April 24, 2016

This Is What Would Happen If You Were Accidentally Locked in a Parking Lot in Hollywood.

You have a lovely night seeing a play and hanging with your friends at a local bar. You walk with your friends back to the nearby theater parking lot you all parked in. You say good night and all go to your respective cars. 

Your car is a little father off than everyone else's. Your friends watch you get in your car and then they drive away. You put on your seatbelt. You look up. Everyone has vanished. You are the last car in the parking lot. You think nothing of this. You pull out of your spot. 

You drive to the exit. The exit is blocked by a chain link gate. You see one of your friends' cars at a stoplight in the distance. 

You get out of your car to move the gate  out of your way.

The gate has two locks on it. The gate will not move. You wonder how the gate was closed and doubled locked between the time all of your friends exited and now. You can see your friend's car turn out of sight. 

You think maybe you went to the wrong exit.

You get back in your car and drive to every corner of the parking lot. Which looks ridiculous because it's a very a small parking lot. So you're really just driving in circles.

There is no other exit. 

You call all of your friends who were just there with you in the same parking lot and somehow managed to escape seconds before. No one is answering because they are all too busy driving away to freedom.

You panic. You are going to die here.

You think of options. Your fuel light comes on. You turn off your car and get out again. 

The chain link fence is a good ten feet tall and you are too short to scale it. It surrounds the entire parking lot. There are no footholds. 

You find a long stick and briefly wonder if you can ditch your car and pole vault out of here.

You really think about the idea of leaving your car and get major separation anxiety. You apologize to your car repeatedly for even considering this as an option.

Some youths on skateboards roll by and you ask them to use their delinquent powers to unlock the gate. They call you sir. They think you are a tiny man. They take a photo of you for their Snap story and skate away. 

Finally you get a hold of a friend who informs you that they have the number to the Keeper of the Keys for the theater parking lot. You call the number and leave a message. You ramble unnecessarily in the message and tell some jokes. You also weep softly. The Keeper of the Keys is never going to call you back now. 

You wonder how no one saw you were still there when everyone was leaving at the same time. Your fear of being forgotten intensifies. Maybe you are a ghost. Maybe you are in the Matrix. Maybe you really are a tiny man. This is just like the beginning of a super hero movie right before your powers are discovered. No. It's more like the beginning of an indie movie where this is just the first bad thing that happens and then everything gets worse. You shuffle around the parking lot staring at the ground like Charlie Brown. 

You text people who you know are up and none of your friends are surprised that this has happened to you. No one seems concerned that you are locked in a prison and could die at any moment.

You receive a text from the Keeper of the Keys, who says a man across the street from the parking lot may be able to help you out. You ask for clarification but the Keeper of Keys has spoken and does not respond. 

You peer across the street and see the building in question. Lots of silhouettes are in the windows. There are either a lot of people in this building having a party, or the kid from Home Alone lives there and has set up animatronic cardboard people to make it look uninviting to burglars. You wait for 23 minutes. No one exits the building. Your Home Alone theory intensifies.

A homeless man wanders by and asks you if you want him to break the gate lock with his laser eye vision and you agree. You find out that he does not have laser eye vision. He does offer you a part of his sandwich. Which you decline. He leaves and your stomach rumbles and you wish you had taken a bite of that sandwich.

You turn on music. Your phone battery is at 20% but if you're going to go, by God you will be listening to slow jams when you do. You sing Unchained Melody to no one in particular.

You think of your celebrity crush, Elijah Wood, and lament that if you die here, you will never be able to meet him. 

A man exits the building from across the street. You think it is the mercenary of the Keeper of the Keys, but it's just a guy smoking a cigarette. You think maybe he needs a signal to know that you are legit before he helps you. You make a bird sound. He is disturbed by your behavior and goes back inside. Solitude envelops you once again.

You briefly consider downloading Tinder.

You weep.

You watch some cat videos.

The Keeper of the Keys texts and says that the mercenary from across the street is not coming to help after all. You see that everyone across the street, cardboard cut outs or not, is having a great time at their party.

