Last week was a doozy! There was a big black cloud that was following me everywhere I went. I couldn’t shake it. The more I attempted to run from it the more it kept following me. You know where you have one of those weeks where everything seems to be going completely WRONG! It’s one disaster after the next. Just last week the guy I had been dating for the last 3 months informed me he didn’t want to have any more children. Yes, the first man I had dated and liked consistently since 1932. It a fucking wrap! I noticed he was starting to pull back. We went out to Moon Shadows and watched the sunset. I was finishing a glass of wine when “Barry” dropped the bomb on me.
Barry: I’m not sure about having more kids. My son is 21 years old and almost done with college. I have stayed up many nights thinking about this since you and I started seeing each other. I really like you. I’m just not sure we want the same things. And if this wasn’t an issue we’d be on the fast track to marriage but I know it’s important to you and I am so conflicted.
I sat there looking at him. My first thought was to say to him what I was thinking, “Ummmmm…. I haven’t even slept with you yet and I’m not sure if I would a) want to marry you and/or b) have a child with you. What the fuck? I just wanted to order another glass of wine.” I of course took the grown woman high road.
Me: I can’t continue to date you knowing you feel this way. I just can’t chance falling in love with you and getting married and either you getting a secret vasectomy or even worse, I get pregnant and the whole time I am concerned you’re not excited about it.
Barry: I think you’re such an amazing woman and I wish things could be different.
Me: To be honest Barry, I could feel you starting to pull back and I knew deep inside that’s what was going on. But I really and truly appreciate your honesty. Good luck with everything.
Barry: Why are you saying that like I’ll never see you again?
Me: I’m sure I’ll see you around.
I’m not that woman who is going to keep seeing a guy knowing we want completely different things in life. What was going to do? Keep moving forward and hope and pray he changes his mind? Um… No! When a man tells you who he is, you have to believe him.
We finished our drinks. The silence was deafening. AND we had to drive ALL the way back to the valley. That was the longest 40 minute drive of my life. He walked me to my door. I took my final look at “Barry” gave him a hug and closed the door. I took a deep breath and a sunk to the floor and had myself a good cry. Not because I had fallen in love with him or even in a deep like with him. I had no idea if he and I even had a future. The shallow part of me was never attracted to his big ass over grown stomach. He was a 45 year old man that needed to go to the gym and go on a diet immediately! But I managed to get over that. At times he even came off a little cheap. This issue was slowly actually rapidly beginning to annoy me. There’s nothing worse than a stingy man! I cried because I was so frustrated! How many more disappointments did I have to go through? What if it didn’t happen for me? Was I destined to be one of those women with a great career and social life who ended up alone? Did I need to brace myself and begin to accept that love might not happen for me. And even worse yet, babies might not happen either?! I was enjoying my life. If I was completely honest with myself I wasn’t ready for a kid. Just a few weeks ago I went to my god daughter’s volleyball game after work. After stressing out and breaking several traffic laws to get there on time, cheering her on, and then taking her out to dinner afterwards. By the time I got home, I passed out. Not my usual wine induced pass out but I was genuinely and naturally exhausted. I thought to myself, “Shit, how in the fuck did my mother do this? And she had 3 kids and was doing it on her own.” I found a whole new appreciation for her and other mothers of the world. When did I become that poster child for the 35+ woman whose biological clock was ticking when I hadn’t even purchased the clock yet alone set the alarm?! What the fuck was happening? My cry was from pure and utter frustration. Thank God I didn’t sleep with “Barry.” That could have really clouded my judgment especially if the sex resulted in a great orgasm! I might have been like, “Kids are overrated!” Okay I digressed…
By the time Friday rolled around not only did I have the black cloud still hanging over me but I felt like I was slowly descending into a deep hole! I was in a funk of all funks and I wasn’t quite sure how to shake it. And it was NOT over “Barry” it was life in general. Was this the best it was gonna get? Was this my future? The last time I was feeling like this was around my 25th birthday when I went through a quarter life crisis. So I did what I did then. I resorted to my favorite show of all time Sex and the City. I had the full DVD set. So I could watch every single season. It always seemed to get me out of my funk before. And that’s exactly what I did for the entire weekend. I had just gone to the Bev Mo five cent wine sale. My wine storage and fridge was full of great wines. I was experimenting with various recipes and settled on eggplant parmesan. And I sat on my couch and watched Sex and the City for the entire weekend. I laughed, I cringed, and I reminisced. And by the time I got to Season 6 when Charlotte went through her divorce. I had a MAJOR “Ah….Shit” moment. When I used to watch Sex and the City 10 years ago it was pure entertainment. It was a familiar yet foreign concept. I could relate to these women but at the same time I couldn’t. But as I watched Charlotte deal with her over bearing mother in law and Carrie Bradshaw debate whether to continue dating Alexander Protrovsky knowing he had a vasectomy and she was 38 years old without kids. I paused the DVD and reflected on my life. This show was no longer a foreign concept. I was their target demo… the 35+ single woman living in the city. I was the living and breathing black version of Sex and the City the only difference was I lived in LA. And Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda didn’t have the added text messaging etiquette and social media of dating aspect to over obsess over. But I watched it with a whole new set of eyes. And realized why this show never got old. These four women each had a piece of my heart.
Miranda- She was career driven and independent. When she was feeling insecure she dove in her work. After keeping a wall up for so many years she final allowed herself to give into Steve. She was no nonsense. I learned there’s nothing wrong with having drive for a great career. And not being afraid to just say what the fuck is on my mind without apologies.
Charlotte- The hopeless romantic. Also, if you really watch the show Charlotte was having more sex than everyone even Samantha. But she packaged it up to look like a relationship. She went through the devastation of living in a fantasy world when it came to dating and men and her divorce is what shook her into reality after dealing with an overbearing mother in law and a momma’s boy ex husband (can we say déjà vu?). But ultimately she never settled. Her second husband might have been short, overweight, and bald. But he could keep her in the lifestyle she was accustomed to and he adored her. She found her gift in a package she never expected.
Carrie- Carrie taught me so many things. And watching her now I could relate to her on so many levels. The most important thing I noticed after having my “Ah…Shit” moment was Carrie knew how to express what she was feeling. It didn’t always come out poetic and pretty. And she most certainly had her flaws. But I learned to just be upfront and let a man know how I felt no matter how uncomfortable the conversation.
Samantha- I learned the most from her. She showed me it is okay to be single and fabulous. Getting married and having children does not equate to happiness. Happiness comes from living life on your own terms and not apologizing for it. It was just what I needed at this time.
