I admit it… I’ve been slacking on my posts. So much has been going on. In the last 2 weeks I lost 2 of my great aunts. Both of them lived long fulfilling lives but most of all they lived life on their own terms. And with the recent death of Paul Walker it has me thinking a lot about life and making sure we live it to the fullest and on our own terms. Lately I have been making it a point to enjoy life and every single moment we have here on earth. This isn’t a dress rehearsal this is the real thing. My biggest fear is waking up at the age of 60 and realizing I have let life pass me by. I will NOT let that happen. Okay I already digressed…
This is the time of year where there are birthday parties, holiday parties, and just the overall theme of getting together with friends. Because I have FOMO (fear of missing out) I usually attend everything regardless of how my body feels. Most people cannot go at the pace I go. But like I said, this isn’t a dress rehearsal this is the real thing. Not to mention, whenever people ask me how I meet the various guys I go out with, you’ll never hear me say, “He magically appeared at my house.” Why? Because you have to get out there and meet folks. The other weekend was one of those crazy weekends. One of my girlfriends was celebrating her birthday and the crew went out to Kiss N Grind. I know the name sounds real suspect. But Kiss N Grind is a party in LA that is usually once every 2 months where you go to dance and sweat. It’s not the typical Hollywood party where people are standing around trying to be cute. You put on your comfortable dance shoes and you just dance your cares away. In addition to the numerous glasses of Champagne I consumed that night and all the dancing. I partied like I was 21 again and the next morning I woke up with a massive hangover, swollen feet, and my mascara smeared all over my face. Funny thing is no matter how drunk I am I always manage to wrap my hair in my scarf. And another side note: what is it about champagne that makes me get so damn drunk and hung-over? I spent that day recuperating from the hangover. This encompassed starting the day off with a greasy turkey burger and fat fries from Fatburger and going to get my nails done and drinking what seemed to be gallons of water all day. I hadn’t been this hung-over in a long time. Lesson learned… I am no longer 21 I am a woman in my mid 30’s!
I finally felt like I was 85% to normalcy and head out to another girlfriend’s surprise party that evening. It was at a cool spot and very low key. While on the dance floor my friend’s husband grabbed a guy from the side and pulled him on the dance floor to dance with me. It was a pleasant surprise. He was tall, handsome, and he seemed real cool. We danced all night and talked. “Larry” walked me out to my car and even called me later on that evening. We talked on the phone until 1 in the morning. When I woke up the next morning I was greeted by a nice text message from “Larry.”
It was great meeting you. I look forward to hanging out with you again soon.
“Larry” was off to a nice start. When he called me later on that evening we made plans to go to Perch in Downtown LA the next evening. I loved that spot. It had great views of Downtown LA. He showed up looking good. We ordered a nice Bordeaux and proceeded to get to know each other. “Larry” was raised in…. Carson, CA. What the fuck?! Why did I keep meeting men from Carson? I tried not to pre-judge him based on my ex, and the last 3 guys I went out with from Carson. I really was practicing being open to endless possibilities. My inner loving devastated coaching me, Okay Monique, there must be a reason why you keep meeting men who are from Carson. God is trying to teach you something. BE open and for the love of God don’t roll your eyes!
As we continued to converse I discovered “Larry” sold car insurance and he was 49 years old! Oh boy! I was batting a thousand. I like dating older men but “Larry” was turning 50 in 3 months! And “Larry” had never been married, engaged, or in a long term relationship, and had no kids. When a man is 43+ and fits this criteria he already get side eye but when a man is almost half a century old and fits this criteria I’m looking at him like, “What the fuck is your deal?” As we sat there getting to know each other his phone started to vibrate.
Larry: I’m sorry this is my landlord. Let me get this real quick.
Did this motherfucker say landlord?! Was I really out with a man who was almost 50, never been married, and had no kids who didn’t own his own place. Now before you start judging me let me just say this. I get that LA is expensive. I’m not expecting a single man to live in a mansion. Also, when a man has been married and divorced with kids and is paying child support and alimony I can completely understand him having financial issues. But this man was almost 50 damn years old. What the hell was he doing? But again, I realized I was jumping ahead and quite frankly I Was being a judgmental bitch. Hell, I didn’t own my condo. This man was really nice and I had to tell myself to have several seats. We ended up having another glass of wine on the rooftop checking out the view and then “Larry” looked me in my eyes with the utmost sincerity.
Larry: I’m worried I am not going to live up to your expectations.
ME: What do you mean?
Larry: You seem like the type that’s used to dating big time corporate executives, doctors, lawyers, or athletes. I’m just worried I’m not going to measure up.
Me: I have in the past. But you’re college educated man. You’re no slouch.
Larry: I know. I just want to make sure I can be on the level you’re used to.
That was honest. Had I been so jaded and put myself in such a box when it came to dating that perhaps I was being too regimented? I decided right then and there that I would really be open and give this brotha a chance. So far he had been cool and very attentive. I wasn’t going to downplay the red flags but I wasn’t going to put on my running shoes yet and scratch him off the list.
“Larry” walked me to my car. He gave me a respectable kiss and he made plans to take me out again two nights later….
To Be Continued…
Disclaimer: If you are a man who is born and raised in Carson, CA or anywhere close to that area. Please do NOT read this post. You will be offended…
It was nice to have a little break and have a little bit of consistency with one person. But then again, a part of me missed the excitement and the newness of meeting someone new. I am keenly aware this is only because the last person really wasn’t the right person. I must believe that when it’s right it’s right. If I’ve said it once I have said it time and time again. I get so tired of TV shows, movies, books, etc. making it seem like it is so hard for a black woman to meet a man and go on a damn date. That is absolute bullshit. And some Simpletons are actually buying into that foolishness. STOP! Going on dates is the easy part. Meeting your soul mate, well that’s a different story. If you’re willing to be patient and have faith along the journey you will meet the right man. All in due time. Anyway, I am already digressing.
I was set up on a set up last weekend. My close girlfriend and her fiance were having a fight party at their house. When I arrived at their home and they let me through the gates I noticed a beautiful Range Rover sitting in their drive way. When my friend and her husband both came out to greet me I was excited for my friend. I assumed in addition to the massive diamond engagement ring her fiance got her, and the beautiful new home that reminded me of a resort they just moved into he had also bought her a brand new shiny white range rover with cream navy trimmed seats and wood paneling.
Me: Bitch!!! I see you got a new car!
Girlfriend: No that’s not mine, it’s your man’s.
Me: My what?
Girlfriend’s Fiance: I have someone I want you to meet inside.
Me: Oh boy! He better not be a fool.
Girlfriend’s Fiance: Now let me be clear. I just met him recently. But he seems like a cool guy. Let’s see what happens.
Girlfriend: Exactly. No pressure.
