Picture Perfect

Text Photo Horror

I opened the picture message and had to do a double, triple, quadruple take. Suddenly I was wide awake.

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.

Ryan: And…

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.

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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.

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.

 

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My first inclination was to immediately rip the pictures up then burn them, as I had done with all of the other pictures… 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.

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…
 
Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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

The Company You Keep

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I refused to speak to or associate with any negativity. Not to be a bitch but I needed to protect myself.

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.

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I was glad I had girlfriends in my life that kept it real and that were positive….Seeing my friend so happy and with a man who genuinely got her really touched my heart. And she said, “Ladies, miracles do happen.”

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….     
Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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

A Speedy Recovery….

Speed Dating

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.

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!

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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.

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.”

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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.

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…

 

Doctors Orders

© Copyright 2011 CorbisCorporation

“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.”

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.

Frustrated Woman

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.

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.

Young woman rolling her eyes

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…

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.

Me: What?

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…

Malachi: Hello.

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.

frustrated-black-woman

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 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 K.Bradley

 

 

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

The A List

The A List

I realized I had no freaking clue what the hell I was looking for.

So I made the conscious decision to take a break from dating.  All of the recent bad dates had me feeling… What’s the word I’m looking for… Defeated.  Between Professor Klump, Knee Pad New York, The Swinger, The Dating Vapor, I didn’t want to go out on another bad date.  I was completely and officially over it.  I wanted my next date to lead to something more significant.  I was over being a serial dater.  I was ready to become a Serial Dater with my Ideal Man.  I made a conscious decision to spend time preparing for the real deal.  I perfected certain recipes.  I went out with girlfriends for cocktails and shit talking.  I was taking some serious “me” time.  I refused to just go out with someone for the sake of just going out with them.  I knew I was true to my word when I went to a party with a girlfriend of mine last week the typical LA industry party for a launch of a new liquor.  I made eye contact with a cutie pie.  He came up to me and struck up a good conversation.   He was from Queens and was a former professional athlete.  He gave me his card.  When I looked at it, it said Professional Trainer.  Um… Trainer, I don’t think so.  I am a professional woman and I do not have any interest in having a serious relationship with a trainer unless you are on some Billy Blanks status.  Call me a bitch but I would only want one thing from a trainer.  A good workout :-)  Not a serious relationship.  I want a man who is on my professional level.  I could see if I weren’t bringing anything to the table but I am and I shouldn’t have to lower my expectations just to have a man.  I politely put his card in my purse.  When I got in the car with my girlfriend to head home (she was the designated driver for the night) the conversation ensued.

Trainer

. I am a professional woman and I do not have any interest in having a serious relationship with a trainer unless you are on some Billy Blanks status.

Girlfriend:  Well at least the men were approaching us at this party.  What was up with the cutie you were talking to?

Me:  He was cool.  But girl, he was a trainer!

Girlfriend:  Awwwww…. Damn!

Me:  My thoughts exactly.  What was up with you and the cutie you met?

Girlfriend:  He’s an actor.

Me:  Awwwww damn!

When you work in the industry as an executive the last man you want to date is an up and coming actor or writer.  This might sound harsh.  But keep in mind we live in LA.  Those are typically the guys who find out which studio or network you work for and want to get a hook up for an audition.  OR want to give you their script.  You constantly have to ascertain if the interest in you is genuine or if they are looking for a come up.  So women in the industry generally avoid the no name up and coming actor for that very reason.  And don’t hit me with, “You could be blocking your blessing.”  Most women in the industry know this as a general rule of them.

Girlfriend:  So are you going to call the trainer.

I took the card out and looked at it.  He had a shirtless picture of himself on it and I could see every single one of his well sculpted biceps against his smooth chocolate skin.  Wow!  But I decided I was no longer just going to go out with a guy just because, for fun, for practice.  Now that I was officially over the divorce and ready for the real deal I was going to make that night the first night of dating only serious prospects.  So I tore the card up in tiny pieces and threw it out the window.

Girlfriend:  You are serious about this new dating thing?

Me:  I sure am!

Girlfriend:  I’m proud of you!

Me:  I’m tired of quantity, I only want quality!

Girlfriend:  I heard that.

That weekend I went to the 30th birthday of my cousin.  She recently moved to LA and we hadn’t had a chance to really talk since the divorce.  In my family I am a good decade older than most of my younger cousins.  They look up to me as the successful cousin making moves and enjoying life.  I was sitting on the beach at her bonfire.

Cousin:  So cuz how have you been since the incident?

It’s funny that’s what my marriage was now referred to.  “The Incident.”

Me:  It’s was a process.  But I am great.

Cousin:  Are you dating?

I gave her my usual crafted response.

Me:  I’m dating everybody!  I’m just enjoying myself. 

Cousin:  Have you met anyone special?

Me:  Not yet.

Cousin:  Is it hard?

Me:  No.  To be honest I wasn’t ready until recently.  I needed time to heal from “the incident.”

Cousin:  I understand.

Cousin:  So you’re ready now?

Me:  I think so.

Cousin:   Do you know what you want this time around?

She looked at me with the utmost sincerity.  And that was the first time I had been asked that question and I realized I had no freaking clue what the hell I was looking for.  I had written a list before I met my ex.  And unfortunately I had gotten everything I asked for.  It had been a long time since I had actually written a list of what the hell I wanted in my soul mate.  I had already created my vision board but in terms of writing down my list of what the hell I wanted, I hadn’t done that since I was 27.  Perhaps a part of me was terrified of missing something and getting exactly what I got before…  A freaking disaster!  But I knew it was time to revisit this list.

 

20100310-woman-meditating-300x205

The next evening I went to my meditation room with a glass of wine, lit candles, and wrote exactly what I was looking for. This time I was able to pinpoint exactly what I wanted. But first I meditated and prayed over it and I took my time.

So the next evening I went to my meditation room with a glass of wine, lit candles, and wrote exactly what I was looking for.  This time I was able to pinpoint exactly what I wanted.  But first I meditated and prayed over it and I took my time.  Instead of putting down- Kisses me on the forehead, wears a suit to work (the things that were on my27 year old bullshit list).  The 35 year old list had- Is a good communicator, doesn’t shut down when there is conflict, loves me unconditionally, spiritual not religious (and other things that I will keep between me and the universe).  By the time I blew out my candles and left the meditation room I hadn’t realized 2 hours had went by.  But I felt good and at peace.  I was no longer going to think I could change someone into becoming who I want them to be.  Like that famous quote says, When a man tells you who is… Believe him!  I was no longer going out just for the sake of it or not following that little thing called intuition.  Moving forward I was looking for something deep and meaningful and I knew I was deserving of it.  I can’t say I won’t go out on any more bad dates or never kiss another frog.  But what I can say is I am switching up my approach.  I’m going to try it out and see what happens.  After all at this point I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

 
Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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

The Golden State

600-02071589

Where in the hell was my prince?! Up to this point not only have I kissed multiple frogs, I even married a demon!