The Keeper of the Keys informs you that they will free you themselves but they are coming from the Valley. This is like telling Frodo you're coming to rescue him in Mordor, but you're currently in the Shire.

You make your sweater into a hat. You don't know why. 

You grab that long stick you found and yell, "You shall not pass!" at the chain link fence. You are not Gandalf and this makes you deeply sad.

Your phone is at 10%. You open up the notes section and type furiously. Tonight you will write your swan song. 

A tree branch falls out of a tree and hits you in the face. You black out for five to ten seconds from the impact.

You continue typing your swan song into your phone for an hour. You finish and read it back and it is completely incomprehensible. Your phone is now at 2%.

You decide to lock your phone to save battery. You immediately open it back up again and watch cat videos. 

Two bright lights hit your face. You think of Ryan Gosling for no reason in particular.

You realize the two lights are headlights coming from the other side of the fence. You hear the screeching sound of tires. A car door opens. A godlike figure gets out of the car and stands with the light illuminating them from behind. You say, "Liam Neeson?"

The figure says, "I have the keys." The figure pulls the keys from their pocket. You still can't see their face so you assume that it is, in fact, Liam Neeson.

Liam Neeson unlocks the gate and slides it open.

You stand there for a moment. Not sure if it's real. You start to say something but you know you'll never say anything that is good enough for Liam Neeson's ears. 

You get in your car and start it up. You drive through the gate. You are free.

You take one last look back at Liam Neeson. But he is gone. And the gate is locked.

February 14, 2016

A Valentine's Day Love Story: This Actually Happened To Me On An Airplane

I am on an airplane flying back to Los Angeles. It is a packed flight and every seat is filled. I luckily have a window seat. A very nice and adorable couple sits next to me. They look like they are straight out of an Urban Outfitters ad. A mix of cool and hipster and sexy and lumberjack chic. Everything I want to be. We'll call them Jill and Jack. Pretty sure they are models because they are both approximately seven thousand feet tall. However, my height estimations are often skewed since I am, in fact, a hobbit.

Jill is seated next to me in the middle seat and Jack is on the aisle. I keep glancing over at them because they just look so perfect together. Jack says hi to me and I smile but I can't think of anything to say. So I keep smiling, alternating looking at each of them. Pretty sure they are entirely creeped out by me. I finally tear my eyes away in shame.

I settle into my Game of Thrones book and day dream about the day I marry Jon Snow. Or Pod. I'll take what I can get. Once the flight takes off and gets to altitude, Jack gets out of his seat, presumably to go to the bathroom. I say a silent prayer for Jack, as airplane bathrooms are my worst nightmare.

While Jack is in the bathroom, I notice Jill is also reading Game of Thrones. I quickly try to think of some interesting thing to say about the book or the show so that Jill will think I'm cool because my new goal in life is to get her approval. I blurt out, "What is dead may never die." She smiles warmly at me and laughs, then goes back to her book. Jill thinks I'm funny. I am her new best friend.

Jack returns looking extremely agitated, and I give him a curt nod, knowing what he has just been through. He returns a confused smile. We are all becoming BFFs.

A flight attendant makes an announcement about beverage service. Jack is squirming and trying to get something out of his pocket. I assume it is hand sanitizer because of the airplane bathroom.

When the flight attendant finishes her announcement she then says, "Ladies and gentlemen, I also want to tell you that somewhere on this plane there is a boy who is very much in love with his girl and wants to spend the rest of his life by her side."

Jack suddenly gets out of his seat and is kneeling in the goddamn aisle of the plane like a fucking dreamboat holding out the most beautiful rock I have ever seen, looking at Jill with tears in his eyes. And I DIED.

Jill drops her Game of Thrones book like it was yesterday's news. Her hands fly up to her face. She bursts into tears, I burst into tears. It's weird because I'm sitting next to her so I'm in Jack's eye line and I almost wonder if he's proposing to me.

Jill rips off her seat belt and flies at Jack, yelling "Yes! Yes! Yes!" She tackles him and they lay on the floor of the airplane aisle, making out and holding each other's sexy lumberjack bodies like they'll never let go.