That’s all part of being single, the match making attempts by your well meaning friends. And I didn’t mind. It’s always nice for a man to come with references. I remember them mentioning him a few weeks ago. “Jerold” was a 46 year old, divorced sports agent. He was married for 15 years and had two kids. According to my girlfriend’s fiance he was looking to get married again and he was definitely interested in having more kids. After the last guy I dated I realized if I was going to date a man in his 40’s who had children of a certain age. I needed to know upfront if he was open to having kids. Just a side note for any man who is being nosy and reading my blog, if you do not want to have any more kids or if there is a shadow of a doubt that you want to have kids. Then you do not get the luxury of dating a woman who is younger than you who does not have any children. It’s downright selfish and ignorant. Seriously, you get to have your family and you have the audacity to think that you can convince a woman who does not have children not to have kids of her own? Have several seats! There I go digressing again!
They figured meeting him at their fight party would be less pressure that I straight up blind date. This way I could see him in his environment and observe him from a distance. Now that was a great idea. When you’re meeting a guy on a blind set up there are a few thoughts that cross a woman’s mind.
1- I hope this man is somewhat attractive.
2- I hope he speaks in complete sentences.
3- I hope this man isn’t a fool.
4- I hope I haven’t already met this man before and turned his ass down.
These thoughts crossed my mind as I walked into my girlfriend’s massive beautiful home. I sat down the wine and sweet potato pies I baked in the kitchen. I looked up and there was “Jerold.” He was about 5’10, stocky (luckily he didn’t have a massive gut), with a low fade. His nails were a little too buffed out. I would prefer that a man’s manicure not look like he had on clear nail polish (that’s just a shallow side note). My girlfriend’s fiancée introduced us. He smiled and it revealed silver braces. He had on a nice button down lavender shirt, with “diamond” cuff links and his full name (first and last name) monogrammed on the cuffs of the shirt, snake skin loafers, and jeans. I put my hand out to shake his hand. “Jerold” pulled me towards him and gave me a big hug.
Jerold: I don’t do handshakes. I’m a hugger.
As he hugged me he buried his nose in my neck.
Jerold: You smell good. What kind of perfume is that?
I told him. (I’m not revealing my secret perfume so a bunch of people start walking around smelling like me :-)). He saw my sweet potato pies and his eyes lit up.
Jerold: Did you make these?
Me: I did, from scratch.
Jerold: Your man must love your cooking.
I attempted not to roll my eyes at the sheer corniness. And he had a big smile on his face which exposed his mouth full of braces again. Has he never heard of Invisilign?! But my inner loving diva kicked in, Don’t be a bitch. He’s just trying to break the ice. Besides you always said you want a man that is well groomed. At least he’s trying to get his teeth fixed. I took a deep calming breath and decided to be open minded.
Me: Well, I’m actually single.
Jerold: I guess today is my luck day.
I just smiled. When the guys left the kitchen I told my girlfriend to pour me a glass of wine IMMEDIATELY. Sometimes a slight buzz can make any situation better. Actually I think that is always the case! I grabbed a plate of food and made my way into the living room where the two other couples were sitting and chowed down. Of course they set it up where I had to sit next to “Jerold.” So I decided to make the best of the situation. “Jerold” was born and raised in… Carson. YUCK! That was a complete turn off. My ex was from there. And had I nothing good to say about that area. It’s essentially two traffic lights from Compton. And generally speaking people who are from there think that they aren’t from the hood because it’s not Compton. But when you’re spitting distance from the hood, well, you’re from the hood. I damn near broke out in hives when he said that. But I was trying to be open. My inner loving diva chimed in, “Not all people from Carson are ignorant, close minded, fronting wannabes like your ex… Breathe.” I also looked over at my girlfriend who knew me so well and she winked and tilted her glass of wine as a signalfor me to have a sip and relax. Then “Jerold” informed us that Monday was his birthday.
Me: That’s exciting, what do you have planned?
Jerold: Originally I was supposed to be in Europe.
ME: Oh really which part?
Jerold: I was starting off in Paris and then heading over to London.
Me: Two of my favorite cities. I used to live in London.
Jerold: Which part?
Me: Camden Town. When are you leaving?
Jerold: The trip got postponed to the end of next week.
Me: So what are you going to do for your birthday now that you’ll be on town?
Jerold: I don’t know yet where would you like me to take you?
Me: You’re going to take ME out for YOUR birthday? That’s very nice of you.
Jerold: We should go to Nobu in Malibu.
Alright now, things were looking up! I could over look a railroad on someone’s teeth and over the top “diamond” cuff links for a man with good taste in restaurants. Braces eventually come off and I can tweak the hell out of a wardrobe!
Jerold: Let me call my driver so I can make arrangements for us to get picked up.
Jerold then took out his phone and proceeded to dial his driver right then and there on SPEAKERPHONE!
Jerold: My man, what’s up?
Driver: Who’s calling?
Jerold: It’s me, Jerold.
Driver: How can I help you?
Jerold: It’s my birthday on Monday and I’m gonna need two pickups.
Driver: Okay, just send me the details. It will be an extra charge for the additional pick ups.
Jerold: Have you ever had a problem with payment?
Jerold: You just said there was gonna be an extra charge. You know my money is riiiiight. I got you covered.
The driver hung up. And I sat there so turned off. Was I supposed to be impressed? Did he not realize I used a car service on the regular basis? And to make the call on speaker phone? Really? Typical LA guy. Typical fronting Carson guy! But I didn’t want to generalize. The fight was over and as usual when it is a group of men and women the conversation quickly turned to relationships. My girlfriend’s fiance was one of those men who enjoyed deep grown and sexy conversations. “Jerold” started talking about his divorce.
Jerold: My divorce cost my over $1M. My problem is I have a tendency to pick women who are like projects.
I swear my head spinned around in a complete 360 full turn like the fucking Exorcist.
Me: What do you mean by projects?
Jerold: You know what I mean. Women who don’t really know what they want in life. I help them find their potential. With the young lady I dated recently she wanted to start a clothing line so I helped her out. She just needed someone to recognize her potential and go from there.
Me: Well, what if a woman doesn’t need your help and she has her own shit. Then what?
Jerold: Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m looking for a woman who needs to be guided. At this point I want a woman who has her own shit together. I’m like show me a credit report. If her shit ain’t on point I’m not taking it on.
Then my girlfriend’s fiance piped in.
Girlfriend’s Fiance: Wait a minute my man. You’re kind of contradicting yourself.
Jerold: How so?
Girlfriends Fiance In one breath you’re saying you have a tendency to take on projects to help a woman find their potential. But right before that you said if a woman’s credit isn’t together you wouldn’t deal with her at all? That doesn’t make sense. If you love someone you are going to try to help them reach their full potential my man.
Jerold: No that’s not what I meant. I’m just saying I’m all about helping someone reach their potential. I just don’t want to be in a situation where they don’t have shit and I’m doing ll the work.
That’s the thing about having these healthy debates with other men. They will ask the questions you want to know and check someone n a heartbeat if they aren’t making sense. I got to sit back and listen to what this fool had to say. My girlfriend’s fiance was like a brother and he knew exactly what he was doing. He was gathering information for me! I love when my friends marry men who have some damn sense!!!! We talked for a few more hours about relationships and life. “Jerold” was contradicting himself left and right. The night was coming to an end I was helping my girlfriend clear up the kitchen.
Girlfriend: What did you think? And before you answer, let me be clear, we don’t really know him too well. My honey just met him a few weeks ago and you know he got all excited when he found out he was single. He’s ready for us to take trips together and do double dates!
