Dating Outside Your Zip Code

review-drive-movieIn the city of cars cars cars traffic traffic traffic, the difficulty of dating someone east of the 405 (in my case) or 5 to 10 miles away is a common LA cliche – because it really is a big fucking deal. In online dating, distance becomes toughest issue to overlook, even trumping the usual baggage of bad credit, kids or prison record (and usually that other shit doesn’t come out until later, like after you’ve moved in together.) I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a hottie boombalottie, enthusiastically read his profile, only to find out “wait, he lives in NORTH Hollywood? Ahhhh fuck, it takes 3 freeways just to get there!” Petty and superficial? Perhaps. But let me ask you that same question when it has taken you 47 minutes just to travel the ON RAMP to the 405.

Of course, when my hormones are doing the talking, travel time is no obstacle. I had hooked up a few times with this hottie boombalottie musician (of course) and he had usually stayed at my house. But on this particular night, through a weird confluence of events I had people staying over so my place was off limits. Do you think that being a good hostess deterred me from a booty call? Of course not. I followed this kid home, literally. He told me he lived in the desert. I lived at the ocean, how far could it be? Very, very, very, very, very, very far. As in, the sun was coming up by the time we reached his place, after what seemed like days of driving. The drive itself was like some insane indie flick, reaching speeds over 100 mph through alien red-rock landscapes and coyote sightings (not that the drag racing made a damn bit of difference on travel time.) So, was it worth it? Gee, you tell me – arrive exhausted, gritty and dusty, have sex for 12 minutes, pass out, get my period. Drive home in bumper-to-bumper normal-people traffic for the next 10 hours. With cramps. That was the longest walk of shame in my life.

There has been times when the west side has gotten too close for comfort (read: I’ve worked my way through Venice and Santa Monica) and I have to date outside my area code. But the thought still lingers – is he gas-worthy? I met a musician (of course) online who lived in Silverlake. He asked me to meet him at his neighborhood bar, and I agreed. Good to get out of my usual haunts, stretch my legs, see the world, I thought. So we met up. And he was really nice. We seemed to hit it off, chatting and laughing for a few hours. But then the night started to wind down. He walked me to my car. And all I could think of was, man, it’s probably two hours to get here during rush hour. And when I looked at him, the same trepidation seemed to cross his mind – both of us had just run out of steam. All of this was unspoken – hell, he could’ve been thinking, “nice chick but she’s a fucking whack job. Why the need to tell me 3 times about the guy she dated from Clown College?” We gave each other a chaste kiss goodnight and that was the end of it.

I know people have overcome much bigger difficulties than this, like dating someone outside your country code, or dating a soldier serving overseas. But unfortunately it is a fact of life in dating, at least in LA. Perhaps when they finish the Expo line I could date a nice guy from downtown. You know, like a musician.

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