After spending the last few days considering a cross country move I decided to exhaust all possibilities here in LA.  Like clockwork whenever I am seriously reconsidering living here the weather is extra sunny and the skies are extra clear.  I tell ya, this city has a way of screwing with girls emotions.  So I thought, maybe I will revisit someone from the past that I might not have given a chance.  So I gave “Vince” a call.  (refer to my very first post- http://confessionsofaserialdaterinla.com/2013/01/am-i-vain-or-just-deserving/).  “Vince” was a cool guy I went out with a couple of time but due to his excessive girth (unfortunately on his waist) I wasn’t sure if I could date him because of my own vanity.  But I figured I could put my vanity aside for the possibility of staying in LA.  Besides I could help him lose weight.  I could make it my personal mission to be his coach and his trainer in his very own The Biggest Loser.  “Vince” was overjoyed to hear from me again.

Vince:  I thought you forgot about me.  You just kicked a brotha to the curb. 

Me:  I have been on the road.  You know how that is. (I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I just wasn’t into him and I had kicked him to the curb.  That would have been mean… right?)

Vince:  Are you in town for a while.

Me:  I am.  How have you been?

Vince:  I’ll be better if you let me take you out to dinner this week.

Me:  You know I live to make you happy Vince!  Where should we meet?

Vince:  How about Boa?

Me:  That works for me.

Vince:  Thanks for giving a brotha another chance.

Me:  Oh Vince, you are too much.

I hung up the phone and I thought.  See, you were just being a vain bitch.  You should have given this man a chance.  So what if he is a little bigger than you typically like.  He is going to adore you.  Wednesday night came and I pulled up to Boa.  I settled on a fairly casual outfit.  To be honest, normally when I am excited about going out with someone I go all out.  It takes a few hours of preparation.  But since it was “Vince” I didn’t feel the need for all the usual pomp and circumstance so I wore a pair of dark jeans, I bright pink blazer and a pair of heels, with an oversized clutch (in honor of going out with my oversized man).  When I walked into Boa “Vince” was sitting down at one of the couches at the bar checking emails on his phone.  When he saw me his eyes lit up and he stood.  Oh boy… he stood up.  He looked like he gained a good 15 pounds more since the last time we went out.  I went up to him and gave him a hug.  I couldn’t wrap my arms around him.  So I tried to focus on something good about him.  Okay, he had on a very nice suit.  It was obviously custom.  I guess it had to be.  If you are that large I doubt you can just go to a regular store and buy a suit.  I had to once again tame down my inner diva.  Give him a chance.  He might look like Professor Klump but at least he knows how to court a woman.  That’s what you said you were looking for.  So bitch sit down and allow yourself to be courted! 

Nutty-Professor

Give him a chance. He might look like Professor Klump but at least he knows how to court a woman. That’s what you said you were looking for. So bitch sit down and allow yourself to be courted!

 

We walked to the host stand and he told the young lady his name and she immediately sat us at one of the best tables in the restaurant.  Okay, that’s what I’m talking about!  Suddenly his extra girth wasn’t so unappealing.  That’s not exactly true.  But I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, fake it till you make it.  I was attempting to test out that theory.  He helped me with my chair.  The waiter came to the table to take our drink orders.

Vince:  I’ll have a cranberry juice with lime and she’ll have a glass of the Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc.

Me:  Wow Vince I’m impressed.

Vince:  I pay attention. 

Me:  Noted.

Vince and I caught up on our lives over the last 3 months.  He recently renovated his home and had just returned from taking his kids to Hawaii for their spring break.  The conversation was great and the wine was sensational.   I was really enjoying my time with “Vince.”  I was suddenly willing to overlook his arms resting on the top of his stomach when he crossed them and his rather thick unibrow (something I hadn’t noticed before).  As a matter of fact when he crossed his arms over his large stomach I noticed a beautiful yet settle Rolex watch.  Okay, this wasn’t too bad.  I can overlook the unappealing qualities.  The good is outweighing the bad (no pun intended).  Then the waiter came to the table to prepare our table side Cesar salad.  The waiter was mixing the salad.  So I decided to start my Trainer position to help my man lose some eight.  I’m sure he could appreciate it.  So I subtly said to the waiter.

Me:  Light on the cheese and dressing!  Um… Please.

Vince:  Oh no!  Extra cheese and dressing.  As a matter of fact please put extra dressing on the side.

Me:  I do not like a lot of dressing on my salad.

Vince:  (to the waiter) Listen to the person who is paying.

With that the waiter looked at me, shrugged, and overloaded cheese and dressing onto the salad.  I ordered another glass of Sauvignon Blanc.  This is why I always will work even if I end up married to a zillionaire.  I never want to be in a situation where I am beholding to some man all because he holds the purse strings.  Don’t get me wrong.  I want to be taken care of and would welcome a man who is financial able to keep me in the lifestyle I am accustomed to.  But I will always maintain my independence and have “Fuck you” money.

Vince:  You always gotta be in control of shit.  Just sit back and let me handle shit.  I see I’m gonna have to get you in check!

Me: Uh.. excuse me?

Vince:  Calm down I’m just playing. 

Me:  (laughing) Oh I know.  You ain’t crazy! 

Vince:  But you ARE always trying to control shit.    

Me:  You’re right.  I’m working on it.

Vince:  We are going to have to figure out a way to get you to let me handle things.

Me:  I’m open to suggestions. 

I realized he was giving sexual innuendos.  The idea of this man naked sent me into a panic.  I took a long chug of my wine and tried to shake it off.  I also concentrated on not throwing up in my mouth or on him for that matter.  Maybe in his mind he thought since we were out on our 5th date he was going to go there.

Vince:  You gotta to experience the GRP.

Me:  What’s the GRP?

Vince:  The Golden Rod of Power.

I literally choked on my wine.  Perhaps my ears were still clogged from the flight I had taken last week.

Me:  What’s the Golden Rod of Power?

Vince:  (he slowed down his speech and enunciated each word like he was teaching me how to read) The Golden…Rod… of…  Power.

Just when I was taking a sip of my Sauvignon Blanc it clicked.  I figured out what the GRP really was.  I literally spit my wine out.

Me:  Are you talking about peeing on someone?

Vince:  I don’t have to pee on you.  It can be the other way around.

I was disgusted.  I was mortified.  And suddenly the beautiful coloring of the Sauvignon Blanc I was drinking had taken on a different meaning and I couldn’t stomach it.

ME:  Have you lost your God damn mind?! 

I didn’t realize my voice was raised until I noticed a couple at a table 3 down was looking at us.  So I lowered my voice.  I wasn’t trying to re-create a scene from The Real Housewives of Atlanta.

Vince:  Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.

Me:  I can’t believe you just said that shit.  You need to save that for some bitch with low self esteem.  How dare you?

Vince:  Calm down, I was just playing.

Me:  No you weren’t.  You were dead ass serious.  You were trying to feel me out to see if I was some type of nasty ass freak.  Well I’m not.  You’re absolutely repulsive. 

