Isabel's LAST Date (#52)
Key Takeaways: “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” Also, don’t judge me for using that cheesy Dr. Seuss quote.
Vitals: Name: Nic from Date #50 Length of date: 2 and a half hours How the date was obtained: After our first date, he asked to be my final of 2020 Where: Urth Café in Beverly Hills and then looking at twinkly Christmas lights on Rodeo drive Well, here we are, friends: Date #52! It’s been (just shy of) 365 days, 52 dates and 1 gal trying to find love. I DID IT! I’ve got a lot to reflect upon in this post, but first, the details of Date #52. Nic and I met at Urth Café, a well-known LA celebrity hot spot, which was perfect for me because I am now TikTok famous (not actually, but I like to claim that I am—and I do have 2-million views on my #dateaweekLA TikTok hashtag, so that’s something). Anyway, at the café, Nic ordered an Earl Grey tea, which seemed like a bold, caffeinated choice for 8:00PM, while I got an oat milk hot chocolate. We sipped our drinks while strolling down Rodeo Drive admiring the Christmas displays in the windows of the luxury stores. Just as I had remembered, Nic was charming and very funny. He’s quick-witted with a quirky sense of humor that complements mine. Side-by-side we walked and eventually sat down on a bench outside the posh Maybourne Hotel. There, Nic mentioned that we were not just celebrating the end of Date a Week LA, but something possibly even greater: the 13th anniversary of his bar mitzvah! “Mazel tov!” I exclaimed as I commemorated the big anniversary by taking his picture next to a calendar in the window of the tchotchke-heavy store, Kitson. The calendar’s title you may ask? “Nice Jewish Guys 2021,” with the subtitle, “You can bring them home to mom!” My mom’s a Christian like me but loves meeting new people, so you never know. After about two hours of walking around Beverly Hills, we meandered back to Urth Café. We’d covered topics from mole people (look it up) to my previous string of dates, from religion to reality TV and everything in between. I enjoyed myself every step of the way. Eventually, I gave Nic a hug, got in my car, and waved goodbye. He waved back from the seat of his bike. As I drove away from this last date, I thought about a conversation that I had earlier in the day. That afternoon, I’d FaceTimed my mom as I often do. Just before we hung up, she asked, “Don’t you have a date tonight?” “Yes,” I replied, “and I’m super excited!” She sighed, “This is number 52, isn’t it?” “Yes,” my voice trailed off, “52.” As I said the number, my throat tightened and my eyes started to well up. I could see my mom’s eyes fill and a blink sent a tear down her cheek. As a front-row witness to this journey, she was verklempt, too. I can’t put my finger on exactly what I was feeling as we spoke, and I am having a hard time writing about it now. I’ve started this last post half a dozen times. I’ve struggled to process my feelings and type them out. But dearest readers, I will try to explain what I’m feeling after a whole year of dating every week. First, I believe I’m emotional because I have an overwhelming amount of pride, knowing that I set a very ambitious goal and completed it. I’ve gone through the ups and the downs of putting myself out there every week for an entire year. I have gone on 52 freaking dates and written 52 blog posts. I didn’t give up when I felt sad and exhausted. I dated through a pandemic (and did NOT get COVID). Daily life during the pandemic is already hard, but I had started this blog and I’m not a quitter, so that just wasn’t an option. Still, dating? Getting to know strangers? How do you get close to someone new when you have to stay 6-feet apart? It’s been daunting, but this endeavor has given me creative momentum that I wouldn’t have had without Date a Week LA. Prior to this journey, I was a nervous wreck before going on dates. I was so stressed that I hardly enjoyed it. Dating anxiety made it hard for me to be myself. In an attempt to become more comfortable, I set the goal to go on a date every week. To hold myself accountable, I started this blog. My epiphany: dating every week takes the pressure off every individual date—it works! If a date doesn’t go well, who cares? There’s always next week. Now I’m able to be utterly relaxed and show the candid, quirky, confident side of myself that friends and family have always seen. I wrestled with my confidence and have come out the winner. During Date a Week LA I went through a sort-of-mini-relationship and mini-breakup. It was informative and I came away learning more about what I wanted, and didn’t want, in a relationship. I also stood up for myself. Over the past year, I’ve learned a lot more