Bag Lady or Baby Maker?

homeless-barbieA few months ago, I stopped telling people my age. To be honest, I’m perfectly fine with the number and actually feel happier than ever with where I am in life. I just accomplished a major goal of mine–I’m about to become a published author. And my dream has always been to travel—well, in the past year alone I’ve been to Paris three times and paid a trip to London as well. And I currently have the most amazing man in my life. So, the reason I stopped telling people my age? It’s other people’s reactions to the number that make me feel bad.

Back in June, when I was single, I was standing in front of my apartment building waiting for an Uber. A woman who looked maybe in her mid-fifties was walking by with a man about her same age. She stopped to give me a compliment, telling me that I looked “gorgeous” and asked if I was going on a date. I told her that I was meeting a girlfriend for a drink. Looking at me disapprovingly, she demanded to know how old I was. When I told her, she said she had thought I was much younger and that, at my age, I had no business going on a girls’ night (Umm…Isn’t that how you meet men?). She insisted I had to get on Match.com or EHarmony right away.

Then she proceeded to give me a fertility lecture, telling me how I immediately needed to find a man and start a family. I confessed that I didn’t know if I wanted children. She then asked, “Don’t you want a nice, big house and an SUV?” Just for the record, I’m cool with my cozy one-bedroom apartment and the last time I drove a man’s SUV, I dented the entire passenger side. Anyway, she insisted that I needed to have kids if I wanted to “bond” with a man. She then went on to tell me that I could date older but no one over fifty-five because his sperm would be too old. She said another option would be to go younger, adding that “younger men have strong sperm, but sometimes they aren’t ready.”

She was kind of amusing at first, but she began to make me a little uncomfortable. I tried to deflect the situation by asking if the man she was with was her husband. She sharply said, “No!” I never learned who was the man was standing behind her nodding in agreement with everything she was saying, but he did finally speak. He said the reason he was nodding was because this woman was right. He then gestured his hands up and down my body, saying, “You must reproduce this!”

 I felt like I was in the “Twilight Zone.” Who were these people? And why did they care so much about my fertility? Didn’t Halle Berry have a baby at 47? And isn’t Janet Jackson pregnant at 50? I got time!

Anyway, the woman continued her rant saying how I needed to be smart and find a man who made enough money to take care of me. For anyone who knows me, I’ve never been a girl looking for a rich husband or a man to take care of me—I’ve always followed the butterflies, not the pocketbook. This lady went on to say that women aren’t really capable of making the kind of money that men are able to. Then she said something that struck a nerve.

She said, “You don’t want to end up a bag lady.”

A bag lady?! Was this 2016? Aren’t there other options for women this day and age besides finding a husband or becoming a bag lady?

At that point, I decided to speak up for myself, telling her I was about to become a published author. She finally dropped the subject and began to ask me about my book. Luckily, the Uber drive showed up and rescued me. She had me take her number so we could continue this conversation later.

Obviously, I never called.

What I didn’t tell her was that there was no shortage of men who wanted to take me to dinner or how I would be meeting a handsome man in London the following weekend. I didn’t tell her about the time I had recently spent in Paris or about the men in my life who have wanted to marry me or that time I actually did get married. This woman just automatically pegged me as a girl who couldn’t find a man rather than a girl who set out to live a life of adventure and wasn’t going to settle for anything short of magical.

In a universe where there are no chance encounters, I began to wonder what could be the reason this woman was put in my path. The only thing that I could come up with was maybe she was simply put there to get me thinking, because on my own, as a single girl, I would never be thinking about marriage and children. The thing I do think about, however is finding true love. I’ve always felt that if I found the man I was meant to be with, the rest will fall into place. And I don’t worry so much about time. I believe in divine timing and feel if I’m meant to be a mother, God will make me one.

For this reason, when people ask me if I want children, I never know exactly how to answer. The answer is conditional. As a romantic, I believe that having a child would be a natural expression of love with the man I intend to spend the rest of my life with. The thing is that in recent years, while my love life has been quite exciting, it has been anything but stable. I know there are no guarantees in life, but I would want to feel secure that my family would stay together forever. That might sound a little naïve, but I do know it’s possible to have this type of security because I have felt this way in a relationship years ago, at a time I was not nearly ready to be anyone’s wife or mother.

