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A Detour to Shangri-L.A.

Screen shot 2013-05-15 at 3.55.41 PMAs previously noted through two separate posts (here and here,respectively), the final dates for 50/50 were spread out a bit due to about ten gagillion things. One of those gagillions was a long-awaited trip to Los Angeles to interview pickup-artist extraordinaire – and incredibly likable human being and menace of a critical thinker – Neil Strauss. Once he agreed to chat with us for the documentary and share some wisdom on dating (or as you’ll find out later, not dating), Megs and I developed a plan of attack: throw clothes in bag, arrange homestays with friends, and get selves to LA all while trying to find a date for the weekend while on the road.

Kinda felt like old times, only with drive-through Panda Express.

The road was straight. And long. Though I’ve done the drive from San Francisco to LA more times than I can begin to count I’m never failed to be impressed by how I manage to notice many of the same things, while always finding something new. There’s the aquaduct again, and there’s some species of bird I’ve never witnessed perching on the edge of it. There are those rolling mountains, and that there’s a sign for a city I’ve never noticed before.

I don’t mind the long, straight drive much. Familiar territory means not worrying about the where’s only worrying about the how’s. Keep eyes on the road, watch for danger, and converse with your road trip buddy. We swapped stories about dating locally, the goings-on of friends and family, and what we might do with our free day in SoCal – 24 whole hours before we had to prep to meet Mr. Strauss.

We’d been chatting about getting hit on in lines at theme parks – namely the local one, Great America – and how it had been sort of a blast to be 13 and troll malls and amusement rides for eye candy (or to hopefully be eye candy), when Megs got a twinkle in her eye I should have learned long ago means an ounce of trouble: “You know, we could attempt speed dating at Disneyland.”

The idea of dating while waiting in line sounded crazy. But was it really any crazier than getting in a car and dating strangers across the country? Was it crazier than what I normally do in lines at Disneyland as an adult, which lately has been rallying the crowds to engage in exercise while we wait? In comparison to leading push-ups, dating almost sounded like a cake-walk. And besides…so many men and women I’d reached out to date in LA were busy sending me headshots and IMDb pages, and they seemed far more interested in the camera experience than the me experience.

I started crafting an ad for Craigslist, telling Megan, “Let’s go dating!”

Yup, just like old times.

 

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