After my almost first love scene, I dropped by downtown to see a girl I went to college with in Washington. We hadn't seen each other in 13 years. Jesus.
I don't remember much about Jenny, other than she hated me in college. I was very good friends with a boy named Tom, who asked me to take his virginity for weeks during first semester. Eventually, he gave up and found another girl, but we remained friends. Jenny, I assumed, was smitten with him because she hated my ass.
Truth be told, when I was 18-19 yrs old, I was so socially awkward, I could barely have a conversation with someone. Usually, I found a person who was nice to me and followed them around. It was kind of pathetic. Throw in my unsolicited, highly passionate rants about animal exploitation in some very unflattering clothing and you have me in 1996.
Towards the end of first semester, I thrived at my hippie state college. I did shrooms and then pot. Abandoned Environmental Science and studied Art Theory. I broke up with my high school boyfriend who I planned on marrying. And finally found the courage to dance. Slowly, I became me.
Jenny hated me. I didn't think much about it until she found me years later on MySpace or Facebook and apologized. There were a few people from high school and college that did. Social networking is a mysterious and wonderful thing. Think about people in the 80s who never got unsolicited apologies from the people of their past. Maybe they learned to let go a little easier. Maybe there is more peace when you aren't waiting to be found.
So, Jenny invited me over for lunch since Facebook advertised that my USC shoot was downtown. I headed over and met her beautiful 2-yr-old baby and her beautiful husband in their beautiful two bedroom apartment downtown.
We went to Chipotle for lunch and she told me about meeting her husband, how they held off on marrying because their homosexual friends were unable to marry then. All of a sudden, she discovered she was 5 months pregnant after being on the pill for several years. She confided that if things weren't 100% healthy for the baby, she would have terminated. No qualms. But the baby was healthy and she said, "This was going to be mine. All mine."
She said she didn't want to have natural childbirth and a few people made her feel badly about it, but it’s her decision.
After the fact, she wanted a tubal ligation, a surgery permanently preventing pregnancy. However, her doctor refused to approve the procedure because he fears she will change her mind. She said it was ridiculous the length she had to go to prevent pregnancy as opposed to having children. Prenatal vitamins were free from her doctor, but birth control was $50-$100 a month.
She begged for an IUD, but again, the doctor wouldn't approve the procedure. Jenny had never wanted children, and though her child was a blessing, a stranger was dictating whether or not she could make that decision for herself. She wondered if it was because this particular doctor was a family man, and valued how large his family was. Or is it because she had a daughter . . . would he approve the procedure if she had a boy first and not a girl?
Eventually, after much debate, she refused to leave the clinic until he put the IUD in her. Finally, he told the nurse, "Just go get one, she isn't going to leave." I mean . . . I guess I am confused. Are we not facing a global population problem? Is Jenny not an adult? I had no idea it was so difficult. My mother got a tubal ligation after I was born, I still think they should have snipped my Dad's balls instead. He may have been nicer.
As we ate lunch, I noticed Jenny and her husband were always focused on their child. It makes sense. You want her to eat, you want her to be safe, you answer her questions and acknowledge her observations. She was a brilliant little girl.
Since Em adopted the puppy, she had the same thing going on. The focus was on the safety, nourishment and education of the puppy. The female mind zones into that child/puppy and nothing can shake it off. I realized, for all my whining about never having a baby, I had the luxury of being free of that "lock down" focus. I could think about my day, eat where ever I wanted to, change my plans at a moment's notice, make mistakes, forget where I parked and get lost in thought. I'm not ready to give that up yet.
I rescued my girls when they were already adult dogs, and though I am obligated to support them, feed them, exercise them, my attention is not constantly pulling focus.
I got home, walked the girls, talked to my parents, showered with a glass of red wine and met my fourth OkCupid date at the second run theater in downtown Pasadena.
While looking for parking, I saw a guy leaning up against the wall in green and red plaid pants with thinning big hair and narrow sideburns. I said, "Please let that be him! Please let that be him!"
Ok, let me preface this with: his profile pic makes him look about 10 years younger. I was never really interested in him, but he was open to my criticism about a pic he used on the dating website where his arm was around a girl. I told him frankly, it was the reason I would never consider him. Its one of my rules on the dating website, if you have a pic of your arm around a girl or kissing a girl or a girl kissing you- I ignore.
He took it well and asked I reconsider, the pic, afterall, was of a friend.