I know I ultimately would like to get married again and have children. But until it is right I realized I have to make myself okay with where I am in the journey right now. I have spent so many years trying to control my future and worry about the what-ifs. What if I never meet my true soul mate.. What if by the time I meet him I am too old to have children… What if I can’t have kids… What if I messed up a good thing.. what if this is as good as it gets? Instead… my “Ah…Shit” moment made once again realize I need to live in the here and the now. After all, Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte ended up just fine. And yes, I am at the Sex and the City age. And it’s okay. I have had a journey of so many discoveries and learning who I really am. And damn it, my life is just as… if not even more fabulous the ladies of Sex and the City! I did a toast to the lessons and thanked them for once again being the sunshine that got rid of the dark cloud.
I’m baaack!!!! I have to apologize to my loyal readers. When I am on heavy business travel it gets a little difficult to post my blogs. You know what they say about excuses and I do not believe in using tools of incompetence. And I most certainly will not put up some random bullshit. I love y’all too much for that. So… I am still kind of seeing someone! Pause for reaction and gasps. Like I said before I haven’t liked someone consistently since 1932. And I am still sticking with keeping my guy a man of mystery. But I must say it has been an adjustment. I have spent so much time talking about shitty dates, crazy men, losers, freaks, disappointments, etc. It has been interesting to really enjoy someone and know the feeling is mutual. I was not expecting it. See, married people. That bullshit phrase that drives me and all single women nuts, ”You’ll find the man when you’re not looking,” has officially been proven to be utter condescending bullshit. What you should say to your single friends is, “Put yourself out there. You will not meet the right guy if you aren’t actively looking. It might be an unexpected surprise.” Do you see the difference? I just have such an issue with women who get in serious relationships and marriages and then get sudden amnesia of what it was like to be single. It drives me absolutely nuts!!! I really want to stress this point. Anyway… I digressed.
Being in this new… relationship (it’s scary to actually put that word in writing) definitely brings up a lot for me. The last time I really liked someone consistently I ended up marrying him and we know how that ended. So I find myself wanting to do things completely different this time. After going through the heartache and devastation of meeting someone and realizing that the person you fell in love with was not who they really were it takes time to learn to trust yourself again. And no, I am not being closed or guarded. I am acknowledging the feeling and allowing myself to feel it so I can address it and move on. Lots of times, we as women don’t allow ourselves to have a feeling because it seems wrong, we then hold it in, and from there disaster! But there are also those feelings of insecurity and craziness all women experience at the beginning of a new relationship. Is he going to call? When is he going to call? Does he really like me? Where the fuck is this going? Should I call him? He hasn’t responded to my text right away does that mean he doesn’t like me… Is he dating anyone else? Is he fucking anyone else? How soon is too soon to finally give him some? Once I do give him some will things change? Does he want a relationship? What is he thinking? Are we on the same page? It can be down right exhausting. You want to pull your hair out at the frustration sometimes! In my 20’s BM (before marriage) I would have these conversations with the dating experts…. My girlfriends (side eye). I love them but my goodness getting advice from your girls can drive you bat shit crazy if you’re not secure in your relationship. It will have you second guessing everything. One thing I have valued PD (post divorce) and now being a woman in my 30’s is my growth. I have been through the storm and have a heightened awareness of who I am, what I am looking for in a relationship, and I am unapologetic for it. Instead of going to my girlfriends to figure out what the hell is going on with my and the new guy I decided to do something completely different. I decided to go straight to the source. The Guy! What a concept! I was nervous as hell too. Because there was the possibility he would say something that would turn me off completely and our last few months of getting to know each other and courting and me letting my guard down would quickly turn into yet another post about yet another dating disaster. After another great date we were hanging out at my house and I had my issue of Essence magazine out on my coffee table. (Yes ladies, he does know about the blog and guess what he didn’t run away. He doesn’t read it yet… thank goodness). When The Bush Bitch was featured in the July issue of Essence magazine like any other proud published author I bought 20 copies of the magazine.
He ended up reading the excerpt. As I took a long swig of my wine it felt like it was taking him hours to read it. I felt… exposed. When people are reading your work you are vulnerable and completely exposed. It was a good sign when he chuckled a few times. Whew what a relief! Two things that was great about this small interaction. He liked my writing and he wasn’t freaked out by the idea that I write about relationships. Remember a few months back when I considered shutting down my site because I was worried that I would stay single forever because men would be afraid to date me? Remember those few folks that gave me advice never to tell a guy I am currently dating about my blog? I would like to take a second to give all of you naysayers a big “FUCK YOU!” Okay, I had to get that moment of childish behavior off my chest. I keep digressing! After he read the article and we got into an interesting conversation about relationships (which I will keep between the two of us) I was set up to have the conversation. Who knew my blog would be the perfect segway for a relationship conversation with a guy I am dating? Go figure! At this point I had nothing to lose. I took a deep breath as well as another sip of my “liquid courage” aka wine.
Me: So… I actually like you. I wasn’t expecting to like you. And I haven’t genuinely liked someone for a long time. But I want to be honest with you. I’m not into casual dating or casual sex and I am at a point in my life where I am—-
Guy: Dating with a Purpose.
Me: Exactly! And if you’re not on the same page that is completely fine and there are no hard feelings but I wouldn’t keep going out with you if we are not on the same page. I’m not saying I have a wedding gown in my purse, but I just want to make sure you know where I am coming from.
Guy: I hear you and yes we are on the same page.
In my mind I did the happy dance of relief. I also did a few cartwheels. But on the exterior I kept it cool, calm and collective.
Guy: I appreciate your honesty and clarity.
Me: And I appreciate you hearing me out.
That’s the only part of the conversation you nosey people are going to get. Again, because I like his guy I won’t be giving you the nitty gritty. After we had the conversation I was relived. Is this what it means to date like a grown woman? I was so used to playing games in my day or worrying myself trying to figure out what the hell these men were thinking half of the damn time. Little did I know all I had to do was go directly to the source and be honest. As women, how many times do we not have these open and honest conversations because we are terrified of what the guy will say? How many times do we drive ourselves crazy wondering if a man likes us? How many times do we play games to make sure the guy can’t figure out if we really like them or not? Or even worse, how many times have we slept with a man and had no clue where we stood with them and then attempted to have the conversation once the oxytocin is released and our feelings are all over the place? It was at that moment I promised myself I would be open and honest with relationships moving forward. We need to have pillow talk before our heads and other body parts hit the damn pillow! I can’t say I won’t have any emotional moments where my insecurities about being in a new relationship make me have major self doubts. I can’t say there won’t be moments when I am wondering what the hell these men are thinking. I can’t say there won’t be times where I call 4 different girlfriends trying to get advice and driving them crazy with my various scenarios. After all if we can’t do that with our girlfriends who can we do that with? I also can’t say I won’t have a few relapses of playing games about my feelings. After all we are all WIPs (works in progress). But what I can say is being open, honest, and daring to ask the questions that I need to know the answers to is certainly the way to go. My goodness, imagine if I had started doing these simple things years ago. Oh well with age and experience come wisdom!
