Even though I consider Hawaii my second home, I have always been most familiar with Oahu, since my grandparents had settled there from Japan and raised a large family. Some of my relatives migrated to the Big Island, Kauai, and Molokai, so I ended up visiting those islands as well. The one island which I was extremely curious about was Maui, but since none of my relatives had moved to that island, I never had a reason to visit.
Then in June of 2007, the guy I had been seeing for close to a year and I vacationed on Maui for a little over a week, and in that small period of time, I fell in love with the island. The ocean was clean and warm, the local restaurants served incredible food, the scenery was beautiful, and we enjoyed daily rainbows over the rental property we booked. Every day on Maui was magical and held new discoveries, such as the afternoon when we decided to buy some pineapple from a roadside vendor and were rewarded with the sweetest, most delicious pineapple I had ever tasted.
On one particular day we jumped into our rental car and decided to explore the south border of the island. We found ourselves in Kihei, a casual, laid-back beachfront town with many turnoff points which gave us access to the beach. We settled on a small cove and set up our towels and snack foods for a nice afternoon, and because it was a small, hidden area, there was no one else on that stretch of beach with us. After we had been there for a couple of hours, my boyfriend remarked, “Hey! I saw a dorsal fin out there! I wonder if that’s a shark or a dolphin?” I told him I wasn’t about to swim out to the spot where he spotted the fin, and the next moment, he was rushing into the water so that he could determine what sea creature he had seen,
As soon as Dameon swam out to the area where he saw the fin, he dove underwater and I didn’t see him for close to a minute. He then popped his head up and yelled, “Get your ass in here, and bring the underwater camera! There’s a bunch of dolphins out here!” I grabbed the underwater camera, making sure the strap was secure around my wrist, and jumped into the water. Once I reached Dameon, he told me to go underwater and check out our new buddies. We were in the midst of a pod of dolphins, about 14 or 15 of them, including a couple of youngsters. Two of the large adult males kept bumping up against me and pushing me around in the water.
We ended up swimming with the dolphins for close to 10 minutes, alternately bobbing on the surface and diving down so that we could swim along these playful creatures. Dameon made sure to take numerous shots of the dolphins, which we developed that same day. We began to get tired of swimming, since we were relatively far out and in deep water, so we swam back to shore. Within a few minutes, the dolphins headed southeast, but not before jumping out of the water numerous times as if to say, thanks guys, we had fun!
I recently hopped onto a dating site in an effort to keep myself in circulation, and convinced myself to consider men who weren’t my type, but who might be suitable potential partners. One member who contacted me had a very interesting profile, and though he wasn’t physically my type, I was intrigued enough to chat with him. Once the message stream ensued and we switched over to text messaging, the man (I’ll call him Adofo) began texting me on a daily basis, not to say hello, but to ask me if I was free to hang out. Since the nature of my daily life rarely allows me to be spontaneous and make last minute plans, and also since I was preparing for an international trip, I made it clear to Adofo that my time was limited. He then agreed to meet me on a Sunday, so I added the meeting to my calendar.
Adofo texted me two days before our planned date, asking if I was free that evening, to which I replied that I was not. He then texted me the following day, and since the plans I had for Saturday had fallen through, I told him that I did indeed have the evening open. Adofo instructed me to meet him on his side of town, which bothered me for two reasons: I had driven all over town the entire week and wanted to take a break from driving long distances once the weekend arrived, and also because I am a bit old-fashioned and expect the man to come to my neck of the woods for the first date. When I told him that I had no intention of driving to Venice, he told me he would schedule an Uber. I then waited for the Uber, which never came because the app wasn’t allowing Adofo to schedule a pickup at my location.
He told me that I needed to hurry up and get to Venice before 5 pm, not considering the fact that he tried lining up the Uber at 4:15 pm. He also told me that we would grab a bite to eat at an Italian restaurant, to which I replied, “Italian isn’t good for me because of the gluten”. I asked if we could find a restaurant with cleaner fare, to which he replied, “oh, you’ll find something to eat there”.