Why not? What else am I going to do? Masturbate then smoke it up with my dogs and YouTube videos. I mean, really, that's pretty much all I do.
Two things he mentioned via email indicated he wasn't my type.
A) When suggesting a day to meet, he wrote, "Usually, these are good times for me. Alas, not this week" Alas? Hm. So, now when I refer to him in conversations with Trent, I call this guy "Alas."
B) He then wrote, "typically I go to yoga at 11:30, but before that I could meet up with you." Ok, I don't mind men doing yoga, but something felt contrived about him volunteering that off the bat. He doesn't sound masculine. And thinking about his balls spilling out on either side of the seam of his yoga pants made me feel . . . dry.
We agreed to see Insidious, even though he wasn't "impressed" by what was playing.
So I popped around the corner and asked if he was him, he said yes. The outfit was ridiculous, but you should also understand, the way someone behaves, holds themselves, slows their speech and looks down on you when they talk, makes them more of an asshole than what they actually say.
He was a professor of film theory at a college north of Los Angeles. He asked me about acting, and it was just the way he did it. "How is that working out for you?" "How many lines did you have today?"
I said, "I don't know. I didn't count them."
He said, "Do you do dialogue?"
I said, "Uh, yeah. It was two pages of dialogue."
He nodded. "Ok."
He paid for my $3 ticket, which of course I appreciate, so please take my following criticisms with a grain of salt. I don't think he is an asshole, I think he is pretending to be an asshole to impress me.
We approached concessions and I said, "I don't require this. Do you?" He said, "I don't require it either." So we walked upstairs and I picked a seat. I was leading the damn date again. Ugh. I asked if the seating was ok, he said, "You seem to know where you want to sit, so I will let you decide."
I need to be centered to the screen. Then I need to be centered in the theater. I also need to be ideally two seats away from strangers and a row away from anyone with food.
The trailers ran, and he was talking to me. Fine. Then the opening credits ran, and he was still talking to me. "Where did you go to school?" "How did you like it?" "A student of mine is now a professor there and I am kind of upset by it since she never spoke up in class. How could she be a professor?"
Hey, film professor, um . . . there is a movie playing.
The movie started. He said, "Oh, that guy was in that Kate Winslet movie, where everyone was cheating on everyone. Remember?"
Without looking at him, I said, "He is in lots of movies."
The movie is a low budget horror movie. No big deal. I like to get wrapped up in horror movies no matter how shitty they are. I cover my face. I despise it when boyfriends force my hands off my face. I CAN STILL SEE, OK!!!! My hand is just over my face. I am not missing the movie, I promise!
He asked me, like a Kindergarten teacher giggling, "Are you hiding? From the monster?"
I said very seriously, "Yes. It can't see me."
He laughed this deep, mechanical chuckle. I mean, all he needed was a wood pipe and a book under his arm and he would be the caricature of an intellectual he was trying so desperately to be.
Anytime there was a jump or a scare, the crowd would scream. It was a good crowd. He would give his deep chuckle. Sometimes he would add, "Every trick in the book, eh?" I said, "Its a horror movie."
Right around an hour into the movie, a man in a suit climbed through the aisles and asks\ed to sit directly next to me. Its so weird, when I saw Eat, Pray, Love there, same thing happened but it was an empty theater. A guy came in and sat right next to me.
This guy had a bag of beef jerky and was sweating profusely. During the film, he would proclaim, "Oh my God . . . OH MY GOD!" or "Jesus, No! This is scary!"
I smiled. This was awesome.
He started frantically rubbing his leg and his face then groaning. I said, "You ok?"
He said, "This is really scary!" I nodded and smiled.
Then, 25 minutes later, before the climatic ending, he just got up and walked out of the theater.
Alas said, "Where is he going now?"
I said, "I think the movie was too intense for him."
Alas said, "What the hell, come storming in and sit right next to you?"
I said, "It was odd. Very odd."
After the film, he said, "Usually I would ask you out to coffee but there is a tavern behind the theater." T Boyle's, where I met Caleb the philandering filmmaker and Frank the philandering Nickelodeon actor. I agreed. Its just good to be out, even with this guy.
I only had the $3, and he offered to buy me the pint of cider on draft I always get there. We went upstairs. A boy was singing and playing guitar opposite a back-up pedal steel guitar. It was country-blue grassy . . . what is it about boys and music. I tried not to look at him as he spit memories into the microphone.
