Runyon Canyon is one of my favorite places in LA. Aside from the big ass dogs that are off their leashes and the smell of dog shit the views of the city is amazing. The workout is also intense. Afterwards I always feel like my head is cleared and I have a greater appreciation for LA. I had just gotten in my car and was putting the top down to continue to enjoy the amazing California weather. If you can’t appreciate having 75 degrees weather in the heart of the winter than you have issues. I was heading to Whole Foods to pick up my Emerald Sesame Kale salad for a post workout snack when my phone rang. I typically do not answer calls if I do not know the number. But it was Saturday and the number looked vaguely familiar besides I was in good spirits and in a Zen mode. I picked up the phone and to my astonishment it was… “Gary.” (Refer to previous post: case of the Dating Vapors https://confessionsofaserialdaterinla.com/2013/02/case-of-the-dating-vapors/ )
Gary: Hi there.
I made a mental note to myself to stop deleting numbers after a guy pisses me off for this very reason. At least I could have been prepared if I knew it was him calling. Back in my 20’s when a guy pissed me off I would change his name to Do Not Answer so when they called I would see that flash up as the name and know not to answer. But that didn’t work because those times when I got tipsy I would still send a text or call them. By the way, side note… Friends should never let friends text drunk. It is the number 1 killer of dignity among women from the ages of 22-33. Anyway I digressed. I had a few options.
1- Hang the phone up in his face.
2- Give him a “sista girl” response with the head roll and all and check this fool.
3- Act like nothing happen and be pleasant.
4- Hear him out first and determine if 1, 2, or 3 is the appropriate response.
I went with the 4th option. Besides I was in such a peaceful state. I would be damned if I gave him the power to change my mood. I didn’t realize how long I had him waiting.
Gary: Hello? Are you there?
Me: Well hello there.
Gary: How have you been?
I really wanted to say, “If you had bothered to pick up the damn phone two months ago when we were supposed to go out you would know. “ But instead:
Me: I’m wonderful… What’s going on?
Gary: Things have been crazy for me over the last few weeks. I finally ended up selling the house and me and my ex were able to reach a settlement. It’s been a hectic couple of weeks.
Me: (waiting for an apology) Mmmmm. Hmmmmm. I was wondering what happened to you. I’m glad everything worked out for you.
Gary: Yeah me too. How’s your week looking?
Me: It’s pretty hectic, but I’m free Wednesday or Thursday evening.
Gary: I would love to meet up with you for dinner. How about Wednesday?
Back in the day I probably would have went off on him for standing me up or I would have been a total bitch made plans for the date and stood him up just to get even. (Yes, I was once that petty and I am not ashamed). However, with age comes wisdom. So I decided to be honest with him.
Me: You know, last time we made plans I never heard from you. You never called to let me know you couldn’t make it and you never even bothered to apologize. As a matter of fact, you still haven’t apologized. My time is valuable and I expect a man to respect it. I wouldn’t be honoring who I am if I allowed you to treat me that way and think its okay.
Gary: I’m really sorry. I had so much going on and I forgot we had made plans.
Me: You forgot? Really? Come on Gary. You’re a smart guy. You can do better than that.
Gary: You’re right. That’s not the kind of person I am. I don’t want you to think that way of me.
Me: I don’t have any other frame of reference Gary.
Gary: Please let me make it up to you. Let’s meet Wednesday at 6 at Laurel Tavern for drinks.
I was suddenly feeling empowered. It felt good to just be… me. I wasn’t playing games and I wasn’t worried he was going to run off if I told him about himself. To be honest I really didn’t care if he did. I had nothing to lose. I had also lost a good 8 pounds since the last time I saw him, I cut my hair into a short sassy cut, and I was really in a good place emotionally.
Me: Okay Gary. I’m going to give you another chance. Don’t let me down.