If you have been a loyal reader to my blog you know I have mastered the art of having ME time. Whether I am going to the beach, taking myself out for a nice meal, or spending an extra day on a business trip to explore a city, I have it down to a science. But what I haven’t mastered is the art of down time at my house. I am not referring to when I am having a lazy day in my bed watching Lifetime Movie Network and Bravo and I am not talking about when I am organizing my closets and unpacking from another road trip. I am talking about down time when I am left in the four walls of my own home and left to my own devices aka my own thoughts.
Recently I connected with a special someone. As you know when I am into someone and currently dating them I do not go into detail. I keep my shit private… Well you know what I mean. LOL! But what I will say is the man I am kind of seeing is definitely an unexpected surprise the shit kind of snuck up on me. It has taken me by complete surprise. I haven’t been excited and/or looking forward to hearing and seeing someone consistently since 1932. All jokes aside, I really can’t remember the last time I was consistently excited about someone. Well actually that’s not true. I do remember the last time I was consistently excited about someone and I ended up marrying him and then going through a VERY painful divorce. That’s what is scaring the shit out of me. All this time, it’s been easy to talk about the shitty dates, the disappointments, and enjoying my singledom. But what is more terrifying is the possibility of something that makes sense. I had no idea how petrified I was until I went to my close girlfriends house for a Friday Happy Hour. Every woman should have a girlfriend who all you do is go over to each other’s homes make a nice appetizer spread, drink some great wine, and catch up on reality TV. My girlfriend and I had done this for years. We literally watched reality TV through our dating experiences, my engagement, my wedding, my divorce, and her engagement. It’s funny, we could name each reality show we watched during each period of our lives (don’t judge me, reality TV is my escape). Anyway… I digressed. Her fiancée was now a regular at our girl’s night. He would sit with us and gossip. How we got on the topic of my divorce I do not know. Perhaps it was the bottles of wine we were consuming for the last 3 hours. As my girlfriend opened up the 3 rd bottle of Sincera Red Zinfandel her fiancée got serious for a second.
Girlfriend’s Fiancée: Real talk… How long did it take you to get over your ex.
That was the second time in the last week I had been asked that question. I had met up with a girlfriend of mine who was in the beginning stages of her divorce. And she asked me the same question. And I was honest with her. I was no longer embarrassed to tell people the honest to God truth and I wasn’t willing to give her some sappy answer. So I told him exactly what I my girlfriend earlier in the week.
Me: To be honest, it took me a good 3 years.
Girlfriend’s Fiancée: Really? Wow, you really loved that dude.
Me: Yeah. I really did. I wish I could sit here and tell you different but it really wasn’t until 3 years that I got to a place of indifference where I really and truly didn’t give a fuck. When I got married I did it until death did we part, through good times and bad, in sickness and health. I had no idea he wasn’t along for the same ride. But I am so thankful for what the experience taught me.
Girlfriend’s Fiancée: That’s real talk sis.
There was once a time when I would pretend to the public that I was over the divorce but when I got within the walls of my home it was a different story. There was once a time when the walls of my home were the only place where I felt comfortable enough to break down. It was truly my Oasis. But as I got stronger I think I avoided being within these walls and constantly keeping my mind pre-occupied because it was a constant reminder of when I was at my lowest and weakest point. Once again the old me and the present me had to find a way to co-exist in my home. I no longer needed to be out and about to create a certain amount of happiness. It was right here within these walls. I no longer had the need to pre-occupy myself with various “to-do” items in order to keep my mind off of the times when I would sit on my couch and cry until the tears no longer could flow. I was now a happy, single woman who was currently experiencing the possibility of a situation that might make sense. One thing this home had not experienced just yet was me in love and in a happy relationship with someone. I had no idea what that looked like at this point in my life. What would the walls of this home look like as I created new memories with someone who I truly loved and cared about?
It’s interesting. When you go through a really shitty break-up or divorce it’s hard to imagine yourself in love again. There is this terrifying feeling of being hurt again. I am not talking about carrying baggage and not allowing you to be open to the possibility of a new relationship. I am talking about visualizing yourself in that new relationship as the person you are now. Whether or not this possibility turns into something I realized I needed to sit in my home and let things be. Visualize what it means to fall in love as the woman I am today with all the lessons I have learned post divorce. So that’s what I did. I put on some Pat Methany, poured myself a glass of wine and I sat unoccupied and imagined me the serial dater…. In Love and happy. And guess what, it wasn’t so damn bad. I welcome the experience. Perhaps I will spend more time within these walls that have guided me through hurt, pain and devastation, and allow transformed walls to lead me into love, continued growth, and happiness. These walls were certainly talking to me and I was listening. What a great transformation…. Woosa…
* 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 remember the first few months of my divorce; I would look at myself in the mirror and feel like there was a huge weight on my shoulders. I would also look at myself and feel like I was a different person. I still looked like myself but I felt like I was wounded and I didn’t know how to heel the injury. Fast forward to present day. I have really been focusing on my friendships and my family. I went out with one of my close girlfriends last weekend. She is 42 and newly engaged. We have been close friends for the last 10 years. We have gone through the ups and downs of dating and as her close friend it is so great to see her excitement during this time of her life. As we sat down having cocktails overlooking the ocean at the Loew’s Hotel in Santa Monica she was reminiscing over the last decade.
Girlfriend: I tell you, life is so interesting. You really have to enjoy your life and live in the moment.
Me: That has been a recurring theme lately.
Girlfriend: Trust me, I understand. I met my honey later in life. But if I had met him before I did neither one of us would have been ready. You see, the 20’s are for making the mistakes. The 30’s are for learning the lessons, and once you reach your 40’s you hit your stride. You’ve made the mistakes and learned the lessons. And you are at a point in your life where you say fuck it! I am who I am and it’s okay.
Ironically, this wasn’t the first time I had heard that saying. But perhaps it was the first time I was really paying attention to what she was saying. The very next day, I met up with another group of my girlfriends who happened to be in their early 40’s as well. We were celebrating my girlfriend’s 40th birthday. It was a beautiful day in Malibu. We sat outside at Gladstone’s eating Oysters and having some wine. We were all sharing our dating horror stories and just bonding. All of us at the table had gone through a divorce or some type of heartache at one point in our lives and had made it to the other side.
Me: What are some of the lessons you learned in your 30’s?
Girlfriend: Let me tell you something. You are young. You cannot settle! Lots of times we settle and we put up with a lot of shit that we shouldn’t. If something doesn’t seem right, keep it moving!
Me: How do I know if I am not being reasonable? In the past I have been accused of not giving guys a chance.
Girlfriend: Oh please, if it’s not right it’s not right. You know when shit doesn’t feel right. You can’t force stuff. I’m not telling you to be a raging bitch. But I don’t want you to be in something just because you don’t want to be alone. I don’t want you to put up with crap just because you think you can’t get better or you’re getting “old.” Chile’ please.
