Scrambled or Sunny-side Up?

Black-Women-Study

“But you’re 37 years old. The only way you could have kids is through scientific technology. You’re too old to have them naturally.”

I know I said I was taking a dating break.  That lasted for an entire 2 ½ weeks.  What can I say?  I’m a sucker.  You can’t keep a sistah down for the count for too damn long!  LOL!  And I didn’t go looking for a date.  It just crept up on me.  I was having a late night in the office last week and to my surprise I got a phone call from “Joseph.”  I met “Joseph months ago at a Grammy Event.  I didn’t really think much of it when I gave him my business card.  I was networking and we happened to be standing next to each other at the bar and he struck up a conversation.  Did I mention the Grammy’s were in February?  It is now October.  So we are talking a good eight months later!  Eight fucking months and he just decided to call?!  Really?

Joseph:  I know you probably don’t remember me.  We met at that Grammy event a while back.

Me:  I remember you.  How have you been?

Joseph:  I’ve been great.  How about you?

Me:  Since I last saw you, I got married, had 2.5 children…

Joseph:  I know it’s been a while and I was taking a chance calling you.  I was working on finishing up my doctorate and I just graduated a few weeks ago and now have more time on my hands.

Me:  Congratulations.

Joseph:  Thank you.  Are you busy this weekend?

I knew I had decided to take a break.  But I was slightly intrigued and even more so bored.  I needed to get back in the dating scene to hone my skills.  It’s easy to get rusty if you don’t get out there for too long.  From what I remember “Joseph” was a decent looking guy.  And we shared a mutual friend so he came with references.

Me:  I’m free Sunday afternoon.

Joseph:  Okay.  Cool.  I’ll text you a spot Sunday morning for us to meet up.  Let’s say 2pm?

Me:  See you then.

black-couple-laughing-

I didn’t really think much of it when I gave him my business card. I was networking and we happened to be standing next to each other at the bar and he struck up a conversation.

On Sunday I found myself pulling up to Mi Piace in Old Pasadena.  And there was “Joseph.”  He was a little older than I remembered… actually A LOT older.  Now anyone who is a loyal reader to my blog knows I have a tendency to date men who are slightly older than me.  I just like a man with a little bit of experience and salt and pepper hair around the temples.  But I recently came to the conclusion that 47 which is ten years older than me is my age limit.  Looking at “Joseph” he had to be a good 50 years old!  A handsome 50 years old, but definitely older.  I was suddenly relieved it was an afternoon date.  I could easily be in and out.

He pulled out my chair for me… you know men who are older are old school gentleman.  That was a plus.  I immediately started thinking about women I knew in the late 40’s/early 50’s that I could hook him up with.  I ordered a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and the conversation ensued.  “Joseph” was a father of 3 boys.  His oldest son was 32 years old.  Yep…I said it… 32 years old…also known as 5 years younger than me.  He had 2 granddaughters.  And come to find out “Joseph” was 53 years old!  And since he had just gotten his doctorate in Spiritual Philosophy he was the “authority” on every topic under the sun.  He talked about his life story growing up in the projects and making his way out to become a successful Scientist.  His life story was quite interesting.  I was impressed and moved by his story.  But it was a LONG story considering there were five decades to cover.

Then we got on the topic of religion.  I could have sworn religion and politics were two topics to avoid on a first date.  I could appreciate that he considered himself to be spiritual and not religious.  I had major issues with “religious” judgmental, hypocritical people.  I had experienced being part of a church first family and heard how they spoke about their congregants and preached one thing and lived a completely different way Monday-Saturday.  I knew I could never be in another situation like that.  Don’t get me wrong, it is important that my man is Christian but I also know it was equally important he was a spiritual person not a dogmatic religious type.  There I go digressing…

Young woman rolling her eyes

I started doing what I normally did when I tuned out. I started thinking about my grocery list for the week, what color I was going to paint my room, my outfits for my upcoming homecoming weekend at my Alma Matter.

My point was, “Joseph” went on a long diatribe about… well I don’t remember exactly what it was about because I tuned out after the first 6 minutes of the his monologue.  I started doing what I normally did when I tuned out.  I started thinking about my grocery list for the week, what color I was going to paint my room, my outfits for my upcoming homecoming weekend at my Alma Matter.  I didn’t realize I had completely tuned out until “Joseph” chimed in.

Joseph:  Did you want to order dessert?

Me:  Oh no.  I am full.  Besides today isn’t my cheat day.

Joseph:  Cheat day?

ME:  Yeah.  I try to watch what I eat.  I look forward to the day when I don’t have to think about it.

Joseph:  When would that be?

Me: Probably when I’m pregnant.  I won’t eat like crazy but at least I won’t have to worry about sucking in.

This was a conversation I would normally NEVER have with a man I was interested in.  But since I had already decided I was putting “Joseph” in the friend category I wasn’t concerned about impressing him.  Also, I knew since he had grandkids already he certainly wasn’t interested in having any more children.  It was my easy way out.

Joseph:  You want kids?

Me:  Of course!  I can’t wait to be a mom one day.

Joseph:  How many?

MeProbably two.

Joseph:  But you’re 37 years old.  The only way you could have kids is through scientific technology.  You’re too old to have them naturally.

Me:  Excuse me?

Joseph:  I’m just stating the scientific facts.  You’re up there in age and you probably will have to go the IVF route to have kids.  You don’t have many viable eggs left.

Me:  That’s not true.  What are you talking about?

Joseph:  It is true. It’s just science.  Each year you are losing eggs.  And the eggs you have are probably not good eggs. Women who have kids at your age go have to go to fertility specialist.  I guess I have to think about whether or not I want more kids if I am going to date you.

eggs

I recently had the reassurance that I in fact had a young uterus and plenty of healthy eggs. So my baby making days weren’t behind me. As a matter of fact I knew I had some time on the clock. I was relieved. It was nice to know my clock and my ambitions were on the same page.

I couldn’t believe this guy!  I couldn’t believe he actually said that with a straight face.  I realized I was out with the guy who thought he knew everything because he had just gotten his doctorate!  Perhaps this was the bullshit he fed to insecure woman so he could convince them not to have any more kids.  I had to remind myself “Joseph” and I shared a mutual friend.  So I didn’t want to go off on him and risk putting our friend in an awkward situation.  I also knew I would more than likely run into him again and I didn’t want shit to get weird.  That’s the highs and lows of dating someone where you both share a mutual friend.  If shit works out GREAT, but if not, you have to be cognizant of all parties involved.  This was part of my dating growth.  Back in my heyday, I wouldn’t have given a damn.  I would have walked the fuck out and kept it moving.  But now that I was wiser and had more dating “maturity” (I say that sarcastically) I was doing things different.

Me:  Well, Joseph.  I think you’re a nice guy.  But I think you and I are at two different places in life.  You are winding down and I am just beginning to enter a certain stage of my life that you have obviously graduated from.

I know that was a settle Read.  What can I say?  My old bitch habits are hard to shake.

