Top Ten Laguna Bachelorettes
Ten of the town’s loveliest singles dish on what they’re looking for in a partner. – By Ashley Breeding | Photos by Jody Tiongc
International Account Manager, Incipio Technologies
Hobbies: Yoga, traveling, cooking, kayaking, discovering new music Nominated by: Tessa Ghenender
LBM: What is the first thing that you notice about a man? MB: Definitely his calves. I’m a sucker for good legs. LBM: Laguna men, in one word? MB: Ha, that’s a tough one—immature? LBM: Three qualities you look for in a man? MB: Loyalty, intelligence and an amazing sense of humor. But let’s be real, if he can’t fire up the grill or pull some handyman tricks out of his sleeve, I’m questioning his ability to provide. LBM: What’s a mistake you see lots of women make? MB: Settling. You’ve got to be strong enough to let go when you know it’s not right. Life is too great to spend it with a guy whose bones you don’t want to jump every day! Can I say that? LBM: Have you ever been on a blind date/speed dated/dated online? MB: Oh gosh, yes—“check please!” LBM: What’s your most annoying quirk? MB: I’m a perfectionist. Some people call it OCD. LBM: Do you believe in astrology/fate/love at first site? MB: All of the above—I play it cool, but I’m definitely a romantic at heart.
Hobbies: Ultra trail running, any and all ocean sports,
hiking, camping, photography Nominated by: Ashley Breeding
LBM: What’s the first thing you notice about a man? JP: The expression on his face. Someone who looks stern is not my type. LBM: What are the best places to meet men? JP: I don’t know. So if you know, let me know. Because I’ll go. LBM: Turnoffs? JP: Cockiness. It gets old—actually, it doesn’t get old, it gets nowhere. LBM: Why do you think you haven’t found Mr. Right? JP: My sister-in-law says I’m unavailable—too busy with work, hobbies and traveling—but I’d like to get married and have kids. LBM: Describe the worst date you’ve experienced. JP: Oooh my God. My friend set me up on a blind date—she said he loved to snowboard and the outdoors, and that we’d have so much in common. Well, he graduated from high school the year before I was born, and when I asked him about snowboarding, he said he “wasn’t into extreme sports.” LBM: What’s hotter—a clean shave and a suit or scruffiness and a tee? JP: Clean-shaven when he gets off work, no shirt—I mean a T-shirt—on the weekends.
Niki Smart, 47
Supervisor at Youth Shelter in Laguna Beach/Author
Hobbies: Yoga (she teaches teens at the shelter), writing, playing music Nominated by: Deborah DeBilzan
LBM: What’s the first thing men notice about you? NS: My (South African) accent. LBM: What is the best spot in town to meet men? NS: At the Koffee Klatch, where I’m usually sitting with my laptop. LBM: In addition to a sense of humor, what other qualities are you looking for? NS: Someone committed to growing within themselves and within the community. I’m a little unconventional, so I would need someone unconventional too. LBM: What’s an important lesson about women mothers should teach their sons? NS: That they’re a nightmare [joking]. Men and women think very differently—don’t presume you know what your partner is thinking, ask them—communicate. LBM: Does your daughter approve of the men you date? NS: She’s quicker than me to pick up which men are good and bad. Since she was little, she’s had a much better radar than I did. LBM: What’s your most annoying quirk? NS: I’m quite strong-willed. LBM: And your biggest pet peeve? NS: I don’t like smoking. I wouldn’t put up with that. And snoring. … Snoring is bad. LBM: Have you read “50 Shades of Grey?” NS: I read the first few pages. It’s really badly written.
Hobbies: Competitive tennis, skiing, hiking, yoga
and spending time with her four children and three grandchildren
Nominated by: Sandra Christ
LBM: What do you think men notice first about you? SC: That I’m physically fit. LBM: What’s the most thoughtful thing a man has ever done for you? SC: Once, on my birthday, a boyfriend cooked and served me an eight-course gourmet dinner and presented me with a meaningful gift in between every course. That’s never happened again. LBM: What’s the sweetest thing you’ve done? SC: I planned a surprise weekend away to Sedona, Ariz., with every detail handled. LBM: What is some sage advice you’ll offer your granddaughter? SC: To learn how to be happy with herself first and pay close attention to what she will learn about men from her daddy and her brother. If you get along well with them, you’re well on your way to understanding men. LBM: Your biggest pet peeve? SC: Someone who is totally opinionated and wants to expound on their opinions rather than having an open, thought-provoking discussion. Oh, and big guts on men. You do have control over that. LBM: Should the man always pay? SC: Most gentlemen will pay much of the time if they have the means. But, no, I definitely do not think they should pay all the time. … I frequently offer to pay or do something nice in return.
Interior Designer by Day, Restaurant Worker by Night (her sister is the owner of Nirvana Grille)
Hobbies: Art, cooking, hiking
Nominated by: Leslie Christen
LBM: How would you describe Laguna men? DT: Off limits—I’ve been here my whole life, so I either know them or someone who has dated them. LBM: What’s your ideal Saturday night with a mate? DT: Cooking at home, then heading out to meet up with friends. I’m pretty easygoing, just enjoy spending time with someone. LBM: Do you hope to get married? DT: I do, but I’m willing to wait as long as it takes to find the right person. LBM: What kind of man are you looking for? DT: He’s chivalrous, masculine, family oriented, someone who wants to have children. LBM: Tell me about your worst date. DT: This one guy courted me for days and days, and then on our first date, his whole family was there to meet me. It was really weird. Then at dinner, while we waited for our table at the bar, I ordered an iced tea and he proceeded to order two shots and a beer.