There seems to be a certain stride that women hit once they turn 40. I noticed it in a lot of my friends. First of all, they all look beautiful. There is an inner and outer beauty that radiates from within. There is a certain amount of confidence I notice in women in their 40’s as well. When I was going through my divorce my mother once told me, “You have earned your battle stripes.” I realized those times when I was looking at myself in the mirror I WAS looking at a different person. I no longer lived in this fantasy world. I had gone through the trenches of a bitter breakup and I made it. I realized I was becoming a true grown ass woman. You see, in my 20’s I saw things as either black or white. There was no in between. I was going to be married by the time I reached 30, it would last forever, I would have my 2.5 children, and a house with a white picket fence. By the time I reached my 30’s and was in a bad marriage, I still saw things as black and white, I was determined to make things work in spite of the fact I knew deep in my soul I was with the wrong person. I was willing to shrink who I was to fit into his small world in order to make him happy. But by the time I was going through the divorce that is when my black and white world was suddenly turning gray. And that’s when I realized as a 35 year old women I am in the midst of becoming the woman I was supposed to be. Without the experience I had I would have still been living in my black and white fantasy world.
I don’t think it is a coincidence that I have a lot of my close girlfriends who are in their 40’s. They are like big sisters to me and there is such a love that we share. And there is also authenticity. We don’t bullshit around; we say it like we mean it. Although I have sometime before I hit my 40’s (I ain’t trying to rush shit). I realized I was finally hitting my stride. I was in the middle of learning those lessons. I had already made the big mistakes and now was my time to learn from them. It’s amazing what happens when you decide to focus on you and not finding a relationship. I am hyper aware of a lot of things around me. I yearn for those perils of wisdom. I can’t lie, in the last few months I had those moments of feeling like, I’m getting older. If I don’t meet someone by the time I hit 40 the pickings are going to get slimmer. I live in LA; men will think I am too old. I want to have children one day. I need to hurry up and find someone before I hit 40!
That’s why it is important to surround yourself around positive people who have some damn sense! I was already beginning to do exactly what I was doing in my late 20’s and look where that got me. Now at 35 I had learned the lesson. When you let fear and worry dictate your actions you end up making major mistakes. I am finally learning to enjoy my “grey” time. Life isn’t just black and white. When you mix the two colors together you become a fully authentic woman. When you earn your battle strips you learn what roads lead you to another war. When you begin to embrace who you are at any age life becomes worth living it to the fullest.
Summertime is in the air! Am I the only one that loves the summertime? I feel like people are a little more laid back, the sun is constantly shining. I thrive in the summer. Perhaps it’s because I was born in August and my spirit automatically feels rejuvenated during the summertime. But either way it’s a beautiful time to live in LA. As you know I recently took a hiatus in the dating world. I made up my mind I would not date anyone who I didn’t see having potential or anyone I wasn’t attracted to. I did the research on both and I had a new perspective. When I think about it, I think I dated a lot right after my divorce because it kept me busy and I also questioned my judgment on everything when it came to dating. Then I started to think I was shallow so I started dating men who I might not have necessarily been attracted to thinking they would treat me like a queen. I quickly realized that was not necessarily the case. So I have taken the last few weeks to be EXTREMELY selective and guess what? I am completely fine with that. Judge me if you want. I’m doing things my way and for the first time in my life I really and truly don’t give a shit what anyone else thinks about it. Don’t get me wrong, this is in no means a bitter girls rant. It just feels so freeing when you finally realize the key to having the life you want is living the life you want. What a simple theory. It took me 35 years to figure it out.
I completely digressed…. Recently unbeknownst to me, my acupuncturist decided to play match maker. Only in LA! LOL! She gave me the number to a guy she met that she thought would be perfect for me. According to her, he is a really nice guy, handsome, 6’5, and driven. I figured I had nothing to lose. And the superficial side of me could appreciate the 6’5 height. Yes I am still a shallow vain bitch at times. So I gave the guy a call. And he seemed nice, charming, funny, smart, the caveat was he lived in Northern California. I really wasn’t looking to do another long distance relationship. But at least this guy lived on the same coast. We continued to talk on the phone and then the inevitable happened. He asked for me to send him a picture and then he said he was going to send me a picture. And I freaked out. I instantly had a flashback to 3 years ago….
3 years ago I was still going through my divorce at this time. So to get my mind off of my ex and LA my friends and I took a girls trip to South Beach Miami. While I was there I ran into an old college buddy who was there with some of his frat brothers. He introduced me to one of them. “Ryan” was a Psychologist with a PhD. There was an instant attraction between the two of us. We needed up hanging out while I was in Miami. He lived in the Mid West. So once we returned to our home bases we continued to talk on the phone. We had our first phone conversation. It lasted over 3 hours. We talked a lot about relationships. “Ryan” had recently broken up with his daughter’s mother. We talked about world events, racism and just life in general. I was really excited. The fact that he came with a referral was definitely a plus. So as we were ending our 3 hour conversation”Ryan” had one request.
Ryan: Can you send me a picture?
Me: Sure, but I am going to need one of you.
Ryan: I got you covered…
So we hung up the phone and I ended up falling asleep. I didn’t get a chance to send him my picture that night. I woke up the next morning and instantly went to check my phone. I’m NOT a morning person, so when I first wake up it takes me a minute to adjust to the light that comes into my room and wake up. So I rolled over and picked up my phone and saw I had a picture message from “Ryan.” I opened the picture message and had to do a double, triple, quadruple take. Suddenly I was wide awake. I jumped up from out of my bed, wiped my eyes and looked at the picture again. It hadn’t changed. “Ryan” had sent me a picture of Penis! With a text message that said… Good Morning.
What the fuck?! First of all, I had only gone out with him one time. We didn’t even talk about sex during our conversation and now he was sending me an unsolicited picture of his dick?! Granted he was certainly packing in that area. BUT who the fuck sends someone they have never been intimate with a picture of their dick?! I didn’t ask for that! This man had a PhD in psychology you would think he had some damn sense. And let me tell you something, I am not one of these simple bitches that send pictures out of myself. Could you imagine, a naked picture of yourself showing up on the internet somewhere? I didn’t know how to react to this. I was actually at a loss for words. So I decided to ignore it. But as ignorance would have it “Ryan” reached out to me an hour later…
Ryan: Did you get my text ?
What a stupid ass! You would think he would have taken my silence as a sign that he went too damn far.
Me: I got it.
Me: And, what would make you think I would want a picture of your dick?!
After a good 20 minutes went by.
Ryan: It wasn’t mine.
This was a blatant lie. But this lie made him dig his hole even deeper. No pun intended.
Me: So you sent me a picture of another man’s dick? What the hell are you doing with the picture?
Ryan: My bad.
Once again I went MIA for a while. But you know these men don’t take the damn hint.
Ryan: So are we never going to speak again?