Joseph:  You’re probably right.

Me:  But thanks for a great lunch.  And I will see you around.

He stood up and gave me a hug.  And a walked out of the restaurant and got in my car.

I could have fallen for this settle manipulation and general overall ignorance.  As a matter of fact, to be perfectly honest, although I know I want kids eventually, I am enjoying my life right now.  For me, I can’t even think about having children until I meet the man who will ultimately be my husband.  That’s my personal choice and I do not knock women who decide to do it on their own.  That is their personal choice.  I thank God every single day I did not have children with my ex-husband.  My guardian angels were looking out for me!  I was grateful I would have my future children with the right man… my soul mate.

In recent years, I have been around women where it has been difficult for them to conceive.  I see the pain in their eyes and the heartache of the uncertainty of knowing if they will one day experience what it is like to rub their pregnant bellies and give birth to their biological children.  And these are women who would make amazing mothers.  And it is pretty fucking scary thought.   Ironically, we spend most of our 20’s avoiding getting pregnant.  And being “responsible” and taking the necessary precautions to make sure we do not “slip” up.   And then when you are ready.  You want it to happen immediately.  And for some people it ain’t easy.  And that is so unfortunate.

black-baby

Don’t get me wrong, there does come a point in a woman’s life where they do need to consider their birthing/motherhood options. Time stops for no one.

I recently had the reassurance that I in fact had a young uterus and plenty of healthy eggs.  So my baby making days weren’t behind me.  As a matter of fact I knew I had some time on the clock.  I was relieved.  It was nice to know my clock and my ambitions were on the same page.  And suddenly the sun was shining brighter and a wave of calm came over me.  I was one of the lucky ones.

However, “Joseph’s” statement had my brain scrambled.  Is this the new thing some men are doing?  Making women feel insecure about their child bearing years?  Is this why so many women of a certain age start freaking out about their biological clock and then make bad dating decisions based on the fear that their time is running out?  Now that I am a certain age why were certain people attempting to make my biological clock tick faster than it needed to?  Why did I feel the need to fit into someone else’s box.  Before I got the reassuring news of my fertility, I was freaking out.  Although my life is great where it is, I had begun to think about the future.  The “what ifs” the “Worse case scenarios” the “Oh shit, time is ticking.”

biological-clock

Is this why so many women of a certain age start freaking out about their biological clock and then make bad dating decisions based on the fear that their time is running out? Now that I am a certain age why were certain people attempting to make my biological clock tick faster than it needed to?

Thank goodness I knew I was okay.  And why wouldn’t I be?  When I thought about it, women like Halle Berry, Kim Fields, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Nia Long, Celene Dion, Tina Fey, Salma Hayek, Nicole Kidman, and Madonna had given birth to their own biological children in their 40’s!  And let’s take this to real life non celebrities.  My mentor gave birth to her first child when she was 43 years old.  So why was I allowing other’s people’s issues and biological clocks to effective my view of my own baby making years?

halle pregnant

Thank goodness I knew I was okay. And why wouldn’t I be? When I thought about it, women like Halle Berry, Kim Fields, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Nia Long, Celene Dion, Tina Fey, Salma Hayek, Nicole Kidman, and Madonna had given birth to their own biological children in their 40’s!

Being single and in your 30’s is fun, exhilarating, and freeing, but it is also stressful and can really knock you down at times.  We have enough to worry about so why put extra shit on our plates worrying about the biological clock?  I realized there are so many women out there who have allowed this worry and concern to dominate how they approach dating where it isn’t even fun anymore because they are dating out of desperation instead of enjoyment.  And I believe some men perpetuate this insecurity by making dumb ass statements similar to “Joseph’s”.  And we actually believe that shit and are buying into the foolery.

black-mom-baby

I can’t wait to be a mom one day!

Don’t get me wrong, there does come a point in a woman’s life where they do need to consider their birthing/motherhood options.  Time stops for no one.  And it is a reality that women of a certain age have to deal with.  But cross that bridge when you get to it!  In the meantime do NOT let anyone dictate your clock.  And by all means do not let your fear of the unknown push you into dating desperation.  Think back to how it was when you were dating in your 20’s.  There was a certain amount of freedom you had because you knew you had options.  If you saw shit that wasn’t right, you kept it moving.  Why does that have to change when you hit your 30’s?  Why do you suddenly feel the need to settle for some bullshit because you are scared you won’t get shit?  IT’s time to reclaim your own timing and remember who you are and what you are bringing to the table.  All will work itself out.  Just allow yourself to enjoy the process and date freely without fear.  After all, that’s the beauty of dating in your 30’s in up.  Been there, done that, learned the lesson, and are fully open to the journey.

Monique K.Bradley

I can be found on: Facebook | Twitter | Google+        

 

That’s the Breaks!

Black Couple Kissing

My goodness, the man who ends up worthy enough to truly experience my love is going to be one happy man!

She’s baaaaack!  It feels good to come out of the dating darkness into the light and feel hopefulness again.  I try to learn a lesson with each dating experience I have.  So what did my last dating experience teach me?  Well… Hmmmm… I learned that I can still feel for someone and get excited about a potential relationship.  I learned that it’s okay to take a chance and let your walls down.  Although the potential relationship turned out sour as a lemon I can make Lemonade knowing that the part of me that wants to give love is still alive and well.  My goodness, the man who ends up worthy enough to truly experience that from me is going to be one happy man!  And I’m actually excited about giving my love to someone worthy.  I promised myself that I would not let this experience take away from my true soul mate.  There I go digressing…

Most importantly I learned as much as I am open for a relationship and excited about the possibility of forever with someone.  Being by myself and happy is far better than being in a relationship where someone isn’t honoring who I am and where my needs aren’t being fulfilled.  I could have stayed married if I thought that was all I could get.  There are MAJOR benefits to being single and happy than settling for some bullshit!  I am once again embracing my Singledom and enjoying dating myself again.   I have made the conscious choice to take a dating break for a while until I meet someone worthwhile to change that.  And I am not doing the bitter woman bitch rant,  “I don’t need a man.”  Hell, we all need men.  And there is nothing wrong with saying that.  That doesn’t make you any less of a woman or any less independent.  I am simply enjoying Me while I wait for the right WE circumstance.

Perhaps I am not the only person who has decided to go on a dating break.  Well, maybe I shouldn’t call it a dating break, but instead I will call it taking a self discovery moment.  Here’s how I am spending my time:

 

© Copyright 2010 CorbisCorporation

Taking ME out on fabulous dates…

Taking ME out on fabulous dates.  Once a week I have vowed to take myself to a nice restaurant or try a new wine at a great bar and enjoy sitting there by myself.  And when I say sitting by myself, that doesn’t mean distracting myself with my iPad or going through Facebook and Instagram on my iPhone.  Nope!  I am staying in the moment and just enjoying being out by myself.  I have said this before, if you can’t date yourself how in the world are you going to know how to date someone else?!