Me: What was up with calling his driver on speaker phone? What the fuck was that?
Girlfriend: I know!
Me: See that’s that New Money shit that I can’t tolerate. AND he’s from Carson?!
Girlfriend: I know you wanted to die.
Me: You know I did. Last time I went out with someone from Carson, I discovered they changed the numbers on their Mercedes so instead of the numbers reading S430 which was already a nice car it said S500 just so he could front. Of course I found that out after I was already married to his dumb ass.
Girlfriend: I know! I know! But just be open. He was just trying to impress you. You know the problem is a lot of these LA bitches are impressed by shit like that and men feel the need to keep doing that kind of shit thinking that it will impress all of us.
Me: Okay. I’m going to be open about this. We will see. Something just isn’t adding up. I can’t put my finger on it. But my antenna is definitely up.
My girlfriend and I had a good laugh and then of course the inevitable came. “Jerold” was heading out and asked for my phone number. Good Lawd. I reluctantly gave it to him. About an hour later he sent me a text.
Jerold: Hey MK! Great meeting you. Had a blast. Gotta pick up where we left off.
Me: Nice meeting you as well.
TO BE CONTINUED
Some of you are probably asking why in the world I would go out with a man who was unattractive and old. This was the first time in my life I was dating just to be dating. I spent my 20’s dating with one end goal in mind… To get married (and we already know how that ended up). So I wanted to date just for fun. I figured it was good practice for when I met a man I actually liked, I wouldn’t be dusty! “Jason” had a Saturday afternoon date all planned out. He gave me directions to his house in Venice Beach. Venice Beach can be a little tricky. There are places there that are absolutely stunning oceanfront homes. And then there are other places that are shy of being a crack house. It is literally those two extremes. The way, he described his tastes in art and furniture, I assumed he lived in one of those fabulous homes or condos on the beach or near the beach. After all this man was almost 50! You know what they say about ASS-U-ME-ing. As my navigation directed me to the Venice Beach area and had me make my final right onto the street and announced my destination was on the right hand side I just knew I had to wrong place. I checked the text message with the address one more time against my navigation system. The addresses matched. I was parked in front of an old ass building with chipped paint and bars on the windows. I looked to the right where there were dumpsters and there was a homeless man going through the garbage. He finally found a sandwich, began eating it, and walked off. Oh shit!!! There was no way I was about to park Freedom (the name for my convertible Audi) anywhere near this place. I called “Jason” to let him know I had arrived. I was hoping and praying he had accidentally given me the wrong address.
Me: Hey Jason. I think I’m here. Are you sure you gave me the right address?
Jason: Yeah. I’m on my way. I’ll be there in 5 minutes. You can park in the back of my building in space 5.
Me: Um… Are you sure my car is safe here?
Jason: (laughing) Of course! You’re fine.
Me: Okay, because I have a convertible. I don’t want anyone to rip the top off and try to steal it.
Jason: No you’re fine. My car is the silver BMW. Just park behind my car. I’ll see you in a second.
Alright, so he has a BMW. So I figured my car would be safe. I drove to the back of the building and looked for parking spot #5. I saw an old BMW parked there. When I say old, I mean old. The shit had to be from 1982. AND it was propped up where it appeared to be missing the front passenger wheel. What the fuck?! Just as I was about to put my car in reverse and get the fuck out of there, I saw a man riding a bike in my direction. I squinted my eyes and saw it was “Jason.” This fool was wearing some Sear Sucker shorts, a white button up shirt, a bow tie, and a straw hat. This bitch looked like Bojangles!
Jason: Hey there. Where are you going? You can park here.
Me: I was about to… Ummmm…
Jason: Come on up for a drink. I also wanted you to see the Dali painting I was telling you about. I had an interior decorator come and do my spot. Come check it out.
Me: You’re sure my car is okay?
Jason: What’s up with you and this damn car? I already told you, you’re fine! Come on, I have a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc chilling in the freezer.
Well at least this fool knew how to make my ass stay. Besides the traffic on the 405 was like a fucking parking lot. I had driven all the way up here, the least I could do was stay for a cocktail. I followed him up the steps to his spot. And he was describing all the detail that went into decorating. I figured, maybe this was one of those buildings that looked like shit from the outside but inside it was really nice. I tell ya I can be such a judgmental bitch at times. Anyway I digressed… We got to his front door and he opened it up. “Ta-da!” I stepped into the smallest apartment I had ever seen. It was smaller than a studio apartment although it was a one bedroom. The walls were covered in art, I’ll give him that. It’s was decorated very tastefully, I’ll give him that. But that shit was so damn small. This man was about to be 50 and this place would have been acceptable for any man in his 20’s but this made no damn sense. He walked me over to a sketching he had on his wall.
Jason: This is the Dali I was telling you about.
I walked up as close as I could. My nose was probably less than an inch away from the frame. My first inclination was to scream, “Either you’re a stupid ass and got, got. Or you think I’m a stupid as that can get, get!” There was no way on God’s green earth that was an authentic Salvador Dali piece. If this dumb ass could afford a piece of that type of artwork he certainly wouldn’t be living in this shoe box he called a home! But I decided to be nice and go along with the act. So we sat down on his couch and had a glass of wine.
Jason: I wanted to give you a present.
Me: Really? You don’t have to.
Jason: No I insist. I really appreciate you giving a brotha a chance and not letting age get in the way.
Me: As long as you’re up front with me we are all good.
Jason reached over and picked up the large 3 wick candle that was sitting on his coffee table.
Jason: I figured this would be nice and relaxing for you. It has a nice settle scent.
I started cracking up. Seriously, he was too funny.
Me: Jason, you are a fool! You crack me up!
Jason: What’s so funny?
Me: You pretending to give me an already used candle as a gift. That was a good one!
Jason: No I’m serious. I only used it once.
That’s when I realized he was dead ass serious. I was expecting Ashton Kutcher to jump out of his back room and the camera crew to hop out from wherever they were hiding. This really couldn’t be happening. When 30 seconds went by it settled I wasn’t on a non-celebrity episode of Punked!
ME: Thanks! Why don’t I just set it down here until I leave?
I had no intention of bringing that shitty candle home. Just as I slammed back my glass of wine. There was a car passing by with loud music. You know when a car is blasting its music so damn loud you can feel the vibrations in your house. It was that loud. I figured it would pass by but it sounded like it was getting louder and louder. “Jason” jumped up. “Our ride is here. My boy has his own cab and I knew we would be drinking so he’s giving us a ride to the restaurant.” He opened his front door I walked out and there was a cab waiting for us outside blasting gangster rap! “Jason” introduced us. I reluctantly got into the cab. As we passed various cars, the drivers and/or passengers looked over at the cab with disgust and rolled up their windows. With each mile we drove I sank lower and lower into the back seat hoping I would not be seen.
Jason: I remember you mentioned you like Oysters; I’m taking you to a spot in Santa Monica that you’ll love. Then we’ll walk down the street to the spot where I work.
Me: I thought you were a writer?
