Once upon a time, I had someone very special and dear in my life. I loved this man very much and had hoped we would be together forever. His life was cut short due to a genetic illness that ravaged his body and ultimately crushed his spirit. It was a terrible thing to watch helplessly, knowing whatever you do, will not and can not help. So I just sat by his side and loved him with everything I had.
Jump forward over a decade later, I’m on a date with a man. We go to a little Mexican restaurant I use to frequent when I was a young child. The food is authentic. The mariachis are considerably loud. And the place is packed.
I’m munching on enchiladas rancheros and a raspberry iced tea while yelling across the table to my date.
The problem is, besides the noise and the yelling….my date looks exactly like the man I lost. This man is only slightly taller and has a slightly smaller nose. Otherwise, almost identical. Their mannerisms are similar. It’s unnerving. I’m completely not myself.
I’m dating a ghost.
It’s never a fun experience going to the dentist. You are laying back on a chair with a bright annoying light shining in your eyes. Your mouth is clamped open in a unusual manner and there are fingers and tools all up in there. Drilling, spraying and spitting. It’s a truly romantic experience. Makes you want to go back for seconds, says no man ever.
And what is worst, is when your dentist wants to talk and expects you to answer. You make a poor attempt of mumbling some nonsense that they seem to understand.
So there I am, laying in the dentist chair, getting a cleaning. I have okay teeth but I also have a sweet tooth. So that usually gets an eye roll, a stern lecture and lines my dentist’s pockets. It’s a catch-22, I suppose.
I’m drooling and trying to think of a happy place when he decides to talk.
him: “You have a pretty mouth.”
him: “The shape, it’s really pretty. You could work on your brushing though.”
him: “Are you single?”
me: I just nod at this point.
him: “Try to stay still, please.”
me: I nod again and then apologize. Now I’m an idiot.
him: “Do you like pho?”
me: I shrug.
him: “Want to go sometime?”
So I can’t go anywhere because his hands are in my mouth….but I think he just hit on me. If I say yes, do I get a complimentary cleaning?
What else is he going to shove in my mouth?
A few months go by and this elderly man keeps messaging me about coming out to West Hollywood. He is good-looking and seems like a complete gentleman. He is almost twice my age, but that doesn’t phase me. So I finally agree to meet.
He makes reservations at the most romantic restaurant in town called The Little Door. He is even better looking in person. Completely gracious and almost regal. We drive up in his brand new beautiful Jaguar and do valet. This restaurant is so pretty. You are under a tent of green trees, red tulle, fairy lights.
Dinner was amazing. The food was delectable. And the wine was the best I’ve ever consumed. Incredible.
During dinner, he tells me his life story and it’s worthy of a movie itself, plus a sequel. You see, this man is an award winning director. And then he starts to pitch me to go into show business. I decline graciously. I prefer to watch, rather than be watched. He offers to invite me out to the set of his new movie and I joke that I’ll bring cupcakes.
After dinner, we go to the valet station to retrieve the car and they pull up with the same color Honda Accord. He goes to get in the car when I inform him it’s the wrong one. I guess valet got confused.
We almost took off with someone else’s car.
The hardest part about dating again is being vulnerable. There are some dates that you go on and your heart isn’t entirely in it. You just go in and are not expecting fireworks. And there are others, your hopes are so high that you think, just maybe, just possibly, this person is the one.
I’m a hopeless romantic to begin with, which is a blessing and a curse. A hopeless romantic is a positive refillable fool who gives all of themselves and hopes and prays it’s returned in abundance. I am that fool. I won’t apologize for it. But I’m fully aware of the consequences of it.
I met a man. A man a few years younger than me. Divorced single father. We chatted for a week. Our conversations were so immensely passionate and intense. You know when someone just gets you. Gets you to the core and you let down those walls. You become vulnerable. You become hopeful. I truly understand how you can become so attached to someone without actually meeting them.