 

Vision_board

Revise Vision Board

Revising my vision board. I realized I hadn’t updated my vision board since 2012.  A lot has changed n the last 2 years.  My needs, wants, and desires have grown into something bigger and more specific.  So I am taking the time to focus on the board and not rush through it.  Each night this week I have dedicated to spending time in my meditation room updating my vision board.

 

Notepad

Revise list on what you’re looking for in a relationship

Revise your list of what you are looking for in a relationship. I guess that could also be part of your vision board.

 

Red Carpet

Refocus your energy on passion projects

Refocus on my passion projects. My friends have been informed I am no longer available weekend days because I am focusing all of my energy on my passion projects.  (more to come on that)

 

married couple

Spend time with happily married couples

Spend time around happily married couples and people who are in loving new relationships. There is something so precious about being around a couple who is passionately in love with each other and experiencing the highs of new found love.  And there is also something endearing about being around married couples who are still friends with each other and have a solid foundation.  It’s important to surround yourself around what you are ultimately looking for.  It lets you know it’s possible. And it’s always nice to see it in action as a reminder.

 

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Spend time with loved ones

Spend time bonding with loved ones. Whether it’s a random phone call, having them over for dinner, or sending them a card.  Reach out to family members.  It’s easy to get lost in this shuffle we call life.  One of my favorite quotes, “Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you will look back and realize they were big things.”

 

bath

Enjoy your ME time

Last and certainly not least enjoy your ME time. There is something so wonderful about coming home to peace and quiet, blasting Bravo TV, walking around your house in the nude, eating breakfast for dinner, sleeping in the middle of the bed, and coming and going as you please, and living your life on your own terms.  That doesn’t mean you don’t want a relationship, but there is something to be said about having time to yourself and enjoying it.

Even a self proclaimed serial dater has to decide to wait on what’s right instead of spending time I will never get back.  It’s time to get back to the basics.  Don’t worry; I have an entire dating rolodex I can reach into for tales of foolery from past dates.  But for now, this Serial Dater in taking a much needed dating break!
Monique K.Bradley

I can be found on: Facebook | Twitter | Google+        

 

The Yo-Yo Effect

Yo-Yo

The problem with the emotionally unavailable man is the Emotional Yo-Yo effect that occurs.

My loyal readers know, I do not discuss who I am currently dating.  I do this for several reasons:

Reason Number One:  If he happens to be a little nosey and decide to read my blog I do not want him to know I have written about the details of our relationship. And go running for the hills.  I already acknowledge it takes a special kind of a man with extra confidence and security to consider dating a woman who writes a relationship blog.  It actually takes a lot of courage!  I have often wrestled with the decision to keep going with the blog or shut the site down because I worry that it could scare my potential soul mate off.  But then I realize the man who I end up with is going to have to understand writing is my passion and this blog is the starting point of something greater (big things are coming to fruition!).  On a side note, I am looking forward to the day I can rename this blog Confessions of a FORMER Serial Dater in LA.  I can’t wait to annoy my readers with stories about my MAN!  And how wonderful he is!  Seriously, that will make an even better blog.  But until that day happens I will continue to write about my dating foolery on my journey to meet him.  There I go digressing….

Reason Number Two:  There are some things I believe in reserving for my intimate circle of friends. And to my loyal readers- don’t take offense to this.  I pour out my heart and soul to you on these posts.  But there are some things I do not want floating in cyber space.  Some things should be reserved for private conversations.

Reason Number Three:  If things work out with me and the guy there are certain things about our relationship that will be left between just the two of us. You’ve seen it before, and I have longed for it for years, those couples that have a secret language that just the two of them speak, things that only the two of them know. How can you create that when you are telling every single detail to the world.

Black-woman-using-computer

When people find out that I write a dating blog one of the first questions I get is, “Do you let the guys know you write a blog?”

When people find out that I write a dating blog one of the first questions I get is, “Do you let the guys know you write a blog?”  This question is usually asked one of two ways 1) in utter fascination and excitement or 2) complete and total disgust.  I get it, folks either think I am brilliant or an absolute fool to write so candidly about dates.  Again, this all comes with the territory of being a dating blogger.  I usually tell a man by the first or second date that I am a dating blogger.  As my loyal readers know, it is very rare I actually give a guy a second date because I know by the first date if I see it going anywhere.  Or they show their ass so badly on the first date I rather pluck my eyebrows out one by one than go out with them again.  I am at a point in my life where I am DWP (dating with purpose).  I refuse to waste my time on fools.  So if I give a guy a second date, then I like to let him know about the blog.  Besides, if they Google me there I am in full color with the link to my blog!  Go figure!  I don’t make it a big deal.  It’s very matter of fact.  Usually, when you’re getting to know someone the topic of hobbies and passion projects will always come up.  So typically here’s how the conversation will go:

Guy:  What do you like to do outside of work?

Me:  Well, I write a dating blog?

Guy: (head tilt) Really?

Me:  It’s kind of like Sex and the City Meets LA from an African American female perspective.

Guy:  Interesting… You’re not going to write about me are you?

Me:  Don’t give me anything to write about! 

It’s short and simple and to the point.  And it’s honest.  This very conversation came up with a guy I was dating.  But he asked that I not write about him in the blog (there was an entire back story to how it came up in conversation but I won’t even comment on that hater).  And I gave him my word that regardless of what happened with us, I would not write about him in my blog.  And I am a woman of my word.  Since I promised him that I wouldn’t write about him I have to honor my word.  Not because I give a shit about him but because I believe in being a woman of my word.  However, I didn’t say I wouldn’t write about what I personally learned from the experience.

And with that I bring to you today’s #MondayMemo.  The timing of this question/topic from my loyal reader came at the perfect time.  And since I am officially back to 100% after being the in depths of a dating depression I figured I would clue my readers on what was going on with me since one of my followers was having a similar experience.  You are not alone ladies… You are not alone!!!

What about emotionally unavailable men?  Guys that go from one relationship to another looking for something to fill a void in their lives that they never will an hurting people in the process…

That’s a hard one.  The problem with the emotionally unavailable man is the Emotional Yo-Yo effect that occurs.  Things start off great.  He is doing everything and anything it takes to be with you.  The phone calls are endless.  There is a connection: mental, emotional, physical, etc.  You start feeling things you have never felt before.  You start to let your wall down and really allow yourself to let someone in.  And for a lot of us 30 something women it’s a feeling that we haven’t experienced in a long time.  And finally you let the wall down.  You decide to go with it.  You’re tired of testing out how cold the water is with your big toe and you decide to go ahead, take a chance and jump in and then that’s when it happens.  He pulls back, the calls start become less often.  You feel the distance.  It is palpable.  All of those amazing texts you were getting lessen.  The amount of time you were spending together dwindles and then you go into full panic mode.  You call your girlfriends and they are all trying to talk you off the ledge and figure out what going on.  SO the tactic you resort to is to pull back as well.  The second you pull back and mimic his behavior, then the phone calls start again and the interest is heightened and then you feel like you have reached a mutual ground.  You think to yourself, “I was tripping.  I was clearly over reacting.  We ARE on the same page after all.  How could I have doubted this man?”  So you let your guards down and then a few weeks later the same think happens.  He starts acting strange.  This time you decide I’m a grown ass woman.  Why should I reach out to friends when I can contact the source directly?  So you have a grown woman conversation…

couple-talking1

You decide I’m a grown ass woman. Why should I reach out to friends when I can contact the source directly? So you have a grown woman conversation…

You:  Is everything cool?

