"Carolyn's stories are like a cozy blanket, a pair of stretchy pants, a lifetime movie, and a pint of ice cream to come home to after a DUMB! dating experience. It makes you breathe a sigh of relief and think "Phew! Its NOT just me!!!!!!". -- Ozlem (my hairdresser)

Love the blog Carolyn!! Just read every entry - it's all great! really interesting and a lot I could relate to-- it's hard for me to imagine you having any trouble meeting guys, but I love the honesty and openness of your voice.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Way Better Than Any Drug...

"I am in love with the idea of love. It's the greatest when it's the real deal. Way better than any drug or amount of money."

How could I not fall in love with Kevin, the guy who sent me this text? My phone bleeped again, "People say that's stupid of me to think that, but it's probably because they've never had it."

I have never experienced real, unconditional love with a romantic partner. I have never known what it's like for a man to 'have my back' as Sandra Bullock unfortunately described on Oscar night, before discovering her husband’s infidelity. I thought back to my early relationships in Los Angeles and wondered if my idea of what love is, has changed over the years…

I flew to L.A. from New York when I was 26 to visit my dad for the weekend and never went back. Having the beach close by, a home larger than the walk-in closet I called my apartment, a car and sunny weather every day, I was hard pressed to return to the island of Manhattan. Plus, I was dating an actor, Tim, who was well known from a hit TV show. He was shooting a movie in L.A. and had recently told me, " I love you. Maybe you should start thinking about us getting married."

Tim was also a singer and I was 'the girl' in one of the music videos he produced in Tennessee, five months prior to my move to L.A. In one of the shots, I'm reading a letter while walking down a gravel driveway. I then place the letter on my heart and smile. The director said to me, "Really read the letter next time.” So I did. “While I was on the road, I got a girl pregnant and I’m gonna have to marry her,” the letter said. I burst out laughing and then the crew joined in and laughed too.

After a long, romantic Valentine's Day weekend in Malibu, Tim called me crying, saying he got some girl pregnant, while touring with his band and married her so she wouldn’t be ostracized from her small Christian community, for giving birth to a bastard child. She was six months pregnant and they had been married for three months before he finally spilled his guts over the phone.

A “friend” I met in L.A. was quick to offer me cash to sell my story to the Enquirer. I was humiliated enough and didn't see the point in splattering myself, or anyone else across the pages of a tabloid magazine for any sum of money. My dad’s second wife said, "You should see him one last time, fuck him and then never call him again.” I couldn't think of a worse idea. "Yeah, that will really show him," I said.

Distraught and not knowing anyone in Los Angeles, I contacted Scott, a former boyfriend from New York, who had moved to L.A two years prior. He was a writer, who hadn't really written anything, and an alcoholic. If there was anyone I could count on getting drunk with, it was Scott.

Scott had a knack for finding crappy apartments in questionable neighborhoods, and nothing had changed, as I pulled up to his apartment building and parked out front.

After a bottle of wine and a good cry, I was too tipsy to drive home. I fell asleep on Scott's couch, but not before he tried to take advantage of my drunken stupor. Angry at being rejected, he spoke harsh words before retreating to his bedroom.

As soon as the bright sun shined through the curtainless window, I got up and left. I stood in front of Scott's building, trying to locate my car. I was sure I had parked right in front of his building, but now there was just a pile of broken glass and my “Club" lying in the middle of the street. Shit. My car was gone and Scott had to drive me back to Manhattan Beach.

Days passed… My rental car was broken into and then the used car I bought broke down. The mechanic told me the odometer had been rolled back about 70,000 miles. “My girlfriend has this same car with 50,000 miles and her engine is in much better shape than yours.” Really? That sweet couple with the baby who sold me the car rolled the odometer back? I was rethinking my move to L.A., where the streets had been much tougher than anything I had experienced living in New York.

A week later, I was invited to a filmmaker’s party, where I met Patrick, the CEO of a large, successful television company. He was intrigued by my pathetic story. "How are you dealing with all of this?” he asked, “Are you seeing a therapist?” I wasn’t seeing anyone, just calling friends in New York who would lend an ear. "Had you left anything in your car?" he asked. "Just a watch Tim gave me," I replied, “but frankly, I’m glad it’s gone.” Patrick took pity on me and asked if he could take me out to dinner the following night. I happily accepted.

Since I was staying in Manhattan Beach, Scott offered to let my date pick me up at his apartment. Patrick called as soon as he pulled up outside so Scott looked out the window and saw his brand new convertible Mercedes. "You better be careful,” Scott said. “He’s probably a Hollywood asshole. Don't let him take advantage of you,” he continued. I left quickly. Patrick was the nicest guy I had met in L.A. since I moved here.

As soon as we sat down to dinner, Patrick handed me a box containing a very expensive watch. I was completely taken aback and said that I could not accept it. Patrick explained that he felt bad for all the things that happened to me during the past three months, so he wanted to do something nice. He brushed off the cost of the watch, saying it wasn't a big deal and to just please accept it. And, at the end of the date, he was a perfect gentleman.

A couple of weeks later the Los Angeles riots broke out. Scott called, "I totaled my car so you have to take me to the grocery store so I can get some food and water. You owe me a ride." I begrudgingly picked him up. As soon as he saw my new watch, he slurred his words, "Don't fall into this L.A. trap. Don’t become a Hollywood whore! Don't let them use you up and discard you! I only say this because I love you and care about you."

I dated Patrick for a few months, before realizing how badly he wanted children. He was in his 40s and his clock was ticking. I barely had time to land in L.A. before realizing he was trying to rescue me and potentially make me the mother of his children. He was a sweet, generous man who desperately wanted a family. I barely knew myself, or what I wanted, so I certainly couldn’t jump into someone else’s ready-made life in order to discover myself.

But what I do know is that everyone has a different idea of love and what love means to them. And, my idea of love has certainly changed over the years, and is not so different from what Kevin texted me. Yet, here I am in Los Angeles, looking forward to texts from Kevin, who lives in another city and who I have never met.

1 comment:

  1. Love does change as we change and grow that is for sure: nothing stays the same.