Notes from a Los Angeles Dating Coach in Guerneville, CA:
Clearheart Grove, the little cabin I have rented where I am going to work on my book, lies about a mile past the town of Guerneville, just off the main road. I have no idea where I am going, but my GPS takes me straight there. It’s already dark when I pull over, get out, and push open the gate that shields the property from the street. Then, I drive in, park in the ample front yard, and close the gate behind me. When I turn to look at the cabin, my heart leaps. Unlike many Internet dates who do not look like their photos, this girl doesn’t disappoint. On the outside, she is every inch as adorable as she was in the pictures she’d posted on RussianRiverRentals.com.
I punch in the code I’ve been given to the lock box and two small silver keys leap into my hand. As I slip one into the lock, my heart begins to race. I’ve driven all this way from Los Angeles and paid a full month’s rent in advance. What if I don’t like her?
I jiggle the lock and the front door flies open. This is when I remember that I have to pee—badly. I’d consumed several liters of water on the way up and hadn’t relieved myself in hours. I race to find the bathroom, forgetting the cabin completely.
I collapse into a puddle of gratitude on the toilet. When I am done releasing what seems like the entire contents of my body into the bowl, I look around the room and another wave of relief washes over me. The bathroom—with its old pedestal sink and pull-chain light above the mirror—is absolutely charming. I flush, step out into a bedroom, dart into the kitchen, and then run back into the living room. One room feels cuter, cozier, and more “cabiny” than the next. There’s warm wood everywhere—on the floors, the walls, and the furniture—and picture windows, too. Even the doors are mostly glass, allowing me to see out in every direction. A quilt-covered daybed tucked into a corner provides a perfect view of the ivy-carpeted yard that is pierced by towering redwoods. In the living room, a welcoming wing back wicker chair waits patiently by the fireplace. Other touches like an antique stove, roll top desk, and splashes of red, white, and green gingham—complete the picture. Sigh. I am in love!
Now, I am sitting at the old oak dining table in my Northern California dream cabin writing this blog. I wish you could see this place. It’s perfect. It’s Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel all rolled into one. Even the name, Clearheart Grove, sounds like something borrowed from a fairy tale. I feel completely content. This is how I felt when I first laid eyes on Benjamin. I felt like was home, like I was where I belonged. I felt like I could stop looking for something better because I knew I would never find it. It could never get any better than this.