Him:  Of course.  Why do you ask?

You:  I just sense that you are detaching.  Just want to make sure all is well and we are still on the same page. 

Him:  Of course.

So you let it go and pull back a little and the same thing keeps happening.  You pull back he returns you push forward he runs.

Does this scenario sound familiar?  If you are a single woman in your 30’s… Actually even if you are now married this scenario should sound familiar.  It’s happened to the best of us when dating.  However, we each have a choice.  At this age you know when you are in a situation with an emotionally unavailable man.  However, knowledge is power and experience is the strength.  When you see this happening and feel it and you have tried and you are still getting the Yo-Yo effect that’s when you know it’s time to roll.  I know it’s hard because feelings are there.  But you can NOT waste your time and pretty on a man who just doesn’t have the emotionally capacity to handle it.  It doesn’t make him an asshole… well actually it does.  But you have the choice to leave the situation.

I know women who have put up with this shit for YEARS.  As much as I love Sex and the City it has given women a false hope that their personal “Mr. Big” will eventually change his mind and they will end up together.  Don’t forget, Carrie waited 10 years for Mr. Big. 10 fucking years!  She went through him marrying someone else, having an affair with her, standing her up at the alter, and years of the Yo-Yo effect before he finally decided to marry her.  Ain’t nobody got time for that!  So my advice when you are dealing with the Emotionally Unavailable man is to run run run as fast as you can!  Don’t subscribe t the idea that you won’t meet anybody else where you “have that same chemistry.”  Don’t hold on thinking he will change.\

Carrie-and-Big-carrie-and-big-603718_445_300

As much as I love Sex and the City it has given women a false hope that their personal “Mr. Big” will eventually change his mind and they will end up together.

Furthermore, when you do decide to move on, make it a clean break.  Do NOT under any circumstances remain friends with him.  That’s a trap!  You will find yourself still talking to him and possibly being intimate with him and that hope will return and you will be right back at square one.  My typical break up rule is when I decide to be done with a man I am done.  He doesn’t get the added benefit of us being friends.

Lastly, if you find yourself in this situation, don’t beat up on yourself for decisions you have made.  WE have ALL been there.  The difference is the amount of time we have spent in that Yo-Yo cycle.  You must believe that the right guy is out there for you.  You also can not hold back with the next man because of what the emotionally unavailable man did or didn’t do.  Don’t let the current guy pay for the past asshole’s mistakes.  I know I sounded pessimistic and hopeless over my last few blogs.  Dating can sometimes get the best of us.  And I know it can get so tiring hoping and wishing for something and getting nothing in return.  But dealing with a man who doesn’t have the emotional capacity to honor who you are is a red flag and you are worth so much more.  Time to cut that string and let the Yo-Yo fall into the ditch!

 

Sofa Fillers

Woman sitting at cocktail party with boyfriend

But then… as usual… he started showing his ass! Why oh why can’t it ever be easy?!

In the last few weeks I had met someone and I was enjoying dating him.  He was handsome, tall, had a great personality, and the chemistry was off the charts (post coming soon).  But then… as usual… he started showing his ass!  Why oh why can’t it ever be easy?!  And why oh why was I so damn emotional about it?!  He sent me into a dating depression!   I began getting mad at myself for giving a shit and being so upset about the whole thing.  Then I realized my upset really had nothing to do with him.  It was my own personal former demons resurfacing.  But am I the only single gal who every once in a while gets so damn tired of being hopeful just to get nothing in return?!  Anyway I digressed I already!!!

frustrated black woman

I began getting mad at myself for giving a shit and being so upset about the whole thing. Then I realized my upset really had nothing to do with him. It was my own personal former demons resurfacing. But am I the only single gal who every once in a while gets so damn tired of being hopeful just to get nothing in return?!

I realized I had done something I hadn’t done in a long ass time.  In my hopefulness and excitement I put all my eggs in one basket.  It had been a while since I had met someone I was genuinely excited about.  And to be completely transparent I really wasn’t interested in seeing anyone else!  What the fuck?  Who was this girl?  I thought I was the Tin Woman who didn’t have a heart.  I thought I had to take a trip to Oz to find one.  But suddenly I was dating a man who was making me feel things I hadn’t felt since… well… I won’t even waste my time comparing him to anything or anyone else from the past.

tin man

Who was this girl? I thought I was the Tin Woman who didn’t have a heart. I thought I had to take a trip to Oz to find one.

 

So when he started acting like an allusive asshole that was emotionally disconnecting.  I went back to my old ways and decided to go out with someone else.  Afterall, we hadn’t had the official talk about not seeing other people.  I could only surmise his recent stupidity had to be associated to 1 of 3 things:

  • He was seeing other people and his wasn’t dong a great job juggling
  • He was starting to catch feelings and was disconnecting to figure out what he wanted to do
  • What I thought we had was an illusion I created in my own mind

Whatever the case was, I knew I needed to distract myself, if for nothing else just to maintain my sanity.  For all you nosey men out here, you see what happens when you do not communicate?  Us women go into a mental frenzy and begin to think the worse.  But I have never been a bitch to sit by the phone waiting and pouting.  I wasn’t about to waste my good years on a fool that hadn’t proved himself to be worthy.  And hell I still had it!  I was tired of sitting around being pathetic and reading Iyanla VanZant books.  And I would NOT allow myself to be in a dating depression for too long.

So I gave “Lonnie” a call.  I had been blowing him off for weeks because I was busy thinking I was actually falling for someone.  And I was tired of moping around.  “Lonnie” and I met through a popular dating app(I’ll write a separate post on that as well).  After swiping right and realizing we were a match he immediately started a conversation.  “Lonnie” was a 42 year old, divorced father of two.  He was originally from North Carolina, which was a plus.  You now I do not date men born and raised in LA.  Been there done that!  We quickly exchanged numbers and he called me 10 minutes later.  He wasn’t playing around!  It’s funny how when you’re really not into someone you could care less about what you say or what you do.  There is no pressure because you really don’t give a shit.  Immediately “Lonnie” started asking me questions about my marriage.

How long were you married?

What did you learn from the marriage? 

What were the major issues?

I felt interrogated.  There was once a time shortly after my divorce where I enjoyed conversations like this.  I thought it brought me and the guy closer because we were able to bond over the experience.

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I felt interrogated. There was once a time shortly after my divorce where I enjoyed conversations like this. I thought it brought me and the guy closer because we were able to bond over the experience.

 

But now in my dating these are topics of conversation that I reserve for much later in the relationship.  But there is an unspoken language between two divorcees.  It’s says:

We made it through the storm.  We are still alive.  And so much better for the experience….

