Part 8: Ok Alize & Ok Stupid

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Wednesday January 15th, 2014

I woke up the next morning from the debacle of OkJordana, but it didn’t really bother me anymore because I decided to turn it around. I decided to make light of a bad situation, and not let one horrendous sushi experience ruin one of my favorite forms of food. I had this idea and I put it to work that afternoon while I was at the gym. I picked up my phone and I text Alize:

“Hey, I was wondering if you could help me out. I need some suggestions for a good sushi place in the Sherman Oaks/Studio City area.”

She texts me back a few minutes later saying…

“Well that depends….do you mean for taste & price, or for environment?”

“Taste and environment are key.” I say.

I never address the issue of price because at this point I don’t really care. I just want to go out and have a good time with her, which I know I’ll have regardless of where we go. She comes back at me with a handful of places and restaurants so diverse that I suspect she actually did some googling on the matter. It takes another few texts for me to find out that her favorite place is Teru Sushi in Studio City on Ventura boulevard.

“Ok thanks. You’ve been really helpful.” I write

“No problem.” She responds.

“One more thing…” I say “Would you also know of a cute Korean girl with freckles and tattoos that would want to join me for dinner at Teru Sushi in Studio City? I hear it’s really good.”

Obviously, I’m referring to her, so I put the phone down and await her response which should be coming any second now because she has already responded to like five other texts of mine, and this was a cute and original way to ask her out, right? I thought so. I had been looking forward to this all day. Then….nothing. Nothing for like ten minutes. Ok, so I do a few more reps on the machine, then I check my phone again….still nothing. No response after fifteen minutes now. Strange I thought. Weren’t we just texting back and forth not twenty minutes ago? Did she not appreciate my roundabout way of asking her out? Didn’t she have a good time with me last weekend when we went to see a cool movie and danced at a cool club and then she woke up in my cool bed, or did she come to her cool senses and realize it is pointless to date a guy who is 13 years older who also currently, but not permanently lives with his ex girlfriend? No response just didn’t make any sense to me. I finished my workout early, and I went home to bitch and complain to my roommate, but not after I sent her another text half an hour after I got no response from my last one.

“I guess you don’t know anyone who fits that description. Thanks anyway.” I say begrudgingly.

Was that too dramatic? Probably, but come on..almost an hour went by and she hasn’t responded? What the fuck? Did she decide to take an impromptu road trip and can’t answer her phone? Not even at a red light? Was there an earthquake or a natural disaster that ONLY affected people who live in the valley like in the summer when it’s ten to fifteen degrees warmer in Burbank than it is in Hollywood? Am I being a little too overdramatic in this case?

“I think you’re being a little too overdramatic” My roommate says.

She’s right, and of course….forty-five minutes later I get a text from OkAlize.

“R you annoyed I didn’t text you back right away?”

Oops. Now I have to find a way to cover up the fact that I was being a little pisser and shrug it off as if it didn’t bother me at all.

“Not annoyed, but a little bummed. In fact, I was so upset that I had to pull the car over because I couldn’t see the road with all these tears in my eyes.” I say.

She finds that funny because her “LOL” told me so. We end up making plans to go out to sushi this weekend. Crisis averted.

Saturday January 18th, 2014

I swear the waiter at the restaurant was hired by some special needs or equal rights work related program. He was kind of green and dopey… but not dopey because he meant to be, dopey because he laughed at his own bad jokes and he couldn’t find his wine opener all night because he had left it on our table. He also had impeccable timing and came up to take our order at the same time I was telling Alize about how the Trader Joe’s near me doesn’t give out free samples anymore.

“What’s that? You work at Trader Joe’s?” The waiter asks.

Bad timing dude, cause that’s not AT ALL was I was saying, and besides, I wasn’t even saying it to you.

“Ummm, no.” I respond.

“Oh, cause I thought you said something about working at Trader Joe’s.” He said. “I like that place.”

“Yeah it’s great” I say. “By the way, here’s your wine opener back.”

