Marny, Meet Amanda. Amanda, Marny.

Went to the movies again with Marny today, this time to see “The Expendables” (the quid pro quo for “Going the Distance”).

We stopped by to see Scott who has to work at Take a Bao this weekend. I told him I looked at his lease and I’m not sure what he can do to prevent his landlord from evicting them. He thanked me anyway and gave us some free s’mores. 

Then, as we were leaving the food court, we saw Amanda. Yeah, that Amanda. My girlfriend from last year.

She smiled and said hi in a big cheery voice but I could tell she was really eyeing Marny. I found myself suddenly holding Marny’s hand and pulling her in close, subconsciously saying, “Yes, she’s with me.”

Now Amanda is pretty, but more in a cute way. She’s short and I guess you’d say “spunky.” But Marny is very pretty and tall and looks like maybe some sister of hers could be a model. Amanda was surprised. She said I looked good. I didn’t return the compliment. I just introduced Marny and said, “Good seeing you.” Then we took off.

As we walked away and I explained to Marny my history with Amanda, I should have been on top of the world. I mean, isn’t this every guy’s fantasy? To have his ex see him with a much hotter girl? But seriously, sometimes I think I can never just be happy–all I was thinking about was, I wish I was there with Elevator Girl instead. Then she’d really be jealous.

Going the Distance

Venice was fun. Monica and Gunther are like the parents I never had.

I mean, I have parents, but these two seem like a couple from another era. We sat on the sand in Venice and just hung out. No books to read. No paddle tennis. Just chilling, walking along the water, and talking.

So naturally I talked about Marny. I like her. Well, some aspects. She’s actually really smart and she’s got a quick wit. But she’s so obsessed with celebrity culture and trying to become a famous actress it really bugs me. Like if I don’t know who some loser from some reality show is, I’m the one who’s out of touch.

Gunther said something about acting in L.A. that I thought was kind of poetic. He said, “Trying to make it in this town is a no-win proposition. If you fail, it breaks your heart. And if you succeed, it destroys your soul.”

Wow. Nailed it.

So when I went out with Marny last night to see “Going the Distance” (crappy romantic comedies are the price you pay for dating), I couldn’t get the idea out of my mind. After the movie, Marny was analyzing Drew Barrymore’s performance in annoying “actor-speak” detail like how she was “in the moment” and shit like that.

Then she talked about getting new headshots, obsessed about some audition, and fantasized about being in a big Hollywood movie.

I said that it seems like actors are all narcissists. Everyone wants to be famous but nobody wants to do anything worth being famous for. She got all upset.

I tried to make it better by saying, “Why do you want to be famous anyway? Didn’t your daddy pay enough attention to you growing up?” I laughed.

She said, “Yeah, my Dad left us when I was seven.”

Oh, shit.

We went back to my place and just went to sleep. This morning I was thinking, great, now I’ve got a new reason not to like Marny. Not only is she obsessed with celebrity culture and being discovered, but she’s damaged. She’s got emotional scars.

And I’m writing this on my laptop right now as she’s sleeping right next to me and I’m thinking, I don’t feel like trying to fix her.

I Asked Out Elevator Girl

I saw Elevator Girl on the way down to the lobby. I said, “Hey, Michelle. Big plans this weekend?”

And she said, “Hi, Fletcher. Yeah, nothing too special.”

She remembered my name. That was a pretty big deal!

So, feeling bolstered by my recent success with women, I said, “You know, we should have coffee some time.” But then I started to lose my nerve and began backtracking. “I mean, just because we’re in the same building. I have a girlfriend. I’m not asking you out or anything.”

Michelle laughed and said, “Yeah, sure.” Then she pulled out a business card and said, “Email me when you’re taking a break next time.”

Then we reached the lobby and she got out.

“Have a great weekend,” I said, holding her card with a big smile on my face. I know I am.

I Have Plans

For the first time in years, I have plans for Labor Day weekend.

Tomorrow, I’m going to Venice Beach with Gunther and Monica. Saturday night, I’m going out with Marny. Sunday, we’re going to hang out, maybe go to see a movie. And Monday, there’s a cookout at the director guy’s apartment. All things considered, this Talk to Strangers Project has been pretty damn successful.

Mailbox Guy’s Girlfriend

I met Monica last night. Gunther invited me over for dinner and I hung out with the two of them all night. Monica is really cool. She’s in her late-thirties

and divorced and she immediately bonded with me in a big-sister sort of way.

Monica sells jewelry in Venice. She and Gunther have this totally zen approach to life. To them, it’s not about making money or acquiring stuff. They just try to have as much free time as possible so they can go hiking and shit.

I told Monica about the Project and she thought it was really cool. I told her about Marny and how I’m actually starting to like her. Monica just laughed. I’m not sure what was so funny about that but she seemed to think it was a “typical male” way of approaching a relationship.

Anyway, Monica invited me to join them on Saturday in Venice. We’re going to hang out at the beach. It’s weird. I’ve lived in L.A. for four years now and I’ve never actually gone to the beach before.