If you were to take a quick glance at my most recent Google searches, you would most likely find, “Nearest ice cream store in Hollywood,” “Sad quotes about breakups” and OH YEAH, the cherry on top of the slowly melting ice cream, “Things to do in Los Angeles by yourself.” At first glance, one might think these searches belong to an unstable, emotional mental patient, but in reality, let’s be real, that’s like, half true.
But before I really begin my story, I just wanted to clarify that this blog post won’t be about me proudly preaching that we should all “love being by ourselves,” or that “we can’t love someone else if we don’t love ourselves first,” because it’s a lot easier said than done and 9 times out of 10 after I write stuff like that, I wind up sitting in a bathtub mixed with lavender scented oils and mascara-infused tears, while T-Swift’s “All Too Well” is playing on full blast. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I am capable of being by myself, but I just prefer not to be, because well, I do questionable things like spending the evening at a bar alone. But whatever, do it for the blog, right?
Life is all about taking the baby steps. I’m not one to voluntarily spend a day with myself, so I figured I would try easing into it throughout the years. And naturally my first step was taking a solo trip to Target. Mission accomplished. Easy. Bring it on. Next step: Plan a movie date with myself to the local hipster theater, but try and sneak in incognito so that nobody thinks you’re THAT girl.
“One ticket for Forever Alone at 8:30. My friend should be coming soon,” I tell the box office cashier. Lies.
But come to find out, solo movie theater dates are my absolute favorite because I always get to choose the movie, I can cry throughout a sappy cancer scene without any judgements AND I can plow through a large popcorn as half the box ends up in my cleavage by the end of the movie… WITH. NO. JUDGEMENTS (AND a midnight snack for the ride home).
So apparently this all really got to my head, and since I’ve been generously spoiling my solitude lately with extravagant Target trips and movie dates, I figured It was time to take our relationship to the next level. That’s when my best friend called me on Friday night and asked if I wanted to meet her and her boyfriend for a drink in Santa Monica before they had to leave to attend a concert. Since I was only about 5 miles away, I agreed, thinking it would be the perfect amount of time for one drink until I, too, had to leave for a date with whiney Meredith Grey.
Thanks to LA traffic I get there right about when my friend has to leave to go to her concert. Since I had just come from a work happy hour, I was already feelin’ my two beers, and my friend’s boyfriend bought me a glass of wine upon my arrival. As they began walking out of the bar, I was just about to chug the rest of my Chard, when she suggested, “Why don’t you just stay? It might be fun?”
I’m not sure if it was the instant boost of confidence in distinction to the last painful chug of my wine, or if it was the fact that I would just be going home to drink more wine while being judged by Netflix’s “ARE YOU SERIOUSLY STILL WATCHING?” reminder, but I thought to myself, “It’s only my dignity that I have to lose, let’s do this.”
As they bid me adieu, I was off. I suddenly felt like my parents had ripped the training wheels off and I was forced to balance on my own (and this time it had more to do with my slight buzz and less to do with my bicycle). I felt like Bambi learning to walk after his mother had suddenly disappeared. Where do I go if I eat face or say an awkward comment to someone like I usually do? I had no base camp. But nonetheless, I prevailed.
Empty handed, I began walking to the bar, where I was stopped by the first guy. In between the gods above hysterically laughing at me, they must’ve realized I needed some sort of starting line. So I started talking to someone who, come to find out, works one floor above me in the same building. So we bonded over work, and I told him what he does sounds really tedious and boring. At least I got the first awkward comment out of the way, right?
As I tried to hang on to that conversation for as long as I could (because remember I had NOBODY), the conversation fizzled and I was getting thirsty. I walk up to the bar where I grab a glass of wine and start contemplating if this was really worth it when I met a second guy. We talk for a little, he asks who I’m here with, I say nobody, he probably feels really sympathetic toward me at this point, so we talk some more, and he finally brings me over to his group of friends.
There was one other guy and about three girls, and ladies, we all know that when a random girl tries to enter our squad territory, the bitch looks start flying faster than the Golden Snitch (Harry Potter reference). Needless to say, I was hesitant at first, but when you kill the female species with kindness and compliments, it’s like you’ve been best friends all along. So my new friend group decides to do PG Bombs. After my first thought, “Am I old, since I don’t know what the hell a PG Bomb is?” I thought about every possibility it could be. A shot with less alcohol since it’s PG, a shot with no alcohol since it’s PG?
Come to find out, a PG Bomb is the simple act of chugging a glass of Pinot Grigio AKA the worst idea ever, which also meant that the only thing I was making out with at the end of the night was a beautiful porcelain-skinned toilet. As we all chased back our PG Bombs, I had to have a pep talk with myself, “Keep it down, Alex. If this shot comes back up all over your new friends, you are pathetic.”
I felt the headache slowly creeping up, and that was when I knew it was time to migrate to the next group. I then came across three guys, a black guy standing in between two white guys, where I believe I called them an inside-out Oreo (I warned you about the awkward comments). At least they were getting a kick out of me, and I felt like I was on top of the world, but mostly because I was talking to them while standing on two steps of higher ground. I ended up nicknaming one of the older white guys “Magic Mike” so you’re welcome for the ego boost, Magic Mike. At one point, I also recall getting mad at him because he didn’t remember my name, but he proceeded to call me “hot” to make up for it.
I said good-bye to them and began walking out. That’s when I met the actual God of all gods. “Hey, wanna grab some pizza with me?” I heard a voice say. Oh sweet Jesus. Now, I can’t tell you what this guy looked like, but I was starving. So a drunken pizza date with a total stranger seemed like the logical thing to do. I couldn’t even tell you what we talked about at this point, but hey, free pizza in exchange for a cookie-cutter “get to know you” conversation was A-OK in my book.
We finished our pizza and I offered to take him home in my Uber since he lived right down the street. As he was getting out, instead of just sparing me the awkwardness that I already can’t handle, he says, “Sooooooo, like should we exchange numbers, do you think we’ll hang out again?” Who asks that? I literally said, “I don’t know,” and that probably pissed him off because he then asked if I even remembered his name. Shit. My immediate honest thought was, “Look bro, you mentioned ‘pizza’ when we first met, so your name was the least important thing on my mind. Let’s not make this more awkward.”
Mind you, I had just gotten pissed at Magic Mike for not remember my name. Apparently, it’s that easy. Long story long, we exchanged numbers just for pity and that was the end of that story.
So usually I like to end my pointless rants with a sappy lesson to be learned, just so I have the slightest sense of validation for sharing this story. We’ve all been torn up and damaged and “lonely,” but the only way to really get to know ourselves is to veer of our own comfort zones and continue to put ourselves out there no matter how uncomfortable it may be (I’m not saying hang out at a bar every weekend by yourself). And like I’ve stated countless times in the past, give people a chance, because you may be lonely, but you will NEVER be alone.
Also, never chug Pinot Grigio.
That’s it for now.