What was this guy talking about and why was he eavesdropping on our conversation in the first place? Alize and I got a good laugh out of that and we went on to drink a bottle and half of wine and eat a good amount of sushi which was a thousand times better than the shit I was served in Venice the other night. After I paid the check, we went to the Firefly and she played me some of her original music off of Soundcloud. It was pretty good. She bought me a couple drinks at the next bar we went to and we danced a little bit before we both decided we had had enough of the nightlife and we went back to her place for a night cap.

I walked into her bedroom and I looked around. She had the typical twenty something year old set-up. A closet of clothes bursting open at the seams, framed pictures of her and her friends in Halloween costumes on the night stand and a large set of stackable plastic drawers in the corner that you get around the “Back to School” sales at Target. Then there was the bed….a Queen sized mattress that was covered in pillows and stuffed animals which also was a mere two inches from the floor. I had a bed on the floor when I was her age. Oh my God, did I just say that? I did, and on that mattress which was so low to the ground that you have to push yourself up with your arms to even attempt to get off of it is where the next few hours played out. I don’t remember exactly how it happened, but after a half hour or so of making out and rolling around on her sheets I decided to pop the question.

“When was the last time you had sex?” I said. (but what I really was asking was “When do you think you’re going to let ME have sex with YOU?”)

Now, I know that this may seem direct and possibly a bit out of line, but it’s not really considering we are in her bedroom on her bed, we’ve gone out about four times, we are a little drunk, a lot turned on, and everything that has happened up until now leads me to believe that she actually likes me. Sex is the next evolutionary step in dating. I mean, you don’t bring a guy back to your place and invite him into your room unless there is a part of you that wants to eventually sleep with him at some point, right? I had to know. I had to put it out there. After a few more questions, she responds like this.

“I just feel like sex complicates things” she said.

No shit it complicates things. You know what else complicates things? Bringing an older guy into your bedroom and making out with him on your bed on a Saturday night after you finished a bottle and a half of wine and four vodka cocktails between you. I mean, I can understand sex complicates things, but doesn’t the aforementioned scenario do the EXACT same thing? Look, I totally get where she is coming from and to some extent I agree that sex complicates things. There is a part of me that is totally willing to just go along with whatever type of relationship this is becoming because I have a good time with her, she’s pretty to look at, and I wouldn’t want to jeopardize that for any reason including my instinctual desire to see her naked. I could easily never bring up the idea of having sex with her again, and maybe I shouldn’t have brought it up to begin with, but I have to at least let her know where I stand on the matter before anything else happens.

“You’re right. I totally understand and respect that logic.” I say. Then I add… “But at some point, I’m going to want to complicate things.”

We talk for a little more and she tells me there is “other stuff” we can do instead of have sex. Ok, I’m cool with that. I’ve always said my favorite page in any book is the one right after sixty eight, and right before page seventy. We CAN do other stuff, but it’s not going to happen tonight because it’s sometime around 3:30 in the morning and we both are tired and fall asleep….with our pants on. The next morning I got up and drove home. I was really late for my shift in the stock room at Trader Joe’s.

Thursday, January 23rd 2014

I had been in contact with Alize all week. We actually were texting each other pretty much everyday at this point and I had already made plans to see her again Saturday. It was free museum weekend in Los Angeles on January 25th, which means they didn’t charge admission to go places like LACMA, or The Getty. They also didn’t charge for the National Geographic exhibit at the Annenberg Space for Photography which is where I suggested Alize and I go before dinner at Outback Steakhouse, for which I had a $20 gift card. What? You can’t use gift cards on dates? Look, dating has been getting expensive and I realized I either had to start cutting back on these dates with her, or I had to find cheaper things for us to do. This next date accomplishes two things. We get to see visually stunning images of life and culture from a another world, AND experience the indulgent decadence of going out to eat in suburban America at a cheesy chain restaurant with our beers and “Bloomin’ Onion” already paid for thanks to a Christmas gift I got from my mom. Cultured genius.

