Note from me (Isabel):
Hello and Happy Easter (if you celebrate it)!! This month is a little different. We only have 1 dater for you: the one, the only, the hilarious, the kind CHRIS VILLALTA. Chris was the first guest that Ryan and I had on Date a Week the Podcast, which you can listen to HERE. Chris is also a standup comedian. His sets are funny and human sprinkled with thought-provoking insights. All this to say, Chris Villalta is a wonderful human and I can't wait to see what he writes - SPOILER ALERT: I've already read this post and it is one of the best yet. I am in awe of him and also need to listen to Car Seat Headrest, which is apparently a band.
So, please give a nice, warm welcome to one of my favorite people: CHRIS VILLALTA!!
Name: Chris Villalta
Location: Los Angeles
Dating apps you're using: Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, Grindr
Job: Tutor at San Francisco State University by day, stand-up comedian by night. Only one of these pays, so I’m not sure why I listed both. Stand-up is what pays by the way, the tutoring thing is more of a passion I’m pursuing.
Looking for: Something light. Been in a lot of meaty relationships lately and I think it’s time for a salad.
Last Relationship: Three months, but very meaty three months. I’ve had a series of these meaty three month… flings? No. I’d call them flings, but one too many I love you’s were exchanged to do that. How about wings? You know, short for Icarus’ wings. Like wax and feather boy, these relationships aimed a little too high for their own good. I’m hoping the cocktail that is Date-A-Week, therapy, and some serious self reflection will help break the cycle!
Chris's Date #1
Key Takeaways: A shared frame of reference makes everything easier
Name: Penny because she reminds me of the protagonist in the movie referenced below AND I've had some good luck since meeting this person
Length of date: I like to tell time in movies. This one had about the runtime of a Seeking a Friend for the End of the World and felt like a scene from it too (1 hr 41 min)
How the date was obtained: Tinder
I was on Zoom all day for work and felt such hostility towards screens. I spent too much time looking for the perfect shirt and pants combo before remembering that it's a FaceTime date. Legs are likely to be left unseen. I poured some wine, cheap, and thought about how I wasn’t really even going to hear this person’s voice or see their face; that alI I was meeting was a digital, blurred up version of them. Needless to say, I strongly considered cancelling this date and I would have if not for how well we hit it off over text. Our first Tinder messages were about Car Seat Headrest (the band) which is admittedly odd. It’s become a hook up app for a lot of people and yet there we were, swapping our favorite lyrics instead of figuring out how to have sex as soon as possible. Maybe parts of us were looking for hook-ups, but we ran into a fellow Car Seat Headrest or CSH fan and that made every desire for creature comfort fall by the wayside because there was art to be appreciated and we found a person to appreciate it with. She’s a poet. I get along with poets. Like comics, they put great art on pedestals and have an ability (anxiety) to make the mundane seem galactic. For example, I made a galactic situation out of the fact that the date was over FaceTime. I almost cancelled because I was only going to meet “a digital, blurred up version” of this person. How silly. About a half hour in we swap out wine for weed and start sharing each other’s record collection. She pulls out Car Seat Headrest’s “Twin Fantasy.” Of course she has it. As if it’s not enough to rub her possession of it in my face, she mentions seeing CSH live five or so times. Those were her exact words, “Five or so times.” That means it’s possible she’s seen them more than five times and doesn’t remember some of the shows. I was crazy jealous hearing about it and I’m crazy jealous thinking about it right now. “Let me have it!” I demand, jokingly. Working through weed chuckles, I hear, “I would. I can. I have two!” “Oh my god, you got it a twin?” Big smile. “Yes, I got it a twin.” She actually pulls out another copy. We wreck the ears of whatever government agent was monitoring our conversation with laughter. There’s the potential for nice moments in every date, but rarely is there potential for idiosyncratic moments. A few years back, an ex of mine tried to rekindle a relationship. The moment that confirmed we weren’t getting back together was actually a nice moment. We found some typos on the menu we were looking at and laughed. It was cute, but even as it happened, I remember thinking that neither of us is essential to the moment. Any two strangers with senses of humor can share a laugh looking at a typo-infested menu. The twin moment, on the other hand, required that Penny and I both value and relate to and understand that giving “Twin Fantasy” a twin is so overly sentimental it’s hilarious. A similar frame of reference and semi-melodramatic ways of thinking made it easier for us to build what I know as a secret world. Greta Gerwig talks about this phenomenon in Frances Ha. A secret world is built when a shared language makes it possible for two to disappear and isolate together even in the most packed of rooms. Our shared love of indie rock records and hyper-emotional ways of thinking made it possible for Penny and I to overcome only meeting digital, blurred up versions of each other. Against all the odds you read in the first paragraph, I had a nice time. A bit blurry though.
The future for us… We plan to meet in person this coming week. I have a little picnic idea I want to try and she seems into it. I'm not sure though. We have great conversations and all, but I've had great conversations before. We'll hang out some more and see where it goes.
Next Week: Pretty sure I'll be seeing Penny again, but might also let a friend who's been dying to set me up with someone do that. We'll see!