Michelle wants to go on 365 dates in a year. She calls her project Michelle365. “I’m really using the term dates loosely as an excuse to get to meet all different types of people.”
She cares more about personality than looks. “I asked the guy who works at a landfill out on a date, because I happened to be on a landfill. I asked a valet parker out to see if my stereotypes of a valet parker are true or not. I thought he didn’t have any other options. I was wrong. He made upwards of $15 an hour; he was the manager of the valet parking [company, and] he had ambitions to open his own valet business. He’s a guy who was around my age and ended up being from Peru and we had such a great time. I think going on a journey like this, I have certain expectations in my head, but maybe nothing comes out of it, and I have to be OK with that, too.”
“What do you like to do?” I ask. “I love wakeboarding, I play soccer, hiking — really just being physically active. I teach disabled skiers once a month in Mammoth, and I love doing that. And I took one of my dates up there, actually. See, that’s the thing. I went on a date with a guy who has muscular dystrophy and is in a wheelchair. And if I wasn’t doing this 365 thing, I would have never asked him out. And he’s the reason I started teaching adaptive skiing.”
Michelle’s had a lot of different jobs. She taught snowboarding in Canada, taught English in Hawaii and real estate investing in Arizona. She works part time at all of her jobs because she can’t handle doing the same thing every day. “Now I’m doing social media for a documentary filmmaker, and I’m kind of waiting to get a full-time job, because I want to do a road trip this summer for three months.” She doesn’t strike me as the full-time job type, so I wouldn’t hold your breath. I ask her if there is an ideal job she’d like to try. “I just don’t want to work. [I’d] live in Hawaii again and body board for awhile,” she jokes. At least I think it’s a joke. “Documentaries are my ideal. I’ve had all these little jobs, and I love them all. Just not five days a week. There’s a burn-out factor.”
I ask her what she wants in a guy. “Outdoorsy, likes animals, a little beard is always sexy but not necessary. I think someone who knows how to find that balance between alone time but also caring and relying and checking in to see how my day went — and vice versa. I’ve lived with a guy before, and I think my ideal would be having your own space — possibly not living together — even in marriage. I feel like it’s so nice to be excited about seeing somebody, and if he wants to leave his dirty socks around, let him … but in his space.”
She recently asked a friend to set her up on a blind date. She met him at Opaque, the restaurant where you eat in complete darkness. She went to the table before he got there so she couldn’t see what he looked like. “I was envisioning him to look [one way], and he ended up looking completely different. But [he was] a cute guy. It was awesome. I can’t do the same thing every day. Someone who’s really closed-minded about new adventures would just frustrate the hell out of me. I love stepping out of my comfort zone and challenging the status quo, and I think what’s the point of life without it?”
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Seth Menachem is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. You can see more of his work on his Web site, sethmenachem.com, and meet even more single peeps at mysinglepeeps.com.