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Karina and Jared: “I decided to take a chance and meet him…”

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In December 2007, Jared’s friend Aaron assisted Jared in writing an email to me that simply said, “Hi, Where are you from?” This was one of the many emails I had received and my profile clearly stated a location, Los Angeles. I thought maybe he wanted to know specifically where in Los Angeles since there are many towns within the large area. I had recently also had a bad experience with JDate and wasn’t ready to have another. With my sarcastic sense of humor, I wrote him back with, “Hlwd.”

As many of you are probably wondering, what does “Hlwd” mean if you’re not from the area? Jared wondered the same thing. About a week later he wrote me back asking me the meaning of my message. I didn’t think that if he’s from Orange County, he wouldn’t understand. Plus, my profile clearly stated Los Angeles, so why was he asking me where I’m from?

After several messages back and forth, I happened to be going to Orange County for New Year’s Eve weekend to spend some time with my sister, and since I was in Jared’s neighborhood, I thought it might be a good time to kill two birds with one stone. I emailed Jared asking him if he wanted to meet for a drink on that Friday. He wrote back to decline because he was going to be in Los Angeles that weekend celebrating New Year’s with his friends and suggested we get together the following week. He then asked for my phone number to call me about making plans.

The first phone call came Tuesday at noon while he was driving around. I didn’t understand what he did for a living, even after he explained it. I thought he was out of a job because he was driving around in the middle of the afternoon while I was working. After several bad phone conversations, Jared asked to get together with me on Saturday, January 5th. I decided to take a chance and meet him since he did offer to drive to Los Angeles. I suggested meeting at a local restaurant/bar near my apartment called Falcon.

I was getting ready when he called to tell me that the restaurant was closed. He then made a suggestion to go to The Coffee Bean® near the restaurant. He just so happened to see the sign for Coffee Bean written above the Ralph’s® Supermarket sign. What that means is that the Coffee Bean is inside the supermarket. But everyone knows that, right? Apparently not.

When he suggested Coffee Bean, I thought is this guy serious? I then learned that my thoughts were actually spoken out loud. I then made a suggestion to meet at El Compadre, a Mexican restaurant that is also walking distance from my apartment. At the time, Jared thought I wasn’t being very nice on the phone and he phoned his friend Aaron to tell him that. Aaron suggested he stand me up and get out of there. Jared thought that wasn’t a bad idea, but he thought I was pretty enough to meet anyway. At this point, he just wanted to see what I looked like.

I was running late since the phone conversation took me away from getting ready. Plus, I had just bought a new pair of brown boots and had trouble zipping them. Finally I got out of the house, ran across the street and down the block to the Mexican restaurant. When I opened the door, I saw Jared standing there by the wall, smiling at me, and I knew he was different.

El Compadre was really packed so I suggested walking to Cheebo, a restaurant that is only another block away. During our walk, I was a little cold and Jared gave up his jacket to let me wear it. When we got to the restaurant, Jared seemed to be so happy and loved this new restaurant because it was an orange color. Who knew that he would love orange that much? And that was our beginning of a New Year together.

Karina and Jared
Irvine, California

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