Me: I’m cool on you. I’m not interested in a guy that sends random pictures of his dick out to women he doesn’t even know. And I’m certainly not interested in a man who has a picture of another man’s penis either. Although you and I both know that it was yours.
Ryan: What about forgiveness? People can’t make mistakes?
Me: Goodbye Ryan. Have a nice life.
I didn’t even bother telling my friend about this episode. Clearly it is true what they say about some Psychologists. They are more fucked up than their patients! I was so damn disappointed. I really enjoyed the conversations I had with this man up to this point. But I was so damn turned off. Now don’t get me wrong. If that is the nature of your relationship with someone, then all means get ready for your close up. But when you’re just getting to know someone and you are expecting a picture of him in a suit smiling and instead you get a fully erect penis shot don’t judge me for being taken aback even if you have been blessed in that department. I guess “Ryan” was proud of his 3rd leg and wanted the world to see it. SMH!
So coming back to the present moment, I waited for the new guy to send me the picture. When my phone buzzed I was nervous to pick it up. What if this guy was a fool? What if he sent me a picture I wasn’t ready to see? I slowly picked up my phone turned it around, and luckily there was a picture of a handsome man smiling into the camera with a great body and straight teeth.
Woosa, I could relax. Who knows what the deal will be with this new guy. Don’t you wish you could meet someone and they could give you a detailed report of what their issue is so you didn’t have to waste time trying to figure the shit out?! But what I realized with this latest experience, I was carrying around some baggage from the past. Some of the baggage was from the ending of my marriage. Some of it was from my recent dating disasters. I recently took out a purse I hadn’t used in years. When I got to work this morning I dropped the purse and out came 3 pictures of me and my ex. They were pictures from when we had first started dating and we went on a double date weekend to Temecula. I thought I had destroyed all of the evidence that I was once happy with this man. My first inclination was to immediately rip the pictures up then burn them, as I had done with all of the other pictures. But instead I closed the door to my office sat in the chair and stared at them for a few minutes. I was once happy with this man. I once thought that he was my knight and shining armor. I once loved him deeply. I looked at the pictures and the girl that was staring at me smiling looked like me but she seemed like such a stranger at the same time. How could I have been so wrong? Looking at the younger version of myself in the picture, I was so happy, I had no idea that only a few short years after that picture was taken that man would hurt me beyond all measure. That he would shake me to my core. But at the same time, that experience would make me this wiser woman who was now looking at the picture of her younger self. I realized I had to let go of the hurt and pain of my past in order to embrace my future relationship with the man I was supposed to be with. I think my fear of making the same mistake again, of not knowing the signs ahead of time had me on edge when I was dating.
Here was a man that had no idea of the picture faux pas that occurred a few years ago and I was already nailing him to the cross and that wasn’t fair to him or even to me. Regardless of what the future holds for any relationship I had that “ah-hah” moment. I needed to let go of the hurt and trust that I had learned my lessons for the future and finally trust myself. When you go through a painful experience the hardest person to forgive and begin to trust is yourself. At that moment I realized I spent so much time working on forgiving my ex and trying to erase that I once loved him. I was finally ready to acknowledge that yes, I once loved this man, and yes he hurt me deeply. But the good news was I knew I had the ability to love and love deeply. I was no longer going to let that hurt and pain I experienced stop me from believing I could love like that again. And most importantly, I wasn’t going to hold back when it felt right because I didn’t trust myself or I feared getting hurt again. A picture does say a thousand words, and this time I was going to listen…
I had finally returned to the land of the living. I was feeling like myself again and I was also feeling hopeful after that chance meeting with “Ron.” So I made another conscious decision to spend more time with happily married couples, people in love, and positive energy. I refused to speak to or associate with any negativity. Not to be a bitch but I needed to protect myself. It is always a great reminder to be around people who actually love each other but not only just that, they love you and want the best of you. Over the weekend I attended a bridal shower of a friend of mine who was getting married in June. She had been through a previous marriage and divorce. She met her soul mate around a year ago. To see the sincere happiness on her face during her shower was… inspirational. I believed in love and I wanted to believe that the second time around could happen. I remember a little over a year ago I was considering moving to Chicago. I had gone there for work and I felt like I was a super star. Brothas acknowledged me. They went out of their way! And I liked the vibe of the city. I told my girlfriend this and her response was, “Are you crazy? You don’t even have a plan! Are you just going to move to Chicago and not have a plan?” She definitely had a point. A few weeks later I was in Chicago for a layover. When I got off the plane and walked through the jet way, which took a total of 20 seconds. By the time I was finally in the airport. I couldn’t feel my legs. They were frostbitten. I realized then and there if this is what the weather was like in Chicago in December I was going to stay my ass right in LA. I grew up in New Jersey and yes it was cold during the winter time but the level of bitter ice cold in Chicago was more than I could stand. My 13 years in LA had made me allergic to the cold weather. And my friend had a point. It would be one thing if I had already met my soul mate who lived in Chicago and I moved for love. But why in the hell would I move to Chicago without a plan in hopes of meeting an imaginary man? If I didn’t I would spend my time alone and cold. At least in LA I can be alone but take a drive in my convertible in the middle of December with the top down. But fast forwarding to present time seeing her so happy gave me hope. And encouragement that the second time around could and would be better.
The next day I met up with two of my married girlfriends at Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica. My one girlfriend friend was happily married to a man who adored her. Their family looked like one of those families that are in a picture frame when you buy one from the store. They are gorgeous and the level of respect and love they have for one another is again inspiring. My other friend had been married for two years and I was with her when she met her husband at the UCLA Jazz fest Memorial Day weekend a few years back. Their courtship proved that when you marry a man who is your friend and who loves you unconditionally you have a strong marriage. I was telling them how I had just gone through one of my dating depression and was so frustrated with dating. You see, if I wanted to I could have already been remarried if that all I wanted was just marriage. But Like my friend whose bridal shower I went to the day before, I was looking for something more. I was looking for the real thing. And I wouldn’t settle until the real thing happened. All of these dating lessons I was learning since the divorce made me realize that it is better to be alone and lonely than with someone and lonely. Once again, being around people who are happily married gives you a sense of hope. Also, if you really listen they offer perils of wisdom. My one girlfriend told me, “Right before I met my husband. I had made myself okay with being by myself. I was travelling and just enjoying my life. I made myself okay with me first.” When I went on further to tell them about my crazy ass week and self doubt my other married girlfriend said, “You have to be very careful with what you put out into the universe. There are things that might run through my mind, but I don’t say that shit out loud. When that negative thought creeps up I push it down. Don’t speak bad shit into existence.” It is so good to have real friends.