Part of my hesitation is that I have so many guy friends and male clients–I’ve seen just about everything by now. I also have married men trying to pick me up in nightclubs or hitting me up on social media nearly every day. When a married man messages me asking to get together or telling me that I’m his secret crush or even to simply tell me he thinks I’m beautiful, I don’t find it flattering, I find it disheartening. I’m sure most of it is harmless flirting, but I surely wouldn’t want a husband who behaved like that. I’m a romantic who wants to believe that true love lasts forever. And I’m also an optimist, so while I do still believe that kind of love is out there, I see now how rare it is.

For a girl who prides herself on being unconventional, I have some pretty traditional views. You see, I’m not from Los Angeles. I’m from Chicago. People stay together in the Midwest. And I didn’t have the kind of father who was popping bottles in nightclubs (that’s actually a funny visual if you know my dad). I certainly wouldn’t want to be in the kind of marriage where I’m home breastfeeding while my husband is out partying. I ain’t about that life. You see, there’s a lot of talk about men giving up their single lives. But, women, especially women in major cities like Los Angeles, have exciting single lives too, sometimes even more so. I believe that when a woman has a baby, her maternal instincts naturally kick in and her family becomes everything. She will never be a free-spirit again. If I found myself in a situation where I was married to man who was still trolling for girls on the Internet, I know I would regret giving my heart, my body, my soul, and potentially a child to a man whose sense of loyalty doesn’t match my own when I could have easily been sipping champagne on a yacht in Monaco or doing the tango in Buenos Aires.

To be honest, though, even though this is genuinely how I feel—it is mostly fear talking. I do know that there are devoted husbands and fathers in this world, and yes, even in Los Angeles. Before I started working at a country club in Cheviot Hills, I didn’t realize that normal families existed in L.A. That just wasn’t my world. But, at the country club, I’ve met some really happy families (and even a wonderful husband for my best friend), which gives me hope the man for me is out there somewhere.

And if he’s not, then there’s a chance that woman on the street was right. Maybe I will end up a bag lady, but at least I’ll have great stories to tell♥

Why I Like My Boyfriends Far Away

Take Me to Paris

Photo Credit: @muradosmann

It’s not the reason you think…I’m always a loyal and faithful girlfriend, sometimes too loyal. So it’s not that I want to run around and date other men or party with my girlfriends all the time. But it’s true, I seem to be attracted to men who live far away. In fact, it’s almost as though the farther away a man lives, the more interested I am. And it’s not that I have intimacy issues or that I like impossible relationships; it’s more about wanting to live a life of adventure and being curious about life in other parts of the world, not to mention, having a thing for foreign men.

Believe it or not, this all stems back to high school. My first boyfriend seemed very American on the surface, but was actually born in Sweden. On top of being foreign, he was in the Navy. For me, the local high school boys just didn’t hold the same appeal. I was more interested in the guy who traveled the world, which coincidentally, was perfect because I technically wasn’t allowed to have a boyfriend yet anyway. And there was something romantic about receiving all those handwritten love letters and gifts from every port.

One of the main reasons I like long-distance relationships is that I’ve always been very goal oriented. In high school, I focused on my grades and studied really hard to make sure I got into my dream school, Pepperdine University in Malibu. Now, as an adult, I teach Pilates six days a week and write on most nights. Of course, the end goal would be living in the same city as the man I love. However, for the way my life is right now, I like the idea of meeting up somewhere for a romantic rendezvous away from all the hustle and bustle, then focusing on my work while I’m home in L.A. Although I have to admit, I wasn’t very professionally productive in my last long-distance relationship because I spent so much time texting and Skyping–I did, however, always keep my clothes on for our video chats no matter how many times my then boyfriend told me that Skyping naked would lead to deeper intimacy in our relationship. Does that make me a prude?

A friend of mine recently warned me that long-distance relationships aren’t real life, but I disagree. There’s nothing like taking a trip with someone to know whether or not you are compatible with him or her. When you date someone in the same town, you are probably able to spend only a few hours together after you both finish work and before you fall asleep, possibly more time on the weekends, of course, but there’s always errands to be run and things to take care of before the work week starts again. I like how in long-distance relationships, a couple sets everything aside to just really get lost in each other. I know that I would much prefer a few days of sleeping in and rolling around in bed with no place to be over seeing someone several times a week but having to wake up and rush off to work in the morning. So, whether it’s three days, five days or seven days of togetherness, I feel I’ve become much closer, much faster to the men I’ve dated long distance.