Jason: Well, yeah I do that too. But sometimes I… Uh… help out my friend at his bar and I’ll bartend if he’s shorthanded.
I gave him major side eye. I was no dummy. This asshole wasn’t a damn writer. He was a damn bartender. Now it made sense why his ass knew all the bartenders around LA. Typically when you are a waiter or bartender you know other waiters and bartenders and hang out and hook people up with free drinks! Oh my goodness. We pulled up to the elegant spot, loud music blasting. I hopped out of the taxi so fast and practically sprinted into the restaurant. I was hoping no one saw me and associated me with this foolery. Of course when “Jason” came in the first thing he did was say hello to the bartender before we were escorted to our table in the small packed restaurant. When we sat down the bartender sent us over a bottle of Rose. “Jason” was one of those men who liked to strike up conversation with people he didn’t know. The restaurant was small and packed so it was almost like a community table. “Jason’s” loud ass began to strike up conversation with a group of young ladies who were sitting at the table next to us. After he ordered our food a huge sampler plate of various seafood came to the table of the ladies sitting next to us. “Jason’s” bug eyes got even bigger as the waiter placed the tower on their table.
Jason: What’s that?
Lady at Table Next to Us: The seafood tower.
Jason: That looks real good. I might order that. Can I try some?
Lady at the Table Next To Us: Ummmm…. Uh…. Oooo-kay?
With that “Jason” grabbed his bread plate and proceeded to grab a few shrimp, crab legs, and oysters off the young ladies seafood tower and take some of the various sauces and pour a little on his plate. I wanted to die! I wanted to run out of the restaurant. Mortified doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt! He asked if I wanted some. I said no before he could even get the sentence out. There was a couple who was sitting at the table on the opposite side of us who observed this fiasco. They saw my face. I gave them a look of HELP ME!!! So the man tried to lighten the mood of the situation.
Gentleman: (to Jason) Your date is a very pretty woman. She’s a class act. You’re one lucky man!
Jason: Who her? She alright.
Gentleman’s Date: She seems wonderful!
Me: Thank you.
Jason: Naw. She’s just alright. (begins laughing)
That’s when I had officially had enough. Here I Was sitting across from a complete moroon and someone is giving me a compliment and all his ass could say was I’m ALRIGHT? With that I grabbed my purse and stood up.
Jason: Where are you going?
Me: I’m leaving.
I walked out the restaurant. And I forgot my fucking car was at his house. So I walked to the corner to see if I could hail a taxi. I didn’t see one in sight (this was before the Uber days). Shortly after Bojangles came out of the restaurant.
Jason: What’s wrong with you? We still have oysters coming.
Me: I’m done! How dare you just say I’m alright when someone compliments me? Who the fuck do you think you are?
Jason: You’re trippin’! I was just playing.
Me: The shit wasn’t funny and I don’t appreciate it.
Jason: (throwing his hands up in the air) Get the fuck outta here. You’ve been tripping all day with your bourgeois ass. Fine then go the fuck home! I don’t have time for this shit.
Me: Then bring your broke, wanna be Bojangles, 50 year old, living in a shack, waiter ass wanna be a writer ass back in the fucking restaurant. That’s what I get for associating with hired help!
Jason: Fuck you!
Me: Fuck you! I can’t believe I gave your ugly ass the time of day!
Jason: Fuck you!
I saw a taxi pulling up. Thank goodness. But I still had to have the last word because at that point I didn’t give a shit. As I grabbed the handle of the taxi to open the door I stuck him with my parting words hoping to cut him with my tongue.
Me: And by the way, give your son a call. On top of being an ugly ass broke fuck you seem to be shitty father too. Go fuck yourself and never ever call me again.
I hopped in that taxi so fast and prayed that he wasn’t going to try to reach in and grab me and kill me. I told the taxi to get me back to his address as soon as I could. I prayed that a) he hadn’t called someone to wait for me at his house to kill me or b) had someone vandalize my damn car. Why oh why can’t I learn how to just keep my mouth shut sometimes?! Why oh why do I always have to have the last word?! When we got to his house I had the taxi driver drive me to the back and wait for me until my car started and I was driving off. I even asked him to follow me until I got to the freeway. Thank God the driver was so accommodating.
I made it safely back to my home. I called at least 5 of my girlfriends and told them what happened. The reactions were all the same. What?! No way…. You gotta to be kidding me… what a stupid ass… I am so glad you are okay and weren’t hurt… And the conclusion that all of them came up with was… You gotta write a book about your dates!
The next morning I woke up. I was still in a state of rejuvenation since the Maui trip despite that little speed bump from the night before. I went in my mediation room and did my usual journaling, praying and meditation and sat in silence for a few minutes. And suddenly I began to have a flashback of that date, which was by far the worse date in the history of my 30+ years on this earth. I flashed back to all of the other dates I had been on in the last year, and in my 20’s. I flashed back to me and my girlfriends meeting up for drinks later on to discuss all the dates. The laughter, the disappointments, the lessons, the horrors, and it hit me… These stories must be shared if for nothing else pure entertainment or life lessons. I even thought back to the journey life had taken me on through my marriage and ultimately the divorce. I realized I could use my stories and hopefully help others through their journey and let them know they were not alone. And with that I began this blog and Confessions of a Serial Dater in LA was delivered….
* Since I am on vacation this week, I am bringing you 3 posts in one! I’ll be back next week with more Confessions. But I figured this one will tie you over until then. This is a long one so enjoy it!!!
I think every woman dreams of the day when they can run into a guy that did them dirty and have a “Look at me now moment.” Let’s take a walk down memory lane.
2000 was one of the toughest years of my life. My brother had passed (not ready to go into details on that). I was 23 years old and in a very vulnerable state. Enter “Kyle,” “Kyle” was a 28 year old up and coming photographer I met at a gallery opening. He was experiencing a career high. His latest exhibition had opened to critical acclaimed. He was pegged “The Next Gordon Parks.” “Kyle” was originally from Indiana. He and his college friends had made the move from the mid west to Los Angeles to pursue their dreams. Nearly 3 years after moving to LA he was on the rise. When we met in the crowded Downtown LA Gallery I felt like I was in the scene from West Side Story where Maria and Tony laid eyes on each other and suddenly there was no one else in the room.