But I wasn’t really ready to discuss the storm with “Lonnie.”

Me:  Hold up Lonnie.  I definitely would love to talk about our battles stories, but can we meet for a drink first?

Lonnie:  I’m sorry.  I know I can be very inquisitive.  I actually don’t drink….

Oh boy… another 40+ something that doesn’t drink.  What the fuck?!  I was tempted to hang up on him then and there.  But I had recently made some tweaks to my criteria.  Besides, as long a he didn’t judge my drinking I would give him a try.  And a girlfriend of mine who is now married told me when she first met her husband he wasn’t a drinker because he just didn’t like the taste of alcohol.  But while they were on vacation after dating for a few months, he tried a mixed drink he liked and now he enjoyed having cocktails with her.  So I was willing to be patient.  Maybe I could be a bad influence on him!  MY goodness… I am such a mess!

Lonnie:  What are you up to this weekend?  I’ll have my kids Saturday night.  But maybe we can meet for Jamba Juice in the afternoon.

Jamba Juice?  Huh?  But I gave him the benefit of the doubt.  After all, when dealing with a dating app you have to meet up with someone for a meet up to make sure they actually look like their picture.  For all I know, “Lonnie” could be 300 pounds.  He did breath kind of heavy on the phone.  I’m not sure if it was because he was a big guy or perhaps he had asthma.  He looked good in his pictures in the dating app.  He told me he was 6’5 and you know that’s always a selling point.  I had tentative plans Saturday night with the fool I was dating  so this would be a great distraction.

Me:  Sure Lonnie.  I’ll meet you at Jamba Juice.

That Saturday I found myself walking up to the Jamba Juice.  My mind was distracted though.  The other guy was heavily on my mind.  What the hell is MY problem?!  I walked into Jamba Juice and to my surprise “Lonnie” was a very hansdsome guy.  He was 6’5.  He was in great shape.  He had a nice after 5 shadow beard and a great smile.  OKAY!  Thank goodness he not only looked like the pictures he put on the dating app but BETTER!  I gave him a hug.  And we ordered out drinks.  I chose to ignore his two for one coupon he used to buy our drinks.  After all, this was simply a meet up.  I am not one who is used to these dating app meet ups so I didn’t want to judge.  He was simply a “filler” date; someone to occupy my time so I wasn’t putting all my eggs in one basket with the fool I really liked.

We walked outside in the blazing sun and found a bench to sit on in the shade and talk.  He seemed cool. But the chemistry wasn’t there.  To be honest my mind was pre-occupied.  Maybe this was a sign that I really liked the other guy.  Or perhaps it was a sign that I just do not know what the hell I want.  But I was able to ascertain “Lonnie” was a little cheap.  We talked about those new movie theatres where you can order dinner and drinks during the movie.

Lonnie:  Those can get expensive!  You end up spending over $100!

Me:  Well when you think about it.  You can end up spending over $100 just on dinner.  SO that’s not bad for dinner and a movie.

I saw his eyes flutter.  And then I remembered this was a man who used a two for one coupon to buy Jamba Juice.  The conversation was okay.  There weren’t fireworks.  IT wasn’t bad.  IT was just beige.  After an hour and a half I told him my meter was running out.  I gave him a hug and he said he wanted to take me out on an official date now that we had a chance to meet in person.  I reluctantly said okay.  We made plans to go out the following weekend.

“Lonnie” called me on Friday night around 9pm.  At the time I was sitting on my couch relaxing having a glass of wine after a long week.

Lonnie:  Hey Monique!  How are you?

Me:  I’m great!  How are you?

Lonnie:  I’m good.  What are you up to tonight?  I was calling to see if you wanted to go dancing?

Me:  Tonight?

Lonnie:  Yeah. 

I wanted to be like, “Ummmmm…. Really fool?!  IT’s 9:30 and you’re just now calling me to go out tonight?”  But I decided not to go the bitchy route.

Me:  Tonight isn’t goingto work.  But I am free tomorrow.  I know you said you wanted to do something this weekend.

Lonnie:  It looks like I’m going to Vegas tomorrow.

ME:  Okay.  Well have fun.

Lonnie:  I’ll call you when I get back so we can get together.

Me:  okay.

Sunday morning rolled around and I got a txt message from Lonnie.

Hey Monique!  I’m just getting back from Vegas.  I’m at home relaxing.  The football game is coming on today.  I would love to have you chill with me on my sofa.  But I am not sure if we are at that level yet if things lead to something else.

WHAT THE FUCK!  I re-read the message three times.  I types a few rough draft text cussing his ass out for the assumption.  Did this man really think I was going to come to his house after a meet up date over two for one Jamba juices?!  But I took a deep breath.  After all, I understand for men that are divorced after long term marriages, they might not know the rules of dating.  I really wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt.  So I decided on a settle approach of say FUCK NO!

Hi Lonnie.  Glad you had a safe trip.  I would never want to come between a man and his football!  And one day we might be at the point for me to relax on your sofa.  But for now, lets take a rain check and do something another time.  Enjoy the game!

Sofa

There are plenty of women that went to that sofa and hung out with him and had no qualms about it. That’s why he was so comfortable asking.

I didn’t hear back from “Lonnie” over the next few days.  And th other guy was showing his ass.  So I decided to be proactive and reach out to Lonnie and see what he was up to.

Hey Monique!  Glad you reached out.  I have my kids this evening but you are more than welcome to come through around 9:30.  There a great documentary on.  We he can hang out on my sofa.

Okay.  Okay.  I wasn’t sure if “Lonnie” was stupid or retarded.  But either way he was an idiot.  SO instead of sending him a text I decided to call him.  I mean really.  I am not trying to meet his kids yet.  I am so sensitive to meeting a man’s kids.  I personally feel like before a woman meets your kids, out of respect to the mother of those children, I would want to introduce myself to her first.  IT’s not like I’m asking permission from the woman.  But I believe any woman would want to know who is around her kids.  And not some random that the guy just met!  Why wasn’t he thinking about that and what the fuck was it with his damn sofa?!  IT must be extraordinary.  But there was something about “Lonnie.”  I didn’t want to write him off just yet.  Maybe I felt guilty because I brushed him on our initial meet up.  I could admit I didn’t give him a chance because I was focused on the other guy who was showing his ass.  But one thing I am learning to do after all of these years of dating is to just grown.  So I picked up my cell phone and I gave “Lonnie” a call.

Me:  Hey Lonnie.  How are you?

Lonnie:  I’m good.

Me:  Listen, I don’t want you to think I am blowing you off.  But I am not comfortable hanging out at your house just yet.  I want to get to know you on mutual grounds first. 

Lonnie:  I completely understand.  I’m glad you called.

Me:  I’m glad I called you as well.  I’m on business travel the next few days but I’ll reach out to you when I return.

Lonnie:  Sounds good.  Safe travels.

Me:  Thank you!