Last summer I went on a few dates with a man who lived in Long Beach, which, when there’s no traffic, is only about an hour away from where I live in Beverly Hills. Of course, the gentlemanly thing to do would have been for him to come to me, and he did the first couple of times. However, he had a nice big house and a boat he wanted to show off, and I’m always up for a change in scene; so I agreed to drive out to Long Beach one night after work, not really factoring the rush-hour traffic. The drive took me three whole hours! As I sat in gridlock, I thought to myself, how could I possibly date this guy? To me, this drive was much worse than any long-distance relationship I had ever been in. I’d much rather fly somewhere and be with my boyfriend the entire weekend than to drive three hours just to have dinner with him. That’s the one contradiction to my theory that I like them farther away. Farther is definitely not better when it comes to dating locally. At least I can write on an airplane, but there’s no way I’d want to be stuck in traffic for that long on a regular basis.

I remember growing up, I told my mom that I was so bored because we always lived in the same house, and I went to the same school kindergarten through eighth grade. My mom had moved around a lot as a kid and was constantly starting new schools, so she wanted to provide the stability for us that she never had. While I appreciate that now, at the time I was craving new stimuli. As soon as I graduated high school, I moved to Los Angeles, and I’ve been here ever since.

While L.A. managed to hold my attention for quite a long time, recently I’ve been finding myself with a bit of wanderlust. So, a man who lives in, say, Monaco is going to be much more exciting to me than a guy who lives in Sherman Oaks. I don’t want to sound ungrateful because I do appreciate all the lavish dinners men have treated me to in my lifetime. However, an L.A. guy is going to take me to all the same restaurants I’ve been to a hundred times, whereas, a man in another state—or, better yet, another country–is going to open me up to new places and experiences I wouldn’t normally have, and that’s extremely exciting to me. I’d take a hole in the wall in Italy over the trendiest restaurant in Los Angeles any day.

Recently, my mom sweetly suggested that maybe I should try to find a man who lives in America. Of course, I’m not ruling American men out. I mean, it’s possible I could fall in love with an American man tomorrow, maybe even a foreign man who lives in L.A.; or I could meet a man who likes to travel as much as I do, although L.A. guys usually invite me to Vegas or Cabo, two places which are very fun, but I’ve been to both numerous times. Lately, it’s Europe that’s been calling my name…and coincidentally, I love the old world manners and charm of European men.

Over the last couple years, I started to intuitively feel like maybe the man for me doesn’t live in Los Angeles. I do believe he’s out there, but maybe not in this city, on this continent, or even on this planet.

I might have to fly to the moon to find him. But strangely, I’m okay with that♥

 

“When they work, long distance relationships are the best sort of beautiful, I think. That a person could wait months, cross miles and oceans for a few spectacular moments with the person they love, that’s it, you know, that’s what we’re all searching for.”

~Beau Taplin

You Keep Me Safe, I’ll Keep You Wild

Red Wild 2

One of my guy friends recently asked me why he and I don’t date each other. I thought back to the last time I hung out with him, which turned into a particularly uninhibited night, starting out with us eating chocolate-covered strawberries and dancing to the piano bar at Mastro’s and ended at a strip club until 3 a.m. Although the night was ridiculously fun, I seriously had no business “making it rain” when I had a 9 a.m. clients the next morning. Despite the fact that my friend is handsome, fun, and I enjoy his company very much, I explained that I felt he was too wild for me, and that I need to be with someone who keeps me grounded.

It’s no secret that I possess a bit of a wild streak myself. Whenever I’ve tried to date someone who was even wilder than I am, I would get myself into trouble trying to keep up with him. I believe there should be one partner who stabilizes the other, and I can speak from experience that relationships tend to work best for me when I’m the wilder one. To put things in perspective, my longest relationship was a man who did crossword puzzles every night. He once came home from work with a bottle of Dom Perignon. I said, “Let’s party!” He responded, “Let’s have a reading party!” Who in the world reads when they drink champagne? Give me a bottle of Dom and there are a lot of things I might be tempted to do; reading, however, isn’t one of them.

