Romancing Me

I had a great date today. With me.

I didn’t set out thinking I’d be spending the entire afternoon solo, but as my luck would have it, I did, and it was a most delighful day. Carved to my exact specifications and exceeding all expectations.

I headed downtown to the Museum of Contemporary Art to check out the opening of the Pacific Standard Time exhibit. Admission was free today – score! I got a parking spot in a flash and happened to enter the museum at 12:59pm, just as a one o’clock tour was starting – score again! I’m not normally a tour person, but being on my own, I welcomed the company (and knew I could bail at any point I wanted to). The tour turned out to be fantastic – the docent engaged us in a conversation whereby our tour group (of four) was set up to think, share, and derive our own ideas and perspectives about the work. I guess it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea because by the time we got to the third piece, we’d lost 50% of our group, but my fellow friendly tourer, John, and I, didn’t miss them. Along the way, we even gained a second docent who seemed to enjoy the dialog as much as we did. After exploring the rest of the exhibit on my own, my stomach lead me to Little Tokyo to a ramen joint I’d been wanting to try. Notorious for long waiting lines, I experienced a shortened queue due to being a party of one – score once more! – and got the best seat in the house, at the counter in the thick of the action. I slurped my ramen while gleefully wedged in between a punky teenage girl and an elderly Japanese woman who smiled sweetly at me and surprised me by devouring every last bite of her huge bento box. After a satisfying and porky meal, I went for a stroll through Little Tokyo’s themed streets. The time passed quickly as I window shopped, popped in to gift shops, ice cream shops, bakeries, and sat in the sun sipping Hong Kong style milk tea. As the day drew to a close, I vowed to return again soon, and toted home some sweet treats to share for dessert later.

Today reminded me of something easily forgotten: even though I’m 50% of a couple (romantically and otherwise), I’m 100% of me. I’m not always going to be able to count on having a partner to be enthusiastic about my interests, and in all honestly, I enjoyed myself more on my own today that I would have with someone else in tow. Because today was all about me. I got to do things on my own terms: I dressed how I wanted (like a happy hippie with a feather in my hair), took the scenic route (which sadly for LA is not saying much), went at my own pace, ate what I wanted, conversed with new people (and got a free dessert out of it – score four!), and decided when I was ready to come home. The whole day cost barely more than $20 and it was simply perfect. I do believe I’ll be asking myself out more often.

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