Dear Chris (age 30),
Always make sure boys pee before they get in the car.
For those of you who don’t live in Los Angeles and haven’t experienced The Hollywood Bowl, I’m 100% sure that I’m not alone in being a woman who looks at it as a place where I’d love to be taken on a date. It’s romantic. Music under the stars, you can bring your own food (and wine), and if you catch a concert near the end of the summer, the nights are cool and potentially warrant a blanket. If you’ve never been to The Hollywood Bowl, watch the end of the movie Some Kind of Wonderful and you’ll know what I mean.
So when a boy was going with me to The Hollywood Bowl, I was pretty stoked. It was our second date and the first one had gone really well, except for the part where he referred to my father as white trash…not cool….(see post about not having to say no to second dates…hadn’t learned that lesson yet.)
John Williams was playing his annual concert and was scheduled to start around 8:00 or 8:30. Guy was scheduled to arrive at 7:00pm but he was coming from about an hour away and didn’t plan for traffic. He arrived at my doorstep around 7:30, perturbed and needing to pee. But we were late and he felt bad so he didn’t want to take anymore time and said he could hold it, no problem. (Ladies, if a man ever says that to you, ignore him and make him go.)
Getting to The Hollywood Bowl is a bit of a task even on the best of days when you’ve left yourself lots of time to arrive or get there early. It’s a huge concert venue that seats almost 18,000 people on one of the busiest streets in Hollywood. You either have to pay $15-$30 to park, take a bus in from a remote parking lot, live near the Bowl or, as I like to do, park at Hollywood & Highland which is an outdoor mall down the street with cheap parking and a slightly uphill walk to the concert. But when you want to drive in close to the venue and are late, traffic is horrible and stressful. It took longer than I had thought it would, there were lots of people and… this guy needed to pee.
So Guy’s already late, has to pee and now is stressed out after having driven through bumper-to-bumper traffic. I was feeling pretty calm about all of it. There was nothing we could do. Him…not so calm.
We got to Hollywood & Highland with just enough time to get to the concert before it started. But we had not yet taken care of the pee dilemma.
Hollywood & Highland is a mall. Malls have bathrooms. Problem solved, I thought. Guy is super crabby about his full bladder by this point, so I point him to the toilets and vow to stay put til he’s done. 30 seconds later, Guy emerges from the bathroom and I am impressed because it’s busy and he now has a claim for the fastest pee ever.
“Wow, that was fast,” I say.
“I didn’t go.”
“Too many guys” something, something, “gay” something, something, “didn’t want them looking at me” something, something.
And I’m thinking…Is this a thing? This man who has had to pee for over an hour won’t go because there might be someone in a crowded bathroom of men who’s gay…and he’s worried that will mean said man will want to watch him go? What?!
But I just said, “Ok. There’s a bathroom up at the Bowl. Should be less crowded. Let’s just go up.”
So, we’re running even later, Guy is now barely speaking to me because he’s crabby (or crabbier) about running late and needing to pee.
But I’m still optimistic because it’s not the end of the world. We’ll walk 10 minutes, there’s a bathroom right at the entrance, and we actually still have enough time to get there right before it starts. We’re golden.
Except now all this guy apparently has on his brain is urination. I am a non-entity. There is only him and an epic quest for a bathroom. (Did I mention that there is a guaranteed bathroom right at the entrance to the venue…less than 10 minutes away?)
Another thing that you might not know if you’ve never been to The Hollywood Bowl or have never parked and walked up from Hollywood & Highland is that there are still a number of small businesses along the way. All across the street, all a bit inconvenient to get to on the walk up, all of which say that their bathrooms are out of order on the nights that there is a Hollywood Bowl concert.
This guy still had to stop at every. single. one. And in addition to being super crabby about the peeing thing gets even angrier about the fact that people are pretending their bathrooms are out of order…you know…because there are 18,000 PEOPLE walking by… Did I mention the fact that there are bathrooms AT THE ENTRANCE of The Hollywood Bowl.
So by the time we get to the bathroom, it’s now way later than it would have had to be if he had just calmed down and we are officially missing the start of the concert. Which really, I still don’t care about. It’s not like John Williams is going to care.
When he emerged from the bathroom, he was a new person. Lesson learned for any future dating: empty bladder is directly related to niceness and approachability.
I am so relieved. Our romantic date is back on track! Almost. He’s still a little crabby but that seems to finally dissipate once we find our seats, have a snack and settle in.
We are out under the stars, listening to music, blanket in use. This guy’s got a chance. But for the rest of the concert we kind of sit like friends. He doesn’t hold my hand, or put a hand on my knee. There’s no arm around the shoulder. When I try to lean in, he does the slow slight move away.
What? The? Hell?
“Whatever”, I think. “Maybe he’s just shy or is having a hard time recovering from the early part of the night or moves slow. He held my hand on the first date and asked me on a second so I ‘know’ he likes me. “
I’ve learned to be better about this but I am the master of the benefit of the doubt when it comes to dating…as you’ve probably discovered if you’ve read any of these stories. (See Read the Signs.)
When the concert ends, I suggest that we can stick around and wait for the crowd to filter out. But he’s not having it. He’d rather just leave. So instead of holding back for a second we make our way into the crowd of 18,000, half of which are trying to get out of the entrance which MIGHT be the width of two sidewalks but certainly narrows down to one for the thousands of us who are trying to get on busses or get ourselves back down the hill to Hollywood & Highland.
And, then, he grabbed my hand.
Oh glorious day!
The mind of a woman is lighting fast. So between the grabbing of the hand and the first good yank of my arm, I was ready to enjoy our nice leisurely stroll together down the hill and back to the car and had probably planned our wedding. Until I realized I was literally being dragged through the crowd.
“Surely, he’s just trying to get us through the worst part but he’ll slow down once we get to the sidewalk.”
I am literally being dragged around the 18,000 other people who are going in the exact same direction as we are. I’m a long-legged girl but he’s walking so fast that I’m having a hard time keeping up. Eventually he drops my hand and just starts walking ahead of me, so we’re single file, and I end up about six feet behind him and he doesn’t even seem to notice.
When he does, he waits for me a bit. But by this time, I’m not talking and he at least picks up on this and asks me if something’s wrong. “Holding hands” something, something, “Leisurely walk”, something, something, “No need to run”, something, something.
Eventually we get back to the car and have a pleasant conversation on the way home about how “Homeless people need to get jobs”, something, something, “Democrats need to stop giving handouts” something, something, and other enjoyable political discourse, something, something.
We didn’t go out again. But I did learn the importance of an empty bladder.