The entire airplane is up and out of their seats and cheering as Jack and Jill kiss. I am crying and clapping like an insane person, clutching my book. Jack and Jill look happier than I've ever seen two people up close. They get back into their seats, still clutching each other, and the flight attendant brings over champagne for them.

The plane settles down a little but there is still lively chatter. Everyone is uplifted. Love conquers all!

Jack and Jill  make out and drink champagne for the better part of a half hour while I stare at them, unapologetically. Jill looks over at me at one point and I give her the thumbs up. I immediately regret this because it made me look uncool and I want to be cool enough to be invited to their wedding.

Jack and Jill have downed their champagne and get really into their making out. Jill accidentally kicks me with her lumberjack foot. A plastic cup, emptied of champagne, flies at my head. I plaster myself up against the plane window. There is no way out. I try to look out the window but it is nighttime and I can see them in the reflection of the window. I close my eyes but can still hear the sounds of their passionate embrace.

Then everything gets quiet in our aisle. I peak open an eye to see what is going on. Jack and Jill have stopped making out. Their faces are together and Jack whispers in Jill's ear, " I love you."

And I whisper back, "I love you, too." I immediately clap my hand over my face in horror. Jack and Jill are too happy to care. Then they ask me to take some photos of them.

I spend the duration of the flight snapping pictures of Jack and Jill. I'm certain they used one of those photos as their engagement photo. If anyone needs a wedding photographer who only shoots on iPhone, I am now in business.

The flight lands and Jack and Jill thank me for the photos and exit, in all their amazonian glory. The whole plane lets them exit first. As they walk down the aisle, people give Jack pats on the back and throw airplane peanuts at them. I watch happily as they walk away, the most adorable couple in the world.

We didn't exchange numbers so I will probably never see Jack and Jill again. But I will never forget them. Love can cause so much pain and heartbreak, but I really think it's all worth it for those moments when you're plastered up against a sticky plane wall, watching two people experience the best moment of their lives, come what may. And yes I meant for that to be a Moulin Rouge reference. Love conquers all. Happy Valentine's Day!

August 16, 2015

Dating Advice You Should Probably Ignore (Part 3): Five Reasons Why You Should Not Break Up With Someone In A Parking Lot

Let's suppose, hypothetically, that I got broken up with in a parking lot. If this were to have happened, which I'm not saying it did, these would be my thoughts on it. And, if you were to consider breaking up with someone in a parking lot, below are the reasons why you should in fact, NOT, do that:
  1. If you break up with someone in a parking lot, it shows that you think they are crazy. I say this because everyone knows you take a crazy person to a public place to break up with them so that they don't throw something at you. What would go on in my mind, if this parking lot break up hypothetically happened, is the following: "But I'm not the crazy person. I'm not crazy. OR AM I?  Only the crazy person would say that they are not the crazy person. OMG I'm crazy." See, now you've driven someone insane.
  2. People that you both know could walk up at any moment. This is true with any public place, but in a parking lot, it's significantly more awkward. Say an acquaintance of the person you are breaking up with happens to walk by just as you are saying, "I think this isn't working out." Now said acquaintance is awkward as all hell and accidentally drops his keys, which proceed to fly under his car. He then has to body crawl on all fours to retrieve the keys, and is forced to listen to the rest of the break up while he does so because he has no other option. It's not like the acquaintance could have walked away, unless he wanted to leave his car and keys there and take Uber for the rest of his days. This is all a "what if " scenario of course, but you see my point. Onlookers should not be a part of a break up.
  3. Exhaust. Not only are you breaking up with someone, but you are also causing them prolonged inhalation of toxic fumes. Thanks.
  4. Noise level. Break ups are never fun, no matter how you go about it. But when in a parking lot, all you can hear is, "I just CAR HORN and I think it would be better if SCREECHING TIRES and I hope that you CAR ALARM. CAR ALARM. CAR ALARM." Once that car alarm goes off, all of the car alarms go off. And then nothing ever gets said and what could have been a proper break up becomes the soundscape of the next Fast and the Furious movie.
  5. It's rude.  RUDE.
That's all I have to say about that. Not that I should have much to say about it. Because it didn't really happen.

