My girlfriend and I had planned a girl’s night out to drink some wine and catch up on every single detail of each other’s lives. We were seated at the bar of Bouchon where she was having a glass of Triennes Viognier from Provence and I, a glass of heavily-oaked Molnar Chardonnay from the Carneros, while enjoying the salmon rillettes. There were two men to our left, not together but obviously single. The one closest, and next to my friend, was ordering far too much food for one person so my all too naïve and friendly girlfriend struck up a little benign food chit-chat. Evidently, he was a chef from Dallas. I had lost her attention.
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Entries in Dining In Los Angeles (5)
It took only a few months of living in Los Angeles to learn that many unemployed actors and writers spend their days at Urth Caffé, hopelessly hitting on women. Over the past decade of stopping for my morning coffee, I have watched the same faces grow older and more pathetic with time. It seems their dating strategy has failed.
The other night at Osteria Mozza, a man with an English accent approached me. He was divorced, lived in the Hollywood Hills (not in the Bird Streets, like DiCaprio) and worked in finance as a consultant – an entrepreneur of sorts. What’s that expression? Entrepreneur is French for unemployed? I don’t know what vocations he was currently entre, but it was obvious he wanted to get entre the sheets avec moi. For those who didn’t study languages, that would be a French/English dictionary you’d require at this time. I like Brits. They are salt-of-the-earth people who know how to make a proper cup of tea, so I gave him my number in exchange for his card. He was going out of town until Tuesday and promised to be in touch upon his return.
Is food poisoning better than a first date? If you’ve read any of my blog, you’ll probably agree that there are definitely times when heaving over a toilet bowl wondering if you will die from some mutant strain of lethal e.coli bacteria sounds like a delightful way to spend an evening.
I was contacted online by a man who seemed charming, gracious and kind – excellent qualities – and agreed to a phone call, during which I detected just a little of the “I think I’m funnier than I actually am” syndrome. Turn off. But, I hadn’t been on a date in a while and needed some material for my blog. What great lengths I go to for my readers! He offered to take me to Melisse, my favorite restaurant in Los Angeles, where I could order whatever wines I wanted. He would arrange a car service to pick me up and drop me off, so I could get to and from dinner without a DUI. Nice!
Long before The Secret, I had a boyfriend who made me a “vision board” by pasting photos, words and magazine clippings on a big piece of construction paper. It represented who I was and where I wanted to go in life. While this man never supported me financially (in fact, it was the other way around), he got bonus points for being emotionally supportive of my career. Without him, I would have never become a writer nor would I have moved to the United States.
He was the little voice that said “you can do this” as I wrote magazine articles for 50 cents a word and copy for medical brochures (yawn) and real estate brochures (more yawns). I would come home after a long day at my ‘paying gig’ of producing commercials, and he would have music playing, champagne to toast the sunset together, and a bubble bath drawn and lined with candles for me to unwind in while he prepared a gourmet dinner. For years I had the vision board on my wall, probably right until The Secret became popular. Then I tucked it away somewhere, a little embarrassed that it was now the thing to do.
Pure and simple, online dating sucks. It is like going to war. One needs a take no prisoners mentality. You have to go in knowing what you want and get out fast before you're hit with a million IM requests from inappropriate suitors who stopped on your photo only long enough to determine that you're attractive, but never bothered to read your profile...perhaps they never learned to read. Regardless, it says something about the average IQ of the men on these sites...on the evolution chart, they are neanderthals caught somewhere between ape and man, and often a little closer to ape. If they could get away with it, they would probably club a woman over the head and drag her back to the cave.
