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So Long, And Thanks For The Fish  

I am not your chauffeur. I am not your personal assistant. I am not your event coordinator. If you want me to be all that, then you damn well better marry me first. I say this having recently been on a date with a very upscale man from New York who expected me to be all those things and more in a first date. A man who was raised on the Upper East Side. A man who went to private school and Harvard. A man whose family has substantial real estate holdings in the city of Manhattan. You understand what I'm saying. This guy was no slouch. And yet...

Evidently, he viewed our date as his own personal guided tour of Los Angeles. Prior to arriving, he asked me to suggest a few cultural events we could possibly attend. Culture, in Los Angeles? The current play at The Geffen Theatre is called The Escort. Need I say more? Even if there was a modicum of culture in this superficial city, I do not think that staring at art or watching a play is an appropriate first date. Aren't first dates about getting to know one another? Isn't communication a key factor? And isn't that best done over lunch, dinner, drinks or even a walk in the park—and not while staring at the stark walls of a museum where one is shh'd when they speak above a whisper. 

I deflected the question back his way. He said he would do a little research. This is what he came up with: a bus tour—yes, a bus tour—of haunted homes in Pasadena, the Dearly Departed: Tragic History Tour of Los Angeles, or a David Lynch gallery opening on the west side. What choices! What fun! (Note sarcasm). Me on a bus tour? Not in this lifetime. I was already regretting our pending date. Feeling obligated to choose one of his suggestions, I went with the Lynch show, thinking how bad could it be? It would be quick and relatively painless if traffic cooperated. I suggested a few restaurant choices near the gallery, but he had other plans. Completely unrealistic, not done in LA plans.

He was staying at one of the top hotels in Beverly Hills. You know, the kind with their own chauffeurs and a fleet of Bentleys or Maybachs to drive guests around town. And yet when I texted my arrival at the hotel, he implied that I should keep the car running and he'd be right down. Evidently, I was driving us across town in rush hour traffic to the gallery opening and then to dinner.

He was much shorter that I had perceived from his photos. He looked like he could be Ben Stiller's older less attractive brother. Not a compliment. I think I am going to start asking for profile shots before agreeing to a date, like when actors slate for camera. And profiles, please. I navigated our way through the busy Los Angeles surface streets to some obscure gallery on the west side where we would stay all of five minutes to view the unsophisticated paint slapped on canvas by some egocentric film director who considers himself talented in all mediums of art. 

As we headed west, my date revealed his plans for dinner. We would stop for appetizers at Animal, the most impossible restaurant to get into without a reservation (not gonna happen—and it didn't. We were turned away), and then go to some new robata bar downtown, then back to Hollywood to a nightclub. Evidently I was the designated driver and I really needed a drink. Were we on some scavenger hunt? Was this candid frickin' camera? Did he not realize that people east of the 405 Freeway do not venture west for dinner and people west do not venture east? He expected me to bounce around the city like a ping-pong ball.

After being shot down at Animal, I took over the wheel and steered us towards something nearby, decent, and easy to get into on a Saturday night without a reservation where he didn’t want an appetizer. He didn’t want dessert. He just wanted to talk about himself all night. We had some overrated bottle of Gaia and I had the fish. After dinner, I drove him back to his hotel, wondering how a man of his upbringing—a man who had a car service at his disposal in NY—expected his date to be his chauffeur. Why did I do it? Because I'm not a rude entitled bitch who says are you f—ing kidding me? You want me to do what? I just think it. And never go on a second date.

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Reader Comments (3)

Oh, God! Could you imagine "ever after" with this guy? Are you you sure he's not from Stepford? Great example of how money does not always equal class! The bus tour kills me LOL!

July 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarrie

Can you explain the West/East 405 dining thing?

July 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTom

For starters LA Is not known for it's restaurant scene though it has improved the last 5 years. The majority of the good restaurants are east of the 405, while the majority I'd the wealthy elite are west of the 405. And people from the east tend not to venture west to dine, and people west tend not to venture east (though they should as the food is better - more choices). It has to
do with traffic flow which is heavy heading east at dinner time. Hope that helps!

July 14, 2011 | Registered CommenterLennie Ross

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