“Kyle” and I had the best conversation. His creative mind was so intense. He was brilliant and his photography made a statement about the world. It felt like I was tapping into his inner being as I looked at his photography. I have always connected with artist and photographers. As a matter of fact when I need to clear my head, I will go to an art museum and lose myself in the world of art. “Kyle” and I made plans to hang out the next day. At the time he and his college friends were sharing a car. Let me explain that in greater detail. 4 grown ass men were sharing 1 damn car in Southern California. Not New York City where you can get away without having a car because there is great public transportation system. Los Angeles was and still is a city where you absolutely MUST have a car. So “Kyle” gave me his address and I went to pick his grown ass up. Keep in mind; this is me as a young vulnerable (a.k.a stupid) 23 year old. Back in the day before I Had truly found my stride and wanted to make sure I “made” “Kyle” like me by being accommodating. LMAO! Growth is a beautiful thing. When I got to his home in the middle of the HOOD I was scared to get out of my car. This man lived in the for sure for sure HOOD (The Jungle) and that’s with a capital H. Yes I am from New Jersey and yes I have a smart ass mouth. But I grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, the beautiful suburbs. I used to apologize for being bourgeois. Now I embrace and own up to it. As I got out of my car I bee lined to his door and knocked. As I waited for him to answer the door, I prayed, “Lord Jesus please let this man hurry up and answer the door before gun shots are fired. I am too young to die. My obituary cannot say I died in The Jungle. That’s not the legacy I want to leave behind. I want to live!!!!” As usual the Lord is always on time! “Kyle” answered the door and invited me in. It was a small apartment. It had a lot of African Wooden sculptures of naked women with pointy breasts, lots of black and white photography (unframed hung on the wall by thumbnails), the typical bachelor pad black leather (or perhaps pleather) couches and glass coffee tables. His 3 college roommates were sitting on the couch watching a basketball game eating Cheetos and drinking Heinekens. “Kyle” gave me a hug and invited me in.
Kyle: You remember my roommates.
In my mind I heard the record screech to a halt. Did he say, “roommates, with an S?
Me: Which one is your roommate?
Kyle: Both of them. Did you want a beer?
Me: No. I’ll take a glass of wine. (even back then I loved my wine)
Kyle: We all live here together.
I looked around the apartment and I only saw one bedroom. How in the world did 3 big ass grown men live in a one bedroom apartment? As I pondered this question “Kyle” came back into the room and handed me a glass of… White Zinfandel. WTF? He had to be kidding me. White Zinfandel. I might have been a 23 year fool but even at that age I knew White Zinfindel was comparable to drinking Boone’s Farm. But I really really liked “Kyle” so I decided to be a good sport and chill out.
Me: So what did you want to do?
Kyle: I figured we could hang out here and watch the game.
Me: Ummmmm… okay.
So I sat there for 2 hours on his pleather couch watching a fucking basketball game. Did I mention how much I hated basketball? Did I mention the White Zinfandel was stale? Picture me on the couch in between 3 rowdy guys watching a Laker game. After the game ended “Kyle” walked me to my car.
Kyle: I had a great time with you. I like how you can just kick it and hang out. You’re so different from these bourgeois LA girls.
Kyle: Can we hang out again?
There goes that word. “Hang out.” I still liked him but I had a slight attitude. I didn’t want to cuss him out just yet. This was before the baggage. This is when I still had hope and looked at the silver lining.
Me: We can. But next time I would like for us to go out somewhere.
Kyle: That’s cool, kid.
“Kid.” WTF? Who was he calling kid? Did that mean he was looking at me as a friend? Talk about confused. “Kyle” and I made plans to go out to days later. Lucky for me it also happened to be a day when he had the car. He picked me up and before we reached the restaurant he stopped at the ATM machine. He was there for a few minutes. It was taking him unusually long. He started making his way back to the car. He had his hands in his pockets and his great posture he had when he walked to the ATM was replaced with slouched over shoulders. He got in the car. Took a deep breath and said.
Kyle: We have a problem.
Me: What’s wrong?
Kyle: I can’t access my account.
Me: That is a major problem.
Kyle: I was really looking forward to us going to hear the spoken poetry at my spot. (Back in 2000 spoke poetry was VERY popular)
Me: Don’t worry about it, let’s just go and I’ll get us a round of drinks.
My inner loving Diva that guides me through my love life now wasn’t awakened until I hit my 30’s. Back then I didn’t have her to shake me back into reality. What the hell was I thinking? I barely had two nickels to rub together at that time and here I was taking a grown ass man out for drinks?! So “Kyle” and I headed to the spoken word spot that was in Leimert Park (not one of my favorite spots in LA even to this day… don’t judge me, but I much prefer going to Beverly Hills or Manhattan Beach.. just sayin’). “Kyle” had no problem throwing back a few rounds of drinks that I bought! Back then, being a young fool, I saw so much “potential” in “Kyle.” I looked at him as the photographer that would change the world. We still had great conversation… so I thought. Looking back on it I don’t remember anything about the conversation. At that time, I think I needed a hole to be filled. Then I thought meeting the right man and falling in love would fill that hole. Of course now I am fully aware the only person that can fill the void in your life is you. In addition to paying for our dates I did every single stupid thing that a young girl would do to “make” a guy like me. Ultimately, “Kyle” stopped returning my phone calls (this was prior to the text messaging days). I even called from a friend’s house and he actually answered the phone because he didn’t recognize the number! I felt like a damn fool!
I ended up going out to Reign (THE hot spot back in the day in LA before Keyshawn Johnson sold it in order to have to pay less in alimony when he and his wife got divorced). My girlfriends were trying to cheer me up. I had never been dissed like that before. “Kyle” dissed my ass! Big time! I was hurt, devastated, and mad. After throwing back quite a few cocktails. I noticed my girlfriends face lose color.
Me: What’s wrong?
Girlfriend: Oh….. Nothing. Guuurl, we should get outta here….
She attempted to pick up my stuff and scurry out. That’s when I realized her eyes kept looking over my head. I turned around and there was “Kyle” sitting at a table holding hands and locking eyes with another woman. The waiter had come to the table to give him the bill and he quickly reached for it and put his credit card in the bill envelope. I was LIVID!!! I literally saw red.
Girlfriend: Monique, do not give him the power. Do not cause a scene. Let’s just go.
Me: Go, but I am having such a great time. We are going to stay here and order another drink.
With that I signaled to the bartender and ordered another cocktail. My girlfriend was nervous as shit. I think the sense of calm that came over me scared her because I was normally such a firecracker. I waited for my signal and it finally came two more drinks later. I saw “Kyle” go to the bathroom. I applied a fresh coat of lip gloss and I made my way to the restroom area when I realized his date was waiting for him at the table. Even back then, I had the theory of never approaching the other woman. First of all it makes you look crazy and it’s not the other woman’s fault that the man she is out with is a complete and total asshole. “Kyle” came out of the restroom and when he saw me he looked like a deer in headlights.
Me: Hello Kyle.
Kyle: Ummmm…. Monique… uh.. Hello… how are you, kid?
Me: If you picked up the phone to answer my calls you would know. (I didn’t realize how tipsy I was until I felt like my words weren’t coming out of my mouth as fast as they were rolling around in my brain. Not to mention when he called me “kid” again it certainly hit a nerve)
Kyle: I’ve been busy…
Me: I see. I also see you have gotten a bigger paycheck and can afford to pay for dates now. You cheap, broke ass fuck! (that certainly wasn’t the sophisticated line I had practiced in my head when I Was walking over to confront him)
Kyle: What do you want from me, kid?
Me: I don’t want shit from you! You could have been a man and been honest instead of avoiding my calls.
Kyle: I figured you’d get the hint.
Me: Oh I did.
Kyle: So why are you sweating me?
Me: Nobody is sweating your broke tired ass. I’m glad you had the car so you could actually pick up your date. (there was really no rhyme or reason to my 23 year old ass going off on this man. Looking back on it I looked a total jack ass myself. But in my mind I was going to get this man told!)
