"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.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sushi in a Strip Mall

My close friend Dennis asked me what I was doing last night. "I'm having dinner with a guy I met online." "Baby," he says, "why don't you get out more and meet people in real life?" I told Dennis that if I wasn't online then I would have had only one date last year. The only reason I went online was because I wasn't meeting any single men in Los Angeles. Guys always think it's so easy to meet single people in L.A. But where are they?

I met Dennis twenty years ago in a bar in New York. He owned a number of art galleries across the country and one night, when he was out with members of his staff, he made a bet that he could get a date with me. I knew what he was up to when he approached me because all his co-workers were watching his every move. We dated for a few months and have been friends ever since. Dennis was (and still is) a handsome man and is the consummate bachelor. He has dated more women than I could ever begin to count. So, he's constantly telling me what I'm doing wrong, what I should say and how I should act when guys ask me out.

"Go hang out at Whole Foods. I meet hot women there all the time." We have all heard the grocery store is a great place to meet single people, however my neighborhood Whole Foods is in the heart of West Hollywood, a predominately gay neighborhood. I grocery shop there all the time but have not once been approached by a guy. However, I meet hot women there too. I have been approached by gay women a number of times. One woman invited me for a drink at the Abbey, a well-known gay bar. For a brief moment, I contemplated her offer. She was strikingly beautiful, with long dark hair, green eyes and full lips. If I ever went gay, it would have been with her.

"Where's he taking you?" Dennis asked. "Some sushi restaurant in Encino," I responded. Dennis scolded me, "He should be coming to your neighborhood. Why are you driving all the way to Encino?" Bob offered to come to my side of town, but we had decided on sushi and all the sushi restaurants I like are in the Valley, so I agreed to drive over the hill. Dennis knew the restaurant I was going to. "It's in a strip mall behind a Tony Roma's," he said, "What kind of guy would take you there?"

Frankly, when meeting someone for the first time, I would rather get coffee or a cocktail and not commit to dinner unless there is a second date. But it was Friday night, I was finishing up a very long, extremely stressful week, and was looking forward to a glass of sake. If I had an interesting conversation with the total stranger I met online, then I would consider the night successful-- I realize, at this moment, you are all thinking what a glamorous life I lead.

"You're doing everything wrong," said Dennis, "Rule number one, don't be too accommodating or guys will take advantage of you. I'm telling you this because I care about you. You're a catch. Make him work for you." Then Ivo told me I should never follow any rules. But isn't that a rule too? I just want to be myself. Isn't that enough? Yes, I am accommodating... this is true. I'm always trying to make everything easier for everyone else but, I get it. If a guy doesn't go out of his way for me in the beginning, then precedence is set... he never will. My head was spinning. I started my new dating 'adventure' only two months ago and I'm already sick of dating. According to Dennis, I'm doing everything wrong, which I can't argue with since I'm on my way to a strip mall to have dinner with a man I've never met.

Many of my friends have different opinions about whom I should be dating and how I should go about meeting men. But, right now, I would just like to meet a decent guy. "Ah, but Carolyn," says Ivo with a smile, "Men are not so important."