Vince:  Damn it’s like that?

Me:  Yes it is you disgusting fat fuck.  Good night.  Good bye.  And lose my number.  Now go piss on that! 

I threw my napkin down on the table and walked out.  Thank goodness I didn’t waste a good outfit on this fool!  Of course the valet was taking forever to bring my damn car around.  I was hoping and praying my car would hurry up and come around.  But that damn Murphy’s Law clearly has a bone to pick with me.  And “Vince” walked out.

Vince:  Look, I was just playing.  Seriously I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to take things too far.

It was hard for me to even look at him.  What made this man think that I would want his diabetic, high cholesterol piss anywhere near my home let alone my body?  Who the fuck does that type of nasty shit?  He stood there, all 350 pounds of him.  He now looked repulsive.  And WHERE THE FUCK WAS MY DAMN CAR???!!!!

Me:  Have I given off any type of vibe that I would think that was remotely funny?

Vince:  I know, like I said I took things too far and I’m really sorry.  Please let me make that up to you.

Me:  I thought you were a different type of man.  But clearly I was wrong.  I’m not even interested in being friends with you.  Have a nice life.

Vince:  I understand and I hope you can one day accept my apology.

Luckily my car had finally made its away back from the valet.  What in the hell was going on with these men?  I met one who was a swinger, another one who suggested I wear knee pads, and now a fat fuck that was into Golden Showers?  I know I am not putting out a vibe that I am remotely into that kind of shit.  As I drove off I had to repeat my mantra…

Do not become bitter.  All men are not alike.  You have to kiss frogs to get to your prince.

City Sky

I looked at the brightest star and the thought suddenly occurred to me. Right now at this very moment, my soul mate could be looking at that same star wondering where I was.

Where in the hell was my prince?!  Up to this point not only have I kissed multiple frogs, I even married a demon.  How many more lessons, life experiences, and bad dates do I have to go on before I experience bliss?  I even attempted to give Professor Klump a chance in an effort to stop being shallow and look where that got me.  I have to continue to believe and have faith that the right man is out there.  I guess these shitty experiences make it even more special when you finally find your prince.  The key is remaining hopeful. The second you lose hope is the point in time where you do become bitter.  I decided to make a right on Mulholland and pull over and take a moment to get out of my car and just take a second to stop.  At times, you can find yourself on this never ending merry go round called “Life.”  Sometimes you go round and round and it becomes monotonous.  Lately that’s how I felt.  The dating world can push you down, drag your through the mud, and leaving you feeling empty and alone.  It’s at those moments when you just have to stop and get off the ride and catch you breath.  I had finally reached that point.  So I did just that.  I stopped.  I put my top down.  And I sat in my car looking up at the stars.  I looked at the brightest star and the thought suddenly occurred to me.  Right now at this very moment, my soul mate could be looking at that same star wondering where I was.  Praying for God to send me to him.  What a refreshing thought!  No matter how bad it got, I knew that he was out there looking for me and eventually we are going to find each other. But until then, I vowed I would no longer settle, second guess, and doubt what I need and deserve.  I made the decision to continue to believe and have faith that he is coming soon.  And what a lucky man he will be.  That thought left me in a true Golden State…      

 
Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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

The City Of “Brotherly” Love?

black-woman-coffee-thinking

I decided to slow my ass down. Instead of going to every event and accepting an invite to every party I decided I would only go to one event that week. I made it a “ME” week.

The last few weeks had been pretty hectic.  Between my business travel, my social life, and entertaining out of town family I was SPENT.  I knew I was doing too much when I arrived at my hair salon to get my hair done only to discover my appointment was for the next day.  Unfortunately my hairstylist couldn’t squeeze me in since he was doing a full head weave.  So I decided to slow my ass down.  Instead of going to every event and accepting an invite to every party I decided I would only go to one event that week.  I made it a “ME” week.  I traded my social gatherings for meditation and went to my chiropractor and acupuncturist and got myself centered.  There was a party happening on Saturday and I figured I would be completely well rested and ready to get back on the social scene.  I was also making an effort to give LA men a chance.  I had written them off and indulged in dating men who didn’t live here.  In my “research” I found that men outside of LA were more assertive.  They knew how to date.  They also knew how to court women.  However, I was beginning to get a little weary of long distance relationships.  I missed the unplanned dating.  You know, when you call your boo and tell him you’re thinking about him and he can be at your place within 30 minutes.  I missed the lazy unplanned Saturday’s of just lounging around doing nothing but cuddling in your man’s arms.  And all this can be done in a long distance relationship but it is just so damn hard.  I was still open to them.  But I decided to be more open and stop writing off LA men.  So off to the party I went.  The weather was warming up.  It was springtime in LA.  Along with changing my LA dating perceptive I was making a point to stop wearing so much black.  So I went with a bold and colorful outfit which made me feel like it was spring time the time of new beginnings new perspective, and new prospects.  My girlfriend had also given me a heads up that the last time this guy had a party there were more men than women there.  You couldn’t get any better than that.  I valeted parked my car, walked into the party in my killer heels that had a maximum shelf life of 30 minutes before my feet swelled.  (beauty is pain).  I found my girls at the bar and give them the sisterly hugs and looked around.  Okay, I must admit, there were more men than woman at this party.  They were professional handsome men.  There were also a lot of couples as well.  But I chose to focus on the silver lining.

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So I gave him my mega million dollar smile. And tilted my head and gave him the, “I am interested. You are free to come and talk to me” look.

I headed to the bar to order a glass of wine.  I caught the eye of a gentleman across the bar.  He was definitely a cutie.  So I gave him my mega million dollar smile.  And tilted my head and gave him the, “I am interested.  You are free to come and talk to me” look He smiled back at me and made his way over from the other side of the bar. “David” was a 38 year old engineer originally from Chicago.

David: Did you just get here?

Me:  I’ve been here for 15 minutes.  It’s damn near impossible to get a drink around here.  They obviously weren’t ready for this crowd and need more bartenders.

David:  It took me 20 minutes to get my drink. 

As I waited for the bartender to make her way over to me to get my drink order “David” and I did the usual small talk.  You know, “Where are you from?  What do you do?  How long have you lived in LA?”  Finally the bartender came over and I ordered my $12 glass of Sauvignon Blanc.  When she came back with my wine and the bill I paused for a half a second to see what “David” was going to do.  When I realized he wasn’t even going to pretend to offer to buy the damn drink.  I watched him watch me reach into my purse and get out my credit card and pay for my own damn drink!  Let me be very clear.  I can pay for a $12 glass of wine.  That’s not the point.  However, when you’re speaking with a man and this is his first impression, it is obvious he is cheap and has no manners.  Typically when I am out and about on the east coast this isn’t even a discussion.  Not because I am some broke ass bitch looking for a man to buy my drink, but simply because of chivalry.  I engaged in more small talk with “David” but was already turned off so politely excused myself before he even thought to ask for my number.

Me:  It was nice meeting David.  I’ll see you around.