It was about 7pm when Alize texted me on Thursday. She wants to do something and invited me to come over for a couple glasses of wine and maybe watch a movie. An impromptu movie? On a weeknight? Hmmmmm, I know what this means. We’ll probably have a glass of wine and a cigarette on her porch, maybe she’ll show me the bistro set she bought at Ikea earlier today on her back patio. We’ll go into her bedroom around 10pm to start watching the first fifteen minutes of a movie on her computer who’s ending, plot and storyline we won’t remember the next morning. We will probably have it playing in the background while we do “other stuff” on the bed until they roll the credits. I know I won’t have sex with her because of what we discussed the other night, so there’s that. Irregardless, I would love to come over for a “movie.”

I head over there when she gets back from work. I pull up a few minutes after 9pm and sure enough, she’s sitting on the front porch with her roommate and she offers me a glass of wine. We chat for a little bit, and then she brings me to her back patio where we smoke a cigarette while sitting on her new bistro set from Ikea. She lures me back into her bedroom and she plays me some music she likes from an artist named LP and I immediately recognize the song from a bank commercial they used to play all the time. I never really digged the song then, but sitting there on Alize’s bed watching this live performance video on You Tube really changed my mind. I loved the song. It’s really good and after we watch a few more music videos, she tells me she downloaded “The World’s End” on her computer and she puts it on as we kick off our shoes and lay back on her bed against the wall. She has this one unicorn pillow she loves named Charlie. It’s shaped like a unicorn, but it’s rectangular and the arms and legs are popping out from the corners. It’s cute and it looks like something a six year old would have.

“Aww, have you had this since you were a kid?” I asked.

“No.” She says with a smile. “I just got it off of Ebay last week.”

A 25 year old buys a stuffed unicorn pillow? I mean, it’s odd, but it’s also kind of cute. See, I liked that about her. I liked that I chose to find her antics interesting and some of her choices funny. I like that she called me out the other day with the whole text back debacle. I liked that she is a little bit off and slightly eccentric like me. I like that we started making out seven minutes into the movie and I like that for the first time since we’ve gone out she has allowed me to steal second AND third base in the same night. Something is definitely different right now. I think our clothes are coming off, and there is a part of me that is really thinking something could happen that shouldn’t really happen, but there is another part of me that knows that it kind of feels like she WANTS it to happen. I have all these thoughts racing around in my head at the same time. I feel like I should just continue doing what I’m doing to her. You know the “other stuff” that she said we could do to each other because I know what she said the last time we were in this situation. But wait, were we ever really in this situation before? And then she surprises me with these five little words she says through her bated breath.

“Do you have a condom?”

What? Do I have a condom? No, I didn’t bring a condom. Know why I didn’t bring a condom, because the LAST time I was over here we established that you think “sex complicates things.” Remember saying that? You only said it four days ago and we haven’t talked about it since then so I didn’t plan on anything changing in that short amount of time so no, I did not bring a condom. Why would I bring a condom when I know that I won’t ever get a chance to use it? I mean, they say to always be “prepared” but when the person I am attempting to sleep with tells me that it’s not going to happen due to certain “complications” I completely think I am safe to come over to watch a movie WITHOUT bringing a condom.

“I have one in my car.” I say. And I do too. I’m prepared, kind of.

“It’s ok.” she says. “I think I have one.”

She starts rummaging through her drawers and I am secretly wishing that she won’t be able to find what she’s looking for. I am so not prepared for this I think to myself. I don’t want to fuck anything up with her because I like this girl and I don’t know if she is testing me, or if the sex thing is really happening now. Then, she hands me this bright colored condom and I immediately realize that this is really happening right now. The condom is small and yellow and wrapped up in a non descriptive plastic jacket. A no frills condom? Weird. Did she get this from a clinic? Is this a leftover from when they handed them out in her high school health class? How long has that condom been in there? It’s not inviting, but then again, no condom is. Let me just be totally honest here. I hate condoms. I absolutely despise wearing them and I would bet that a good portion of the rest of the men in the world would agree with me. Women don’t seem to understand how uncomfortable and awkward they are to put on and once they are on, how seemingly desensitized sex becomes for a man. Yeah I know to practice safe sex and all, but I can barely feel anything other than the fact that I am aware there is a thin layer of some sheepskin material in between me and the girl I am trying to have sex with. That’s right, I said “trying” because sometimes it takes me one or two tries to get it right. Plus there’s always the “loss factor” that could come into play. That’s when you put on a condom and within seconds your shit goes from straight up midnight back to 6pm in a matter of seconds. Condoms are a hard dick’s kryptonite.