I tried to schedule a Lyft, but the soonest pickup time was in 20 minutes, so I told Adofo I would drive in my own car. I asked him to tell me where to meet him, and he simply said, “Alehouse”, as if he expected me to know the place. I told him to please send me the address, since I was already annoyed by the fact that I had to drive out to Venice. He said, “look it up”, and I bristled, telling him that I was making the effort to come out his way, that I had been standing outside for the Uber which never came, and that I had attempted to schedule a Lyft. I insisted on having him text me the address.
A few minutes after I began driving, Adofo texted me and told me to meet him at his place because I would be able to park my car there. I didn’t respond since I was driving. I got a second text from him, suggesting that we meet at the Italian restaurant, which I also did not respond to because I was driving. I already had the address for Alehouse in my GPS and I wasn’t about to change it. By this time I was extremely irritated and had actually thought of turning around and going home, but I didn’t want to come across as a flake, and drove out to Venice.
Of course Venice was packed with traffic, and I couldn’t find any parking. I pulled over and texted Adofo, informing him that I had passed the Alehouse and was looking for parking, and he called me. He said, “Hey, where are ya?” I told him I was in my car, that parking and traffic were major issues. He said, “Get over here!” I told him that I was a couple of blocks down and that because the traffic was terrible, he needed to understand that I needed a few minutes to return to the Alehouse entrance. He then said, “Pick me up in front of Alehouse, I’ll get into your car and we’ll find parking”.
When Adofo got into my car, he immediately said, “Wow, you’re really fucking cute! You’re so pretty! Give me a kiss!” I refused, which prompted him to say, “Wow, you’re spicy! A sassy bitch, I like you!” I told him that I had to start driving, that there were cars behind me, so he relented for about 20 seconds, then asked me what my sign was. I said, “Moon child. Cancer.” His eyes widened, and he remarked, “Me too! When’s your birthday?” “July 9th.” “Mine’s June 27th. Wow, I can’t believe you’re a Cancer. And you’re 56, wow. You don’t look 56. I’m 52. You’re 56, you’re older than me.” I told Adofo that he needed to direct me to the parking lot he wanted me to park in, that we could talk later.
Adofo seemed annoyed that I wouldn’t humor him, but proceeded to direct me to a parking structure. I parked the car, and as I was walking from the car, he grabbed me by the waist, exclaimed, “Give me a hug!”, and squeezed me tight, which annoyed me even more. Adofo then said, “Give me a kiss!” I told him no, so he said, “Dammit, you’re so fucking stubborn! Wow.” We walked to the restaurant and took two seats at the bar, and as soon as the bartender saw Adofo, he approached Adofo and said, “Hey man, you’ve got some open tabs to pay”, and he placed 4 receipts in front of Adofo.
I had forgotten my cell phone in my car, so I excused myself to get it. For a fleeting moment, I seriously considered just driving away, but once again, I didn’t want to be that kind of person, so I reluctantly returned to the restaurant and took my seat at the bar. Adofo immediately scooted my barstool closer to him so that my thigh was touching his, and he slipped his hand around my waist and pulled me in tighter. By this time I was so disgusted, and figured that the evening was probably going to go downhill, but I tried to make the best of it and ask him questions about his life and career. Oddly, Adofo didn’t ask me a single question about me or my life, but in true narcissistic fashion, was delighted to talk about himself.
Adofo proceeded to ask me three more times when my birthday was, and each time, he said, “Oh wow, you’re a Cancer!”, which made me think that perhaps this man was suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s. He also kept mentioning my age, and at one point, he told me that at 56, I was near 60, that I needed to hustle and get a man and get my life in order. Another thing Adofo kept saying was, “You’re gonna be my girlfriend, I just know it. Will you be my girlfriend? You don’t have to give me an answer today, tomorrow is fine.” At one point in the evening, he said, “I know it’s very 5th grade of me to ask you to be my girlfriend, but I like you”, and then at another point, he said “I know it’s very 3th grade of me to ask you to be my girlfriend, but I like you”. He certainly was behaving like someone in grade school, but I guess he didn’t remember what grade he was in (hah!). He wasn’t acting like a 52 year old man, that’s for sure.