With that I headed to the dance floor to meet my girlfriends and dance off the stress from the past couple of weeks.  The dance floor was full of mostly women while the men just stood around watching.  Now let me put this into perspective.  This was a party in LA.  The crème de la crème were present.  You had doctors, lawyers, entertainment executives, actors, models, who all went out of their way to look good and party.  And these men were just standing around watching instead of joining these beautiful women on the dance floor?!  It was so ridiculous that even the DJ got on the mic and said, “You fellas need to get out here on the dance floor.  There is nothing but beautiful women out here.”  It was ridiculous!

flirt

Now let me be clear. I have no issue giving a man a signal that I am interested in him. I will flirt. I will smile. But one thing I will NOT do is pick up a man.

I decided to freshen up in the bathroom.  On my way there, I caught the eye of a handsome brotha.  He had the tall handsome Rick Fox look.  He smiled at me and I smiled at him.  I said “Hello.”   And he said “Hello” back to me.  And then… nothing.  Now let me be clear.  I have no issue giving a man a signal that I am interested in him.  I will flirt.  I will smile.  But one thing I will NOT do is pick up a man.  Call me old fashioned but I believe the way you start a relationship dictates how the relationship will go.  If I start the relationship off being the “man” and courting a “man” instead of the other way around that is how the relationship will go.  If I smile, say hello, and give you an indication that I am interested.  Well damn it you need to bring your black ass up to me and approach me the way a man should.  It’s really not that damn difficult.  And again, if I were anywhere else in the country I wouldn’t be having this conversation.  My drinks would have been bought and I would have been turning men down!  But in LA most men (not all) but most, do not know how to be the man.  The caveat is men who are visiting LA or men who are not born and raised in LA and haven’t lived here long.  Either way, I looked around the room and observed the scene.  I left the party feeling slightly perplexed and called my girlfriend.

My close girlfriend had a theory about LAX.  She believed there is a welcome course for men when they land called M.A.S.S.  Men Are So Stupid.  In this course men are welcomed into the city and debugged of any chivalry and sense they had from the city they came from.  They are trained to be assholes who do not approach women, buy drinks, and court a woman they way they did before they landed.  She believed this course typically took 3 months to complete and by month 3 these men were officially brainwashed into the LA Male way of thinking.  This is why when you meet a man who is not born and raised here you have 3 months to snatch him up before the learning’s from M.A.S.S. take over.

When I left the party I called my girlfriend who was there with me.

Me:  I just don’t get it.  I am trying to give these LA men a chance but they really do not know how to step up to the plate.

Girlfriend:  Girl, I know.  I was thinking the same thing.  I was talking to my girlfriend and she told me I will meet the one when I’m not looking.

Record screeched to a stop.  For any married women reading this blog for the love of God stop telling your single girlfriends that!  That’s absolute bullshit.  All of us look when we are single. (the exception to this rule are friends who met their husbands in college.  They have no idea of what it means to date as an adult and they actually believe that shit is true)  For the other married friends we all know before you were married you were looking.  You were disappointed if you went out to a party and thought you might meet some prospects and came home with nothing.  You know how I know this… I was once married.  So I have experience in both.  The only time that bullshit theory applies is if your husband was a man who “grew” on you.  The man who you weren’t initially attracted to but he ultimately won you over.  But let’s be honest, we all look and telling your single friend that is downright condescending, obnoxious, and insensitive.  So when you feel the need or get the urge to make that statement, do all of us single girls a favor and shut the fuck up!  Sorry… I digressed.  But I just had to get that off my chest.  So me and my girlfriend continued our conversation.

Me: That’s bullshit and you and I both know it.  I do not understand how none of our friends met anyone last night.

Girlfriend:  The brothas just aren’t stepping up out here.

Me:  I know.  I was trying to give these LA guys a chance but it looks like I am going to have to stick with long distance dating.

Girlfriend:   Import… Export.                           

Me:  Exactly!

Moving

Do I need to consider moving to another state and giving up all the things I love about LA in order to find my soul mate?

We hung up the phone and I thought about it.  Recently a few of my girlfriends have been in long distance relationships that have turned into engagements and marriages.  Some have moved to be with their men and others have actually gotten the guy to move to LA which is a great situation.  It’s a difficult dilemma.  I love LA.  I love the weather, my circle of friends, my career, and my lifestyle here.  The only thing missing is love.  The issue is never quantity it’s quality.  Let’s be clear, I have never had an issue getting a date.  If I wanted to, I could be out with a different man everyday of the week.  But that shit gets old.  And I acknowledge, after my separation and divorce I wasn’t really ready for a serious relationship.  I have never been one of those women who go from one relationship to the next.  I needed time to get my footing after the devastation of the divorce.  But in the last year, I have been ready emotionally and mentally for a real relationship.  And if I were at a party in NYC, Atlanta, Chicago, DC, Philadelphia I would have been turning down drinks.  The dance floor would have been packed with brothas.  And more importantly men APPROACH the women.  This doesn’t mean they are men that we want to date either (I have friends who live in these other cities and say the men are just as ignorant) but at least they know how to walk across the damn room and ask a woman to a dance.  Or ask what we would like to drink.  What happened to the men in LA?  Are the women so aggressive they don’t know how to approach us anymore?  Do I need to consider moving to another state and giving up all the things I love about LA in order to find my soul mate?  And  blah… blah.. blah… I already know when it is right it is right it doesn’t matter where you are.  But the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  Do I stay in LA knowing that I keep getting the same results?  Do I sacrifice the city I love for another city where I can fall in love?   

Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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

Full Exposure

black-woman-at-work-stressed

I have to be honest, I can’t blame it all on my business travel. I had major writer’s block due to second guessing.

I know it has been a while since I have written.  I have to be honest, I can’t blame it all on my business travel.  I had major writer’s block due to second guessing.

I went to a party last month.  I love parties in LA where it’s a REAL party where people are actually dancing and having a good time.  The music was loud, the drinks were flowing, and the crowd had an east coast feel to it.  While I was out on the dance floor jamming to some old school I got a tap on my shoulder.  I turned around and low and behold there was “McDreamy.”  (If you’re not familiar please refer to the original blog post- http://confessionsofaserialdaterinla.com/2013/01/wtf-perplexed-and-confused/).  He was still looking fine as hell.  And he was still with one of his typical video vixen type chicks.  I immediately went into panic mode.  My heart started beating fast.  I tried to inhale and exhale deeply.  I talked to my inner diva. “Relax, there’s no way in hell he knows about the blog.”  He gave me a hug and whispered in my ear.

McDreamy:  Nice blog.

Oh shit.  Oh shit.  Oh shit.  He knows!  I had to think to think quickly.  My wine induced buzz certainly didn’t help matters.  So I did what any mature woman would do.

Me:  What blog?  I have no idea what you’re talking about. 

