My dumb, dumb idea to impress a girl on Oscar Night
This felt like some Albert Brooks-Ben-Stiller-left-holding-the-bag movie moment.
Right before Xmas, I had a coffee date with an adorable dimple-cheeked actress who worked at a Science Museum as her day gig. I got there early and was window shopping on The Promenade and she recognized me as I walked past (“Hey!” Hey!”) — it was a really cute ‘cute-meet’ like we were old friends running into one another.
Our date was only supposed to be 25 minutes, but it went an hour and seemed to go really well. She was from my hometown, we talked about her family, had some real laughs.
I come home and she’s e-mailed me a thank you note!
We have a bunch of funny e-mail exchanges over the next few days, right before Xmas. Then about a week later, I call and leave a message. Nothing. I chalk it up to the holidays and her being back in Philly with family. I call exactly a week later. Nothing. The lead went cold.
A couple of weeks later, out of the blue, I get a ‘Dear John’/I’m sorry I blew you off/you’re a nice guy and “I’m a coward hiding behind an e-mail” from her on MATCH.COM (I hate when they return to the dating site e-mail after you’ve talked and exchanged real e-mails).
I say no worries, we can be buddies if you like blah blah blah and we exchange a couple friendly e-mails over the next 6 weeks or so. In one of them, I asked what she was doing ‘Oscar Night.’ (I was considering throwing a party and inviting her)
She said it was the last night of the play she had had been performing in the last few weeks. In Malibu. On Oscar night.
I figure no one is going to be in that small theater in Malibu on Oscar Night and I figure if I go and be the one of 5 people who’ll prob. show up, I’ll look like a real hero. And maybe it’ll flip it for me with her.
So I go. I buy the $20 ticket and I DRIVE 30+ miles to get there.
I was wrong. There was decent amount of people there. The play was really rough to watch — think Chekov with some “True West” yelling and violence thrown in — a real intense family drama with a screaming mother character. It was very painful 2 hours. (She was great in it, btw).
So after, I’m waiting in the lobby. She comes down the stairs and beams…wait for it — at two friends of hers who had come (a couple), she’s all smiles and hugs and meanwhile, I’m only about 5 feet away and she can see me, but doesn’t give me any acknowledgement…for an uncomfortably long time.
I’m all Ben Stiller-y, rocking on my heels, staring into my empty cup, looking around and trying to catch her eye…
And then finally she says hi, I step forward and get introduced to the couple and we all make some small talk and say how great she was and then the couple leaves and she is very, very polite to me, while masking being a little unnerved/thrown.
I kept it short and took off and on the 30+ mile ride home, I was thinking ‘God, wouldn’t be great to meet a girl who would be EXCITED that you showed up to her closing night. And not unnerved.”