Dinner is at Lawry's on La Cienega at 9pm. It's at Lawry's (which might seem an odd choice) bc my out-of-town college friend wanted to go there.
I'm going to head toward Beverly Hills around 8pm. I hope this does not come off as either presumptuous or an imposition as regards where I will lay my head this evening, but I thought I'd park my car at or near to your place and we could take a taxi or Uber from there to the restaurant. I'm anticipating enough martinis and wine to make driving a dumb idea.
Here is some weird music: http://bit.ly/1f1oZhZy
Let me know if the above plan sounds ok and I will see you soon.
Me: The above plan does not sound ok. Please revise and advise.
...just kidding. But I'm seriously considering upping my maintenance level for my next experiment. Not that my sanity (or my liver) could survive another one of these suckers.
Dinner with TO's college friends! Excellent impression, here I come. He warns of potentially bland, law-centric conversation and invites me to bring along a friend for reasons of comfort. One of my most entertaining cohorts signs on for the gig, but comes down with the plague the morning of. At this point, I'm pretty sure TO thinks I have no friends. I've met so many of his and he's met...zero...of mine. I'm really active on Instagram? (I am. You should totally follow me here.)
We stroll over to Lawry's and join his friends in the entry. I am immediately overwhelmed. They have all known each other for years and their group seems to be pretty insular, with no one reaching out to include me in convo. Never stopped me before! Heeded or not, I toss my two cents in wherever I see a slot, determined to win 'em over. Conversation picks up over prime rib (them) and fish (me), when I discover the chick seated to my left is hilarious. Fantastic. We have some laughs, take a few photos, and head across the street to Bazaar at SLS to get properly trollied.
A few hours later, Tinder Oliver and I are back at my apartment. I decide to play one of my favorite drinking games: Self-sabotage.
TO is looking a little confused at my lack of, um...protective devices, so to speak. I steal a trick from improv and jump right from A to C.
Me: I just, I don't know, I haven't, like, slept with that many guys.
TO: I haven't slept with that many girls.
Excellent yes and. I press on, determined to make it weird.
Me: This is the point where I usually bail out.
What are you even talking about? Please stop. Please stop now. Thankfully, TO seems to be equally over-intoxicated and counters with a few sweet nothings that fade into sleep zone.
The next morning, we awake to multiple phone calls from one of my nearest and dearest. By the fourth call, I decide it's probably an emergency and he's probably dying, so I answer. It's not. He's not. He wants to have a boozy brunch.
Me: I hate you for waking me up. I thought you were dying.
N&D: You love me. Are you coming? Come now. We're hungry.
Me: Maybe. Hold on. (to TO) Do you want to go to brunch?
N&D: Are you with someone?
N&D: (laughing) You slut. Tinder Oliver?
I'm really happy he throws out the correct name, as my BlackBerry is decently close to TO's ear.
Tinder Oliver agrees to come for a quick bite, but says he must run home to a full day of work after that.
Seven hours later, we've migrated from Pearl's to Rock and Reilly's to Cabo Cantina. Happy Saturday, Sunset. I had been slightly afraid he might think my friends were a little too crazy, due to a couple party-happy out-of-towners, and that my friends might think he was a little too boring, due to his seemingly serious nature. Thankfully, everyone seems to love each other. Er, everyone actually says they love each other.
When Tinder Oliver steps out for a moment, I turn to my friends:
Me: (totally tipsy) Do you like him?
N&D: (smiles up at TO, who, unbeknownst to me, had just returned from the washroom and was standing directly behind my right shoulder) We love him.
Not embarrassing at all.
We have a rollicking good time/plan future double dates/etc etc. TO and I part ways with the group around 7p to get me home and changed for a costume party. As he helps me into 137 hook-and-eye closures, I start to think that it might be sort of really nice (and useful!) to have him around on a more regular basis.
RULE #1: YOU MUST BE COMPLETELY OPEN TO THE PROCESS - INCLUDING THE IDEA THAT IT MIGHT ACTUALLY LEAD TO A RELATIONSHIP
So many deep breaths.
*not his real name