With that I walked off.  News flash, sometimes I am still that 15 year old trapped in a 35 year woman’s body.  When I started this blog, I knew I was targeting women and gay men.  I figured a few men might find out about it.  But I never thought my subjects would know.  Besides, I changed the names to protect the Foolery.  When I write, I feel protected behind my keyboard and lap top screen.  I called my mother the next day.

Me:  Mommy!  I ran into one of my subjects!

Mom:  (after cracking up for a good 30 seconds) What did he say?

Me:  Nice blog.

Mom:  What did you say?

Me:  I told him I didn’t know what he was talking about.

Mom:  Well why would you do that?  You have nothing to be ashamed of.

Me:  Mom he probably hates me!  I’m mortified.

Mom:  You’re going to have to have a thicker skin.  Just own your shit! 

I hung up the phone with my mom.  I loved her candor, honesty, and support.  But I still called about 4 other friends of mine who pretty much said the same thing.  Two weeks later I was at a networking event.  I was at the bar having a sparkling water.  And just because Murphy’s Law likes to fuck with me to epic proportions, guess who I ran into again… You guessed it.  “McDreamy.”

McDreamy:  I was serious when I told you nice blog.

Me: You were?

McDreamy:  Yeah.  I like how you write.  It’s really entertaining.

Me:  How did you find out about it?

McDreamy:  I just did.

Me:  Are you mad?

McDreamy:  Hell no!  I wanted to frame it.  I liked your description of me.  It was on point.

Suddenly I relaxed and decided to use this as an opportunity.  How often do we as women have the chance to ask man how he really feels?  And what the hell is his problem?

Me:  I am so glad.  I was worried you had put my picture on a dart board.  But seriously McDreamy, you are so handsome, smart, and fun.  Why do you have to be a freak?!

McDreamy:  It’s just a lifestyle I prefer.

Me:  Okay.  Well I have one question for you.  Since you’re into the swinging lifestyle are you bi?

I figured, since he was so open I might as well get all my questions answered.

McDreamy:  When I read that I laughed.  Hell no.  I’m just not into traditional sex.  You should try it.

Me:  Real funny.  Like I said, that’s never going down.  It’s just a shame because we could be so good together but you are into some freaky shit that I just could not ever get down with.  But I really appreciate you being the honest person you are.

McDreamy:  That’s all I ever can be.  Keep up the blog.  I think it has potential to be big.  For real.

Running in McDreamy

Me: Are you mad?
McDreamy: Hell no! I wanted to frame it. I liked your description of me. It was on point.

We hugged.  And it was such a great feeling to really close that chapter.  It’s not like he and I had some deep relationship.  But what was special for me was getting the opportunity to ask any question that was in my head.  And having a man be open and honest.  It felt… GROWN.  “McDreamy” will forever go down in my books as one of the most honest and upfront men.  Oh yeah, and fine too.

So I got over that hurdle.  And then a few weeks ago I wrote a post, When the Boss is Away (here’s the original- http://confessionsofaserialdaterinla.com/2013/03/when-the-boss-is-away/).  That’s when it hit home that men… straight men were reading my blog.  I was at a party and ran into a friend of mine.  He said, Dang you really called old boy out.  I hope his wife isn’t reading your blog.  Then later on that same day I was on Facebook and commented on an old high school friend’s post.  His response.  Watch out… Russell might be coming for you LOL!

That’s when I freaked out.  I called my girlfriend and told her what happened.

Girlfriend #1:  Well guuuurl, I can’t lie to you.  If I was a guy and had someone I wanted to introduce you to, I would probably think twice.  Put the shoe on the other foot.  What if a guy wrote about the women he dated would you want to introduce him to your friend?

Me:  I don’t know it depends on what he writes.  Shit, it’s not like I’m Superhead and writing about some crazy sex shit.

Girlfriends #1:  I know.  But I’m just saying.

Then I called another friend.  Because of course like every good patient you have to get a second opinion.  Besides I figured I would get a married friends take on the situation.

Girlfriend #2:  I didn’t think about that.  But that’s a good point.  A lot of men might not like it.  But I love it.  It’S my weekend reading.  I told you I even showed it to my husband.

Me:  Well what did your husband say?

Girlfriend #2:  (long awkward pause)  Uh…

Me:  Well, what did he say?

Girlfriend #2:  Well, he said, why in the hell would she write about that?

Me:  Oh my God!  Oh my God.  This blog is going to be the cause of me becoming an Old Maid.  I’m shutting it down.

Girlfriend #2:  Are you crazy?!  Why in the hell would you shut it down?  It’s entertaining.  You can’t do that!

Me:  I gotta call you back.

I hung up the phone and went downstairs and grabbed my mega goblet and poured a humungous glass of a 2009 Cabernet I was saving for a special occasion.  I figured this was the best occasion.  Clearly I wouldn’t be sharing it with my second husband because I would never have another husband because I am writing a blog.  I tried to watch TV but still couldn’t concentrate.  And just like clockwork my phone rang and it was my mother.  Sometimes I think that she has video cameras installed in my house.  She always seems to call when I am having moments of major self doubt.  I told her what happened.

Mom:  Well that’s good, you want people to read it.  I told you some of my friends have even shared it with their husbands.

Me: But mommy, I never thought men would read this.  What if I meet a guy I really like and he finds out about the blog?  Then what?  He might leave me.

Mom:  Why in the hell would you want to be with a man that would leave you over something so stupid.  The right man will support you in all your dreams.  I keep telling you really need to develop a tougher skin. 

Me:  I know, I know. 

After 4 or 5 more phone calls to various people with the same opinions I still didn’t feel fully exonerated.  Over the next week I tried to write.  But I couldn’t get the words out.  I was second guessing myself every step of the way.  Everything I wrote seemed forced all because I wasn’t being true to myself.  You see, when I write my posts I give it my all.  I am fully genuine and authentic.  I do not pretend to be a dating expert because I am not.  I also do not write about any guy I am currently dating or really like.  But the sudden steam I had when I started the blog suddenly evaporated and I questioned whether or not to go on.  There is a point in everyone’s life where they come to a cross roads.  I was at this cross roads.  I could either shut the blog down or finish what I started and keep going down this path of uncertainty.  That’s when my girlfriend called back.

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“You need to think of yourself as writing the soundtrack of dating. Get out of your own way.”

Girlfriend #1:  I thought about our conversation.

Me:  You did?

Girlfriend #1:  You have to get out of your own way.

Me:  I know, but I am beginning to question everything. 

Girlfriend #1:  How do you think we came to grow and love Mary J. Blige?  She wrote songs about her own experiences and they were from the heart.  That’s why we love her.

Me:  I never thought about it like that.  To be honest I miss the bitter 90’s Mary J. Blige.  I liked when she wrote about heartbreak.

Girlfriend #1:  Exactly.  Songwriters don’t second guess themselves. 

Me:  That’s true.

Girlfriend #1:  You need to think of yourself as writing the soundtrack of dating.  Get out of your own way.

BLD085240

If full exposure means I am misbehaved. Well damn it, let me continue to write my place in “his-tory” or as I like to call it… “She-tory.” I will continue to stay fully exposed….