Then my final stop for my weekend of unexpected self discovery was happy hour with some of my college friends at Sonoma Wine Bar at the 3rd Street Promenade Mall in Santa Monica. A girlfriend of mine had started dating an amazing guy. Seeing my friend so happy and with a man who genuinely got her really touched my heart. And she said, “Ladies, miracles do happen.” Seeing her smile made me realize that was true. Misery doesn’t always love company. Being around these wonderful women made me realize a few things: first of all, the common denominator they all had is they reached a point in being fine being by themselves. It didn’t mean they didn’t believe that would meet the right man but they made themselves okay with being where they were at the time. They also did not settle just to be with a man. They went with the flow and waited for the right man to come along. They didn’t force it. They just lived their lives and when they met their soul mates he didn’t complete them he merely enhanced where they already were. These were all things that I knew already but I found myself forgetting this. And then when I really sat down and thought about it, I realized that is one of the major reasons I ended up marrying the wrong person in the first place. I worried that I wasn’t going to get any better and I found myself dealing with bullshit just because of my fear of being in the dating game. I find that lately I think I have been tested. I’m not sure if these tests are the universe’s way of making sure I am really and truly ready or making sure I really learned my lesson. But I was glad I had girlfriends in my life that kept it real and that were positive. It is easy to get advice from the wrong people. I remember when I was going through my divorce different people were so quick to give me advice on what I should and shouldn’t do but when they were in a similar situation it was interesting to see how they didn’t follow any of the advice they gave me. It is so important as woman that you keep positive people around you and that you stay positive. Because when you are in a low and vulnerable position you can become a victim of bad advice and bitterness. I don’t have a major dating story to tell you all today, but I felt the need to reiterate age old wisdom. Watch the company you keep….
Against my better judgment I decided to go to a Speed Dating event the other night. It was for charity and I figured it would be a great opportunity for research. I had pre-paid $35 dollars two weeks ago. To be honest, had I not paid for it in advance I would have gladly stayed my black ass home and relaxed with a glass of wine and watched some Real Housewives of Atlanta re-runs. But I wasn’t about to flush my hard earned money down the toilet. I must admit, a part of me felt like going speed dating was the ultimate sign of desperation. I mean is this what my dating life had become? But I gave myself a pep talk. I thought, I have nothing to lose I am going to be open to new possibilities. And on top of that it is for a good cause. 100% of the proceeds went to a local charity. Why not? Then I thought back to those times when I hesitated going to events and ended up having the time of my life. For all I knew my future husband could have been there. I had no idea of the concept of speed dating or how the shit worked. So last night I found myself in my car in my cute red dress headed over to the W Westwood for this speed dating experience. I walked in and realized I was the first participant to arrive outside of the organizers of the event. Oh shit, I felt super duper pressed at that point. The event organizers had the warmest smiles on their faces and since I was the first person to arrive I decided to take that opportunity to pick their brains and get the Tea. So I leaned over and asked them:
Me: So what’s the deal? Are there going to be any good men at this thing?
Event Organizers: Well… they are a little hesitant.
Me: Sooo… what does that mean?
Event Organizer: Well, we aren’t exactly sure about who will be coming.
Me: How many men signed up for this?
Event Organizer: None.
My inner diva screamed, “What the fuck?! Why didn’t these people cancel this event? Instead I said calmly:
Me: Are you serious?
Event Organizer: I think some may show up let’s wait and see what happens.
I figured I might as well enjoy a nice glass of Rioja wine while I waited to calm my nerves. And slowly but surely other hopeful women started to stroll in. The consensus was What the hell? And the other consensus was that dating in LA was a bitch! This confirmed it. So an hour later the event organizer came up to the 8 ladies that showed up for this now ratchet event and said one guy showed up. When he walked in low and behold it was a guy I already knew and was just friends with. I said hello and kept it moving and got the fuck out of there. What a hot mess. I made the executive decision that Speed Dating was certainly not for me and I would never subject myself to that Tom Foolery ever again research or not!
The next day I had a dinner meeting with one of my clients turned girlfriend. She always picked the best restaurants. Ironically I was actually on time. Normally I was always running late (a trait I am making a conscious effort to correct). It had been a long week and I was looking forward to relaxing and having a glass of wine and pigging out on some great food. She picked the latest hot spot, Rivabella. The weather was warming up in LA and after the week I had I decided to lift my spirits up by wearing all white. (East coast folks don’t judge me, I don’t believe in the White after Memorial Day Rules). After all sometimes your wardrobe can change your entire perspective. I was feeling more like myself and had returned to the land of the living after my dating depression. When I walked into the restaurant my friend was sitting at the bar talking to a gentleman. I only saw him from behind until I walked up to her and gave her a hug. As I hugged her and looked over her shoulder, there sat a HANDSOME brotha. His skin was the coloring of a Hershey Kiss. It was smooth like butter. His suit was obviously custom and he had a build of a football player. She sat down and introduced me to “Ron.” Wow! He was very… and I hate to say this… but I can’t think of another word, articulate. I hate when people call me articulate. I’m like really? I’m an educated woman shouldn’t I be? Anyways I digressed. After she made the introductions she said, “I’m finishing up a meeting and I know how you are always late. We are almost done so you can either sit here and wait or wait for me at the table.”
Just as I was about to tell her I would have a seat the hostess came up to me and asked me to follow her to the table. So I went to our table ordered a glass of wine and waited for my friend to finish her meeting with “Ron.” As I sat there my inner diva started smacking the shit out of me, “What the fuck are you doing?! There is a fine ass man sitting with your friend who didn’t have a wedding band on. Why are you sitting here instead of talking to him?! Get your ass up and go to the bar!!!!” And then I realized my inner diva was actually right for a change. So I motioned for the waiter to bring me my bill and I walked back over to the bar. Ironically there was an empty seat next to them. My friend gave me a smile and a wink. She was happily married and I wasn’t sure if she set this up on purpose.
Me: I didn’t want you all to feel rushed. So I figured I would just sit with you all at the bar.
Ron: Cool. If you don’t mind, I’ll order another drink and hang out with you two for a few minutes.
Ironically my girlfriend’s husband had called her and she excused herself. So that gave me and “Ron” a chance to chit chat. The conversation was great. He was a criminal defense attorney who was doing some work with my girlfriend’s mentor program. He went to an HBCU which was always a plus for men I met. He was genuine. We talked a lot about our experiences going to the top HBCU’s. He had also just seen the movie 42 so we ended up talking a lot about Jackie Robinson and the racism he faced. It was really a great and in depth convo. He ended up staying for another hour and hanging out with us.
Ron: Well I know I have over stayed my welcome. But it was great meeting you. I’m sure you two are going to talk about me. (To my girlfriend) I’ll give you a call tomorrow. (He winked at her)
Girlfriend: I got you. (And she pointed to both of us)
Ron came to me to give me a hug and I went to hug him.
Ron: Wait a minute. I’m going to need you to stand up and give me a hug.
Well alright now! I stood up and the $200 I had just spent on my new heels suddenly seemed like a bargain. With the extra inches of heel I was standing at a good 6’1 and he was still taller than me! What a sucker I am for a tall chocolate man!!!