I was proud of myself for not going in on him and assuming the worse.  But I Realized, I can’t even be mad at him.  There are plenty of women that went to that sofa and hung out with him and had no qualms about it.  That’s why he was so comfortable asking.  But I’m learning to not jump the gun or jump to conclusions.  I am always so quick to put on my running shoes and sprint the hell out of something.  Who knows if I will reach out to “Lonnie.”  After all, he was just the temporary filler for the guy I liked.

black-woman-and-man

When your heart is into someone else, even when they are acting an ass a “filler” they won’t fill anything. It will only exacerbate the fact that you are missing the other person.

So what was the lesson learned here:

    • Even a self proclaimed serial dater can fall for someone, and when your heart is into someone else, even when they are acting an as a “filler” they won’t fill anything. It will only exacerbate the fact that you are missing the other person.
    • When guy ask you to come chill on his sofa. Before you cuss his ass out, try to give him the benefit of the doubt and then cuss his ass out! LOL!

Monique K.Bradley

I can be found on: Facebook | Twitter | Google+        

 

Dating Depression Recovery aka DDR

DDR 2

If you have been single for a certain amount of time and you decide not to settle, not to put up with unnecessary bullshit, and date on your own terms, you might get to a point where you reach your breaking point.

I know I am a day late and dollar short with this #mondaymemo.  However I am still going to post it while it’s fresh on my mind.  For #mondaymemos I typically get questions and topics from my loyal readers and write on them.  But after the week I had, I am going to use my own recent experience for today #Mondaymemo.  As you all know, I was in the middle of a serious dating depression (DD) last week.  Sometimes you get to a point where you just get so TIRED of being hopeful and getting nothing in return.  Let me be very clear, if I wanted to be in a relationship just to say I have a man, please know and believe I could be.  There are PLENTY of options out there.  And if you are a loyal reader to my blog you already know that I do not have any problems finding/meeting men.  Hell… if I wanted to be married I could still be married and living a lie.  But thankfully my guardian angels were looking out for me and removed me from that situation.

I do not say that to brag and boastful.  But it is just a fact.  Sometimes I think society has the wrong impression that when a woman, in particular a black woman is single it means that she doesn’t date or can’t find a date.  That she is single because she doesn’t have options and choices.  Guess what… surprise… surprise… there are a few of us out there that are single because we choose to be single and not get in a relationship where we aren’t happy just so that we can say we have a man!  Sometimes we are single because we choose our own happiness over bullshit.  However, if you have been single for a certain amount of time and you decide not to settle, not to put up with unnecessary bullshit, and date on your own terms, you might get to a point where you reach your breaking point.  You just get tired of the same shit on different days when it comes to relationships and romance.  And last week I certainly reached mine.  But as you know, it’s not about the fall, it’s about how you get back up.  I cannot say I am at 100% just yet, but I am slowly re-emerging from the darkness and feeling a glimmer of hope.  But sometimes you just gotta go with the motions and let the cards fall where they may.  So here is my advice if you happen to be in the midst of a DD (dating depression).

Acknowledge that you are feeling down.  Allow yourself to go through that emotion.  As single women, we are trained to be strong and not let the outside world know when we are actually feeling down and out about being single or not meeting the right guy.  It’s okay!  And it’s normal.  Sometimes it’s okay for a single gal to have a good cry.

DDR 1

Sometimes it’s okay for a single gal to have a good cry.

Recognize the feeling is only temporary.  It will pass..

DDR3

Recognize the feeling is only temporary. It will pass…

Don’t become an emotional eater!  I know I can be vain when it comes to my weight.  But seriously… you do not want to put yourself in a situation where you eat now and pay later.  Have one cheat day and be cognizant if you happen to find yourself over eating.

eating-cake

Don’t become an emotional eater!

Don’t become a stick figure either!  That’s the opposite of the emotional eating.  Sometime when we are down and out we find it difficult to eat.  And that can be a great diet… LOL!  But you do not want to get to a point where you start looking like a crack head.  I’m just sayin’!

black-woman-on-scale

Don’t become a stick figure either!

Allow yourself to be around friends-  I really wanted to stay in my house and listen to Sade and drink a bottle of wine.  But of course, my girlfriends were not having it.  They made me get up and meet them for brunch and go to their house for cocktails.  Get out and be around your friends.  The laughter you will experience is automatic therapy to the soul.

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Get out and be around your friends. The laughter you will experience is automatic therapy to the soul.

Enlist the help of your “Sponsors”- It’s okay to talk about it!  You do not have to suffer in silence.  I have 4 “go-to” girlfriends that I can talk about this kind of thing with and not feel judged.  I also know they have the best intentions and want the best for me.  At the same time you have to be very careful who you select as your “sponsors.”  You do not want to talk to your friend that tells her man EVERYTHING!  There are some women who do not respect the GIRL CODE and feel the best way to get close to their man is to tell all of the girls’ business.  You also do not want to have a heart to heart with a Bitter Betty.  You will leave that conversation worse off than you started and hate on all men.  That’s the last thing you want.  We all know that saying Misery loves company.

Black-woman-Smart-phone

It’s okay to talk about it! You do not have to suffer in silence…

Do things that make you happy.  When I am going through a DD I know a trip to an art museum always lifts my spirits.  I also know a trip to my acupuncturist has a way of hitting all of those pressure points that are making me feel down.

woman-acupuncture

A trip to my acupuncturists has a way of hitting all of those pressure points that are making me feel down.

Stay off social media!  When you are in the midst of a dating depression I can assure you that when you go on social media and you see engagement announcements, wedding pictures, and new born baby photos.  While you are genuinely happy for your friends.  It only exacerbates the depression you are feeling.  Once you are out of the darkness you will be able to receive these gorgeous pictures from a happy place.

DDR5

Stay off social media! It only exacerbates the depression you are feeling.

Don’t let your pride rule your actions.  I m a true Leo.  You look up the Leo sign in an astrology book and my picture is next to the description of a Leo woman.  I have allowed my pride to guide me on so many different situations.  There comes a point in life where you have to put your ego aside and follow your heart.  There are a lot of miserable folks in the world that allowed their Pride to get in the way of what they really desired.

Leo

You look up the Leo sign in an astrology book and my picture is next to the description of a Leo woman.

Last and certainly not least.  You must, under all circumstances FOLLOW YOUR HEART.  When I was going through my divorce I had well meaning friends who wanted the best for me.  They were full of “advice” and “words of wisdom” on what I should do and what I shouldn’t do.  And now, I look at some people in the same situation years later and I am flabbergasted by the hypocrisy of what they told me I should do back then and what they are doing now,  So that made me realize that with any situation I need to do what is best for me and follow my own heart.

© Copyright 2010 CorbisCorporation

With any situation I need to do what is best for me and follow my own heart.