Kyle: Have a nice night kid.
Kyle started to walk off. And me needing to get the last and final parting blow and being tipsy and 23 yelled back at him.
Me: By the way your photography sucks!
Oh yeah! I showed him I was the shit. LOL! More like a big dumb shit. I always looked back on “Kyle” with absolute disdain and horror. I would have nightmares for months to follow after that outburst and wake up and re-run what I should have said and how I should have said it. There were times I would pray to run into him and say, “Look at me now.” I would play various scenarios in my mind of what I would say when I ran into him again and what I would do. When the run in did not happen it eventually faded off into my mind as a bad memory that I grew from.
Fast forward to present time. 13 years later. 13 years of growth. 13 years of bad dates, a bad marriage, a shitty divorce, and the rediscovery of ME. 13 years of finding out who I was and discovering an inner strength I had no idea existed. 13 years of the evolution of ME. 13 years of realizing and recognizing my growth. 13 years of loving myself more than anyone else possibly could. 13 years of knowing exactly what I wanted and not apologizing for it or reasoning with myself why I didn’t deserve to have it. 13 years… I had finally reached my stride and become a true, bonafide, unapologetic WOMAN.
A few months ago I was at a networking mixer for work. I had been none of the organizers of the event. It was one of the typical Hollywood executive power mixers. I was wearing my purple DVF power dress and some killer heels. I was working the room making introductions, hugging people I knew, and really having a good time. It was coming towards the end of the evening and the event was finally winding down. This meant I was finally ready to have my first glass of wine. I have a rule of thumb, at work events I do not have more than one glass of wine and I typically wait until the end of event. Anyway I digressed… As I walked over to the bar there was… “Kyle.” The long dreadlocks had been cut off and he was now sporting a neat fade. His bohemian chic attire was now replaced with a sports jacket, matching slacks and no tie. He turned around and spotted me. He did a triple take. You know those moments when someone sees you and is trying to place where they know you from. How funny, here was a bastard who had taught me one of the most profound and hurtful lessons (outside of my ex husband) only 13 years ago and this motherfucker couldn’t even remember me. I wanted to take my 6 inch Jimmy Choo and poke his eye out but I remembered I was at a work event. Not to mention my inner loving diva slowly relaxed me, “You’re no longer the “kid” he used to call you. You’re now a grown ass woman. You finally get the proper closure.” With that I took a deep breath and smiled at him. That’s when it clicked. He realized who I was. I walked up to “Kyle.”
Me: Well what a blast from the past. Hello “Kyle.”
Kyle: Wow. I can’t believe my yes. You’re all grown up.
Me: Yes I am.
Kyle: You look great.
Me: Thank you. (I didn’t feel the need to return the compliment. I hadn’t evolved that damn much.)
Kyle: How have you been?
Me: Wonderful. Yourself?
Kyle: I’ve been good. What are you doing these days?
I told him that I was now an executive at a studio and told him a little about my job. I kept it brief and very professional.
Me: Good seeing you Kyle.
I started to walk off. Kyle practically ran to me and handed me a card.
Kyle: Here’s my card. Please let me take you out to dinner so we can catch up.
Me: That’s not necessary. Like I said, it was great seeing you.
Kyle: Listen, I know I wasn’t right back in the day and I hope we can move past that.
ME: That’s water under the bridge. We were both young and I was wide open then. But I must thank you for the lesson you taught me. You truly changed my perspective on dating and how I approached things moving forward and for that I am so grateful.
Kyle: I was fucked up.
Me: Yeah you were. You were a true bonafide asshole. But again, that was so long ago and I have moved past that.
Kyle: I look forward to hearing from you. Do you have a card on you?
ME: No I ran out. I’ll call you.
With that, I gave “Kyle” a kiss on the cheek and strutted off. As I left the restaurant I looked at his card and threw that shit out. Of course I wasn’t going to call that bastard. Yes I had moved past it and I had evolved but I had no intention of reconnecting with a man who had already shown me who he was. I opened up my purse and looked for the valet ticket. It was in between a stack full of my business cards I had brought with me to pass out at the networking event. There was no way in hell I was about to waste a card on his ass either.
When I got in my car I suddenly started cracking up. Not just little giggles either. I had a case of uncontrollable laughter. I laughed at the woman I was and the silly mistakes I made and the dumb shit I did in the name of love. I laughed at how life is truly a series of full circle moments. And if you don’t truly allow yourself to live in the moment and be perceptive to life’s little and big lessons it will pass you by. Talk about Boomerang! There were so many times I wished I could run into “Kyle” and give him a piece of my mind and say “Ha-ha look at me now.” I even have those moments with my ex husband where I would love to run into his ass and scream on top of a mountain, “YOU DID NOT BREAK ME!!!” I realize in life things happen when they are supposed to happen. They do not happen on your on time, they happen at the right time. Who knows if I will ever have a run in with my ex or if I will have another run in with a dumb ass I have dated in the past. But I can say with full confidence whatever happens I am ready.
I have the luxury of living only 4 miles from my office. So when I have to meet with clients and the location is 4.1 miles or more, I have an attitude. On this particular day I had to drive 20 miles outside of the way for a client meeting. And to top it off I was starving. I decided to make a stop at the Whole Foods and grab a quick bite to eat before my meeting. I walked into the prepared food section and looked up and to my surprise I was greeted by the smile of another customer waiting on a kale salad. He had to be at least 6’5. He was the coloring of café au lait, and he had the brightest smile. There was a sense of warmth that radiated from him. All of a sudden a little girl ran up to him and he picked her up in those muscular arms, spun her around and hugged her. Not only was he FINE but he was also good with children. I assumed he was married and that was his daughter until another guy came up and the girl yelled, “Daddy, Daddy.” Okay, so clearly this man wasn’t the father he was a friend of the father. He said hello and I said hello back. And I decided to be bold and ask him what he was ordering and that was the beginning of the conversation. “Sanford” was an engineer who was at the Whole Foods on his lunch break. “Sanford” was single, no kids, 42, half-black and half-Italian (what a great combination) and loved to work out. He mentioned he came there every single day at 1 pm and got the same thing. This was definitely not a selling point. I couldn’t stand a man who stuck to the same routine every single day. That could get boring and monotonous. With men like that I always wondered if they kept up with the same monotony when they had sex. 3 strokes to the left, 5 strokes to the right, up, down and cum. Okay, I digressed… My point is I like a man who is spontaneous. But it wasn’t a red flag it was just one of those things that made me go hmmmm… We exchanged numbers and he texted me immediately…It was great meeting you. I hope to see you sooner than later. So far so good. He was definitely off to a great start. We met at C&O Cucina in Venice Beach 3 days later. I mentioned to him how much I love Chianti. He arrived a little before me. As you already know I like to arrive a little late to a date so the guy can see me sashay into the restaurant. When I arrived he was sitting at the table with a bottle of Chianti already ordered. He stood up and gave me the warmest hug. The conversation was… how do I put it? Revealing. He talked a lot about his previous relationships. Why? I have no idea. I could give two shits about your past relationships when I am on a first date. But at the same time, when you are a man in your 40’s who has never been married I need to get some type of indication about what your deal is. What is your tragic flaw that you are single? Are you a commitment phoebe? Are you weird? Are you gay? What’s the deal? I didn’t get any of those vibes from him. He also went into a long more detailed story about his past relationship:
Sanford: I did everything for my ex. She worked at MAC and I used to come by if she wasn’t making her number for the day and buy up a bunch of stuff for her to make sure she made her number.
