My friend planned a secret trip. Were you invited?

When my grandmother died five years ago, my mother asked my older brother, Mark, to invite his friend to wake up. Not because the man knew my grandmother (he didn’t) but because my mother viewed him as a love prospect for me. He’s a doctor who, according to my mom, “caught my attention” at Mark’s wedding. She also saw it as tempting bait for back home in Michigan.

Mark, who works in finance, did not ask my plea to abandon the idea. But my mom was right. I also made it happen a couple of months ago when I emailed a maltipoo, Benedict, a turquoise handkerchief with a message in white font: “My mom is single.”

She knew my condition. Someone has charmed me, a 16-year-old guy who’s often lived in a different zip code for the years we’ve been dating here and there. At that time, Jack invited Myanmar to his homeland for half the year. I lived in Hollywood. Most of our conversation happened via Gmail.

Determined the time of his visits. Once, when I learned that he was about to stay with me on New Year’s Eve, I drafted a PowerPoint and saved it as “Attractions Coming”. In it, I included pictures of Benedict and Chess and Yai (his favorite Thai restaurant). The last slide included a photo of me paired with a side note: “Clothing is optional.”

He stayed with me at Franklin Village for a few days in the summer before my grandmother passed away. He worked on the crossword puzzle while we sipped on Bulleit in bed. We walked Benedict to Griffith Park as always. Jack cooked dinner. Then he did something new. He had a return ticket to Los Angeles for the month of December. He left some of his things in a plastic bag on the treasure chest table in my living room. I danced.

I vowed to respect his privacy until my mother swooped in for a visit weeks later. We sat side by side on my couch and stared at the table. She ordered me to investigate. You are a journalist after all. We also had wine, so I opened the box and pulled out the bag. It included regular things: two shirts, one with ruffles. Then my mom spotted the tickets. Greyhound tickets that kept unfolding in her hands, stretching across my living room floor. It was only his return to me for a few days before he set off on a trip full of bus stops across the US I laughed. I chatter. I was crying later in the corner of my bathroom.

I can do this kind of thing: fall in love with someone who lives 17 hours or so by plane without any commitment. When I first met him in my twenties, I was missing out on my education in having a traditional boyfriend. Over the years, it’s been very easy to attend events like solo New Year’s Eve and deal with crickets dancing over the oven on my own. (My bright pink Dyson vacuum cleaner overused them; my screams outpaced the sounds of the vacuum, but my walls are thick.)

When Benedict collapsed on my floor, I put on a leash and led him in the wrong direction to the vet. But we made it there. I take out the trash myself and have had it for years. Often without a garbage bag. Once upon a time, trash was dumped down the drain of the building on a windy day in Santa Ana. Q tips and toilet paper fell over three floors, and the wings from the Stayfree pillow slammed against my cheek before I shut the chute.

Some of the signs were very clear. I ignited Hinge, something I’ve been resisting for years because I thought I was only connecting with a guy who lives in Yangon.

I headed to the wrong guy on my first date at the local bar in Franklin Village. The real date, who watched me get close to someone else, was not impressed. We had one drink and bid farewell.

I swiped right again, and in 2019, I met Chris. In my hinged profile, I mentioned that I would know I met the person when he sent me meatballs at the pub. So when Chris wrote, “How much meatballs will be available over the next few days,” I smiled. I picked a time and chose Musso & Frank, the Hollywood restaurant where Fitzgerald and Hemingway used to comment.

We sat at the bar. It was easy to joke about the martini and the meatballs. He had just moved from Orange County to get a job and owned an apartment a few miles from me. For the next few months, Chris was planning things: movies, restaurants, and New Year’s. It often seemed like a very big commitment to someone who was not used to anything. I asked several friends if it was a good match. Then Chris’s employer started sending him to China. mostly.

I bought us Sugarfish when he officially called us in February 2020. He didn’t eat it. Later I was eating sushi solo.

something for me My grandmother said to my mother when she was dying, “Tell her to be tough.” She meant to me.

When we were urged to start self-isolation next month due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I put on a makeshift mask and went out with Benedict. We were jumped by the Church of Scientology, Oaks Gourmet, Gelson, and cul-de-sac. He barked at passersby. I wore a handkerchief around my nose and mouth, which says “My mom is single.”

The author is a senior editor at Bankrate and hosts FinTech Check on LinkedIn. She’s on Instagram: @mmwisnie.

LA Affairs chronicles the search for romantic love in all its glorious expressions in the Los Angeles area, and we want to hear your true story. We pay $300 for a published article. Email LAAffairs@latimes.com. You can find application instructions here. You can find previous columns here.

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