Like I said, I am still working through my current DD.  I am feeling better each day.  But I know I am not the only single gal who every once in a blue moon gets a case of the blues.  It’s nice to know you’re not alone when those dark days hit you like a ton of bricks.  We single gals have to lift each other up during those times when we are feeling down and out and not sure if we can continue down this dating journey. One of my loyal readers said it best:

 Days come and go. It is worth today’s hopelessness to have tomorrow’s joy. I don’t know why timing sucks! I do know that you will appreciate your guy so much and cherish him even more than you think you possibly can, because of these wiggly, furry, ugly, antennas out and all over the place, caterpillar days. Then a few years into your relationship, when you want to blow up because of some character flaw of his, you’ll remember why, of all of the ones that came and went quickly, you chose this one. And you will be firm and kind and intact. I PROMISE!!
Monique K.Bradley

 

 

I can be found on: Facebook | Twitter | Google+        

 

Case Study of DD…

Unhappy-woman

“Where the fuck did she go? She hasn’t written a new post in two damn weeks!”

This is probably going to be one of the shortest posts I have ever written!  I’m going to be completely transparent…  Not like I haven’t been before.  But I am not having a happy go lucky dating moment.  I know dating is a gamble.  Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.  I am very clear on that concept.  But at what point do you decide that you no longer want to play the game?  How many disappointments and dating disasters can one person take?!  I always want to be hopeful when I write my blog.  I do NOT want to turn into a Bitter Betty.  I had two choices today.  I could not write anything at all and just leave my loyal readers wondering, “Where the fuck did she go?  She hasn’t written a new post in two damn weeks!”  But a part of me feels a responsibility to my loyal readers.  I can’t start something and not finish it.   From the very beginning of the inception of this blog I vowed I would be authentic and true to my readers.  As you all know I do not tell y’all EVERYTHING… There are  certain things that do not need to be documented on the internet!  But I leave myself open so that you can learn from my experiences.  And as you all know I try to be positive and hopeful.  I try to live in the moment and go with my feeling.  But every once in a while, after years of hopefulness only to end up back at square one a single girl gets tired.  And ladies… and nosy men… At the moment I am feeling a little deflated and slightly hopeless.  And I apologize, but I’m not sure if I can continue down this dating road and handle another disappointment.  I do not have an interesting post or dating story to share because this one I am holding close to my heart.  Now don’t be confused, I’m not going to  start emotionally eating so when I get out of this DD (dating depression) I am a hot ass fat mess and no one will date me.  I’m also not walking around looking like Ceely from the Color Purple (you already know my motto… If you feel like 2 cents on the inside always leave the house looking like $2 million).  But sometimes, every once in a blue moon even a self proclaimed hopeful, positive Serial Dater has a moment of dating depression…
Monique K.Bradley

 

 

I can be found on: Facebook | Twitter | Google+        

 

I’m baaaaack!!!

I am just returning from a fabulous vacation!  New posts coming soon!

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Butterfly Wishes… Caterpillar Dreams…

Butterfly

Anyone who knows me, knows I don’t fuck with bugs!

Bear with me because I am having an extremely sappy moment.  I don’t know if it is because I am sitting at my favorite spot in Martha’s Vineyard overlooking the ocean and hanging out with my family on vacation, or perhaps seeing my picture and my blog featured in the September Issue of Essence magazine, or the new beginnings of something that could be special (as you all know, I do not write about men I am currently interested in), but I am feeling really good!  So bear with me as I take break from my usual dating foolery and reflect on the happiness I am experiencing.  Some of you may or may not have known, I turned 37 last Wednesday,  I can’t believe it because in my own mind I feel like I am stuck at 27.  At least that’s what I like to think when I look at myself in the mirror.  But 37 kinda crept up on me.  If you are a loyal follower to my blog, you will remember last year for my bday I was feeling a little down and out.  (refer to: http://confessionsofaserialdaterinla.com/2013/08/the-four-year-itch/).  To be honest, last year I was frustrated with life in general, I was thinking about all of the things I thought I would have by 36 and all the things I wanted and it took 15 year old girls (ironically on Martha’s Vineyard) to make me realize what a great life I had.  However, thankfully at 37 my mind is in such a different place.  I am learning to appreciate where I am in life and enjoy each moment instead of reflecting on the past and worrying about what will become of my future.

While making a run to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, I noticed the prettiest butterfly landing on a leaf.  Anyone who knows me, is fully aware I don’t fuck with bugs!  I do not find them cute, I do not find them interesting, I find them annoying as all hell!  But this particular day the beauty of the butterfly caught me off guard and i started to get why people are fascinated by these moths… Hey don’t be mad at me, a butterfly is essentially a moth!  A few days later, I was rushing to work and as I was turning the key to lock my door, I noticed another butterfly landing on the flowers in front of my spot.  In the midst of my rushing I took a second to look at it.  This butterfly had the prettiest pattern on it’s wings.  And there was such gracefulness to the flutter of the wings.  And went about my day.  I noticed that I was learning to take moments to stop and look at things I had never payed attention to before.  I wasn’t sure if we always had these butterflies flying around and I was noticing it, or if there was a sudden increase in butterflies around LA.  But I was noticing them and was fascinated by them.

Monique- 37 2

This year as I blew to the candles and made a wish I felt the love around me…

For my birthday I decided to have a party to celebrate my birthday.  Every year I do a toast.  It’s my Thang!  This year as I blew out my birthday candles and made a wish.  I looked around the room and felt the love around me.  I had friends from all walks of life.  Some were new some were old.  But each of them have made a difference in my life.  And I could finally say after a six year journey I was finally really and truly happy.  I had finally healed from the marriage, the divorce, the hurt and the pain of it all.  And it wasn’t my “Fake it, till you make it happiness.” It was the real deal!  I had finally gotten to a place in my life where I was experiencing true contentment and realizing how blessed I am.

Then I thought about the journey of the butterfly.  Essentially they start off as caterpillar and spend most of their time in search of food.  And they go through a series of stages in which the tough outer layer is released and new cuticles expands and then they develop their wing patterns and turn into a butterfly.  (now I am really paraphrasing here… after all I am not a damn expert, but you get the drift).   But I realized how I spent years of my life in search of something to fulfill me and make me feel whole.  In search of something to make me happy, and feel free.  And finally at the age of 37 I realized what I was searching for was always within me, but I had to go through the various stages to get to where I wanted to be.  And it was within me the whole time.  But in order to get my wings I had to go through the process.

There were times when I would be mad at myself and wonder, When will I truly be happy again?  Why am I not over  this?  What is taking so long?  There were times when the loneliness I felt was palpable.  There were times when I would feel like it wasn’t fair.  I had mapped out the life I thought I was supposed to have.  According to my plans, I was supposed to still be married and have my 2.5 kids.  You know that saying, The best way to make God laugh is to tell him YOUR plans.  Now that my wings were fully formed and i was flying high.  I was so thankful that MY plan ultimately was NOT fulfilled.  And even crazier, I was so happy I went through what I went through.  I now appreciated the journey I had to take .  And I was also thankful I allowed myself to go through process and take the necessary time to heal so I could have fully formed wings to fly high through the pink skies…

Monique- 37

I knew I had to go through the pain in order to experience the pink skies…

In life you have to go through the process in order to heal and in order to grow so you can fly.  We do not get to dictate how long that process will take.  But one day you will wake up and start noticing things you never noticed before.   You’ll notice the beauty of each sunset, the various colors of pinks and lavenders.  You will wake up and notice butterflies flying around you and the beauty of them.  You will realize the journey they had to take in order to get their wings and their beauty.  And you will also notice they are marked and to me those markings tell a story that make them even more beautiful.  and suddenly you realize you are living in the moment.  And a butterfly isn’t just something you look at as an insect or a moth.  Instead they become the fabric of a story.  And you know they were once caterpillar searching for food so they could gain their wings.  And they couldn’t skip that part of the process.  And then step by step, moment by moment they become a beautiful butterfly flying high, pretty, and effortless.

