The Perfect Date

I went on a perfect date. In Los Angeles.

Yes, ’tis true. And at the risk that this person is reading this right now… I’m sorry for putting this out on the internet. But I cannot NOT share it. It was, in fact, a perfect date! GREAT JOB. I know you didn’t think it was, but it was. And in a life where I have had my fair share of cheeseball pickup lines and idiotic “dates” (if you want to call them that), this needs to be documented.

Dearest readers, before you start to roll your eyes (as visions of red roses and birds draping me in a gown come to mind), slow your roll. This is a very 2014-version of perfect.

Read: it wasn’t perfect at all.

I’ve been putting myself out there in terms of dating, because 5 years in Los Angeles without even a short-term relationship has been kind of a drag. It’s been hilarious and tragic. I’ve received the absolute corniest, cringe-worthy messages that I wish I could relinquish from this brain of mine. But this was the first date I’ve been on in a few months. (Since the sociopath incident of 2013…)

HERE WE GO!

1. IT DIDN’T GO ACCORDING TO PLAN

Usually, on dates, you end up meeting at a restaurant, separately, so you can plan your escape if the dude totally sucks, has an annoying laugh, looks like he might murder you later, or won’t stop talking about pilot season. However, it’s fairly tame. You sit awkwardly and order, while trying to get to “know” one another. Drinking can (and should) be involved. It can drag on forever, usually. But in this case, he came to pick me up. (This was enough to elicit an astounding “whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa” from several of my girlfriends.)

We headed to the destination — Lucques on Melrose. For whatever reason, the map and the GPS said it was on Melrose Place, so as we drove up and down the street, it was impossible to find. Clearly.

We ended up at this little Russian place that looked like a house on the inside. Yes, Russian. Probably not the ideal first date fare, but the restaurant was vintage-inspired, with beautiful light fixtures, amazing vodka (it was Russian, so it better had been!) and delicious, savory food. If you are up for an adventure, it’s across from Fig & Olive: Mari Vanna. (PS: Order the Salmon Blinis, Potato Dumplings, and Beef Stroganoff; the Honey cake was decadent, and the seaberry martini was refreshing and light.)

We’d both never had Russian food before (well, legit Russian anyway), so we were both hesistant upon first walking in. But we warmed up to it. It could have been a complete disaster, but our Russian waitress was dominant authoritative (honestly, I would have been terrified of her if she wasn’t so helpful and funny), and the atmosphere was perfect to get to know each other without feeling too uptight or stuffy.

It didn’t go according to plan, but it made for an experience we both hadn’t had before.

2. IT WAS ON A SUNDAY

Part II to “it didn’t go according to plan” was that this date was supposed to transpire on a Saturday, but he got stuck in Big Bear and wasn’t able to make it back in time. I figured he’d want to plan for later the next week, (and honestly thought he was just trying to get out of the date at the time) but then he asked me out for Sunday. Sunday isn’t your typical “date night”, but my mantra lately has been WHY THE HELL NOT? So Sunday it was.

This actually benefitted us on many levels. There was zero traffic. (I know, so LA to say.) And the bar we swung by after dinner wasn’t jam-packed. It was full because it was karaoke night, but we were able to sit and talk some more without having to yell to be heard. And the karaoke crowd made for some built-in comic relief.

3. THERE WAS NO KISSING INVOLVED

When you get to a certain age, it isn’t taboo to kiss on a first date. (Or then some.) Which frankly? It sucks, because you lose the romance and the allure and THE WHIMSY when it comes to first dates. I was talking about high school a few weeks ago, and how I  thought my high school (eh, right-after-high school) boyfriend was the most romantic I ever had. And there were a myriad of reasons: we got to know each other as friends before we started dating, and he courted me for while (after wanting to kill each other for an extended period of time — funny how that works out). So when we finally went on a first date and we had our first kiss, it was a HUGE DEAL. Butterflies, giddiness, the whole she-bang. I hadn’t felt that way in any of my most recent relationships, and sure as hell hadn’t felt that way since living in LA. Either I wasn’t attracted to the guy and God forbid he get anywhere close to my face, or I was attracted, and they kissed me right off the bat (and were rather forward about it, too). They never left something to be desired, and I was never on my toes. I never thought, “I can’t tell if he’s into me or not?”

This guy didn’t even hold my hand until walking me to my front door at the end of the night, and when I thought I might get a kiss goodnight — which I wouldn’t have minded, to be honest — he went for a hug and went on his way. I knew we were going to see each other again, because verbalized his interest in me, but it left me wanting more, and kept me on my toes.

So see? It wasn’t perfect. I’m sure he probably was worried that it wasn’t going to plan. But it was lovely.

Some of you are probably thinking “is this guy a genius or something?” Yes. I’m pretty sure he is, because apparently he knows just how to play it. And what I didn’t mention is that before the first date, we had a little coffee meetup just to see if there was any initial interest. Kind of like a pre-interview or something. And this Type A woman loves preparation, so it was completely up my alley.

EXTRA: SOMEONE SENT ME A DRINK

This is completely irrelevant, but at dinner, some guy at the restaurant sent me a drink. Naturally, I told the waitress I didn’t order it — like an oblivious idiot — so she literally had to say, “it’s compliments of a man here in the restaurant.” It was completely shocking, but validating, too. I couldn’t have planned that shiz better myself. Cha-ching!

So remember that not everything has to go according to plan. There’s beauty in the imperfections. And for the love of God, play hard to get!

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