I’ve learned to not be disappointed when an eligible man disappoints. It’s a good skill for a single woman living in Los Angeles to have. Recently I went to a party with a friend in the Hollywood Hills, and I put it to good use. There were oddball artists and weirdos who were so out there, we felt like extras in a Fellini movie. For the first time in my life, I was pushing normal.
There was Harold and Maude—a fortyish guy getting all handsy with his 75-year-old date. Another well-seasoned woman was sitting stony-faced on a sofa with one hand trembling from Parkinson’s while her equally seasoned date’s fingers were doing the catwalk across her runway in slo-mo. Did I need to see this? Apparently so. A while later, I looked up and the old man had been replaced by a younger man, and his hand was doing the hokey-pokey across her shoulders. "Who are these people," I asked my last remaining brain cell.
Then I spotted an age-appropriate keyboard player whose fingers were doing the walking across an electric piano. "This guy is good," I told my friend, so she subtly made herself scarce. She knows I’m a sucker for a guy with smokin' chops, and for once, I’m not talking food. I seemed to go for the broke, brooding ones, and this gem showed real promise. So there we were, having a nuanced discussion about Bill Evans, when in mid-sentence, poof, he was gone. Did I know why he left or where he went? Nope. But that was all behind me. I was already onto the next one, making goo-goo eyes at a hunk across the room. Well-built with a creamy complexion, that cheese platter and I were destined for each other. Truth be told, I have come to prefer the company of cheese. And what a handsome wedge he was. Gentle and rich, Brie would never leave me. Just ask my thighs.
After each tastebud reveled in its infatuated, dopamine-fueled stupor, I moved back to where I was sitting by the vacated keyboard and awaited my girlfriend's return. That's when a white-haired John Edwards-looking guy with a lazy eye took a liking to me. I have nothing against lazy eyes. Mine aren’t exactly uber-achievers themselves. In fact, they’ve gotten so bad, he was looking pretty good.
“You look lonely over here,” he said.
“You’re not bad looking,” I thought. “But not compared to the hunk I just had.”
"Where you from?"
"Texas," I said, not proud.
"Really? I would've guessed back East."
"Do you have siblings?"
"A brother and sister."
"Are they as beautiful as you?"
That was the moment my uncontrollable laughter and utter disgust joined forces to form an inexplicable synergy. This guy was the reigning doofus of bad come-ons, yet out of sheer politeness, I continued to endure the horror. Then, out of the blue, poof, he was gone. Moments later, I saw him across the room getting all touchy-feely with the tatoo on a woman who had not won any recent beauty pageants. "Who are these people," I repeated to brain cell.
Half an hour later, as Lazy Eye was sucking face with another big-top bit player, he looked up and glanced over at me, longingly, as if I were still the one. Was I upset that my love life had devolved into a freak-filled Fellini-fest? Nope. 'Cause I knew a hot guy named Jack was waiting for me at home. Pepper Jack.
* I took this photo of heart-shaped cheese at Galeries Lafayette in Paris.