I got off the phone with her and began to see a small peak of light at the end of the tunnel.  I thought back to when I was dating my ex-husband and our marriage.  At that time I gave up a lot of things to make him happy.  Things that were important to me.  And here I was about to fall into the same pattern over an imaginary man I hadn’t even met!  I was about to sacrifice my creativity and something I was truly enjoying just so that I could be more “appealing” to someone who didn’t quite exist.  How many times have we as women done that?  How many times have we sacrificed our own needs and our own desires all so that we could appease someone who wasn’t worthy?  That when I made the decision to keep going.  I would never ever allow myself to not be true to who I am.  Some people may read my blog and say, “This bitch is crazy! Why is she writing about this?  I hope she doesn’t tell everything.”  There might be men out there who are secretly reading this and think, “I would never let my wife/girlfriend have a blog… I thought she was cool but I don’t want to date her because she might write about me.”  Well damn it; don’t give me shit to write about!  Perhaps read this and learn what not to do.  At the end of the day I am going to finish what I started.  All I can do is be honest, genuine, and authentic.  If it entertains, great, if someone learns something or it just makes them laugh through a difficult time like a divorce or a relationship ending then even better.  All I can say is that Confessions of a Serial Dater in LA is here to stay.  I recently came across a quote.  “Well behaved women rarely make history.”  If full exposure means I am misbehaved.  Well damn it, let me continue to write my place in “his-tory” or as I like to call it… “She-tory.”  I will continue to stay fully exposed….
Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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

Keep It On The DL…

Keep it on the DL

When we as women have to even question the sexuality of our mate then we should really second guess if you should go out with him in the first place…

I do not believe in Divorce Parties.  Divorce is nothing to celebrate.  It’s the ending of a dream and the realization of reality.  However, I do believe in new beginnings.  I also believe in celebrating the fact that I made it through the process without losing my mind… Entirely.  My divorce became final 2 ½ years ago and my friends and I headed out to celebrate my new beginning.  We ended up at the Viceroy Hotel pool side bar.  I was in such great spirits.  The two year load I was carrying on my shoulders while battling it out with my ex through our attorneys had finally reached a conclusion without any casualties.  Well… at least no visible causalities.  The Viceroy seemed to be unusually crowded.  Of course I didn’t mind.  I was having a glass of Fat Bastard Pinot Noir (no pun intended) and laughing it up with my girls.  As I finished my 1st glass the waitress came up to me with another one.  As she handed it to me she said, “The gentleman to the far left asked that I bring this to you.”  I looked over to that side of the pool and there was a man standing there having a beer.  He had on a pair of white linen slacks, a fitted t-shirt that outlined his beautiful well sculpted body.  He had a bald head, and a pair of shades. He had a vanilla latte coloring.  He lifted his beer and toasted to me and smiled.  I was impressed but at that time I really wasn’t ready to start dating again.  I wanted to take some time and be by myself and heal my wounded heart.  I was about to send it back but my friend tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Bitch, don’t be a fool.  It’s just a glass of wine, not a marriage proposal.”    She was right.  I had never turned down a free glass up to this point and I sure as hell wasn’t about to start.  I appreciated that he didn’t run up to me and want to start a conversation right away.  He saw I was out with my girls having a good time with them and allowed me to chill.  Later on that night I was headed to the ladies room and I bumped into him.  “Isaiah” was a 33 year old guidance counselor at one of the schools in the area and he and his friends were celebrating a bachelor party and had gotten rooms at the Viceroy.

Isaiah:  What brings you all here?

I had no plans on going out with him and I wasn’t in the mood.  I was also a little tipsy so my filter was no longer in existence.

Me:  We are celebrating my divorce. 

Isaiah:  Well congrats to you.  How long were you married?

Me:  Not long, but long enough.

Isaiah: I see.  Well you look like you made out just fine.

Me:  I did.

Isaiah:  Do you mind if I give you a call sometime.

Me:  To be honest, I’m really not ready to start dating again.  I’m really taking time to myself right now.

Isaiah:  I understand.  No pressure at all.  But I really would like to take you out to dinner sometime.  You can say no.  But I wouldn’t feel right if I left without getting your number.

I looked over his shoulder and saw a couple coming into the lobby of the hotel to check in.  They were in their late 50’s and really into each other.  As they waited to be called to the front desk, I saw the man gently pull a hair out of the woman’s face look her in the eyes and give her a tender kiss on the forehead.  They looked like they were truly in love.  Then I looked back at this man standing in front of me asking for my number and thought.  What the hell?  What did I have to lose?  My ex was already in a serious relationship with a woman he allegedly met after I moved out although our divorce papers ink hadn’t even fully dried.  I digressed… I was 33 years old at the time and figured there was no reason to delay the inevitable.  Not to mention, I needed to get some practice dating again.  So I grabbed “Isaiah’s” phone and put my number in it.  Clearly, my Master Men Cleanse didn’t last long.

The next day I got a phone call from “Isaiah” asking if I was free to meet him for coffee.  Coffee?  What about wine?  But I met up with him at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Hollywood.  I got to the coffee shop walked in and there was “Isaiah.”  He had on a pair of Prada Loafers, rolled up khaki’s, a fitted lavender tee.  As I got close up on him I noticed his eyebrows were perfectly arched.  I thought to myself did this man get his eyebrow threaded or waxed?  WTF?  That’s the beautiful thing about meeting someone for coffee.  It’s a quick date.  I sat across from him and his eyebrows and we had a great conversation.  I found out that “Isaiah” had a 10 year old daughter from a one night stand he had in college.  He loved his job because he liked making a difference in the community.  He took pride in being one of the few black male guidance counselors and making a difference in young highschoolers.  He was really a nice guy.  So I agreed to meet up with him two nights later for an official dinner date.  We met up at Koi.  When I arrived to the restaurant he greeted me with a bouquet of roses.  When he ordered the wine, I noticed his wrist went a little limp as he handed over the menu to the waiter.   I gave him a side eyed look.  I was a little thrown off.  In my dating past I was known to date men who were very masculine.  They also weren’t in touch with their feelings and lacked a sympathy gene.  So I was very specific in what I was looking for.  I wanted a man who was sensitive and was in touch with his soft side.  But shit, not too much in touch with the soft side.  So I decided to shake off my apprehension and engage in some great conversation.  So I asked him about his daughter.

black-woman-thinking1

Is he or isn’t he????

Me:  Are you and your daughter close?

Isaiah:  We are very close.  Although her mother and I aren’t together she is my heart.  She is my everything.  From the time she was born and I held her in my arms, I had such a sense of joy and pride.  I knew I would do anything for her.  She is….. I’m sorry.  I always get choked up when I talk about my daughter.