Ron: How tall are you?
Me: 5’8 barefoot. But I like that I can wear my heels and still look up to you.
Ron: Me too. It was great meeting you. (To my friend) let’s touch base tomorrow.
With that “Ron” walked out of the restaurant and I immediately badgered my girlfriend.
Me: Did you plan that?!
Girlfriend: No. I swear I didn’t. I had already set up our meeting and you’re normally 15 minutes late. I couldn’t believe you were actually on time!
Me: He is fine! What is his deal?
Girlfriend: He’s a cool guy. He’s solid, nice, and sincere. And he can handle a strong woman. I can’t believe I didn’t think about hooking you two up sooner!
Me: I thought this was an intentional set up.
Girlfriend: I swear it wasn’t. But all the pieces fell into place. And I definitely sensed a mutual attraction. I’ll give him your info and let it go from there.
So we finished our dinner and our girl talk and I felt renewed! I have no idea if I will ever hear from “Ron” or if it will go anywhere. But over the last few weeks I was finding myself giving up on love. And to be honest I was on a nonstop flight to Bitterville. Sometimes it’s the little things that renew your sense of love and belief that happily ever after does exist. Sometimes the universe has a way of picking you up and bringing you back. I have no idea what the future holds for me. And I must say that is a frustrating thought. I am so used to being in control of everything in my life. Once I give up the idea that I have control of this dating shit, I think that’s when things will happen. So moving forward, I am going to sit back and just let the universe take me where I need to go. Love does exist and I will find it or perhaps it will find me. Over the last few months I have learned some valuable lessons in love.
1- Follow your intuition
2- Don’t date someone you are not attracted to. It’s just not worth it in the long run
3- Be open
4- Put your expectations in check
5- Continue to believe that true love exists
6- Don’t let cynicism turn you into a bitter scorned woman
7- When the shit don’t feel right keep it moving
8- Run away from Emotionally Unavailable men
9- Not all LA men are idiots
10- Sometimes when you least expect it, you will find yourself in a sad place. Its okay and you will get through it. Don’t push it down. Let your emotions flow.
Who knows what my next lesson will be in this journey to love. What I do know is I am ready for the next lesson and with each lesson, trial, and triumph I am getting closer to meeting my soul mate. Until then, I will continue to believe in “Happily Ever After…” And with that my dating depression was healed and I had finally reached a full recovery…
This week has been a doozy! You know how you have one of those weeks where everything and everyone just pisses you off and you feel alone and lonely. This week was the epitome of it. I was in a bad place and didn’t know how to shake myself out of it. I knew it was bad when someone cut me off on the highway not only did I cuss them out, “You stupid bitch!” But I followed them! I was a lunatic on wheels. Luckily for them and me they were able to dodge me! I knew when I was feeling like this I had to take extra care of myself and literally go into hiding until I was able to shake it off. I went to my acupuncturist and each needle that was placed in emotional points I screamed in pain. She was like, “What is going on with you? You’re energy is off. I need you to come twice a week for a while so we can balance you out again.” So I retreated to my home and just allowed myself to be alone and let any emotion I was having come up and deal with the shit. I took much needed “me” time. Sometimes you’re taught to push down your emotions and not allowed to be in a bad place. People make you think that if you’re not happy all the time and in a good mood then something is wrong. Well damn it, sometimes its okay for a gal to have a moment, be down in the dumps and just stay there until you’re ready to come out of it. By Sunday, I was beginning to feel like myself again.
I realized my mood was triggered by some feelings about the ex (the constant foolery seemed to never come to an end), my current dating situations, or lack there of, and just the scary thought… “What if I NEVER meet Mr. Right? What if I end up alone forever?” I was beginning to emerge back to the land of the living so I took a nice Sunday stroll to the Farmers Market to pick up my flowers for the week. As I took my stroll it was 85 degrees in LA, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and the flowers were extra vibrant. I made myself a great dinner, and I cracked open a nice bottle of wine and sat on my couch and got ready to watch some good Reality TV. There’s nothing like watching pure foolery to realize your life isn’t as bad as you thought it was. That’s when my cell phone rang. When I looked at the screen I saw it was “Malachi.” A part of me smiled because “Malachi” was a man who I really liked. The other part of me rolled my eyes in utter annoyance. I was just beginning to get back on track emotionally. I had two choices. I could a) answer the phone and be annoyed or b) ignore the call because “Malachi” had shown me who he was. Decisions… Decisions… Decisions… Let me catch you up to speed on the good Doctor “Malachi.”
I met “Malachi” a few months ago when I was home for Christmas vacation. He was a 41 year old Oncologist. He was recently divorced and had an 8 year old son and a thriving practice. Ironically we discovered we both went to the same college. When we met there was an instant connection. He was handsome as hell, smart, driven, funny, charming, and sexy. The man was the complete package. He called me the day after we met and asked me out for lunch the following day. When I walked into the restaurant and saw him sitting there I got nervous! Me. Nervous! Literally my stomach was doing butterflies. I had changed my outfit at least 3 times before I got there. This was a feeling that was new to me. I go out on dates all the time. But with this guy I was nervous in a good way. When he hugged me I could smell his cologne. Eww weee! My inner diva did cartwheels all throughout the restaurant. When the waiter came to take our order I decided to hold off on having a glass of wine. Instead I ordered a sparkling water. I wanted to be fully present for this date (another first for me). The conversation just flowed. When I got over my initial nervousness and allowed myself to enjoy the date it was effortless. We stayed in the restaurant for a good 3 hours. Then we went to the mall and finished up our Christmas shopping, then we went to a movie, and after the movie we sat in his car and just talked. Before I knew it, it was 2 in the morning. We literally had a 10 hour date. He drove me to my car and waited with me while it warmed up. I forgot how your windows freeze on the east coast in the winter. He gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. It was a great first date. We went out two more times while I was home for the holidays. And the last night he finally gave me a kiss. It was a good one too, passionate yet respectable. I was floating on air. Me and the fine ass Doctor. I thought he was different than any other guy I have been out with. It just felt right. When I got to LA we continued to talk on the phone. When we originally met he mentioned he was going to be in LA for a wedding the following month and I also knew I would be on the east coast for work quite a bit so it was a win-win situation. I waited for him to tell me the details of when he would be in LA. When two weeks passed and he didn’t mention it I asked him.
Me: When are you coming to LA for the wedding?
Malachi: I’m not sure if I am going to come. I sent them a gift. But I am going to try to make it out here soon. I have a few people out there I need to see.
Me: Okay. Well let me know.
Malachi: For sure. We’ll talk soon.
