Love is a Battlefield: My War Story, One Cliché at a Time
Part Four: Rules of Engagement
Continued from Part Three: Taken by Surprise
A little confidence goes a long way. After the nice IM session with Ms. Macchu Picchu, I spent some time trying to contact women within a reasonable driving distance and who wouldn’t be out of the country for an extended period of time. The more emails I sent, the more replies I got.
Insert cliché here: “You can’t win if you don’t play.”
It’s not as if I sent a slew of cookie-cutter emails with a few fill-in-the-blanks for personal details. If someone was going to get an email from me, it meant I’d read her entire profile, made references to it and asked a relevant question. Not all of these would lead to dates, of course, but I felt good about making an honest effort to connect. It didn’t feel like wasted time.
My first Internet date was “short and sweet,” which is a lot better than “long and torturous.” I wanted to try to avoid dinner and a movie in favor of something that kept the vibe casual and allowed us to actually chat a bit. Thanks to ever-glorious L.A. traffic, I ended up waiting half an hour for her to show up. She was nice enough to text me when she was 10 minutes late to let me know I hadn’t been stood up. When she finally arrived, found parking and walked in the door, we commiserated about our “long day at the office” and agreed that a drink was in order. There was a place right in front of us with a quiet dining area, but we discovered the bar was crazy loud—it was happy hour. After yelling the same things in each other’s ears for long enough to down one drink, we decided this place was a mistake and moved on.
Insert cliché here: Location, location, location.
Since we had chatted about music in our pre-date emails, I’d done my homework and picked a part of town that hosted free outdoor concerts on the beach during the summer months. A beautiful sunset and soft moonlight make for a pretty romantic one-two-punch, so our luck changed along with the time of day. After the show, we found ourselves still enjoying our conversation and decided to hang out longer. We somehow got onto the subject of reality TV. I professed my love for BBC America programming and she admitted to once hosting a “Joe Millionaire” party.
Our sights set on some frozen yogurt, we strolled across the street. Little did we know that we were committing a crime together. For the record, I thought jaywalking tickets were about as real as unicorns and letters congratulating me for winning $25 million. Luckily, the police officer let us off with a warning after a stern lecture on the importance of pedestrian safety. Every single wants “a partner in crime,” but this was taking it a bit too literally.
Turned out to be a pretty memorable date! Once we realized we weren’t going to spend the night in the pokey, our “police contact” turned into a great running joke. Would Date Two involve an FBI manhunt? We both wanted to find out. I wasn’t thinking about what went wrong, what might go wrong, but only… Wow, this could be pretty good.