We were going to meet and had been planning it all week. Sushi dinner. I was dressed and looking super pretty. I even snapped a selfie and sent it to him. He loved the picture.
He is a business owner and was only going to be busy in the morning. Then took another job. And another. We were still planning to meet.
And then nothing. No contact. No nothing. Text went unanswered. Phone call wasn’t returned. Nothing.
I was basically stood up. Not going to lie….I shed a tear.
There is rarely an occasion when I turn down sushi. Those beautiful colorful rolls of yumminess are always a delight. Plus there is a great upscale sushi restaurant in Orange County called Riptide. This is not a hole in the wall diamond in the rough. This is fusion sushi at its best.
So my date tells me to meet him there in front of the fish tank. That is something I never understood. A fish tank in a seafood restaurant. Do you put a ranch in the middle of steak house? Or a farm in a burger joint?
Regardless, I show up all pretty. We get seated in a half moon booth. I order a key lime martini and he gets a gin and tonic. We also order the Philadelphia roll (my fave) and a ceviche inspired roll, plus something else to share. It was a lot of sushi.
When the food arrives, I can tell my date is feeling a little loose. He starts to hand feed me a sushi roll. Honestly, I was a little surprised but I go with it. Maybe he was trying to be romantic or maybe he was trying to get me to shut up and eat. Either way, it was kinda odd. I am capable of using chopsticks myself, while not masterfully….it is still effective. I won’t starve.
So my date is now on his second gin and tonic…or maybe 3rd or 4th. I really don’t know how many he had before I arrived. He is feeling pretty good.
And then it happens. He grabs a boob.
him: “they are so big and fluffy like pillows”
I just sit there looking around to make sure nobody just saw that. Usually in dating, you stop to savor each base or at least go through them quickly. He stole a few bases.
He certainly had liquid courage.
So I have a favorite restaurant in Orange County called Marrakesh. It’s this sexy morrocan restaurant where you sit in velvet tents and where dining is a delectable experience of a tantalizing dance of spices and flavors. Well except for the bread made of anise. Not a fan of that.
So my date takes me to my favorite restaurant and while it’s not going to be a cheap date for him, I chose to wear a dusty blue dress that basically puts my DDs on display. I’m covered, but there is ample cleavage that could make the bellydancer jealous.
Let’s just say I was grateful. Gratitude is a good thing.
So we are sitting on a little couch under the tent with various other couples.
A man sitting across at another table is GLUED to my chest. I noticed but disregarded. I’m focused on my date. My date is focused on him and he isn’t thrilled.
Now, this isn’t a one course kinda restaurant. It’s various salads, lentil soup, the most delicious cinnamon and powered sugar chicken pastry, the main course and then baklava with honey sweetened mint tea.
So two hours of my date being upset is not an understatement.
Dinner was yummy though…
It was 5pm somewhere and I was meeting a dashingly handsome man for a smoothie. We were both getting over the common cold, so a heavy meal didn’t sound right.
We were at Tustin Marketplace and of course he shows up before me. It’s not that I’m always late, I just don’t like to stand around and wait. Double standard I know.
So I order a Seabreeze Squeeze and he ordered whatever fruity concoction it was. I wasn’t paying attention. He was good looking. Tall. Dark. Handsome. Built. Middle Eastern with one of those I’m so naughty smiles that you are in trouble.
We sit and chat for 30 minutes. We talk UFC and work and random crap. We both were super busy that this little date was thrown in last minute.
When it was time to leave, he walked me to my car like a gentleman. He held my face in his hands and gave me a delectably delicious kiss. I think my knees went weak.
I gained my composure and got in my car and watched him walk away. Turned on the car and looked in the rear view mirror to back up and saw my reflection. WTH was on my face? It was like black jelly. Oily jelly. I grab a tissue from my purse and wipe it off.
He had a goatee…..but was he wearing beard gel? And why was it black? So confused.
He texted me later and said he really enjoyed the kiss. And all I could say was “Do you wear beard oil?”