May 28, 2015

Dating Advice You Should Probably Ignore (Part 2): Eight Things Not To Say When Dating Someone Who Is Younger Than You

I recently went on a date with a guy who is in his early 20s.  Suffice it to say, I am not in my early 20s.  However, let it be known that I am 29 years old forever and ever and ever.  Many words and phrases that came out of my mouth over drinks caused confusion and polite stares from my date.  I wondered why my date was so confused until I realized that the thing I just said was something an old person would say.  I took note of the most egregious things I said and have compiled them here, in the hopes that I may help others who may or may not have gone out on a date, heard your date say they graduated high school in 2010, and then had a panic attack realizing that eventually you will have to tell your date that you in fact graduated high school in 1854.

If you find yourself in this position, try to avoid the following:
  1. "When I was your age..."
    No. Just. No.
  2. "You are way more accomplished than I was at your age."
    First, this is another form of "when I was your age", which is forbidden.  Second, it's a real kick in the lady nuts when someone younger than you has achieved their dreams when you still feel like you are chasing yours.  Do not think of such things.  Everyone has their own path BLAH BLAH BLAH.  Also, I remember when I first came to LA at the ripe age of 18, a lot of people who were older than me resented anything I accomplished and completely disregarded my credibility.  Don't be that jealous old person.  It will make you look even older and crustier.  I myself tried to use my young date's success as motivation to continue my path.  Although sometimes I did speak quietly to myself in a Gollum voice during the date saying things like "kids these days don't understands the amount of works we puts in for a decade."
  3. Do not make references to any movies of your childhood, because your date was most likely not born yet or too young to remember.   The blank stare that you receive after quoting the Mighty Ducks will be devastating and then you'll wonder when you turned into that person who talks about things in the past and then you'll yell randomly about Game of Thrones or some other current TV show to make yourself sound more relevant.  And then you'll say fuck it and just yell "Quack Quack Quack Quack Mr. Ducksworth" and really freak your date out.
  4. "If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen."
    Don't ever say that.  That is something old people say.  I said it and I'm not proud of it.  There are many phrases you have said your whole life that probably don't mean anything at all anymore.  Think before you catch phrase.
  5. "Age is just a number."
    Is it?! IS IT?!?!?
  6. "Are you hung over?"
    Don't ask this of a younger person, because they are most certainly NOT hung over.  Your date will have drank twice as much as you and gotten half the amount of sleep that you did, but they will be completely unaffected and you will have had your face in your toilet for so long that you stopped caring and just fell asleep there.
  7. "I'm so tired!"
    Yes, you are tired and you just worked all day and then went on a date and stayed up late, but you cannot let your date know of your exhaustion.  You must carry on.  You must channel that College You who wrote ten papers in one night and then did a five mile keg stand race around campus.  College You would be ashamed of these words, and your date literally doesn't know what they mean.
  8. Finally, if your date mentions some sort of technology or YouTube series that you have no idea existed, smile, say "love it" and then Google the shit out of that on your phone under the table.  Losing touch with technology and what's cool is the first thing to go when you get older, so cling on to that sweet, sweet smart phone as much as possible.
In the end, even though I was shocked to learn my date was (gasp) seven years younger than me and in his early 20s, it was a pretty amazing date once I got past that and stopped saying weird old person things.  And it was totally worth the 8,000 pictures of various cougars that my friends proceeded to text me the next day.

April 15, 2015

Dating Advice You Should Probably Ignore: The Anatomy of a Text Message

Sometimes, when it comes to matters of dating, the text message is a vital part of early communication.  This is the truth of the world we live in.  A world in which no phone calls are made ever, and most communication is done through abbreviated text messages.  Because of this, a text message can make or break whether or not you see a person again.  It's all about timing and word choice.  And punctuation and emoticons.  Never underestimate the importance of a well placed emoticon.  And never forget that the first text makes the first impression, which lasts forever.  Or something like that.