I have all these thoughts going on inside my head and I am having a hard time putting this stupid piece of rubber in it’s place, and I realize that saying I’m having a “hard time” is kind of a play on words right now. I’m not that drunk, so why is this happening? Am I nervous? Fuck yes I’m nervous. I like this girl a lot and based on what she said the other night I don’t want to fuck this up. However, after a few minutes of stalling and trying to make it fit, I think my dick just fucked it up for me. I can see by the look on Alize’s face she is now aware of the same truth as I am. That truth being if I had to choose a particular brand of ice cream to sum up the events of this night, that brand would be “Mr. Softee.”
softee

I blew my chance. I fumbled the ball at the one yard line. I tried to explain to her that I just got in my head and that I really like her and that this has nothing to do with her and it’s only happened one other time many many years ago. I tell her I don’t want to fuck things up and she smiles and says she understands, and it doesn’t really seem to bother her anyway but it bothers me. And you know what else bothers me looking back on it now? Why didn’t she do anything to help out, you know? You can’t play with it a little bit or give it a little lip service to get it going again? Nothing? You have hands, right? Isn’t this a precise time to put your “other stuff” rule into a effect? Can I call her out on this matter, no. I probably shouldn’t. All I can do is lay back down and try to relax and eventually, fall asleep while the credits start to roll in the movie that we haven’t payed attention to for over an hour and a half.

Friday January 24th, 2014

I didn’t sleep very well that night. I never slept well at her place, but I did appreciate the fact that Alize made us coffee and breakfast the next morning. It was really sweet. She put some coconut spread on a piece of gluten free toast and to be honest it tasted exactly the same as butter on toasted bread. We talk for a little bit and everything seemed to be ok. I mean, maybe it’s just not meant to happen to right now I think. Maybe things will be different the next time and maybe I shouldn’t worry so much. I definitely need to get out of my head, that’s for sure. Then at around 10am she goes back into the bedroom to take a nap, and I say goodbye and head home to meet up with a friend of mine who asked me to edit a video for him for indiegogo. I have an uneasy feeling driving home. I don’t know what it is exactly, but something is different. Something just doesn’t feel right.

8:00pm

I’m at The Well having a drink with my friend at late-night happy hour. I tell him about what’s been going on in my world of dating and he is bitching about his current girlfriend and in a roundabout way he suggests that I have it better than he does. Sure, I’m free and I’m single, but I share an apartment with my ex girlfriend, and my dick doesn’t work in clutch situations. Wanna trade? He laughs when I tell him the story of last night and I try to laugh with while I’m a few drinks in and I’ve almost totally forgotten about what happened (or in my case, what “didn’t happen”) the night before when my phone rings. It’s Alize. I go outside to smoke a cigarette and I take the call.

This is one of those calls that comes out of nowhere, but I knew it was coming. At least she called me, right?

“This is totally not about last night” is how she starts the conversation. And when I hear her say that, all I can think is that this phone call is TOTALLY ABOUT LAST NIGHT. She goes on to say how she really likes me and she has a lot of fun with me and I’m a really “nice guy” (I almost puked when I heard THAT line) and how she feels like things are headed in a bf/gf type direction and how that just isn’t what she wants right now. I don’t want a girlfriend either I think, but what I would like is to go out again and have another chance to finish what I started but those words never get a chance to see the light of day I just add a few “Uh-huhs” and the occasional “I get it,” because I really do get it. I kind of sensed this was going to happen. There is a part of me that knew that I would have gotten this phone call even if we DID have sex last night. I’m damned if I do, and I’m damned if I don’t. I appreciate her honesty but I can tell that she’s either protecting herself from her own feelings, she doesn’t want to get too close to me, or she is completely mortified by what happened last night and could never look me in the eye again without breaking out in laughter. Either way it really doesn’t matter.