Me: (sipping my glass of Chianti) Really, how supportive of you.
Sanford: I used to make her long bubble baths so when she came home from work she was taken care of. I even went through my entire 401K to make her happy and support her.
Me: Why in the hell would you go through your 401K for anyone?
Sanford: I was so in love with her and willing to do anything to make her happy.
At this point I was tuning out. Am I the only person when bored on a date that looks around the restaurant at other couples and plays the “Who’s getting some tonight game?” I was so bored with his story of being a dating Martyr. I can’t stand when men try to make themselves out to be Superman to their “evil” exes. I mean really. I could care less.
I noticed he paid the bill with cash and left a nice tip. I look at a man slightly side eyed when he pays a large dinner bill with cash. My antennas go up. I can’t lie. I wonder does this man have a checking account? Does he not have a credit card? Or is he just cash savvy and likes to pay with cash and not have a bill later? Either way I was curious about it. He walked me to my car and gave me a hug. I was going out of town two days later for work and he offered to give me a ride to the airport. I told him I had a car service picking me up but he insisted. So two days later. At 5:30 in the morning this man was outside of my building waiting for me. When I got in the car there was a fresh cup of coffee waiting for me. How thoughtful! This man lived a good 45 minutes away from me and he picked me up and drove me to the airport. He gave me a respectable hug and we spoke a few times while I was gone. I found it odd that after speaking to him every single day that he just stopped calling. 3 days went by and I didn’t receive a phone call or a text message from him. Of course I refused to call him. And the 2 weeks went by and I still hadn’t heard from him. When I returned to LA, I was extremely bored one night and decided to give him a call. Ironically he picked up. When he heard my voice, he was thrilled to hear from me. He explained how he just got out of the hospital. Apparently he had blood clots and almost died! I was shocked. Normally I am ready to write a guy off if I don’t hear from him and put him in the ASSHOLE category. This was a lesson to me. Sometimes it is worth reaching out before you throw the towel in. He stressed how much he really wanted to see me.
So I decided to go stop by and see him. After all, he just got out of the hospital. He was nice enough to give me a ride to the airport. I picked up a plant on the way to his home. He lived pretty damn far and the traffic wasn’t making it any better. As my navigation directed me towards his house, I noticed the neighborhood change. There were a bunch of old ass apartments. The apartments that looked like the Motel 6 chains with the iron rods and two levels. Then my navigation announced I had arrived at the destination. I looked out my window to an old ass building. With barred windows. The plants outside of the building were old and dying. I double checked to make sure I had the right address… unfortunately I did. Then I figured. There are a lot of spots that look like shit from the outside but inside they are really nice. Surely he wouldn’t have invited over to a piece of shit home sick or not. So I got out of my car and locked my doors and clicked my alarm twice. I walked a few steps and clicked the button for my alarm one last time for good luck. As I walked through the front gate a black cat ran past me. Shit! I hate cats! Then I walked up the steps and I swore I could smell chitlins’ or some funky ass smell of food one of his neighbors was cooking. I got to his door where one of the numbers was hanging lose and knocked. He opened the door. He lost a good 15 pounds and he looked tired. He still had on his hospital identity bracelet. I felt so bad for him. Then I walked into his apartment and was horrified. It was a super duper tiny spot. The furniture looked like something from Sanford and Son. It was that old corduroy brown furniture. Furniture that did not match. He had stacks and stacks of CD’s. There was an over sized old school television. One of those TV’s that sit on the floor with a wooden base not a flat screen. There was an airbrush picture of Prince circa Purple Rain on the wall. And the last and final straw was the Corona clock hanging up on the wall. I looked behind me because I was almost positive Ashton Kutcher had to be present and I was getting PUNKED! I couldn’t believe a 25 year old man would live like this let alone a 42 year old man! More importantly, I was shocked that he would have invited me over to his spot. Sick or not! I looked on his counter and saw a stack of cash. Upon closer look I noticed that was his rent money. He was paying it in cash. WTF? I stayed long enough to give him his plant and then rolled the fuck out. There was no way in hell I was staying there. Call me a bitch, but really?
Is there something wrong with wanting a man who at the very least came to the table at my level? I could never settle for that. And are there women out there who still would have dated this man? Obviously yes there are because he was handsome and nice. We’ve all seen it. If you are a fan of Real Housewives of Atlanta, Kandi Burruss has been accused of falling victim to the Sanford and Son Effect. But I got to draw the line somewhere. Furthermore, if you’re living like that, make it a point to go to the woman’s house. He should have waited until I was in love and dick whipped before he even considered having me over there. I have a theory for men like this. These are the men who give a woman the world. They make the women feel so taken care of because they see the bigger picture. They typically target a successful woman who is eager/damn right desperate to have a good looking man by their side. These men are typically amazing in bed. The sex is better than anything you have ever experienced. It is all designed to reel that woman in. Once the man has gotten into that woman’s psyche that’s when they make the settle suggestion… Babe, we are together all the time we might as well move in together. You’re the one. By this point the woman is totally dick whipped and appreciating this man who gives them the world. This man will cook you gourmet meals…with the shit you bought. When you are sick, this is the man who will make a chicken noodle soup. This is the man who will wash your hair. This is the man who will get your car fixed… with your money. He hypes you up to feel like you are the only woman in the world. He hypes a woman up so much that before she knows it she is in love. She doesn’t realize she is fronting the bill for all of the trips. She doesn’t realize those amazing four course meals are being paid by her own checking account. Or the woman realizes it but doesn’t care. Typically these men are FINE too. So a woman with low self esteem is so excited to post pictures on Facebook with this man and essentially she has a piece of arm candy. She tells her girls, “He treats me so good. He does everything for me…” As her friends give her the side eye look. Luckily for me, I saw right through that shit and got the fuck out. There’s nothing wrong with taking care of a man if that is something you enjoy doing. But for me, I could never respect a man who doesn’t have his shit together. Call me a shallow snot, I’ll be that. But one thing I will never be is a Sugar Momma!
