"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, May 6, 2010

To Be 29 Again...

Sometimes I schedule a meeting, but the guy thinks it's a date, and sometimes I have meetings I wish were dates.

I met Ken, who works in the film industry, at a social event. I was interested in seeing him again and learning more about how his end of the film business works. We exchanged business cards. He called two days later and we met for a drink at AOC on Third St. The hostess took us to the little bar in the back, but before we sat down he said, "I didn't think it would be so easy to get a date with you."

Ken was quite a bit older than me, so I hadn't thought our meeting was a date. I sat down and re-examined him. One of the perks of working in the entertainment industry is the casual dress code. If I was meeting Ken to talk business, I would have paid little attention to his wardrobe, but since he's single, I studied the man sitting across from me a little more closely. If he thought we were on a date, why was he wearing Crocs, baggy jeans and a fleece pullover littered with lint and a food stain? My 78-year old neighbor wears the same outfit to the end of his driveway to retrieve the morning paper. Ken was unshaven (which I sometimes like) but in his case, the stubble sealed his general unkempt look.

"Guys are telling you all the time who they are," said Dennis. "You just need to look and listen." Ken has been single for a long time and clearly put little thought into his appearance before meeting me for a date. I didn't need to look closely to understand that comfort was more important to him than looking good.

Ken didn't want to talk about business. He wanted to talk about dating. "Why do you think you've never married?" he asked. I am asked this question on every date and I can answer this question a dozen different ways. However, at this particular moment in time, my answer was, "I haven't met a potential partner who... the more I get to know him, the more I want to know him." I have had a few long-term relationships, one in particular that was headed for marriage, but the more I got to know the guy, the more I questioned his integrity. Until, finally, I couldn't back pedal fast enough, put the car in reverse and peel away. (I'm still recovering financially from that mistake).

Frankly, the more dates I go on, the more I realize how surprisingly easy it is to lower my expectations. I have to take a step back every once in awhile and reassess the qualities I desire in a man. Or, I find myself on a second date with someone like Larry. We went to a beach club for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon, and after a couple of glasses of wine, I dozed off in the sun, only to be woken up with Larry squeezing into my cabana chair, trying to stick his tongue in my mouth.

"Well, what qualities are you looking for in a man?" he asked. Guys ask this question all the time too. If they're interested in you, they want to know if they're even in your same ballpark, or if a woman's expectations are too high.

In this economy I fantasized finding a handsome, successful man in great shape, who lives in a beautiful house, travels the world, has interesting friends, and who tells me I don't have to work anymore, or have a care in the world. However, what I really look for, and what has eluded me over the years, is finding a romantic partner with a strong moral core, who I can trust. "Trust is really important to me," I said, "Without trust, you've got nothing."Maybe your expectations are too high," revealed Ken. He was right. In Los Angeles, it's harder to find an honest man with integrity, than a guy with a nice car and a pool.

Then there are the times I find myself sitting across the table from someone I wish was a date. I met Sam, a fledgling screenwriter, who is new to town. He's a former professional baseball player, 29 and single. I sat across the table from this handsome guy, with his broad smile. Listening to him talk about his recent experiences, reminded me of the time when I first arrived to Los Angeles and the excitement and anticipation I felt being here, wondering how my life would unfold. Ah, if only I was 29 again, knowing what I know now.