My parents also have this kind of dynamic where my dad is so serious I can literally count the times I’ve seen him smile on both of my hands, and my mom is more light-hearted and fun, not to mention a total social butterfly. He does keep her safe, but to be honest, my dad will never be wild.

Last summer while I was visiting my family in Chicago, my niece, who was six-years-old at the time, saw a picture in my phone of a guy I had gone out with on a few dates. This guy was a lot of fun but liked to drink and party a little too much to be boyfriend material. My wise-beyond-her-years niece took one look at his picture and said, “I don’t like him…I like serious men like Cole. He’s six, and I can tell he loves me.” Cole must be pretty special if he’s already considered a man at the age of six. Apparently my niece and I have similar taste. I, too, like serious men whom I can tell love me.

I’m a girl who, for the most part, has my head in the clouds. I feel I need a man who has his feet planted firmly on the ground to balance out my whimsical nature and keep me on planet Earth. If I’m the more practical or responsible one in the relationship, we’re going to be in for trouble. So, as much as I adore my friend, what I’m looking for is someone who keeps me safe–so I don’t get too wild♥

She Works Hard for the Money

90's Supermodels in Chanel

Often men will approach me acting as though they are interested in doing business with me when they clearly have ulterior motives. The most common (and most innocent) example of how men work the business angle is when I tell them I teach Pilates one-on-one. I can’t tell you how many guys will say they want to take Pilates when they first meet me, when they are really hoping to get a date. I used to offer a complimentary thirty-minute session to prospective clients, until I realized that most of the men who were taking advantage of this offer were simply wasting my time. After their thirty minutes were up, they would not purchase a package and would ask me out to dinner instead. My answer would unequivocally be, “No!” These men honestly would have had a better chance with me had they been upfront about their intentions.

A man once approached me at a club telling me he could help me build my Pilates business. He had connections to the cast of a popular primetime evening show and offered to help market me as a “Pilates instructor to the stars.” I agreed to meet him for dinner, but as he drew the curtains around the table and poured me a glass of red wine, I realized this was not a business meeting. Later when I refused to kiss this guy, he accused me of using him. Excuse me—Who had offered to help who? I was only guilty of being too naïve thinking that his help didn’t come with strings attached. If he had wanted a date, he should have just asked if he could take me to dinner. I may or may not have said yes, but at least neither one of us would have felt taken advantage of.

The best example of a man not being clear with his intentions occurred a few years ago when a modeling agency sent me on a job interview for a personal assistant position. I thought it was odd that someone would call a modeling agency for a PA, but I trusted the agency that sent me out on the interview. I suppose, given the choice, any man would prefer to have an assistant who is easy on the eyes. Once at the job interview, I asked what my daily tasks would be. My prospective employer told me that there would be some clerical work, but when we are slow, we would take hikes, get manicures, and go shopping together. Now that sounded like my kind of job! But of course, I’m smart enough to know that this position did not seem legit. This man then proceeded to tell me that he would take me to dinner at some of the best restaurants in town as well as on trips to Vegas and Miami. When he asked me how I felt if he “put a giant diamond necklace on me,” I mustered the courage to ask him whether he was looking for an assistant or a girlfriend. He assured me that he was indeed looking for an assistant, but that we would be spending a lot of time together, and I just might end up liking him. Needless to say, I declined that job and resented losing three hours of my life at that “job interview.”

I’m sure this kind of thing happens all the time with the models and actresses here in Los Angeles, and it’s very unfortunate because a lot of us girls are out there working really hard to pay the bills. When guys like these offer us opportunities, we want to be open to the possibility; however, when we discover that many of these men have ulterior motives, we feel upset because they’ve not only wasted our time, but also messed with our money. Then we really don’t want to go out with them.

If you’re a guy who has used this tactic in the past, I really hope you start to become clear about your intentions from now on. If a date is what you want, ask for a date! She might say yes, and if she says no, then you are saving yourself a great deal of frustration. Now, of course, you’re always welcome to help a girl out, but if you want more than a business relationship, please either let her know so she doesn’t feel duped, or don’t get mad if she rejects your advances later on. A woman always wants to be taken seriously in her profession, so she might not want to mix business with pleasure, and her time is just as precious as yours. A true gent is impeccable with his word and will never offer to help if he doesn’t intend to follow through, regardless of what he’s getting—or not getting–out of the situation♥

**Originally published in Southern Vixens Magazine**

Sex with Single Dads

Johnny Depp holding baby

A girlfriend of mine from Chicago swore she would never date a man with kids. Well, after years of saying she would never go there, she ended up falling in love with a guy who happened to have a little boy–you can’t help who you love!