Was this man crying at the table?  As he took his napkin off his lap to dry his eyes, I looked around the restaurant to make sure there wasn’t a camera crew present.  I thought I was being Punked.  And then I started to second guess myself.  “Okay now.  You said you always wanted a man who was sensitive and showed more emotion.  This is what you have now.  Stop being the Goldilocks of dating!  One man is too insensitive, another man is too sensitive.  Give this guy a chance.  Don’t jump to conclusions.  Your ex didn’t have emotions and look where that got you.  Just feel this one out.”  As I gave my pep talk to myself about giving him a chance he excused himself and went to the bathroom.  I watched him walk off and I could have sworn he switched!  It was a settle switch but there was a definitive hip movement from side to side as he walked off.  I took a long sip of my wine and leaned back in the chair.  My mind was going a million miles a minute.  There was a huge possibility I was out with a guy on the DL!!!!  I didn’t want to jump to conclusions but my intuition was certainly speaking to me and telling me to “Proceed with caution.”  We finished our meal and he walked me to my car.  When he attempted to give me a kiss I played up my recent divorce status.

Me:  I’m sorry Isaiah.  I really want to take things slow.  I hope you understand.

Well, well, well, there were some advantages to being divorced!  I now had an entire suite of bullshit excuses I could pull from.  I guess I owed my ex husband a thank you note.  Anyway, I digressed…  I drove home and immediately called my best friend.  She had me recount every single detail of our last two dates.  I told her about his clothing, the arched eyebrows, the limp wrist, and the switch to the bathroom.  I even sent her a picture of him.  In the picture he had the slight gay man twinkle.  Now, let me first say this, gay men are some of the most attractive men on the planet.  They have immaculate taste in clothing, they have the best bodies since the gym is typically their oasis, they have the best dating advice, I have often been called a Hag because I love me some gay men!  As a matter of fact every woman should have a GBF (Gay Boyfriend).  The gay man who is your best friend who you can call on for anything and vice versa.  The issue here is a man who is possibly on the DL fooling himself and the women he dates.  I believe everyone should love who they love, but don’t lie to yourself about who you are.  My best friend and I decided our best bet would be a double date.  This way, it enabled us to meet a friend of his and see how they interacted with each other while at the same time there would be 2 sets of eyes on“Isaiah” and we could come to an educated hypothesis.

us-black-gay-men

A part of me felt sorry for him. It must be hard to fight who you really are and not feel like you can be who you really and truly are.

Two nights later my best friend and I walked into Nobu and were greeted by “Isaiah” and his friend.  His friend was in his mid to late 40’s.  They were about the same height and complexion, except his friend had salt and pepper hair that was in a low fade.  His friend was wearing a custom European fit suit.  And “Isaiah” had on a pair of slacks with a fitted sweater.  “Isaiah” once again had a bouquet of flowers for me.  My inner diva rolled her eyes.  At this point the novelty had worn off, simply because I Had no clue what the hell his deal was.  If I were an outsider looking in, I would have assumed him and his friend were on a date together.  Before we got to the table my best friend whispered in my ear and said.   “Yes!  Gay and gayer…”  We sat through the meal and observed the two men interact with each other like an old married couple.  After that dinner I cut things off with “Isaiah.”  I used me other Divorce B.S. excuse that I just wasn’t ready to date again.  Four or five months later I went out with my GBF (gay boyfriend) to The Abbey in West Hollywood.  I was having one of those post divorce days where my confidence was down and I needed a serious ego booster.  There’s nothing better for the ego than being told you are fierce by a gay man.  There’s also something so freeing about going out with a group of men and dancing and knowing they aren’t going to try to sleep with you.  While there, I went to get a drink from the bar.  As I waited for my drink to arrive I was looking around at the rock hard abs of the shirtless party goers at The Abbey.  The house music was blaring and I was having a good time with the boys.  I looked over to the far right of the club and saw a familiar face.  I squinted and suddenly in clear view was “Isaiah” dancing with another man with his shirt off and sipping on a cocktail!  He looked at peace and very comfortable.  He never saw me and to this day I don’t think he knows I know his secret.  A part of me felt sorry for him.  It must be hard to fight who you really are and not feel like you can be who you really and truly are.  I truly had a deep compassion for him.

Terry McMillan

I remember watching Terry McMillan on the Oprah Winfrey show after she went through her divorce. And I found myself screaming at the TV set. How in the fuck did she not know that man was gay?! Was she deaf, dumb, and blind? Or was she lonely, desperate, and longing for companionship and wanting a relationship so bad she was willing to completely ignore here intuition?

You see, at the end of the day, women have this thing called inner intuition.  We already know the answers to most questions before asking it.  But lots of times we have a constant battle with what we know is the truth and what we want to be true.  We tell ourselves, “He was raised around nothing but women so he is a little feminine… the sex is so good there is no way he is gay… The best friend of his that was in our wedding that cried a little too hard as I walked down the aisle is just so happy for his friend…”   I knew the second I met “Isaiah” for coffee that he was on the DL.  But I attempted to talk myself out of it.  I remember watching Terry McMillan on the Oprah Winfrey show after she went through her divorce.  And I found myself screaming at the TV set.  How in the fuck did she not know that man was gay?!  Was she deaf, dumb, and blind?  Or was she lonely, desperate, and longing for companionship and wanting a relationship so bad she was willing to completely ignore here intuition?  Then on the flip side, there are woman who are dating or married to a man and have absolutely no clue that their man is on the DL.  Some men can mask this and you have no idea.  There is also a group of woman who dated a man back in the day while they were in college and had no idea they were gay.  Now that guy is completely out of the closet and being true to themselves.  Some of them are married to other men and have adopted children and are living a happy life being true to who they are.  Meanwhile, the woman is left scratching her head wondering how she had no idea that was the case.  When we as women have to even question the sexuality of our mate then we should really second guess if you should go out with him in the first place.

 

 
Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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

The Return of The Vapor

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The Return of The Vapor

Runyon Canyon is one of my favorite places in LA.  Aside from the big ass dogs that are off their leashes and the smell of dog shit the views of the city is amazing.  The workout is also intense.  Afterwards I always feel like my head is cleared and I have a greater appreciation for LA.  I had just gotten in my car and was putting the top down to continue to enjoy the amazing California weather.  If you can’t appreciate having 75 degrees weather in the heart of the winter than you have issues.  I was heading to Whole Foods to pick up my Emerald Sesame Kale salad for a post workout snack when my phone rang.  I typically do not answer calls if I do not know the number.  But it was Saturday and the number looked vaguely familiar besides I was in good spirits and in a Zen mode.  I picked up the phone and to my astonishment it was…  “Gary.”  (Refer to previous post: case of the Dating Vapors  http://confessionsofaserialdaterinla.com/2013/02/case-of-the-dating-vapors/ )

Gary:  Hi there.

I made a mental note to myself to stop deleting numbers after a guy pisses me off for this very reason.  At least I could have been prepared if I knew it was him calling.  Back in my 20’s when a guy pissed me off I would change his name to Do Not Answer so when they called I would see that flash up as the name and know not to answer.  But that didn’t work because those times when I got tipsy I would still send a text or call them.  By the way, side note… Friends should never let friends text drunk.  It is the number 1 killer of dignity among women from the ages of 22-33.  Anyway I digressed.  I had a few options.