Things were really going well with me and “Todd.” He wasn’t necessarily my type in the looks department. He had an odd-shaped head. And call me silly but you know how some people have thick looking teeth. You know those teeth that look like they are too big for a person’s mouth. But he was tall, had great hair, and he seemed like he had his shit together. He was 46 but looked like he was in his late 30’s. He went to an HBCU which was always a plus especially in LA. He was originally from the east coast, which was a super-duper plus. He was in Pharmaceutical Sales and we met through a mutual friend. I really wasn’t interested in him at first because something about him just didn’t do it for me. I couldn’t put my finger on it. But I wanted to do things differently and give the guy a chance. At first he suggested meeting for lunch. I nipped that shit in the bud. I don’t do first date mid-week lunches. First of all during the day I am still in work mode and can’t switch it off easily. Lunch dates are reserved for men that I have had several dates with already. So he suggested meeting at the Firefly for drinks. That is always a great first date. If you realize that you have nothing in common with a guy you don’t have to sit through a full meal or text one of your girlfriends to call you with the “fake” emergency call. When I arrived I could tell he was a little nervous. I found that attractive. There is something so cute when you can tell a guy is really attracted to you. The conversation flowed. We talked a lot about the east coast. Come to find out although he had a full-time job he was an actor. YUCK!!!! Being in LA you meet so many out of work actors. And my first thought was, really? You’re damn near fifty, if it hasn’t happened for you; it’s not going to happen. However, I gave him the exception because he was pursuing acting in addition to having a full-time 9-5. I could respect that because at least he was getting a pay check. And understood the concept “In addition to…” He had a daughter in her early 20’s AND a granddaughter. Although I didn’t want to go there, my mind immediately went to the idea if I ended up with this guy, not only was I inheriting a 20+ step daughter but my young cute self would also inherit a granddaughter; kind of a turn off but a reality if I chose to continue dating these older “wiser” men. Then we had our second date. This date will forever go in the books as one of my favorite dates. He picked me up and he looked really nice. It was Saturday early evening in August. So the weather was perfect. We went to the beach and watched the sunset and just talked about everything. I felt like I was really getting to know him. I wasn’t thinking about the future and if he was husband material but I was just in the moment with a nice guy that I seemed to have things in common with. From the Sunset beach he took me to one of my favorite restaurants. Hal’s Bar and Grill in Venice. And then we ended the night at The W Hollywood laughing at all the wannabe’s in the lobby bar. We sat down and he put his arms around me and it felt really nice. We met for coffee a few days later. It was the first time in a really long time I was out with a guy consistently. We made it a point to not get sexual. Which is a good thing because it forces both people to be level-headed. Then he had the ultimate test, introduction to my closest friends at a Labor Day BBQ. That always brings a lot of anxiety because if the guy is up underneath me the whole time its annoying and if he wasn’t social and good with my inner circle of friends it would never work. You see my California inner circle of friends and I went to Hampton University together. We are all imports in California. We are truly a family. We argue, we laugh, and we support each other. And if they do not like the guy in my life then he might as well change his number and fall off a cliff. BUT “Todd” fit right in. He was able to hold his own conversation with the fellas. He also seemed like he knew my friends for years. Just like our dates, his introduction to the inner circle was seamless. A few days later me and my friends were meeting at one of our favorite brunch locations with bottomless Mimosas (The Hudson). I invited “Todd.” He left such a lasting impression on my friends that they insisted I invite him to the brunch. It had been years, literally years since I brought a new guy around my inner circle. And I have to admit it was nice to bring a date around. As me and “Todd” were walking into The Hudson it occurred to me that there was going to be a large group of people at the brunch and I hated the confusion that brought when the bill came. So I told “Todd” as we were walking in that we should ask for a separate bill. The conversation went like this.
Me: I realized we should ask the waiter for a separate check since there are so many people I don’t want us to have to deal with the drama of splitting a very large bill.
Todd: Okay cool… Um… Do you mind if we split the bill?
Me: (applying a fresh coast of lip gloss) No we don’t need to split it because we are going to get our check separately.
Todd: No I understand that part, but do you mind if you and I split the bill?
Me: (realization sinks in, look at Todd like he has two heads, blink ) Um…. Okay…
So we proceed into The Hudson. And I have various calming meditations in my head so that I do not play him in front of a group of people. I happened to find the waiter when I was on my way to the bathroom and discreetly give him my credit card and charged the whole thing to my card. We already had plans for him to come to my house 2 days later for me to cook him dinner for the first time. I had a mind to cancel but I decided to still have him over. Now let’s state the facts. The issue is not about me paying for the bill. The issue is how he did it. Had I not asked him ahead of time, was he planning on asking me in front of my friends?! Secondly we just started dating we were still in the courting phase so for him to have done something so tacky so early on says a lot. I have never had an issue paying for a meal for a guy. However, I am a little old fashioned. When I offer to pay, he should be damn near offended. This man is close to 50 and I realized that he was broke! And I’ll be damned if I dated an old ass broke man who is tacky. Now I decided to do things differently this time. Instead of cutting him off without notice I decided to have a grown up conversation with him about just to be fair. I mean we had been out several times. I enjoyed his company and I needed to figure out what was going on in his oddly shaped head! So the next day he came over to my house and I cooked him an amazing dinner. I believe I went all out just to make a damn point! As we were having dessert I decided to broach the topic.
Me: There has been something on my mind and I have struggled with whether or not I was going to bring this up. But I figured you are a cool guy and I wanted to me honest with you. You threw me off the other day when we were going into the Hudson and you asked to split the bill. (pause for reaction, an inclination that he’s getting what I’m saying)
Todd: Yeah. What was the problem?
Me: I do not have a problem paying for the bill on a date. However, the way you did it was kind of tacky. What if I hadn’t asked you before we went in about separating the bill? What would you have done when the bill came in front of my entire group of friends?
Todd: I would have asked you how you wanted to handle it.
Me: SO… you see nothing wrong with being out with my friends and asking me to pay for half the bill in front of them and we just started dating?
Todd: (with a slight attitude) No. Are you saying you expect me to always pay for the bill when we go out?
Me: No that’s not what I am saying. And if you recall I paid for our coffee. But that’s not the point. What I am saying is you and I have just started dating and you are courting me and that would not have been a good look.
Todd: Has a man NEVER asked you to pay for half the bill?
Me: Actually, no. The times when I have paid for a date, the men I am out with are usually VERY uncomfortable with that. As a matter of fact I have had to either sneak paying the bill or begged to pay. But no, I have never had a man who I am just beginning to date ASK me to pay or half the bill especially in front of my friends.
Todd: Well you’re one lucky woman because I see nothing wrong with that.
(long awkward pause)
Me: Well let me ask you this, was you asking me to pay half because you couldn’t afford to pay for it?
Todd: (long pause) Kind of… Yes…
Me: Well why did you agree to go? You shouldn’t have come if that was the case.
Todd: Well I guess you’re right.
(even longer awkward pause)
Me: Clearly we both need some time to marinate on this.
Todd: I agree.
I decided that would be our last conversation. It wasn’t a bitter “I hate your guts” type of thing but I realized we were on two different pages. Here’s the issue at hand:
1- He saw nothing wrong with the possibility of embarrassing me in front of my friends.
2- He didn’t understand that we were still in the early stages of dating and as a man he should not have asked me to pay for half. It’s one thing if I offered to pay for half or even if we had been dating for a while and we had this discussion waaaaaaay before we left for The Hudson.
3- If a man is close to 50 and his financial situation is suspect and he can’t afford a $65 brunch for two, damn it we have a problem!
4- If you are short on cash. Be creative about the dates. Let’s do a picnic, let’s go to the beach, let’s go to a museum!
I do not consider Todd to be a bad guy. As a matter of fact we are still cool and if I see him we give each other hugs and there’s nothing but love. But at the end of the day, he and I just were not meant to date.
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