I let my guard down the other week. This guy named Skip was pestering me for a date, telling me that he too was a foodie and oenophile and that we had much in common, despite the fact that I saw nothing remotely appealing on his profile. His photo was small, indistinguishable and, I realized the moment I laid eyes on him, a good five years out of date. I initially agreed to a quick phone call, and while I was not impressed by his unfaltering Brooklyn accent (despite having lived in LA the greater portion of his 50 odd years of life), he was a good salesman and I succumbed to a brief date. A drink at Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bistro...downstairs, not upstairs where I might run into someone I know. I do this every once in a while. I suffer through a miserable date to prove to myself that my instincts are indeed right, that I can, in fact, determine from a simple email exchange or a five minute phone conversation that someone is not right for me. My friends seem to think my standards are too high, so I lowered them for Skip. I said, okay, I won't be hasty in my judgment. Maybe I am not giving these men a chance to shine. I gave Skip a rope and he hung himself.
I arrived at the bar looking intimidatingly hot in a skintight black dress and my Gucci Helena boots - the ones Angelina Jolie wore last summer in a Vanity Fair spread shot by Patrick Demarchelier (see photo). I went through great strides (pun intended) to get those boots on my birthday trip to Paris last July, so I was intent on wearing them on every occasion I could. I knew there wasn't a snowball's chance in hell that I was going to be interested in Skip. Nevertheless, I wanted to look amazing. Not for his benefit. For mine. It was my little way of saying "thank you for playing our game; this is what you don't win!" To set the bar impossibly high, I also wore the 3 karat sapphire and diamond heart-shaped pendant my former lover gave me for my XX birthday not long ago. I wanted there to be no misunderstanding about the manner in which I aspire to be accustomed to.
I poked my head in the bar and saw Skip sitting in a corner, nursing a glass of nondescript red wine, and I quickly ducked away. He was not as he represented himself and looked like an unemployed, 60 year old actor who couldn't afford the entire bottle of wine. Shit. What's a girl to do? I texted. "Are you there yet?" He replied, "One thing you gotta know about me babe...I'm always on time." Babe? Did he just call me babe? The way I saw it, I had three options: I could simply never show, I could fake an emergency and never reschedule, or I could do something bold - something I have never done before - I could go in there and end the date within 10 minutes or less. Why should I fake enthusiasm, waste calories on a glass of house wine and suffer through some lame attempt at trying to impress me. I chose door number three.
I introduced myself to Skip and took a seat opposite him. He complimented me on being "a hottie" and looking better than my photos. I was speechless. Not from his compliments, but because I could not say the same about him. Always better to understate than overstate oneself in one's dating profile. Skip offered to buy me a glass of generic house wine, but I declined and he immediately got his guard up sensing the date was going to be brief. After three to five minutes of chit-chat on how the whole online dating experience was going for each of us, I politely told him that I was not feeling much chemistry. He said it felt like the date was over before it had even begun. Bingo! He was a sharp one, I'll give him that. I complimented him on being in great shape and obviously taking good care of himself (oh, how I can lie when I want to), but told him I was looking for that certain spark that happens the minute you meet someone. He began to attack. How could I possibly know after five minutes. I hadn't given him a chance. Please. He got five minutes of my time. That's ten minutes more than he deserved! Did I really need to defend myself to this bozo? I think not. And, so I departed as gracefully as I arrived. A moment later, I received this text:
Good luck. You would not be right for me either. Like you said, you find it interesting how guys seem to enjoy a date and don't stop to consider if there is reciprocity. Well let me tell you. That was uncomfortable and you will probably never find "it". You love yourself too much. I could never be with someone like that. Carly Simon's "Your so vain is on the music system here now :) how appropriate.
PS: one more thing: you do look 40ish. It is clear the biological clock is ticking. Bye peace out.
I left the punctuation as is, so you could appreciate the entire effect. Little did he know I was just outside the restaurant texting a girlfriend on how I averted a disaster date, and I could hear what was on the music system. It was not Carly Simon! Do I want to be with a man who thinks I love myself too much? Clearly he is accustomed to women with low self-esteem. I am particularly fond of the you do look 40ish post script, because I told him I was almost forty, and admitted to being at peace with the fact that I probably won't have children because the biological clock is ticking loudly and the batteries are running low. Did he think reiterating what I openly stated would somehow hurt me? What hurt is that I wasted 10 minutes of my life and by the time I arrived at Angelini Osteria for dinner they had sold out of all the specials!