Record screeched to a halt. We’ll talk soon. What the fuck did that mean?! There were a few things wrong with this conversation. First of all, he should have been making plans to get his black ass out to LA immediately to see me. Also, what did he mean, “I have a few people out there I need to see.” What the fuck did that mean?! And the final knockout blow to my ego, “We’ll talk soon.” What the hell? I hung up perplexed, confused, and wondering if perhaps the connection I felt with him was one sided. It wouldn’t be the first time I was off. I decided to pull back and just go with the flow and see what happened. “Malachi” continued to call me. We continued to have great conversations.
He never did make his way out to LA for the wedding. I noticed a pattern developing with him. Whenever we would have deep conversation he wouldn’t call for a few days. Whenever I let go and connected with him he would pull back. I had no idea what the hell we were doing. So I stopped returning his calls for a while. And then he would start blowing up my phone. I had a business trip back east planned and we made plans to see each other. We met for dinner at a great Italian restaurant. I still had the butterflies when I saw him. He sat next to me during dinner and held my hand. I felt like we had established a good friendship up to this point. But I still had no idea what we were doing. So instead of playing the Guess What The Hell He Wants game I decided to have a grown folk conversation with him.
Me: I’m trying to figure out what we are doing here. I like you and I think you’re a cool guy. But I’m not sure what you’re looking for.
Malachi: I like you to. I think you’re cool and I want to get to know you more. You’re smart, beautiful, and you went to the best university on the planet.
Me: That’s good to know. I just need to know where you are coming from.
Malachi: I hear you. And I want to get to know you as well.
Me: If you want to b friends that’s fine, but I don’t kiss my friends.
Malachi: I don’t want us to just be friends.
What a relief. So after that date. I thought there was a clear understanding of where we were going and what he was looking for. And of course like clockwork he went MIA. To be honest I didn’t think it was another woman. I just think he had gone through such a crappy divorce that he had baggage. It was something I could certainly relate to. But it was getting ridiculous. To be honest, I was getting exhausted of the up down roller coaster ride with him. I hated holding back and having to play these games. So when we spoke again I was just very frank with him.
Me: Malachi, I feel like you have this wall up and I’m not exactly sure how to handle it.
Malachi: Am I that emotionally fucked up?
Me: I’m not saying you’re emotionally fucked up. But I do think you are holding back. I don’t even think you are doing it consciously. But whenever we connect you put a wall up. And I can only do this for so long before I am done and when I’m done I’m done.
Malachi: Maybe you’re right. But you gotta give me a chance. I’ll work on it. If you had a cousin who was mentally off and he didn’t know how to hold a fork would you stop talking to him or would you help him to learn how to pick up his fork.
“Malachi’s” sense of humor is what attracted me to him but at that moment I Wanted to take a fork and poke his eyes out. I was trying to works with the brotha. In the past I was so quick to run for the hills. But there was something about him that made me want to work with him.
Malachi: I’m just saying. I’ll work on it. I didn’t realize I was doing that. By the way, I’m coming out to LA soon.
Me: Good! Finally!
I hung up the phone and it felt like we had made progress. We started communicating regularly and I was feeling like we had turned a new leaf. Things were going really well until he pissed me off… again. I tell you I am exhausted even writing about this foolishness. It was a Friday night and I went to my neighborhood spot to have a cocktail and unwind after a long work week. I happened to be on the phone with “Malachi.”
Malachi: It’s loud all of a sudden where are you?
Me: One of my favorite neighborhood spots having a glass of wine.
Malachi: Well have fun. Take someone home with you!
Long awkward pause…
Me: I’m going to talk to you later.
With that I hung up the phone. I was done. What the fuck was he thinking? A few minutes later I get a text from “Malachi.”
I appreciate all of your support.
I ignored it. And then he sent me another text.
Go home alone! LOL!
I ignored it. The worse thing a woman can do outside of texting drunk is texting when a man has pissed you the fuck off. So I took a few hours and I sent him a text back.
You are a piece of work. Have a nice life.
I already knew what was going to happen. I knew he would call me the next day and feel me out and try to figure out if I was pissed or not. Of course I called my girlfriends and the consensus was that statement was bullshit. It’s like was purposefully trying to push me away. So the next day he called. I answered and was very dry. He knew I was pissed. Did this man say, “I’m sorry. I took the joke too far.” Nope he just talked like everything was okay. So finally I told him I was busy and I hung up. He called me two days later.
Malachi: Hey how are you?
Me: I have to be honest you really pissed me the fuck off the other day.
Malachi: I know I did and I apologize.
Me: I’m letting you know right now. You have cashed your last check. I already told you when I’ done. I’m done. I’m really trying to work with you but you’re making it hard.
Malachi: I knew I went too far. My bad.
I was exhausted from this relationship. And I use the term “relationship” loosely. And of course this all happened around the time when I was already in a shitty place to begin with. Here’s the thing. When a man is into you he’s into you. Here I was dealing with a man who was 3000 miles away and he couldn’t even act like he had an inkling of sense?! I began to get it. I was safe for “Malachi.” He could call me when he was bored and shoot the shit. I do believe there was a connection and who knows what would have happened if I lived on the east coast. But this was bullshit and I knew it. I am a 35 year old woman. I would be a fool to think that I can make an emotionally unavailable man change. When he’s ready and open to be in a relationship and open up perhaps if I am still available and single we could work. But at this point I recognized this was pure absolute unadulterated bullshit and I had to protect myself and my heart. I was just beginning to feel like me again. My acupuncturist put those needles in the right points and my energy was feeling normal again. My walk to the farmer’s market put me at peace. And I was serious when I said I would no longer date a man that was not what I needed. Emotional Availability was at the top of my A List. I had discussed with “Malachi” how I was feeling. I wasn’t in the mood to revisit it. To be honest, you can tell a man until you’re blue in the face what you need and what you desire. But if they aren’t willing or able to do it then you have to walk away. Or else, you will drive yourself over the edge with frustration because deep down inside you know you are not getting what you need. I was married to a man who didn’t give me what I needed and I thought eventually things would change. And it didn’t. And I was frustrated with myself for staying in a relationship and marriage with a man who didn’t, wouldn’t, and couldn’t give me what I needed. I believe “Malachi” was a test. And as I sat on my couch looking at my phone with his name on the screen this was the final part of the test. So what did I do? I hit ignore. Put the phone down and continued having my glass of wine. I knew I made the right decision when “Malachi” didn’t even leave message. You see, I know that when I meet “the one” things will feel right. I won’t question how a man feels about me, or feel like he isn’t honoring me. I will know it and he will show it. Just like my acupuncturist gave me the order to come to her twice a week for a while. I was giving myself a prescription. If shit didn’t feel right you must keep it moving. And I was planning on sticking with that order. I knew if I did I would eventually find my way to a healthy relationship.
©Monique Kelley and Confessions of A Serial Dater In LA, 2013-2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Monique Kelley and Confessions of A Serial Dater In LA with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Copying my posts and changing some of the words is still plagiarism.