L.A. Affairs: Why I stood him up on our very first date



I was residing in Hollywood in a studio condominium. The avenue was a bit sketchy, the elevator hardly ever worked and the parking was horrible, but I beloved my very little area, with its leading-ground peek-a-boo look at of the Magic Castle. It experienced two substantial closets, some fantastic friends down the hall and a supervisor who roamed the building with a baseball bat.

The horrible parking was a person of lots of explanations why my boyfriend under no circumstances preferred to come my way for the weekend, so I reluctantly moved to his turf in Redondo Seaside. I genuinely assumed he was “The One particular,” but just after a few several years of relationship, he seemed to be in no hurry to propose.

With my 30th birthday approaching, I finally asked the question: Do you ever see us acquiring married? His response: “No.”

So I packed up my stuff, along with my self-esteem, and moved again to the Hollywood Hills, only this time on the Valley facet, in a tiny guest property wherever I could see the lights of Common Town at evening.

Throughout this time, I was functioning as a revenue rep for a women’s outfits line, and 1 of my accounts was Nordstrom, which had its buying office environment in the Topanga Plaza retail outlet. The buyer’s assistant was a lovely older female named Ellen, and we would chat and capture up just about every time I frequented. I stopped at the business office not extended after my separation, and our discussion worked its way all over to Ellen inquiring, “How are matters with your boyfriend?”

“Oh, Ellen, we broke up.” No faster than the words arrived out of my mouth did she reply, “Well, you ought to satisfy my son.” She went on to tell me he was a tv producer, had just bought his individual dwelling and experienced a 28-inch midsection. Not very sure how that very last a single was a promoting place, but I informed her to have him give me a simply call. I had in no way been established up, but I believed, what the heck. Then I promptly forgot about it.

Some six months afterwards my phone rang, and on the other end was, “Hello, this is Barry, Ellen’s son. My mom instructed me to phone you.” We chatted for about 20 minutes, and I assumed he appeared amusing and pleasant, so we manufactured options to satisfy for a drink at a restaurant bar referred to as L’Express. I was new to the Valley, and this was pre-cellphones and GPS, so I asked a pal the place it was. Sherman Oaks.

I confirmed up on the appointed night at the appointed time, sat at the bar and waited. And waited. Some fairly handsome British fellas saved asking to invest in me a drink, but I demurred, as I imagined it in bad flavor to be drinking with some other blokes when my day walked in. But he did not walk in. So I arrived at an arrangement with my new British good friends. If he was nevertheless a no-display just after an hour, they could invest in me a drink. I figured at minimum that way the night wouldn’t be a total reduction.

I ongoing to wait.

As hope for my day light, I agreed to a consume with the Brits. When the bartender arrived over to take my get, I informed him what experienced happened, that I was supposed to meet up with a guy and he stood me up. “Well,” the bartender said, “there are two L’Expresses in the Valley — the other a person is off of Lankershim.” My heart dropped. That was proper by my new area. I had long gone to the wrong cafe.

I went to the fork out phone in the back again and dialed. He answered.

“Hi Barry, this is Susie.”

He hung up.

I just stood there, pay cell phone in hand, not believing what had just happened. I felt awful. It experienced been an straightforward error. But how could anyone react like that with no supplying me a prospect to demonstrate? What was I likely to do? Go again to the bar and have a drink, which is what. Then it strike me. What in the entire world was I heading to say to Ellen?

I called him back again. I believed if at least I could inform him what had took place, he would not have horrible factors to say about me to his mom. When he answered, I blurted, “Barry, this is Susie. Remember to really do not cling up!” And thankfully, he didn’t. (Evidently, when I referred to as the very first time, he hadn’t heard nearly anything on the other conclude, so he’d just hung up.) He had indeed absent to the L’Express on Lankershim and, when I did not present, he went residence to view the Lakers.

Turns out, the L’Express in Sherman Oaks was appropriate down the street from his dwelling. So he requested if we could continue to fulfill up for a speedy consume. Which we did. And I was suitable: He was funny and awesome. Adorable too. Our swift drink lasted a few hrs, and by the conclude I knew he really could possibly be “The One.” He believed the similar about me. 6 months afterwards, I moved in.

My bins ended up however not unpacked when the Northridge quake strike just a few times later on in 1994, and our home suffered a considerable sum of hurt. We used every single weekend for months cleaning and restoring, little bit by little bit. One Saturday, following a working day spent executing chores, he advised we go to evening meal. As we were leaving, he said, “Hey, why really don’t we go to L’Express? We have not been there given that the night we fulfilled.”

As we were seated, the hostess handed us the paper menu with the day’s specials printed on it. I perused the menu, and there it was at the base:

The Susie Particular
Will You Marry Me?
Adore, Barry
$12.95
Incorporate Fries $2.50

Two kids, two pet dogs and two cats later, the creator a short while ago celebrated her 26th anniversary with Barry. She is on Instagram @stumgur

L.A. Affairs chronicles the research for passionate love in all its superb expressions in the L.A. space, and we want to listen to your accurate story. We pay $300 for a published essay. E-mail LAAffairs@latimes.com. You can come across submission recommendations here.





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