We ordered drinks, and when I asked for a vermentino, Adofo scoffed and said, “Oh, you like WHITE wine. Whatever, I like red wine.” I guess in his estimation it was unacceptable for me to prefer white wine. He also told me to order food from the happy hour menu, not the main menu, and while I was perusing the happy hour menu, Adofo said, “No, don’t look at that, I’ll order for us, you’ll like what I order. I’ll get Arancini (rice balls with cheese, battered and deep fried, full of gluten), penne pasta (full of gluten), chicken meatballs (gluten), and bone marrow (served with bread, another gluten bomb).”
When the food came, I wanted the bone marrow, but Adofo dumped portions of the other dishes onto my plate, and said I HAD to eat the other items. I carry one of two genetic markers for celiac disease, and I also suffer from leaky gut, so my trepidation over consuming gluten is very real. I guess the only good thing was that the portions were small, since they were appetizers. Adofo ended up wearing some of the meal because he was such a slob, and the sauce stains streaked all over his shirt made me want to avoid him even more.
As soon as he wolfed down the majority of the food, he said, “Let’s get out of here. We can hang out at my place, get a bottle of wine.” I told him I was still hungry and would like to get a small salad, to which he replied, “Nah, we’ll order one to go. We’ll also get another bone marrow appetizer.” He ordered the to go items, asked for the check, and paid the bill. Once we had the to go order, we walked to my car, got in, and I began driving. As I was driving, Adofo said, “Hey, let’s watch the sunset!” “Adofo, there is COMPLETE cloud cover, so we won’t see a thing.” “Ah come on! Let’s go!” I told him no, and he once again accused me of being stubborn.
Adofo directed me to a parking spot in back of his place which I was comfortable with since it was out in the open, and in a well trafficked alley. We then walked up to his place, and when I mentioned that perhaps we could go to the liquor store which was across the street for wine, he brushed me off and told me we would do that later. His apartment was plain, old, and indicative of someone who really hadn’t made it in life, so I wasn’t surprised by it. I excused myself to use the restroom, and when I walked into the living area, Adofo went into the kitchen and opened a beer. I asked him if we could go to the liquor store, since I can’t drink beer, and he replied, “Not right now, hold on.” Sigh.
I took a seat on his very tiny sofa, and he sat at the small round plastic table which served as his desk as well as his dining room table. He opened his laptop and was staring at the screen while I spoke with him, a lapse in manners which I had learned to accept from Adofo at this point. I asked him how long he had been living in his apartment, and he told me he moved in there in 2020, right after his father died. I told him that my father had died in 2020 as well, and how that year was difficult for many people. I asked him if he had lived in Malaysia (he had mentioned that to me when we first began messaging each other) immediately before moving into his current space, and he said he had. He mentioned that people in southeast Asia are different, that the life there is in many ways better. Then he said, “You’re going to Thailand, right?” “Yes I am, in a week.” “You’ll like it there.”
I told Adofo that I had been to Thailand before, that it would be my second visit, and that I had been to 18 countries. I started listing the countries, and he interrupted me in mid-sentence, barking, “Come here.” I told him that I was in mid-sentence trying to talk to him, and he responded with, “What were you saying?” “Okay Adofo, clearly you weren’t listening to what I was saying. Never mind.” “No, come on, tell me.” “Nope, I’m over it.”
“Well, just come over here already.” I walked over to the table, and he grabbed me by the waist, telling me to kiss him. I said no and took several steps back, then happened to glance at his laptop screen, on which he had Murray Head’s “One Night In Bangkok” music video occupying the entire screen and cued up to the beginning. I said, “I’m well acquainted with that song and with the video, so unless there’s a specific point in the video you want to show me, I’m good.”
Adofo then looked at me and said, “You’re 56. I still can’t believe it, you look really good. Do you want babies?” I told him, “Listen, I’ve been through menopause. The factory is shut down, I can’t have kids.” Adofo’s gaze sank to my crotch, and he said, “Let me see.”
“Let me see it. Let me see your vagina.”
I turned to the sofa, grabbed my handbag, and rushed out of that apartment as fast as I possibly could, and once I was in the alley, I ran to my car. Adofo chased me the entire way, and tried to block me as I drove away. Within a couple of minutes, I blocked him on the dating app, on Instagram, and also blocked his phone number. Thankfully, it was still light outside, I was in a very busy urban area, and I was actually relieved that I had my car, because I was able to make a quick getaway.