“I just don’t want anyone to get hurt” She says.

“Yeah I understand.” I respond.

And I really do. I don’t want to understand, and I’m really depressed about it right now, but I get it. If this had gone on for a few more dates, maybe it would have gotten too serious for the both of us. Maybe it already has. Maybe we’ll go out again in the not too distant future? Maybe we won’t.

“Maybe we can get coffee sometime as friends?” She asks.

There’s the “F” word again.

“Yeah, maybe.” I say.

But I know that is never going to happen. What else is there to do? I say goodbye, hang up the phone, and go back in and finish my drink. I ask my friend if he wants my $20 gift card to Outback Steakhouse.

“That’s not happening anymore?” He asks.

“Nope. Not with this one.” I say.

“My girlfriend hates chain restaurants.” He says.

Wow, who hates chain restaurants? Maybe he should break up with her.

Monday, February 24th, 2014

It’s been over a month since my last date, and in case you are wondering, no I haven’t heard from OkAlize, and I haven’t tried to contact her either. Nor have I heard from OkKimberly, OkMaddie, OkJessica or any of the other OkWomen I went out with. I didn’t really “accomplish” what I set out to do, but in the end, I think that’s ok. Sometimes things don’t work out the way you think they will. In the beginning, I kind of thought it was going to be easy to go out with these women, and I was right. It was kind of easy to “go out” with them, but everything else that followed was more difficult than I had imagined. I was annoyed at OkJordana’s stubborness, I was enraged at OkKimberly’s devotion to praising the band Imagine Dragons, and I was enamoured by OkAlize’s ability to make me laugh harder than I had in a long time. I learned a lot about dating. What to say, what not to say, and when to say it. It was entertaining, and maybe I had been looking at this whole situation the wrong way. Maybe I shouldn’t take it so seriously.

Here’s OkCupid, this dating website set up with all these profiles of women. There are pictures, information and a narrative to follow. It’s kind of like watching a trailer for a movie. If you like what you see, then you try and get tickets for the show by asking her out. If it’s sold out, that’s a bummer. It’s too bad, but there’s always another movie to see. And if you really like the movie you’re seeing now and want to see it again, you go to the sequel. That’s pretty much online dating in a nut shell. Am I ever going to buy one of these movies? Maybe. Maybe not, but I’m always going to be amused by the situation and interested in what happens next. Plus, according to my credit card statement I just became eligible for the 30,000 reward points bonus, and they raised my credit limit! How about that? Ok Stupid….you didn’t get laid, but your FICO score went up. In addition to that, I now know of at least half a dozen cool, hip bars and restaurants that I can bring someone else to on a date.

Thing was out of all of them, I really liked Alize. I could have actually seen myself dating her if things were different and I didn’t live with my ex,or lie about my age or if she actually WANTED a boyfriend. I mean, I would have bought her movie in heartbeat.

I sit at my computer staring at the screen in front of me. I got to say, since I left OkCupid, I kind of miss getting e-mails saying I have a message from some random girl. I miss getting those notifications saying that “someone likes me” and I kind of miss trying to find someone who I can go out with once a week and enjoy a few cocktails with while trying, but failing to keep our hands to ourselves in public. I miss the game, and now I know how to play it better. I’m a romantic at heart, but what I have to realize and accept now is that if it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it still feels good sometimes to know that people find you attractive and want to flirt with you, and possibly are thinking about sleeping with you. Who doesn’t like that kind of attention? Who doesn’t want to be wanted? This experience gave me a lot of confidence. I was able to write this whole blog because of what happened and maybe I should do something with my stories while not letting this new found confidence go to waste. I’m definitely going to do something with these stories. Now about that confidence….

I open Safari on my computer and I click the tab I labeled “OkC.” I log back into OkCupid and reactivate my account for the first time in two months. I guess I kind of want to see what else is playing at the movies.

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