|Photo by Wikimedia Commons.|
I don't exactly know what I was expecting in the LA dating scene, but it sure as hell wasn't this. The thing about LA is that there are SO MANY people from SO MANY different places. It's just a huge melting pot that you hope you somehow grab a good piece. After moving here I immediately decided that I would never date anyone from my apartment building because it's basically a college dorm and therefore follows unspoken dorm rules. So while that was a fairly good decision on my part, it also eliminated a good chunk of guys that I actually knew. Finding someone from my internship at Ms. was out of the question because there weren't any, and I have strong feelings against using Couch surfing as a dating website. So that pretty much just left going out and meeting guys the traditional way.
Now going out to meet a stranger in Wilmington was pretty much impossible– you had to at least have mutual friends because the town was so small. Going out and meeting strangers in Hollywood, however, is a completely different ball game. You get a lot of weirdos, creepers, and desperadoes here. A lot of girls and guys alike who are just looking for a good hookup or is so in need of a relationship that they come off clingy. Surprisingly my first dating experience fell under neither category.
I was at a friend's birthday party at Hemingways, one of my favorite lounges in Hollywood, and he had gone ALL out. I mean bottle service, I mean cupcakes, I mean private DJ. I was impressed, really. I had naturally darted straight to the cupcakes first and met this one guy (we'll call him Clint) who had already tried all of the three flavors. I liked him immediately. He was tall, handsome, and in good shape. He had on questionably tight pants, but then let's be serious– what guy in LA didn't own a pair? When our seats got snagged by some drunk girls in club dresses, Clint led me to another room by entrance, which was quieter and allowed us to talk more without yelling.
Even though I don't usually like to talk politics, it was during the Presidential Debates and I was ranting about Romney's latest "binder full of women"act. I was impressed he was actively listening to me blabber about my latest snarky article for the Ms. Blog and the GOP's idiotic remarks against women and rape. It was a pretty heavy discussion for a birthday party, anyway.
I was ecstatic, however, that I had had an interesting conversation with a good looking stranger and before I left with my friends, I made the first move to ask for his number. I even got different guy's number as a bonus, though he had asked for mine after I danced with him for one song. Not too shabby for a Friday night, I thought.
The next week I texted Clint and we ended up settling on going out that weekend. He showed up with a Mercedes Benz to pick me up to both my cousin's and my astonishment, and suggested that we go to Skybar, a swanky rooftop lounge on the Sunset Strip. We talked about our backgrounds and I learned that he was from the Midwest, went to law school, and worked with my friend as an accountant for big names and celebrities (though they weren't allowed to disclose who they are exactly). We also discovered that we both had a lot in common: both had single mothers, didn't keep in contact with our fathers, and drove to LA not too long ago. He had this super sarcastic sense of humor that I understood perfectly and I found myself totally at ease talking to him.
Before we decided to leave, he went to bathroom real quick while I waited for him outside. When he came out, he had two flamboyantly gay men on either side of him, yammering away about something while he gave me an embarrassed and awkward look. For one terrible moment I actually thought this was a horrible misunderstanding; that he might be gay and we weren't on a date at all but just hanging out as friends. But then he nicely said bye to them after one of the guys gave him a more than friendly back rub, and then immediately held my hand on the way out. Grinning, I caught a death look obviously targeted in my direction from one of the gays before we left.
I wasn't really bothered by the fact that my date had just been seriously hit on by homosexuals– I could even see why. He dressed a little bit on the metro side and all men were pretty much fair game this close to WeHo, after all. However, I did respect that he had handled the situation pretty well, and wasn't one of those tools who spazzed out at the slightest look from another man.
"I just know my sexuality and am comfortable with it, so why make it a big deal?" he replied matter-of-factly when I commented on his relaxed reaction, aside from the noticeable gesture to hold my hand.
After grabbing a milkshake at a diner, Clint drove me home where he proved his sexuality by giving me a body-rocking first kiss in his car. I was blushing from head to toe when I left, and was all smiles. All in all, it was an AMAZING first date.
Sounds like a good start, huh? Oh, but just wait...