Ladies, make sure to carry pepper spray to protect yourself in a similar situation.
Guys, please don’t be like Adofo! Such behavior is one sure way to keep women at bay for good.
If you’ve been in the dating world for any span of time, I am willing to bet that you have at least one story about a bad dating experience. There have been a few doozies in my dating life, but one in particular was particularly aggravating. I’ve gotten so many laughs from relaying the story about Max that I figured my subscribers would also get a chuckle out of it.
I met Max (and yes, that was his real name) at a Halloween party in 2009 at the Skirball Center on Sepulveda Blvd. While I was at the party, a very nondescript man who was not at all my type approached me, began talking to me, and followed me around. You guessed it, this was Max. He refused to leave my side, cockblocked a number of men who were my type, and just annoyed me to no end. When I decided to leave the party, he hounded me for my phone number, and for some utterly stupid reason, I gave it to him.
Max called me the next day, asking if I was free, to which I replied that I was watching Sunday NFL Football with my roommates. Without hesitation, Max invited himself over, and because I was so distracted by the activity in the house, I relented and gave him my address. When Max showed up at my place, he was empty handed, and promptly asked if we had beer or some other libation he could enjoy. I opened up a bottle of sake and poured two glasses. About 30 minutes after Max showed up, my two roommates stated that they were planning to put some burgers and chicken on the grill, and invited Max and me to join them in consuming the food. Once the food was cooked, the four of us sat in front of the TV, eating, drinking, and watching the game. A big smile broke on Max’s face, and he said, “Wow, this is awesome! I’m getting free food, free booze, and I’m watching football!” which made me cringe and also triggered concerned expressions on both my roommates’ faces.
Once the afternoon game was over, I told Max I had an early day the next day, and thanked him for coming over. Max stated that he would make it up to me the following week by taking me to dinner, to which I reluctantly agreed. Two days later, Max called me and we made plans to meet at a restaurant called Firefly in Studio City that Friday. For those of you who don’t know the restaurant, here is a portion of the current (2022) dinner menu:
Fried heritage chicken with mashed potatoes & gravy, horseradish slaw and a damn fine buttermilk biscuit (or just as fine GF cornbread for the intolerant) 29
Potato kugel with king trumpet mushrooms, roasted carrots, tofu creamed spinach and truffled demi 28 Red chile braised pork with crinkly sweet potatoes, collard greens, crispy mushrooms and pepita–cilantro salsa 30
Zucchini, corn and poblano enchiladas verdes with black beans, romaine, pickled red onions and cashew crema 27
Moqueca Baiana of rockfish, mussels and scallops with watercress–watermelon radish salad and jasmine rice 31
Dijon crusted ocean trout filet with seared asparagus, quinoa–pine nut pilaf and sauce gribiche 33
Baked mac ‘n cheese with cheddar, gruyere and parmesan bread crumbs 12
On Friday, Max and I met at the restaurant and were seated at a lovely al fresco table. The waiter brought menus and took our drink orders, which consisted of two similar mixed drinks on the rocks. Max perused the menu for several minutes, then looked over at me with a dissatisfied facial gesture. I asked him what was wrong, to which he replied, “I just don’t see anything that is grabbing me, ya know? I think I want to see if they can make a burger for me.” Since I wanted to be a good sport, I told him that if the chef was willing to accommodate his request, I would also have a burger. Well, Max got his wish, and we ordered burgers. We also ordered a second round of drinks.
The burgers were delicious, and our conversation flowed better than I thought it would, but since I felt no romantic spark with Max, I just wanted to get through the date without any awkwardness. Then the waiter placed the bill on the table while Max and I were talking about something that made us both laugh. While still laughing, Max picked up the bill, glanced at it, scowled, threw the bill onto the table, and remarked, “Oh, I can’t pay this!” I picked up the bill and saw that the total was $75, and because I wanted to be accommodating, I suggested that we split the bill, to which he agreed.