Wednesday rolled around. I decided on a pair of skinny jeans, knee high boots, and a fitted low cut belted sweater. I got to Laurel Tavern Grill 10 minutes late. I walked in and looked around and I didn’t see him. I went to the bathroom to give myself a once over. By the time I came back out and I saw he still wasn’t there I went into panic mode. Oh shit… here we go again. I was certainly not going to wait on his ass. I pondered walking out. I didn’t think my ego could handle being stood up by the same guy twice! My phone buzzed in my bag. It was a text from “Gary.
Sorry I’m running late. The traffic is bad. I’ll be there in 15 minutes.
Phew! At least he was coming. I ordered a glass of White Haven Sauvignon Blanc and took a seat. When “Gary” finally showed up I must admit the initial attraction I first had with him was not as strong. Don’t get me wrong. He still looked good. But often times when a man has pissed me off I can’t stand the site of their ass. Perhaps this was it. His smile lit up and he gave me the tightest hug. When he let go he was still holding my hands.
Gary: Wow! You look good.
Me: Why thank you.
We were off to a great start. Since the last time I saw “Gary” he had travelled to China and Barbados to “clear his head.” Apparently he was a wreck after his divorce, which I could certainly understand. I had a feeling his divorce was not something he wanted. Things were going really well.
Gary: I thought about you a lot over the last few months.
Me: Really, I can’t tell.
Gary: Was I that bad?
I looked at him like he had two heads. Did he really want to revisit this conversation?
Me: You stood me up and never called. That’s pretty bad.
Gary: I must admit. I was a little taken aback with our last conversation. You took things so seriously.
Was this man stupid or just plain retarded? Perhaps I didn’t hear him correctly.
Me: What do you mean?
Gary: It kind of rubbed me the wrong way.
Gary: I was going through a lot at the time. And I felt you kind of jumped down my throat. You could have been more understanding of my situation.
I counted backwards from 10 to 1. The last thing I wanted to do was cuss his ass out. Besides, I wanted to hear him out.
Me: Gary, let me say this. I’m not going to apologize for what I said because that’s how I felt. But if it came of wrong in how I communicated it, well, I can work on that.
Gary: Thanks I appreciate that.
I waited for an apology to come out of his big stupid mouth for being a rude, inconsiderate ass hole. I really wanted him to at least acknowledge his part in this. But again, men can’t read minds.
Gary: And what?
Me: Nothing Gary. Never mind.
And that’s when it hit me. This was “Gary.” He WAS a rude, inconsiderate, ass hole. My new haircut, weight loss, and clear communication wasn’t going to change that. It didn’t matter how beautiful I looked, how low cut my sweater was. This was him. I thought about how I felt when I didn’t hear from him after our first date, when he stood me up after that and didn’t call. I also thought about how I felt moments earlier when I walked into the restaurant and he wasn’t there. I thought about how I panicked thinking he wasn’t going to show up. I can tolerate a lot of things in relationships. But what I cannot and will not tolerate is inconsistency and a man who isn’t reliable. I knew if I continued to date “Gary” this was who he is. The audacity of him to try to check me for being honest with my feelings! I wanted to smack myself for giving him a second chance. We finished our drinks and he walked me to my car and gave me a hug. I knew I had no intentions of ever going out with him again.
As I drove off from that date. I had a similar feeling to the one I had that past weekend when I finished my hike on Runyon Canyon. I suddenly couldn’t stop smiling. For the very first time in my adult dating life, I was true to me. I was honest with my feelings and told a guy how I expected to be treated and let him know I wouldn’t settle for anything less because I was worth it. I wasn’t fearful that he would get turned off. I knew my worth and I would never allow someone to come into my life that didn’t honor me. Granted I didn’t get the response I wanted. But I realized I had officially reached a dating pinnacle. Being true to who you are and honoring who you are is the biggest dating high you can possibly have. This was the new me! And I would never revert to my old ways. I headed home and turned up my radio and jammed to Cheryl Lynn’s song Got To Be Real.