Liz Bates, 38
Realtor at First Team Estates
Hobbies: Singing (she’s a backup singer in a Pink Floyd cover band
called Shine On), cooking, gardening, whipping up organic beauty
products and spending time with her four children, ages 3 – 18
Nominated by: Sheré Lester
LBM: Where is the best place to meet men? LB: Doing something you love, or that’s in line with your life—wherever that is. LBM: Describe your type. LB: Successful—and that doesn’t mean money, just driven—well rounded and passionate about something. LBM: Describe your ideal Saturday night. LB: Sushi at San Shi Go … and live music. LBM: You’re a recent divorcee; do you hope to remarry? LB: I think marriage ruins a relationship. Once you’re married, you become property. If [a man] feels like he can never really have you, he’ll always want you. LBM: What is one lesson about women that every mother should teach her son? LB: Chivalry isn’t dead. My 18-year-old son still runs ahead of me to open the car door. I taught him to treat women the way I’d want to be treated by a man. LBM: What’s your most irritating quality? LB: My ex-husband would say I’m too much of a free spirit. I like my independence. A man is a [big] part of my life but not the center of my universe.
Realtor at Surterre Properties
Hobbies: Playing tennis, dancing, traveling- Nominated by: Elana Edelman
LBM: What kind of dancing do you do? AH: I like going out and dancing to house music or hip-hop. LBM: As a Laguna native, how would you describe the local men? AH: Hard to get … hard to find … also genuinely happy because they love where they live. LBM: In what way are they hard to get? AH: Hard to break through and get to know. They have a hard exterior and a softer inside. LBM: Would you date a guy who lives with his parents? AH: I have. … It depends on the circumstances. If they’re not out on their own, and I have to show them how the world works, that won’t work. LBM: Describe your worst-ever date. AH: One time a guy planned out the whole date, and then he didn’t pay for anything. He didn’t even pull out his wallet. We didn’t see each other again. LBM: Why do you think you haven’t found the right guy? AH: I’m looking for that “spark.” I don’t want to settle down just to do it.
Hobbies: Spending time outdoors—hiking, running,
rollerblading, charity work – Nominated by: Twin sister, Ashley Jones
LBM: What kind of charity work are you involved in? AJ: I volunteer at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation when I have time. LBM: What do you think men first notice about you? AJ: My height (5-foot-9-inches tall) … or that I’m running around with a girl who looks just like me. LBM: What do you look for in a potential partner? AJ: Someone who has a good heart, can make me laugh and is motivated. LBM: Describe your ideal date. AJ: Going for a hike (Crystal Cove, Laguna Canyon) … then maybe to the Rooftop for drinks and appetizers. LBM: Tell me about the worst date you’ve been on. AJ: My dad set me up with this guy [who] took me out bowling on a double date, but then he wouldn’t give me a ride home. I had to call one of my friends to come get me. LBM: Do you prefer a guy in a T-shirt with a 5 o’clock shadow, or a clean shave and a suit? AJ: Clean-shaven; you don’t see many guys dressed up these days.
Hobbies: Hiking, beach volleyball, kickball – Nominated by: Jenn Prewitt
LBM: Through your experience as a wedding photographer, what have you learned about relationships? CZ: That it is important to be secure and happy with yourself before committing to a lifetime partnership. Also, in my career I have captured couples from their 20s to their 80s, so I know that we can find love at any age! LBM: Why did you choose this career—are you a hopeless romantic, or did you just see it as a smart way to make money at your craft? CZ: My true passion is in wildlife and nature photography. Photographing weddings has allowed me to travel to places like Africa and pursue my dream. I didn’t expect to enjoy photographing weddings as much as I do. LBM: If you could be stranded on an island with a man of your choice, who would it be? CZ: D.B. Sweeney from “The Cutting Edge.” LBM: What great characteristics do you have to offer in a relationship? CZ: I’m honest, adventurous, have a good sense of humor, love being active and playing sports. LBM: Biggest turn-offs? CZ: Arrogance, laziness. LBM: Why do you think you haven’t found “the right man?” CZ: This is the first time in my life I have been ready!
Production Artist at Hurley
Hobbies: Cooking, spin, dinner parties with friends,
painting, live music – Nominated by: Brita Corradini
LBM: Would you date someone who didn’t have a job? TG: It depends on the circumstances. If I met someone who was unemployed but was actively looking for a job it would be OK, but not if a guy was jobless out of pure laziness. … I’m working very hard on my career, and I think it is a huge turn-on for a guy to be successful and passionate in his line of work. LBM: What’s the nicest thing you have ever done for a guy? TG: A guy I was seeing was studying for the bar exam, so I made him a survival kit: Smart Water, Smarties candies, Smart Pop. LBM: What’s your long-term domestic plan? TG: I’d like to get married someday. … My parents have been super happily married for 25 years and set the perfect example. … I want three kids, all boys. LBM: Describe your worst date. TG: A guy invited me over for dinner, but when I got to his house, there was no dinner. And he was wearing sweatpants. LBM: Have you read “50 Shades of Grey?” If yes, would you recommend it? TG: No, but I’m a little curious: It’s turned my friends (who have read it) into kinky, weird people. LBM