I had a great day with my cousin yesterday. We’re not really related, but we might as well be. Our parents knew each other about a decade before we were born and we crawled and toddled together. One summer I ended up with a cast on my leg, and a week later he had a matching cast on his arm from doing the same thing. He ended up in a hospital bed for a while and a couple of years later, I ended up in the same hospital bed. When we got older, he was the one I would drag clothes shopping because I trust his judgment. He is the best wingman and buffer when needed.
Yesterday I picked him up for a slow route down Santa Monica to the 3rd Street Promenade. It was like being the person I was before I met my ex. Instead of rating each man 1 to 10, I was giving a quick “yes” or “no” with a description of a shirt color or the really cute guy talking in French. I’m not a fan of shopping, but he is and he wanted to stop in all of the shoe shops. We walked the pier and saw a sea lion swimming below us and hoping an angler would toss fresh fish to it. At the end of our walk, we sat on a bench and he made some changes to my dating profile. There was a handsome man walking by, and I gave him a slightly inviting smile. It wasn’t predatory. It was enough to make him smile back, then look at my cousin as if he was defiant and afraid. We laughed about it because I wasn’t that interested. The day made me feel like I was a teenager again.
We talked about the time we were shopping at the Pier 1 Imports in Hollywood. I got home and couldn’t stop thinking about the boy that was helping me, so I called the store to leave my number for him. He was too young for me, but that was a boldness I let go of. Even when I first met my ex, I was at the bar, and I told the bartender what I was drinking and nodded toward the ex, saying he would pay for it. Once upon a time I didn’t need a wingman. Once upon a time I would have leaned out of my car window with a set of cards I had made.
You’ve just received my card which means I would like to see or talk to you again. Give me a ring sometime.
(With my name and number on it. Yes, I was that person. I still have one around here somewhere, I’m sure.)
As much as I’m still hating online dating, it still seems like the best option for now. I saw several beautiful men in person. There were none that made me forget what I was saying, but there was one today that made me forget where I was going, and I missed a turn this morning. . . I was saying, plenty of beautiful men, but I don’t have the boldness I used to. I noticed that now I’m much more careful about looking for a ring or a partner attached. I was watching for body language and I’m sure I read a few indicators incorrectly. I’m not a drinker, so bars aren’t really an option. At the grocery store, there was a really attractive man picking up a cranberry goat cheese log, but his boyfriend was a few feet away. So I’m resigned to the website for right now, and I expect one day I will get back to the person I once was. For now, I will continue to be nervous about opening emails, and becoming a sexual fantasy based on my pictures, and I will hold out fistfuls of hope.
Another online dating tip: Seriously, even two days of texting is too soon to assume I want to know the size of your endowment. When you are doing something, you’re less likely to talk about it. If you have to announce what you are doing, that sounds like insecurity. Don’t assume I am afraid of what you’re wielding because an insult is likely to make me want to hurt your fragile feelings.