There were times, however, when she became frustrated with dating someone who couldn’t make her his entire universe because, understandably, he had other priorities. I remember her calling me a while back complaining that there are absolutely no advantages to dating a man who has kids.

I thought, surely there has to be some advantage, at least one. From my own experience, I’ve found that men with children tend to be more nurturing and caretaking. Plus, it’s hard to juggle multiple women when you are already juggling your children with your girlfriend. A man without children is probably less responsible and could be more interested in drinking and partying. Therefore, I would think a man with children would be much more stable and grounded.

It seems like every man I meet these days either has kids or wants kids. Some of these guys already have kids but still want more kids. Although many of my girlfriends simply refuse to date a man with children, I’ve always kept an open mind. In fact, there was even a time where I thought it was a good idea to date a man who already had kids because it would let my uterus off the hook. Now don’t get me wrong, I love children—I just don’t particularly want to give birth to one. I’m a really fun aunt, but I’ve never had a strong desire to be a mother. For that reason, dating single dads seemed to make sense in theory. However, after dating a man with two young children, I started to re-think my position.

Several years ago, I was dating a man with two boys, 3 and 5-years-old. One of my guy friends tried to warn me saying, “Don’t do it! He will never put you first.” But, of course, I didn’t listen. This man’s divorce was so fresh that the ink on his decree was barely dry. He had dated other women before me, but not seriously, and I, unfortunately, was his first relationship since splitting from his wife.

One of my other girlfriends says she doesn’t date single dads, not because of the children themselves, but because there will always be another woman in the picture. You see, what I hadn’t factored in is the baby’s momma situation. In this case, there was no formal custody arrangement, and since my then boyfriend and his ex lived so close, any time she wanted to go out, she would ask him to take the kids so she didn’t have to call a babysitter. Additionally, she had a rule that I couldn’t meet the children until we were together nine months—we only made it six.

Now, it wasn’t that I was dying to meet the kids. I don’t want to parent or play mom to anyone. If I did find myself in a serious relationship with a single dad, I would simply aspire to be a good friend to his children. The biggest challenge to dating my then boyfriend was that he would often have to cancel or reschedule dates with me at the last minute if his ex called asking him to take the boys. Had I been allowed to meet them, then we could have all stayed in and watched a movie or something. However, since that was against the rules, there were many nights when my boyfriend cancelled on me, sometimes so last minute that I was already putting on my makeup to go out for the night. And if my boyfriend would ever tell his ex that he already had plans, she would make him feel guilty about not putting the children first. Something I’ve witnessed is that single dads tend to carry a great deal of guilt.

Although I never did officially meet the kids, the three-year-old once saw me from his bedroom window. The mere sight of me made him start crying, asking his dad, “Who is the woman in the driveway?” Not knowing how to handle the situation, my then boyfriend told his son that there was no one in the driveway, and the kid kept crying. I always wondered why my boyfriend just didn’t say I was a friend. From that point on, I had to enter the house through the back door if the kids were home.

I swear, there’s a little boy somewhere in Calabasas that still probably has nightmares over me. To be honest, I felt a little bad after that night. I mean, most kids adore me. Was I really that scary in my pink lace dress? I don’t want to be a person who makes kids cry just by looking at me. And I definitely don’t want to be the “woman in the driveway.”

Too much drama, too many rules, and far too many cancelled dates–that experience left me a little turned off to single dads until a few years later when I met a man who actually got it right. He was able to be both a good dad and an attentive boyfriend. He introduced me to his son after only a few dates. I didn’t spend much time with the kid, but this guy wanted to avoid any weirdness or awkwardness if his son saw me coming and going. The three of us watched The Smurfs together and ate banana ice cream. It was no big deal, there was no drama, and not a single tear was shed. The guy and I broke up eventually, but for reasons that had nothing to do with him being single dad.

Naturally, a man’s children have to come first. I wouldn’t want a man who abandons his kids for me. If a man ever convinces me to have a baby with him, I would want to know that he is an excellent father–I wouldn’t have it any other way. However, I think a man should be able to both attend to kids and make the woman in his life feel special. The way you love a child is different from the way you love a woman—there shouldn’t be a competition. I believe there is enough love to go around for everyone. Unfortunately, it seems as though many men have trouble with this balance.

