest. I know I’ve only been off OkCupid for a week, but other than her face, she doesn’t look anything like the way I pictured her to look. She had some pictures that made her look fun and sexy and energetic which are all adjectives I would NOT be using to describe her in this moment. Look, I’m not saying that someone somewhere wouldn’t be attracted to her but she’s not for me. I knew in an instant that she isn’t my type. I mean, she’s vegan and lives near Venice. That’s two big red flags for me.
We’re at the table, and I do notice she has nice skin, thanks to her choice of diet I assume, and she has pretty green eyes that she inherited from someone else but there is something off when she speaks. It feels like she’s acting. She doesn’t really ask me a lot of questions but when she does, she somehow brings the conversation back to her and her chocie of lifestyle. TO be honest, I’m asking a lot of questions caused I’m bored and I know women like it when you ask them things. I’m also “acting” on this date. She works at an ad agency, moved out here from New York two years ago and left some really great boyfriend in the Bronx. She just recently broke up with some weird 45 year old rich dude who’s condo in the Hollywood Hills she used to live in for a while with her dog.
“I like to play house.” She says.
Ewww…..that’s gross. That’s just a weird thing to say. Are we four years old? Are you going to go grab me a juice box and some animal crackers from the kitchen before your nap? Can I order two alcoholic drinks at the same time at this Japanese sushi place? I feel like after the fire truck incident and the first twenty minutes I spent walking around a crunchy granola women’s boutique clothing store I am entitled to two, even if it is just to get me through this date. The waiter comes and asks for our drink order. I think about a bottle, but then I decide to order just a glass of wine, and OkJordanna shows off her pretentiousness when she orders sake. She says….”I’ll have a hot sah-KAY.” She pronounces it “sah-KAY” when ordering instead of putting the emphasis on the first syllable and saying SAH-kee like the rest of us. Ughhhh….Thank God we’re at a raw fish place so there won’t be that long of a wait for the food to come out and for this date to end. I normally love sushi, but this is ruining it for me.
Jordana is quite active in the community in the underground Venice scene. She tells me about this political “movement” that she and her Nutella eating friends are getting involved in. “Movement?” Are you planning a rally outside of city hall? Are you chaining yourself to a tree in the name of free love and nature? It turns out to be neither of those things.
“No, it’s a letter writing movement” she says. “We’re going to write 1000 love letters to 1000 strangers all across the world in the hopes to bring love and closeness to people who have been feeling neglected by others.”
Sounds like the plot to a movie I just saw the other night, and how is this in any way related to politics?
“This sounds really familiar.” I tell her. “I just saw a movie the other night called “Her” where the main character works at a company that writes love letters for couples who are in relationships who don’t have the time to write them themselves. Sounds just like that.”
“Oh it’s nothing like that. It’s totally different.” She says.
“Maybe not “totally” different.” I say purposely.
She basically goes on to tell me the “movement” was started a few months ago in San Francisco and has now made it’s way down here to Los Angeles. I again interject that they probably got the idea from the movie I just saw the other night, but she has convinced herself, EVEN THOUGH SHE HAS NEVER SEEN THE MOVIE, that it’s nothing like the movie.
“It takes place in Los Angeles in 2025.” I say
“See? She states. “It’s not even the same time frame.
I really want to say …..But don’t you think there is a small possibility that someone might have read about the idea of that movie a few months ago and then decided to make a “movement” with similar ideas and themes just like in the movie? You live in Venice and you’re a hippie hipster so don’t you appreciate how it’s kind of ironic that the movement is happening at the exact same time that the movie “Her” is gaining popularity and being nominated for awards? Just a thought Jordana, but is your brain working alright? Maybe you need some more protein in your diet. Have a steak, or some chicken….or maybe in your case, some quinoa.
Right at the end of her love letter soliloquy, a couple enters the restaurant, walks by OkJordana, then backs up and taps her on the shoulder.