Two minutes later, Max scowled (this time at me), said “Wait a minute!”, and grabbed the bill. He studied it for a minute, then remarked, “The drink you ordered is $1 more than mine, and you had two of them, which means you owe $2 more than me.” I just sat there, dumbfounded. Was this guy really that cheap? I was so disgusted and so intent on getting out of that restaurant that I told him, “Don’t worry about it, I’ll pay the whole thing.” I proceeded to pay the entire bill plus tip, because Max didn’t even offer to leave the tip.
When we walked to the valet area to pick up our cars, Max said, “I’ll pay your valet fee if you let me come over” to which I replied, “No thank you, keep your $5.” Needless to say, there was no third date with Max, but he continued to call me, begging me to take him with me to Preview Night at the L.A. Auto Show. I had purchased two tickets (at $100 a pop), and mistakenly mentioned that I was going to the event and was waiting to hear back from a friend who said he wanted to join me. Max truly believed that I would have been willing to take him, on MY dime, to the event. I asked him to please stop calling me, and when he refused to leave me alone, I blocked his number.
I’d love to hear about your nightmare dating stories, so please share in the comments!
Have you ever met someone who seemed to have all the qualities you were looking for in a partner, then after getting to know each other, you kept getting reminders of how much you didn’t like the person? There are two men who come to mind, one whom I dated in 2019 (I’ll call him Sam), and one whom I met during the pandemic (let’s call him Rick). The fact that they were both intelligent and educated actually threw a major wrench in things, because I relish a good intellectual conversation, and didn’t realize that both men simply HAD to be right during any dispute, no matter what. The fact that I had political views which differed from both guys fueled quite a bit of animosity, which strengthened my conviction to avoid any chatter which veered in a political direction.
Things progressed very rapidly with Sam, and by the fourth date, he started referring to me as his girlfriend. Before I knew what was happening, he began to plan out every single weekend for us without consulting with me beforehand. He went so far as to tell me that I would be required to join him and his mother’s family for Thanksgiving, which I completely rejected. It was all too much, too fast, and my independent nature rebelled against Sam’s need to control every part of the relationship. He was also arrogant, had a tendency to insult others whom he deemed less intelligent than him, had the clammiest hands I have ever felt, and was clumsy and terrible in bed (sorry guys, but that matters). I finally ended our relationship after three months via a very heated phone call in which he kept insisting that he had plans for us, and that I was “disobeying” him by breaking up with him. That should tell you something about the hell I went through.
Rick was very different from Sam in a number of respects. First of all, Rick was into fitness and weightlifting, he was very easy on the eyes, and had a more laid back attitude. I soon realized that Rick’s laid back attitude was partially due to a general lack of interest he had in me, which meant that he just wouldn’t make an effort to see me. We’d make plans, and he would conveniently “forget”, stating that he didn’t think we had “PLANS plans”. Rick had even pulled this stunt on Valentine’s Day, when we made plans to get together, only to have him back out with that same lame excuse. The only time we had Zoom calls was when I would suggest that we schedule one, and we didn’t even go out in public until late July of this year. I bet if I hadn’t complained that we had only seen each other in person 6 times over the span of 8 months, and that we would meet either at his home or mine, we would have never gone anywhere. I enjoyed going to a restaurant so much that I suggested that we go out for sushi a month later, and stated that it would be my treat. I figured that at least I would be able to enjoy the sushi meal as well. It didn’t surprise me that Rick didn’t flake this time, and made sure to honor plans for the sushi dinner I had offered to finance. Only moments after I paid the bill, which was over $200, Rick actually complained that he preferred the plain sushi selections over the more exotic ones, so I decided right then and there that I would never take him for sushi again.
Rick had a tendency to dole out unsolicited medical advice numerous times when I mentioned maladies such as neck pain or a rash. Who on earth would have the nerve to deliver medical advice to a board certified physician? Rick would, and it infuriated me every single time. Another very rude habit he had was that he ALWAYS had his phone by his side, and would often look at it, even while I was talking to him. We also argued about politics, cars, and spending habits, and as I realized how little common sense this guy had, my attraction to him flickered out like a snuffed out candle.
One of these days, it would be nice to meet someone who isn’t contentious, arrogant, flaky, or controlling.