Do not worry… I am not becoming an airy fairy blogger.  But every once in a while, it’s good to relish in happiness.

Monday Memos… Check back next Monday!

Hello My Loyal Readers!  I have good news and bad news….

Wine Pouring

Good News

I kicked off my birthday week with a great party (my birthday is Wednesday).  The wine was over flowing, the food was abundant, the guest list was spectacular.  The wine was flowing… the wine was flowing…

Bad News

I am slightly hungover and cannot write an intelligent response to today’s #MondayMemos.  Did I mention the wine was flowing…

Good News

I will be back with #MondayMemos next Monday with a great topic!

P.S.-  Did I mention… the wine was flowing…

LOL!  Make it a great week!

 

The Bouquet Toss

White-ivory-bridal-bouquet-with-crystal-brooch

I understood the sacredness of the bouquet toss. Single women lived for it.

Love is in the air!  One of my close girlfriend’s got married 2 weeks ago.  Yes, we lost another member of the Single Girls Club.  But we lost her to an amazing man.  Seeing the two of them together makes me know if it possible not to settle.  You can and will meet your soul mate if you are willing to be patient and wait for the right man and if you keep the faith that it will actually happen.  You know the best way to make God laugh… tell him YOUR plans!  Wow… I’m digressing already.  It’s just so refreshing to be around two people who genuinely love each other.  When the couple said their vows to each other (they wrote their own) I do not think there was a dry eye in the vineyard.  And speaking o the Vineyard, the location was magical.  The key to a great wedding outside of the couple, venue, food, open bar (a must), and the guest list is the music.  If all of those elements are in place the wedding is destined to be a memorable event.  And this wedding was nothing short of just that, a great celebration.

But there is a point at every wedding that makes me have a slight anxiety attack… The bouquet toss.  When I was 12 years old, my uncle got married.  And me being young and competitive even at that age, decided to go out in the middle of the floor with the rest of the single ladies for the bouquet toss.  Yes, my 12 year old ass was out on the floor waiting to catch the bouquet.  And low and behold, to the dismay of the older single ladies who were out on the floor, I caught it!  I did a victory dance and celebrated my victory.  I was going to be the next person to get married!  Did I mention I was only 12?!

wedding-toss

I watched grown woman tackle each other in their Sunday best and fight until someone came up victorious with the bouquet.

I didn’t notice the rolling of eyes and disdain on the other single women until a manicured finger tapped my shoulder.  I turned around and it was my Aunt.  My aunt was a true diva!  As a matter of fact, this was the aunt who inspired me to move to LA when I was just young.  She worked in the entertainment industry and had many stories to tell about the stars back in that day.  She owned every piece of Louis Vuitton luggage you could imagine and she had presence.  AND she always had a mouth on her.  You haven’t been cussed out until you get cussed out by my Auntie!  And she will do it with class.  Just to give you an idea of her personality, back in the day, when we went to pick her up from the airport (pre 9/11 days when you could greet people at the actually gate).  She walked off the plane in a fur coat with her Louis Vuitton luggage in tow.  And she overheard a French woman speaking to her friend in French about her disapproval of her wearing a fur coat.  Little did that woman know my Aunt spoke French fluently,  my aunt walked over to her and Read her in French.  I still remember to this day, they woman’s jaw dropping.  It was a scene straight out of a Jackie Collins novel.  Anyway, I say all that to make a point.  My auntie did not have a filter and said whatever was on her mind.  Even to a little 12 year old!  When she tapped me on my shoulder, I turned around to see her annoyed face, I knew I was about to get in trouble for something.

Auntie:  Give me back that bouquet!

Me:  Why? 

Auntie:  You are only 12 years old!  The bouquet toss is for the single woman.  You are fucking up a sacred tradition!

I knew better than to argue with grown folks.  So I reluctantly handed over the bouquet.  My aunt marched over to the DJ and had them do it again and I sat my twelve year old ass on the side lines and watched grown woman tackle each other in their Sunday best and fight until someone came up victorious with the bouquet.  Later that evening, my Uncle’s wife gave me her bouquet and I got my picture holding it.

DISCIPLINE

You are only 12 years old! The bouquet toss is for the single woman. You are fucking up a sacred tradition!

So…  what is the point of me rambling on and on about this bouquet?  Well, the point is, from that moment on; I understood the sacredness of the bouquet toss.  Single women lived for it.  BD (before divorce) I was one of the single hopeful women that would march onto the dance floor in hopes that I would catch the bouquet and have the good luck to know I would get married next.  Even once I was engaged and married I enjoyed watching the single ladies go up for this tradition.  It’s always touched my heart.

However, you know life.  You know how various life events draw a line in the sand and you’re officially changed.  Your life is divided into two parts “before the shit happened” and “After the shit happened.”  And it didn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing.  It’s just life… happens.

deep thought

However, you know life. You know how various life events draw a line in the sand and you’re officially changed. Your life is divided into two parts “before the shit happened” and “After the shit happened.” And it didn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. It’s just life… happens.

AD (after divorce), I haven’t gone up for the bouquet toss.  I revert back to that twelve year old little girl who understood the importance of women who had never been married having their moment of hope.  That moment was sacred.  So I sit in my chair and watch from the sidelines.  And the inevitable happens.  I get the looks from well meaning friends with the look of:

Why aren’t you going up there?

And I know it comes from a place of concern.  They want to make sure I am okay.  My anxiety doesn’t come from being sad about it, but it comes from knowing that I am going to have a minute of having to explain to someone why I am not going up to participate. And I don’t want to explain at a WEDDING that since my DIVORCE I no longer thought it was fair of me to go up for the toss.  I had already experienced being a bride.  In all actuality I was not single; I would never be single again.  I am a divorcee.  And please, Don’t cry for me Argentina.  I am okay with that.  I wear this badge with honor.  I am thankful for the person I have become AD.  And I know one day I will experience walking down the aisle again.  I am also fully aware this is one of my own quirks.  But for now, when you see  me or any other woman who is divorced sitting on the sidelines during the bouquet toss portion of the wedding reception, don’t look at us with pity, don’t think we are having a sad moment.  We are all good.  But sometimes we divorcées like to give our single sistas their moment.  Been there, done that… can write the book! LOL!

 

Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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