So, being a film professor, I assumed he knew film.
First I saw Willem Dafoe on a Jimmy Bean commercial and said, "You know it’s a recession when Willem Dafoe is doing commercials."
Alas said, "I haven't seen him in anything for a long time."
I said "He was in that movie in 2009, that controversial movie . . . . what was it?" I googled, "Anti-Christ."
Alas said, "Never heard of it." Nor did he seem interested. Then he added, "I still haven't seen the one where he plays Jesus."
I rolled by eyes at him and said, "The LastTemptation of Christ? Are you serious!? Um, you need to rent that tomorrow!" He laughed. Prick.
We climbed the stairs to the balcony and I said the music reminded me of “Crazy Heart”, with Jeff Bridges. He nodded and said, "Haven't seen it."
I said, "Do you usually see the movies nominated for awards?" I would if I had a decent paying job.
He said, "Eh, if someone recommends it to me."
Ok, I would be pissed if this guy was my film professor.
We spoke about vintage horror, which he didn't know much about. He said Insidious borrowed from Poltergeist, which I don't totally agree with. He amended, "Well, if you picked a movie it was the closest to, it would be Poltergeist."
Then added, "Have you seen real vintage horror?"
I said, "Like what?"
He said, "That movie about a little girl . . . she is evil."
I said, "The Bad Seed?"
He smiled at me, "That's right. You know about it."
I thought, "Yeah, and you don't."
Then I said, "When I get fascinated with someone, I go down the list and watch every single one of their movies. I did it with Cary Grant."
He smiled as though he was impressed. Then I added, "And Leonardo DiCaprio."
He said, "Oh . . . ok. Has he been in a good movie?"
UM! HELLO!!!!! I said, "ALL of them are good."
Deep, mechanical chuckle with a head throw back.
He said, "He was in that awful movie that won the Oscar a few years ago."
I said, "An awful movie won the Oscar a few years ago?"
He said, "Oh, maybe he wasn't in it. Matt Damon and . . . Scorsese directed it?"
I said, "The Departed!?"
I said, "I loved that movie. Its based on a Hong Kong movie, Internal Affairs."
Apathetic nod, he looked away and muttered, "Was it?"
Um. Yeah. It was!
He said, "You must like young men then, since he has very boyish features."
I said, "I like any display of passion. Age is irrelevant. Have you gone on many dates through OkCupid?"
He said, "Only one other one."
I asked, "How was it?"
He said, "She was ok. Nice. A filmmaker. We had coffee."
I said, "Why no second date?"
He said, "She wasn't my type."
I said, "Let's be blunt. Was she fat?"
He swallowed his ale, looked away and said, "She was on the heavier side. Not fat but chunky."
I said, "Gawd, I can't believe I called that one!"
He said, "Well, it doesn't take a highly perceptive person to figure out she might be overweight."
I rolled my eyes. New band on stage now, some rock-a-billy, Buddy Holly action going on down there. I said, "Oh, they have a bass. I am excited."
He said, "Men lie about their age and women lie about their weight, that’s what happens right."
Well, he definitely looked older.
He swallowed again, and puffed, “Are your dogs (head swagger) vicious?”
I narrowed my eyes. “No.”
He said, "I admire you are trying to make it on your own."
I said, "Aren't you?"
He said, "I live in the back house to a place. Its all I can afford until I am a full time professor."
I said, "Who lives in the front house?"
He said, "A woman . . . I know . . . she um . . . takes care of my father."
I see, over 40, condescending and living in his father's back house. Yikes.
His Dad kept calling on his chipped, flip phone. I said, "You better pick that up."
He said, "Yeah, it must be an emergency or something." He still kept staring at it. Lights. Buzzing.
I said, "Pick it up. I will look at my phone, its fine."
He said, "Thanks, usually I don't answer phones during a date. That would be rude."
I overheard him on the phone, "I have your car keys. Yeah, well, do you need them now? I will be home soon."
This was my way out, thank God. I was watching the lonely country singer grab a drink at the bar and I thought about approaching him. Then I thought, no, don't be one of those.
I told him I had to get home to feed the dogs and he should go back to his Dad. He walked me to my car, where someone was pissing on the street.
Pisser, "I'm sorry."
I said, "I'm sorry too."
That was that. #4 date out of the way.