“Sorry I’m late, I stopped at the liquor store to buy some hooch,” Gary Mathews told me. His accent is a thick southern Indiana drawl. Don’t say, “Kentucky” because he hates that state, but the accent is super close.
We stood in front of Rubio’s Coastal Grill, a restaurant which specializes in fish tacos. Since Gary had tasked me with finding the best fish tacos in San Diego, I had asked him to meet me here. He crushed me in a bear hug, made the comment about the hooch (liquor, for those of you who are not well-versed in Southern slang), and we went inside.
“OhmyGod these are so good,” he mumbled around his first bite.
Whew, he likes ‘em! He likes ‘em! Mission accomplished!
That was Wednesday night and we only had a short time together before he jumped back in his rental car and cruised into the night. He was in town for a Dad’s Blogger Convention. That is, a bunch of bloggers who are fathers and blog on fatherhood were having a convention in downtown San Diego. Gary is so famous, that he received a scholarship to attend, and was as excited as a tick at a dog convention.
Gary and I met each other online, when this blog was new. We became a Mutual Admiration Society, posting comments and likes on each other’s posts, until finally we moved to texting. We skyped a few times and I became his dating coach. Seriously, he’d send me usernames for the women that he was interested in on Match, and I would read between the lines to tell him what the profile was REALLY communicating. I’m happy to say that I helped him woo Ms. Madison, a charming school teacher and single mom who is now his fiancée. Hey, Gary, can I put you down as a reference when I become a full time Dating Coach? I’ll count you as one as my first success stories!
He paid me back by reviewing Match profiles of guys for me, too. Unfortunately, his dating coach skills aren’t as good as mine. Gary, stick to what you know! Don’t quit your day job!
BTW, Gary is a riot! He made me laugh so hard I doubled over! Honestly, this is a regular occurrence, whether I’m reading his blog or texting him. For example: on Thursday night, he wanted to go out, so I told him to check out the Gas Lamp District. It’s the famous downtown with all the clubs and bars.
Gary said, “If I were 20 years old and loaded, I’d tear it up! This place is outta my league! The bartender is dressed like a hooker. Man, I’m outta here!” He sent a picture to back up his assertion, and I must admit, her short skirt was almost a belt.
The man can also be smooth, I found out. He made a comment on one of my Facebook posts that rubbed little Sally Ann the wrong way—she’s very protective of me—and I thought World War III was about to commence. Instead, Gary commented back to her, “I meant no offense! Why, your mom talked my ear off about you on Wednesday, so much that I’m ready to adopt you myself!”
Sally was mollified and properly flattered. She thanked Gary and called off the nuclear arsenal that she had been prepping.
Luckily, Gary (aka The Skipah) made time for me on Sunday, too. We visited the famous Cove in La Jolla, which is only 30 minutes from my apartment.
Pause for a minute. How awesome is it that the beach is 30 minutes from my apartment?! And that the mountains are a short 20 minute drive in the other direction?! OH MY GOD I LIVE IN A POSTCARD!!
Ok, I’m back now. Gary looked at the sea lions and said, “You’re right, they do look kinda like slugs.” A few minutes later, he added, “I smell ‘em now! I’m ready to go – I need more fish tacos!”
He was a trooper! Our hosts (one of my coworkers and his fiancée) led us a few miles around town. We walked along the beach, then back through town for fish tacos (which weren’t as good as Rubio’s) and gelato. Gary and I bought trinkets at some souvenir shops, which reminds me: Gary, I need a pic of Sloane in her new t-shirt! It’s day-glo yellow, which I think is gawd-awful but which seems to be in style. I hope she likes it!
Gary’s overall assessment of La Jolla was summed up in two sentences, “Waaaah! I have to go home tonight! WHY?!”
That’s how Sally & Penny felt when they visited, Gary, so you’re in good company.
Gary texted me after he got home, “#FriendsForLife.”
I replied, “#ForeverFriends.”
Yep, I’m headed to a wedding in Indiana in the near future. Stockpile the hooch, there’s a Texan headed to Madison!
See more pics on my Instagram (jules_strawberry_rules) or Facebook page (Jules Strawberry). I also tweet amusing things occasionally under the handle “JulesSBerry.”
Dr. Gary Lum sent in a question which I’ll answer next week. He asked, “Why are Texans so friendly?” I have a theory, folks, which will knock your socks off!
Ok, maybe the socks will stay on, but it’s still a fabulous theory, endorsed by several California engineers! These engineers may know nothing about social engineering or psychology or sociology, but they’re friends of mine, so they *must* be right. Right?
Anywho, check back next week for more entertainment!