Now, would I date a man with kids again? Yes, I would give it another try. It’s not that I’m specifically seeking out single dads, but I wouldn’t rule them out. Although there are challenges to dating a man with children, I do believe there are men out there who know how to keep everyone happy.

As for my girlfriend, after she and I hung up the phone that day, I opened up my computer. On my Facebook newsfeed, someone had posted an article on why sex with single dads is the best kind of sex. I immediately forwarded the article to my girlfriend, telling her I found an advantage to dating single dads.

She responded, “Yes, that is true! Single dads are better in bed.”

At this point, you’re probably wondering how I feel about sex with single dads…I think I’ll be a lady and say, “No comment.”

But there must be a reason we keep dating them♥

Wild Nights in the City of Light

Laughter

I’ll admit I haven’t been very fun in L.A. lately. I barely go out anymore—most nights you can find me at home writing or curled up with a book. I always seem to have early clients or a pending deadline, and I’m perpetually on a diet. Plus, although I love this city, I’ve lived here a long time, so I feel I’ve pretty much seen and done everything this town has to offer.

However, there’s something about being in a new city that brings out my adventurous nature and makes me come alive. I want to discover and explore the city and see as much as possible. I once heard the term “traveler’s bravado” used to describe how people tend to behave more boldly on vacation; well, I think I definitely had some “traveler’s bravado” going on while I was visiting Paris Valentine’s weekend.

I went to Paris with a girlfriend, and it seemed as though she and I switched roles for the weekend. When we’re in L.A., my girlfriend is the one who always wants to hit up all the clubs and parties. However, in Paris, she was far more interested in shopping on the Champs Elysees and taking selfies with the Mona Lisa and Venus di Milo, while I was the one who wanted to stay out until the sun came up. After our first night of the trip, my girlfriend remarked that I’m much wilder in Paris than in L.A.

I had been to Paris ten years earlier and was lucky enough to have stayed at the ultra-posh Hotel Costes. I’ve always loved the ambience and the décor of the hotel, which is adorned with beautiful fresh roses, and I remembered the bar scene was really fun, so I suggested we start the night out there. It was at the Hotel Costes that my girlfriend and I met many interesting characters—a French man who asked us for a threesome, a man from Saudi Arabia who invited us to a strip club (we politely declined), but it was the swinger couple from Switzerland we had the most fun with—of course, not THAT kind of fun.

When we went to order drinks at the bar, the husband, in the most gentlemanly manner, stood up to offer my friend his seat. At this point we didn’t know they were swingers yet, but we did notice the wife was very friendly and smiling ear to ear. My girlfriend even commented that the wife looked so happy—could it be possible swinging is the key to a happy marriage? I excused myself to go to the bathroom, and when I opened the door to leave the stall, the wife was standing there waiting for me. She told me she thought I was beautiful and went in to kiss me. Not wanting her to feel rejected, I politely gave her a peck on the lips and told her I wanted to go check on my friend.

The couple invited us to go to another spot along with their group. When we got to the venue, my new friends started dancing on the bar. I danced with them for a few songs before going to join my girlfriend who was sitting in a booth on her phone. My girlfriend still wasn’t aware the couple was on the prowl, so as the husband made his way over to us, I quietly clued her in. Right away, she loudly asked him, “Are you and your wife swingers?” He stood up taller and proudly exclaimed, “Why, yes, we are!”

At this point, a guy who looked like a French Bradley Cooper approached me. When I told him he looked like the American actor, he said, “I am much prettier than Bradley Cooper.” My girlfriend said, “Eeeew. Let’s go home.”

The next night as the two of us were walking into a nightclub, a very handsome 6’7 rugby player from Dublin approached us. There had been a big Ireland Vs. France match that night in Paris, and this guy’s ear was all scratched up as a result. Although I thought he was cute, my girlfriend and I headed straight to the bathroom. My girlfriend wasn’t in the mood to party, and she left almost immediately. I ended up dancing and sipping champagne with a couple of French guys at their table. I wasn’t interested in either guy, but they were showing me a good time.

