Everyone comes to Los Angeles with big dreams. I was no different. However, unlike so many of the people I hang out with at Coffee Bean, I’ve been able to accomplish many of the goals I had for myself when I came to this city. (Ok, not the big goals like “making it” or “getting respect,” but a bunch of the smaller ones. Like buying a couch. Trying to surf. Having a real live celeb vomit on my shoe. When all else fails, lower your standards.) And so, I amble through my days in a little cloud of smug satisfaction, pretty convinced that I rock. (At least, more so than you.) But then, when I’m least expecting it, I’ll catch a couple exchanging a flirtatious laugh or a lingering look. And instantly, I’m tossed into a downward spiral of jealously and self-doubt. My shoulders slump, my inner divorced-Aunt-Elaine speaks up: “Michelle, what the hell is wrong with you that you’re not able to do this one little thing that hundreds and thousands of people seem to do so easily?” I don’t know, Elaine. I don’t get it. I’m not asking for anything major. I don’t want long-term commitment; I honestly don’t care if I ever see his face again. I guess I just want the validation that someone out there sees something special in me.
I want to know that it’s real, that it isn’t just another Internet sham. (Yeah, fuck you, freecreditreport.com. FUCK YOU.) As far as I can tell I’m doing everything right. I smile. I brush my teeth and wash my face. There’s a gym where I regularly loiter (the sort that comes with buff personal trainers/actors and large credit card bills). I traipse to the farmers market with my own cleverly-designed eco-friendly bag; crowded coffee shops and laundromats are my friends. I’ve borrowed pets, raised hemlines, and made meaningful, lingering eye contact with everyone I don’t know. My t-shirts are memorable, dammit. But, as many hours as I may log walking down Wilshire or pressing refresh on my browser screen, still, it’s never happened. I KNOW most of them are older than me, they hang out in lamer neighborhoods, and more than a few have really, really shitty grammatical skills. People of Los Angeles, I implore you to let me know what the hell I’m doing wrong. What the fuck does a girl have to do to be a craigslist missed connection?
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