The good thing about sending a text instead of calling someone you're interested in, is that you have time to collect your thoughts and think about what you want to say.  The bad thing about sending a text instead of calling....is exactly the same.  I've seen friends (guys and girls alike) consulting each other as to what they should say in a text, panicking as time progresses and the proper response time window is closing.  Someone somewhere made up a rule that you're not supposed to respond to a text from a potential date right away, but at the same time you shouldn't wait too long to respond either. It's a balance of showing interest, yet not seeming too eager.  The person who made up this rule is terrible.  There is no way of knowing when the perfect response time is.  There should be an equation for it.  Science should get on that.

This all sounds completely ridiculous, and it is.  It really is.  But, we all do crazy things in the name of love, so I must add "spends twenty minutes composing a text" to that list.  For example, this is a text that a guy that I was interested in sent to me:

It was good to meet you today.

I was excited to get the text, and then I got down to business figuring out how I should respond.  The following went through my mind:

What do I say to that??  I guess it's best to just repeat what he said back to him:

It was good to meet you, too.

But that sounds so boring!  I should ask him out.  I don't have to wait for him to ask me out.  I'm going to ask him out.

We should hang out some time!!!

Wait.  Don't use the word hang out.  Should I use the word "date"...or is the word "date" too serious?  Also, too many exclamation points...

We should hang out some time.

That's pretty good.  Maybe I should suggest where we should go...

We should hang out some time.  In my pants.

AHHAHA I'm hilarious.  Must delete that before I accidentally send it.  Okay - deleted.  Maybe a more appropriate location.

We should hang out some time at a bar.

No.  That sounds like all I do is hang out in bars.  Thank god he doesn't have an iphone.  Otherwise he could see how long it's taking me to type.

We should hang out sometime in LA.

That's vague enough.  Perhaps I should put a smiley face so it's a little flirty.

:) We should hang out sometime in LA. 
We should hang out sometime in LA. :)

Each smiley face position has a very specific meaning.  But, I feel like the second one is a little TOO flirty.  WHERE DO I PUT THE SMILEY FACE?!  What about combining?

It was good to meet you, too. :) We should hang out sometime in LA. 

Perfect.  Although...I hate when guys just say "we should hang out" and don't say when.  It's so open ended and lazy.  More specific?

It was good to meet you, too :) We should hang out sometime in LA.  I'm free Friday or Saturday night!!!!

Too many exclamation points again.  More like desperation points. But WHY do I even care?  You know what?  I will use those exclamation points.

It was good to meet you, too :) We should hang out sometime in LA.  I'm free Friday or Saturday night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ah.  I see it now.  That is way too many exclamation points.  It looks like I'm yelling via text. Or insane.  Which isn't far off.  What would I write if I said exactly what I was thinking?

I think you're adorable and I would love to go on a date with you this weekend.  But not a date that involves eating melted cheese, because I hate melted cheese.  I need to put that out there because I know it's a deal breaker.  I also don't like being picked up because I was accidentally punted once. It's a long story. Everything else, I pretty much like.  And I'd really like to know what you like, or just anything about you really.

But the rules forbid me to say such honest and forward things. Or to write a text that looks like a novel. But....what if I defy those rules?  What's the worst that can happen?  Why can't I just say what I really mean when it comes to love?  You know what, screw it.  SEND.  I did it.

So, I was really proud of myself for sending that text.  It was a modern love note.  And I realized how freeing it is to not care.  Not in a complacent way, but in a way in which I don't worry about things I can't control.  There's a lot of power in saying what you mean.  If your potential date doesn't respond, the worst that can happen is...they didn't respond.  And even then, you at least know you told the truth.

I spent the next few minutes dancing around my apartment, raising my phone in victory.  Until I realized that while I was dancing I hadn't locked my phone, and I accidentally sent the toilet emoticon in a second text to the guy.  Why.  WHY!!!  Damn you emoticons, damn you.  Of all the emoticons to accidentally send, it had to be that one.  I stared at the toilet emoticon for a long time, willing it to be erased.

But then I thought, I am the type of person who accidentally sends toilet emoticons in text messages to boys.  And that is okay.  And you know what, that toilet emoticon got me a date.