“OH MY GAWWWD!!!” She screams and jumps up to embrace this savvy and fashionably dressed blonde girl in her early twenties. They gab on for a few and I am introduced to her flashy new friend, Brianna. Jordana calls her the “Socialite of Venice.” Oooh, impressive. I met a socialite. Her friend Chad shakes my hand and he is dressed in some slim fitted shirt and pant combination that doesn’t necessarily seem like he put it together himself. Am I on a hidden camera show right now? These roles are cast way too perfectly. Chad, Brianna and Jordana look like complete stereotypes of the people they claim to be. Rich, socially aware, self indulgent, and privileged. Chad and Brianna are so uber ultra cool that I’m like how is she friends with people who dress like this when she is dressed like that? I don’t get it. The socialite and her boy toy make their way to the back of the restaurant to get a booth but not before Brianna invites Jordana to come by her table and talk about this love letter writing movement. Oh my God, could this be a setup? Did she tell her friends to show up there in case she needed to bail on this date with me? It sure feels like that….this random meeting just feels way too ironic? However, it would be fitting for the location. I am in Venice after all.
The sushi here isn’t that great, but I eat it to kill some time. It’s actually barely good sushi and my dish was over sauced and the whole restaurant smells like fish. Good sushi restaurants don’t smell like this. Jordana eats some kale noodle salad, (of course) cause kale is all the rage for some reason. I remember kale from when I was cook at the Friendly’s restaurant on Route 70 in Marlton NJ… I used to put a slice of orange and two leafs of kale on dinner plates….as a garnish. Now people are spending $13.99 to eat it in a salad. Look how far we’ve come America.
The food is mediocre and the conversation is ok, and Jordana is kind of flirting with me with her eyes but I know I’m never going to see her again and I just can’t wait for the check to come. She gets up to use the bathroom….which happens exactly three seconds BEFORE the check comes. I think she planned that. The waiter stands up the check presenter on the table and I instinctually reach for it, but then immediately pull my hand back. She didn’t see that because she’s in the bathroom….and I just saw that the check is almost $70. Those glasses of wine were $14 each. Yikes. I would also like to add in my Yelp review of this restaurant that Wabi-Sabi is extremely overpriced. Two out of five stars from me.
Jordana returns from the bathroom and takes a look at the check. She scans it, opens up her purse, takes out a twenty dollar bill and then closes it. Wait a second….does that all add up? I’m SURE she had more than $20 worth of food and drink AND tip, in fact, I’m positive of it. Now I’m in a weird spot cause I honestly can’t vocalize the fact that I think she just scrooged me on this check, and I can’t spend too much time looking at it while trying to add up her subtotal either. I feel it in my gut….I’ve definitely just been scrooged. I put my card in the sleeve and tell the waiter to put the rest of the check on it. Who cares, just get me out of here Thinking back, I know she gipped me right there. She had a hot sah-KAY, which was about $8-$9, a kale salad that was about $10 or $11, right there you’re already around twenty bucks…AND THEN she ordered some stupid herbal honey tea for dessert that was $4. Yeah, I had two sips of it, but that clearly doesn’t entitle me to pay for all of it! Bitch! You just shorted me about five bucks plus tip,(Let’s call it $10) and I don’t even like you or your stupid socialite friends. Fuck this shit. I’m out of here.
“I had a good time….but do you mind if I go back and talk to my friends about the movement?” She asks.
“That sounds like a real good idea. You should go do that.” I say enthusiastically.
She hugs me and kisses me on the left cheek, and reminds me to call her next week so she can borrow my screener copy of American Hustle, and maybe we can watch it together.
“I defintiely will.” I say.
That is the first lie and the last sentence that I will ever say to OkJordana. I never talk to her again, but I drive home from Venice back to Hollywood in record time. I’m blasting the song “You Make Me” by Avicii on the ride home because it makes me happy and it reminds me of someone that I like. I make it home in like 16 minutes and somehow the bad taste from the sushi, and the obnoxious horrid irony from tonight’s spark less evening with OkJordana has already been credited as a funny story I will tell someone someday about the that time I dated a vegan.