1-      Hang the phone up in his face.

2-      Give him a “sista girl” response with the head roll and all and check this fool.

3-      Act like nothing happen and be pleasant.

4-      Hear him out first and determine if 1, 2, or 3 is the appropriate response.

I went with the 4th option.  Besides I was in such a peaceful state.  I would be damned if I gave him the power to change my mood.  I didn’t realize how long I had him waiting.

Gary:  Hello?  Are you there?

Me:  Well hello there.

Gary:  How have you been?

I really wanted to say, “If you had bothered to pick up the damn phone two months ago when we were supposed to go out you would know. “  But instead:

Me:  I’m wonderful…  What’s going on?

Gary:  Things have been crazy for me over the last few weeks.  I finally ended up selling the house and me and my ex were able to reach a settlement.  It’s been a hectic couple of weeks.

Me:  (waiting for an apology)  Mmmmm.  Hmmmmm.  I was wondering what happened to you.  I’m glad everything worked out for you.

Gary:  Yeah me too.  How’s your week looking? 

Me:  It’s pretty hectic, but I’m free Wednesday or Thursday evening.

Gary:  I would love to meet up with you for dinner.  How about Wednesday?

Back in the day I probably would have went off on him for standing me up or I would have been a total bitch made plans for the date and stood him up just to get even.  (Yes, I was once that petty and I am not ashamed).  However, with age comes wisdom.  So I decided to be honest with him.

Me:  You know, last time we made plans I never heard from you.  You never called to let me know you couldn’t make it and you never even bothered to apologize.  As a matter of fact, you still haven’t apologized.  My time is valuable and I expect a man to respect it.  I wouldn’t be honoring who I am if I allowed you to treat me that way and think its okay.

Gary:  I’m really sorry.  I had so much going on and I forgot we had made plans.

Me:  You forgot?  Really?  Come on Gary.  You’re a smart guy.  You can do better than that.

Gary:  You’re right.  That’s not the kind of person I am.  I don’t want you to think that way of me.

Me:  I don’t have any other frame of reference Gary.

Gary:  Please let me make it up to you.  Let’s meet Wednesday at 6 at Laurel Tavern for drinks.

I was suddenly feeling empowered.  It felt good to just be… me.  I wasn’t playing games and I wasn’t worried he was going to run off if I told him about himself.  To be honest I really didn’t care if he did.  I had nothing to lose.  I had also lost a good 8 pounds since the last time I saw him, I cut my hair into a short sassy cut, and I was really in a good place emotionally.

Me:  Okay Gary.  I’m going to give you another chance.  Don’t let me down.

Runyon Canyon

Runyon Canyon… The best place to clear your mind…

Wednesday rolled around.  I decided on a pair of skinny jeans, knee high boots, and a fitted low cut belted sweater.  I got to Laurel Tavern Grill 10 minutes late.  I walked in and looked around and I didn’t see him.  I went to the bathroom to give myself a once over.  By the time I came back out and I saw he still wasn’t there I went into panic mode.  Oh shit… here we go again.  I was certainly not going to wait on his ass.  I pondered walking out.  I didn’t think my ego could handle being stood up by the same guy twice!  My phone buzzed in my bag.  It was a text from “Gary.

Sorry I’m running late.  The traffic is bad.  I’ll be there in 15 minutes.

Phew!    At least he was coming.  I ordered a glass of White Haven Sauvignon Blanc and took a seat.  When “Gary” finally showed up I must admit the initial attraction I first had with him was not as strong.  Don’t get me wrong.  He still looked good.  But often times when a man has pissed me off I can’t stand the site of their ass.  Perhaps this was it.  His smile lit up and he gave me the tightest hug.  When he let go he was still holding my hands.

Gary:  Wow!  You look good.

Me:  Why thank you. 

We were off to a great start.  Since the last time I saw “Gary” he had travelled to China and Barbados to “clear his head.”  Apparently he was a wreck after his divorce, which I could certainly understand.  I had a feeling his divorce was not something he wanted.  Things were going really well.

Gary:  I thought about you a lot over the last few months.

Me:  Really, I can’t tell. 

Gary:  Was I that bad?

I looked at him like he had two heads.  Did he really want to revisit this conversation?

Me:  You stood me up and never called.  That’s pretty bad.

Gary:  I must admit.  I was a little taken aback with our last conversation.  You took things so seriously.

Was this man stupid or just plain retarded?  Perhaps I didn’t hear him correctly.

Me:  What do you mean?

Gary:  It kind of rubbed me the wrong way.

Me:  How?   

Gary:  I was going through a lot at the time.  And I felt you kind of jumped down my throat.  You could have been more understanding of my situation.

I counted backwards from 10 to 1.  The last thing I wanted to do was cuss his ass out.  Besides, I wanted to hear him out.

Me:  Gary, let me say this.  I’m not going to apologize for what I said because that’s how I felt.  But if it came of wrong in how I communicated it, well, I can work on that.

Gary:  Thanks I appreciate that. 

I waited for an apology to come out of his big stupid mouth for being a rude, inconsiderate ass hole.  I really wanted him to at least acknowledge his part in this.  But again, men can’t read minds.

Me:  And?

Gary:  And what?

Me:  Nothing Gary.  Never mind. 

And that’s when it hit me.  This was “Gary.”  He WAS a rude, inconsiderate, ass hole.  My new haircut, weight loss, and clear communication wasn’t going to change that.  It didn’t matter how beautiful I looked, how low cut my sweater was.  This was him.    I thought about how I felt when I didn’t hear from him after our first date, when he stood me up after that and didn’t call.  I also thought about how I felt moments earlier when I walked into the restaurant and he wasn’t there.  I thought about how I panicked thinking he wasn’t going to show up.  I can tolerate a lot of things in relationships.  But what I cannot and will not tolerate is inconsistency and a man who isn’t reliable.  I knew if I continued to date “Gary” this was who he is.  The audacity of him to try to check me for being honest with my feelings!  I wanted to smack myself for giving him a second chance.  We finished our drinks and he walked me to my car and gave me a hug.  I knew I had no intentions of ever going out with him again.

As I drove off from that date.  I had a similar feeling to the one I had that past weekend when I finished my hike on Runyon Canyon.  I suddenly couldn’t stop smiling.  For the very first time in my adult dating life, I was true to me.  I was honest with my feelings and told a guy how I expected to be treated and let him know I wouldn’t settle for anything less because I was worth it.  I wasn’t fearful that he would get turned off.  I knew my worth and I would never allow someone to come into my life that didn’t honor me.  Granted I didn’t get the response I wanted.  But I realized I had officially reached a dating pinnacle.  Being true to who you are and honoring who you are is the biggest dating high you can possibly have.  This was the new me!  And I would never revert to my old ways.  I headed home and turned up my radio and jammed to Cheryl Lynn’s song Got To Be Real.

 
Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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