At some point, I became hungry and asked one of the guys to take me for a cheeseburger. While we were getting my coat from the coat check, the rugby player swooped in and whispered in my ear, asking me if I wanted him to save me, I nodded. He said, “Sorry, she’s with me,” took my hand and walked me out of the club directly in a cab. Very smooth—I did feel a little bad for the French guy, but you gotta love the rugby player’s take-charge kind of a attitude.

When the cab driver asked us where we wanted to go, we said, “Take us for cheeseburgers.” As the cab driver pulled up to McDonald’s, I said, “Not McDonald’s! I don’t eat fast food.” The cab driver said, “Well, you’re American, I thought you would want an American burger.” I said, “I want a FRENCH burger,” and that’s exactly what I got. The cab driver took us to a little hole in the wall where I got my burger, which consisted of four mini beef patties on a baguette, and that French burger was delicious!

The rugby player and I tried to decide what to do next. He thought the Arc de Triomphe would still be open for hot chocolate. However, it was already around 5am when we arrived at the monument, and the security guards told us it was closed. Since we couldn’t go inside, the rugby player gave me a piggyback ride around Arc de Triomphe instead. He dropped me off at my hotel at 6am and headed back to his hotel to catch a 10am flight back to Dublin.

When I told my girlfriend I had hung out with the handsome rugby player we had met, she asked if he was “the giant with the bloody ear.” I laughed, “Yes, that’s him,” adding, ”He’s fun!”

As if piggyback rides and cheeseburgers weren’t exciting enough, on my last night, I was hit by a lightening bolt. The way the French describe love at first sight, un coup de foudre, literally means a stroke of lightening. I can’t think of anything more romantic than Valentine’s Day in Paris. I ended up having had the most magical dinner with a man who told me he felt a lightening bolt when he saw me, and we both felt if circumstances were different, that maybe we could fall in love.

Now I’m not a person who believes that love has any bounds, but realistically, we lived on separate continents with a great big ocean dividing us. So, this was a very bittersweet ending to my weekend in Paris.

The next morning, as I packed my bags to head back home to Los Angeles, my girlfriend said, “You met a lot of nice guys here this weekend.” And it’s true, I really had. I love the French joie de vivre!

L.A. is often referred to as La La Land, but it was Paris that felt like a dream♥

More Is More

Dolly Big Hair

You’re always going to be too much for someone–too fat, too thin, too glam, too plain, too old, too young, too quiet, too loud. Recently, the guy I dated in Texas repeatedly told me I was “too blonde.” He also wished that I was more of a jeans, t-shirt, and baseball cap kind of a girl. I hardly consider myself underweight, but the Middle Eastern boyfriend I had a couple years back thought I should gain 5-10 pounds. He also suggested I cut my hair (as if!) and stop wearing makeup. Although I did wear less makeup when I would see him, I still wore as much makeup as I wanted to on my own time and definitely wasn’t about to mess with my hair or pack on the pounds.

Even my amazing long-term ex boyfriend had something he tried to change about me—he thought I dressed “too sexy.” Out of all the criticisms, his was actually valid. We had a bit of an age gap and would often have dinners with his TV writer friends. I already stood out since I was younger than everyone else—I didn’t need to draw any more attention to myself. Although I love my flirty dresses, I believe there is a time and place to cover up, and this was probably one of them.

My ex told me he was going to buy me the hottest jeans he had ever seen and scoured the city looking for a particular style of Levi’s. He eventually found them—at Mervyn’s in Glendale.

I humored him and tried on the jeans that he went to so much trouble to get me. While my ex remarked that my butt had never looked better, I felt he had bought me “mom jeans” and refused to wear them. I mean, it’s hard to believe that Mervyn’s would exclusively carry the hottest jeans in town.

My ex had more of a simple sense of style, and I’m admittedly a bit flashy. He would often tell me that I didn’t need to wear makeup and would always say, “Less is more, Amy.” I would joke, “Less is not more. MORE is MORE!”

One day, he looked at me and said, “You’re right. More is more.” And he never tried to change me again.

That being said, I do feel that if your boyfriend likes your makeup a certain way or a particular outfit, of course, it’s nice to make the man happy. However, the person whose opinion is most important is the person looking back in at you in the mirror. And once you feel good about what you see, you will attract someone who won’t want to change a single thing about you, someone who recognizes you’re perfect the way you are♥