Share This

Dating Ell-A: The Italian Job

The Incredibly True Tales of Two Women Dating in L.A.

“You’re going to love our date.” Marco said, stepping on the gas of his new Mercedes sedan. The car gave out a smooth purr and accelerated as we made our way west on Washington Blvd. toward Venice. Marco was Italian, good looking and, after about the first twenty minutes of riding with him, seemed altogether fabulous.

Marco pulled into a run-down mini-mall right near Main Street and slid his car into a tight parking space. I looked at the row of faded neon signs above and thought that unless we were eating dinner at Little Caesar’s or Subway, I had absolutely no idea what we were doing there.

“Come on.” He said, getting out of the car.

“I thought we were going to dinner?

“Dinner later. Now, we go …” He pointed to a sign in the corner of the mini-mall emblazoned with large purple block letters: Mani Pedi Palace.

“For me?” I asked, wondering if, in lieu of first date flowers, Marco had decided to treat me to a mani/pedi.

“No.” Marco said, “For us.”

For us? Our first date was going to have a his/her mani/pedi?


“I like to get weekly mani/pedis. And since you’re with me, you will too. My treat.” Marco said. I acquiesced and for the next hour Marco and I sat in matching salon chairs, trying to make small talk while petite women busily soaked, filed and massaged our feet and fingers.

During the course of our “digits” grooming, the woman taking care of me leaned in and whispered, “Oh, you know Marco long time?”

“Ah…no. It’s a first date.”

“Ohhh. Marco. He come in a lot. Very wealthy man.”

If “Marco” came here a lot, did he take all his first dates here? And did he pay the manager to make the employees say stuff like that? My thoughts were only allowed to ponder these questions for a  brief moment as Marco soon leaned his head toward my other ear and said, “ The next time I find a woman I like, I am going to hang on to her and not let her go.” Marco leaned back and I turned to him with a And what exactly do you mean by that? look on my face. Saying nothing, he simply gave me a wink and a smile, closed his eyes and enjoyed the rest of his mani/pedi.

On our way to the restaurant, Marco took out a bottle of hand crème he had flown in regularly from Germany and offered me some. After I politely declined, he proceeded to lather it all over his hands while driving 85 miles-an-hour on the PCH driving to dinner at Geoffrey’s.

Chalking up all of Marco’s eccentricities to the fact that he was Italian, I reluctantly decided to give him another date. And so, one week later, Date # 2 began…

Ding Dong!

I opened the door. “Bon giorno.” Marco said. He was standing there in pearl white linen Armani suit, which was perfectly color coordinated with the gold box of Teuscher chocolates resting in his hands. “For you.”

As he handed me the chocolates, I forgot all about both the mani/pedi and the disturbing hand lotion bath. Not only had Marco remembered my favorite brand of chocolate (which I had mentioned during our previous dinner), but he was sweet enough to buy a box.

Eh-hem. Marco cleared his throat in the overly dramatic way that seemed more appropriate for a sitcom than real life.


“Well? Are you going to open it?”

I smiled. “I’d rather wait until tonight. Don’t want to spoil our dinner.”

“I think you should open it now, it would be wonderful!”

“That’s okay, Mar—“

“I want to eat a piece.”

“Well, in that case, sure.” I opened the box and, keeping my now faux-smile plastered on my face while secretly hoping I wasn’t going to become the story a future CSI episode is based on, held it out toward him.

“Thank you.” He said, popping a truffle in his mouth. “You are so lucky you can eat this chocolate and still look so good.”

“Don’t I know it.” I began to put the lid back on the box, but Marco’s hand zipped out like a striking cobra, landing between the lid and the box. He shook his head in the manner of a father scolding his daughter, pulled the box from my hands and began to gulp down chocolate after chocolate like some sort of primeval monster.

Five minutes later, with the box nearly empty, he took out a tissue and carefully placed the remaining chocolates in it. Finished, he folded the napkin over the chocolates, slid it into his jacket pocket and handed me back the box.

Suffice it to say, our dinner that evening was one of the shortest in the history of mankind and I never saw Marco again. No one stands between a women and her favorite box of chocolates – especially not the guy now known as the Italian Job.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Carol Browne