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Singled Out: How to Date or Not to Date in LA

Singled Out: How to Date or Not to Date in LA

Entertainment Publicist and gay girl about town in Los Angeles, Mona Elyafi, discusses the perils of that not so comfortable "in love" feeling. 'Side effects include: ability to mind-read, find meaning between the lines, and amplify to dramatic proportions every little thing my date/girlfriend says, does or doesn't say and doesn't do,' and of course, incessant cell phone monitoring.

My friend Kristina called me the other day to tell me about this 80 year-old lady friend of hers who has suddenly slightly neglected their friendship to privilege of her recent exciting adventures in dating. While Kristina was sharing her amazement at the fact that even at 80 years old the dating symptoms of the honeymoon phase -- also known as imbecilic behavior -- seem to be the same as when you're under the senior citizen age threshold, I was actually more impressed with grandma's suave stamina and seductive powers to woo this new love interest of hers.  

I mean both Kristina and I are at the height of our sexual prime, yet fabulously bathe in the abyss of Single Land -- what a sinful waste!

But hey! kudos to grandma for totally getting it on.  And, if anything, she gives me hope that my Jennifer Beals might at last show up one day in the very far future -- albeit a very much older version of her, at which point I will have to remind my superficial self that I too have aged and cannot expect her to still have the svelte, sultry, sexy, super hot bombshell of a brunette attributes that made her claim to fame. 

I know, I know, it's totally my fault and I'll cop to the fact that with the years I have become notoriously picky, extremely difficult and anally selective. But what can I say? I refuse to settle for less and would rather be alone than in bad company.

While my single status hasn't so much been posing a problem to me, it seems, lately, to make my editor Tracy raise an eyebrow -- or two --  as she kindly reminded me that my column is called "Singled Out," hence suggesting the reporting of some dating activities out and about in Los Angeles.

Bingo! That's exactly the problem: I am in Los Angeles -- perhaps one of the most challenging cities in the world when it comes to dating. Yes, although we certifiably have the most gorgeous women to select from -- and believe me I have done my research last year on many business trips cross country -- they unfortunately don't come without the heavy baggage, and in some stereotypical instances, the infamous U-haul. The main issue for me is that not only everybody knows everybody but everybody has been with everybody. I don't know about you and forgive me for being my usual Parisian snobby smart ass self but I don't use recycled or damaged goods! What I'm really saying is that I don't particularly fancy cliques, it's too conducive to drama, which being a lesbian, I naturally attract enough of in my life.

The other problem, and perhaps the biggest one of them all, is that I don't trust myself not to repeat the good old behavioral patterns that have always triggered the glamorous grand demise of all my past relationships. You know those precious little habits so intrinsically part of your personality that your partner finds irresistibly cute at the beginning and with the passing of time come to wholeheartedly despise about you.

The innumerable amount of therapy sessions I have put myself through in the course of 2008 -- granted in the pleasurable company of my super sexy therapist -- has helped me achieve total self-confidence in the fact that I totally suck in the art of relationships and has extraordinarily boosted my self-esteem enough to assertively hone a new phobia... namely dating. It's as bad as my agonizing fear of public restrooms!

Yes, I have severe panic attacks knowing that people can see my feet assuming the squatting position, hear me pee, and scrutinize my hygiene etiquette waiting to see if I accordingly wash my hands afterwards -- and don't even get me started with the other bathroom funky business which I have irrefutably vetoed from my "public display of affection" list and am avidly advocating as my "Say no to Prop 2" never-ending campaign.

Having said that, I will be a tad bit more vulnerable and show my human side, and will confess that there is someone right now I might possibly be interested in. The question I am trying to answer is: is she interested in me as well? Because, I would absolutely rather die of gangrene before I make a fool of myself and run the risk of being humiliated by this brutal punch in the face called REJECTION. If and when I do decide to make the moves, how can I guarantee myself a zero margin of error -- meaning a 100 percent chance of having the courtship exchange reciprocated?

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If that were the only problem, I could, by some divine enlightenment, eventually bring myself to swallow my pride and just go for it, but, like I said before, there's THAT other issue. Not only do I not trust myself to not resume my idiotic dating behavior patterns but I don't think I very much like myself on that lovey-dovey "gaga" mode. I unexplainably morph into some kind of a psychopathic crack-head, the perfect living-replica of that national anti-drug ad: "This is your brain on drugs" -- .only my caption would read: "This Mona in lust. Any questions?"

Hands down, I absolutely hate myself when high on that little thing called love. What infallibly happens is that I suddenly become a self-appointed psychic with the extraordinary power of analytical thinking -- side effects include: ability to mind-read, find meaning between the lines, and amplify to dramatic proportions every little thing my date/girlfriend says, does or doesn't say and doesn't do. At this stage of my neurosis, I not only become my worse enemy but so does my cell phone, with which I end up developing an out-of-this-world relationship -- more than with my actual girlfriend.

And if you think I am exaggerating, you're obviously underestimating the infinite patience I have mustered as a phonewatcher.

My only solace vis a vis my ailment is that now at least we have mobile phone because back in the days when my only means of communication was my land line, I would imprison myself at home desperate in anticipation of that phone call -- you know the one your girlfriend promised to make or you think she should make. Yet, while my cell phone gives me the freedom of physical mobility, sadly it doesn't free me from the mental/psychological cell (no pun intended) I always barricade myself in.

When I'm in love I spend hours with a self-inflicted nauseating knot in my stomach, keeping my cell at close visual proximity, intensely staring at its dark screen in hopes it will light up flashing the magic programmed words: her name. I make stupid bets with myself thinking for instance that if I close my eyes really tight and focus on her image I can psychically make her fingers dial my number, or I tell myself that if I drive through that light before it turns red she will call.

Then of course, I go through the next phase which is the one where I revisit our last conversation and attempt to analyze what she really meant by "I will call you." Because, you know it's not what she said but how she said it. And what about what I said? Surely I must have said something stupid, or maybe it was the outfit that I was wearing that turned her off? Did she meet someone else? Maybe she was in an accident or was abducted by aliens? Of course it would be too far fetched for me to simply consider that she is busy at work and hence momentarily indisposed. And if indeed I have the option to call her, I intentionally elect not to use it because I'll be damned if she thinks that I am desperate and don't have a life of my own! The bottom line dare she not call me when she said she would!

I don't have to tell you that this whole nonsensical charade and mind-torturing session ends the minute she does eventually call and all these idiotic thoughts magically evaporated as if they never polluted my brain in the first place. Then I take on my sweet super cheesy voice without a trace of anger or resentment and drop my usual: "Hi baby, how's your day going?"

So now that I have fabulously, and so attractively, singled myself out, I will make my editor Tracy happy and will put my cell phone to good use...can you hear me now?


Missed the last Singled Out? Read it here?











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Mona Elyafi