about men. I’ve found that a lot of guys are also nervous about dating. I’ve learned to take what some say with a grain of salt. I’ve met some duds and many guys who’ve inspired me with their humor, intelligence, humility, and generosity. As I sit at my computer and dab my eyes with a Kleenex, I remember the incredibly cheesy and overused Dr. Seuss quote: “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” I wish a Toni Morrison, Tennessee Williams, or even a Nacho Libre quote came to my head, but Dr. Seuss and his cliché words echo instead. Still, he has a point. I mean don’t get me wrong, I will cry all I want Dr. Seuss, but I will also smile because it happened. This project has brought me so much joy and has given me a real purpose throughout this crazy year. While my acting career was put on pause during this pandemic, my love life was barreling forward. I’ve been “looking for love” and even if I’m not experiencing it right now, I see potential on the horizon and that’s exciting! I’ve been growing and meeting lots of new people along the way, but I always came back to you, my friends and family who have been loyal followers of this blog. And now, I come to the part where I get misty-eyed again and thank you all. If you don’t like receiving sentimental “thank you” notes then please proceed to the following paragraph. First, I have to thank my mom, who has not only heard about all these dates but has edited them too. She is an extraordinary writer herself and has helped me discover my writing voice. She has pushed me to make every post better than the last and I am so grateful for her guidance. So mom, thank you for being my listening ear, my consistent editor, and an incredibly supportive mother. I love you and thank you. To my dad, for his bean dip recipe, for telling me to always carry pepper spray, and for reading every post on Sunday morning after golfing. Thank you. To my sisters, who were the first to hear about this idea and have given me words of wisdom every step of the way. Also, for encouraged me not to wear my favorite crew neck sweatshirt on every date. I now realize that it’s not appropriate for formal occasions. Thank you. To my extended family, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, second-cousins, second-cousins wives, and more, for accepting and, dare I say, loving this new side of me. I’m so appreciative of your loyalty. Thank you. To my friends and roommates, for listening to me rant about men and dating. Drinks are on me. Thank you. To those of you who are mutual friends or don’t know me at all: Wow. Thank you for following my journey and for still reading this blog after I quoted Nacho Libre 40 times. Let’s get coffee after we get vaccinated. Thank you. And to the men, for being the most important part of Date a Week LA. It wouldn’t have happened without you. I feel grateful for those of you who have become my friends and confidants and supporting me even after I wrote about you. You are men of great character and any gal would be lucky to spend time with you, I know I was. Thank you. Lastly, here are my the stats from these last 52 dates: 52 Dates down, 0 to go Total number of miles driven: 500 miles (feel free to play 500 Miles by The Proclaimers) Total time spent on dates: 115 hours and 30 minutes Dates where I mentioned tortoises: 23, which is NOT 52. Success! 365 days, 52 dates, and 1 gal trying to find love - CHECK Overall Date a Week LA Experience: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The future for us (you, the reader, and me)… Date a Week LA as you and I know it – this weekly blog where you get an inside scoop into my dating life – will be over. But, it is not done. I have had some feedback from readers who want me to continue updating them about my love life. So, every month(ish), I will be updated you on my dating life. Whether it’s a beautiful budding romance or not, you will still be in the know! Also, a podcast about Date a Week LA is in the works! Stay tuned for updates about that. Lastly, the legacy of Date a Week LA lives on in Date-a-Week where people just like you and me try dating every week for themselves. In fact, you can read this week’s dates HERE. If you want to start your own Date-a-Week journey, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d also love to hear from you in general! What did you think about Date a Week LA? I’d love to connect with each of you and hear your thoughts! Call me, beep me, if you want to reach me. Next Week: I am going to Hawaii. Next Sunday, I will be waking up in Maui in 2021. I’ll get up, drink some tea, maybe swim with some sea turtles, and I’ll surely reflect on the wonderful journey of Date a Week LA. With love and gratitude, Isabel Klein