turn that mule around, juan valdez

for the last year and a half i’ve refused all coffee dates.  i’m too old for this half-assed coffee date nonsense.  what are we, in high school?  they are the antithesis of romance.  let’s review reasons to go to starbucks/coffee shop:

  • you’re addicted to some weird, complicated drink
  • you’re meeting the kid of a family friend who just moved to LA and is having a hard time
  • you’re staging a domestic showdown with a female room mate (assuming you’re also female)
  • you’re a tv/film writer in LA

none of these, you’ll note, are remotely fun, let alone inspire lovey-dovey feelings.  plus, you’ll inevitably be forced to negotiate around a nut-so middle-aged woman yelling into her flip phone, which she’s charging at an outlet, the rest of her possessions strewn everywhere.

instead, when a guy suggests one, i say i’d love to meet but for a drink drink, or something entirely different, not coffee.  one of them called me “harsh” but otherwise it works.  every.  time.  it’s almost like they know it’s a sub-par offer.  when we meet they grill me over drinks about the bad dates that led to this rule. 

there are two, primarily.  but the real issue is the attitude behind asking someone out for coffee.  it’s so low-risk and tentative.  we’re going on a date, but it’s not a real date, it’s just coffee.  go big or go home, i say.  if you can’t ask me on a real, grownup date, then get out of my life.  maybe the guy who called me harsh was right.  anyway, back to the dudes. 

one had gained about 15 pounds, 10 of which went to his face, between the time his photos were taken and when we met.  he walked in and i wanted to cry.  after a long week of work i’d skipped Friday evening yoga for this?  he’s already lied to me.  i momentarily considered saying i’d forgotten something in my car and fleeing.  but i gave him a chance.  and it totally sucked. 

he went ahead of me in line, took my scone, either by mistake or deliberately, and didn’t even offer to pay.  when we were seated i discovered he was also hopelessly boring.  honestly, there was nothing to work with, conversationally.  when we said goodbye he made some overture about getting together again but i was already halfway across the street to my car.   i’d refused to let him walk me.

the other guy suggested my local starbucks, which i knew was the most pathetic offer ever but i agreed because otherwise what will i write about later?  he was a cater waiter/actor whom, he confessed, his father routinely beat, along with his brother.  it was a painful conversation to say the least. 

i recently suspended my no coffee rule and met a guy for chai at urth caffe in Beverly Hills for three reasons.  strangely, this was the only urth caffe location i hadn’t been to but it’s the one closest to my apartment.  so that needed to be fixed.  plus, the longer i go without dating, the scarier the prospect of beginning again becomes.   and i wanted to check in with the old rule and see if it withstood the test of time.

i got to chat with a super late bozo who parties like he’s still in college.  what does that mean, exactly?  why, just the night before he was so drunk he didn’t remember getting home.  but don’t worry, he also lost his wallet over the course of the night.  some rules are meant to be followed.