The Golden State

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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?

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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!

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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+

The Missionary Position

Women in Bed

The Missionary Position

An acquaintance of mine was having a mixer for her clients.  She insisted that I attend.  I reluctantly headed over to Nic’s in Beverly Hills after work.   I was all about new adventures and breaking out of my comfort zone these days.  As soon as I walked into the door my friend ran up to me and gave me a big hug.  As she hugged me she whispered in my ear, “There’s someone here I want you to meet.”  Okay.  I didn’t mind getting set up.  It’s always nice to meet someone that came with references.  I would have preferred to get a heads up.  I might have gotten a little more dressed up for the occasion.  First things first, I headed over to the bar and got a Lemon Blush martini that Nic’s is so famous for.  As the bartender handed over my martini, my friend was leading a guy over to me.  He was probably about 5”9.  He was one of those guys who worked out… too much.  He was too damn buff/borderline stocky.  I could tell if he stopped working out those swollen muscles would turn into flab.  He wore glasses and had on a pair of slacks and a tucked in button down shirt.  He wasn’t unattractive but he wasn’t my type.  He was what I would call… Beige.  Meaning he didn’t do it for me, he was just plain and uneventful.  When I saw him my mind didn’t automatically think about him tearing my clothes off and throwing me on the bed and having his way with me.  But I wasn’t repulsed or turned off.  What most men don’t realize is most women know whether or not they want to fuck you within 5 minutes of meeting a guy.  But one of two things happen:

1-       We meet and are turned on by you and figuring out ways to hold out and then a man will say or do something so stupid they lose their chance of getting any

2-      We meet and there isn’t an initial connection but within time you sweep us off our feet that before we realize it we are in a vertical position in the midst of passion.

“Warren” was definitely in category 2.  My friend introduced us and she was grinning from ear to ear like she won a pageant.  “Warren” was in finance and had recently started his own financial consulting company.  He was 38, never married, and no kids.  We made our introductions and I politely excused myself and had a one on one with my girlfriend.  I was always leery of a single girlfriend introducing me to a guy.  My first question was if he was so great why in the hell didn’t she date him?  Her response was the typical response I get when I asked that question.  “Girl, he’s like a brother to me.”  I looked her in her eyes took a sip of my cocktail.  Mmmmm…hmmm.  A brother?  I read through her bullshit.  He was too short, too stocky and too nerdy and she was pushing this man off on me.  I looked around the mixer and didn’t see anyone worth getting to know.   When I saw “Warren” sitting at a table by himself drinking a beer I decided to go have a conversation with him.  The traffic was still heavy heading back over the hill and I certainly wasn’t in the mood to unleash my road rage by sitting in traffic.  I took a deep breath, ordered another martini and went over to “Warren.”

Me:  Is anyone sitting here?

Warren:  You are.

Me:  Are you having fun?

Warren:  It’s alright.  You know your girl threatened if I didn’t come here tonight I would be losing one of my testicles.

Let me find out Mr. Stocky had a sense of humor.  I sat there and talked to him for the next hour.  He had a great sense of humor and was somewhat charming.  It was definitely a pleasant surprise.

Warren:  I would love to take you out this weekend.

Me:  Really?  Where? 

Warren:  Let me surprise you.  What’s your favorite kind of food?

Me:  I love sushi. 

Warren:  Say no more.  I’ll pick you up Saturday at 7.

Me:  I don’t usually let strangers pick me up.  You could be a serial killer or some shit like that.

Warren:  You have a reliable reference.  Besides I’m kind of old school.  I like courting a woman.

Before I knew it I was giving “Warren” my address and cell phone number.  Saturday rolled around and I found myself meeting “Warren” outside of my home in his silver corvette.  YUCK!!!  I always considered Corvettes to be the poor man’s Porsche.  I hated them.  They were so… common.  But whatever, I got into his pride and joy.  I could tell he really thought he was doing something.  Then of course, as usual I had to talk to my inner diva.  “Stop being a bitch.  Give the guy a chance.”  I found myself constantly having to tame my inner diva these days.  I rolled my eyes and decided to make the best of the evening.  While we were in the car his mother called.  Instead of taking her off speaker phone Warren answered it.

Warren:  Hey mom!  What’s up?

Warren’s Mom:  Just checking on my baby.

Warren:  I’m good.  I’m heading out to dinner with the young lady I told you about.

What the fuck?  He told his mother about me.  I wasn’t ready for all of this.  Even worse, was this man a momma’s boy?  I was married to one of those and the thought of being with another momma’s boy sent me into panic mode.   I wanted to jump out of the moving car.

Warren’s Mom:  Well hello there!

Me:  Uh…. Hello.

Warren’s Mom:  You all have fun now.  Take care of my boy.

Me:  Uh…Okay.

I looked over at “Warren” and he was beaming with joy.  This is why I take my own car to dates.  I was officially stuck with him for the rest of the night.  When we got to valet and went up the elevator we were greeted with a spectacular view of downtown LA.  He took me to Takami Sushi.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Perhaps I was rushing to judgment on “Warren.”   Suddenly the stocky framed nerdy guy was automatically elevated to possible boyfriend status.  When the waitress came up to the table he ordered a bottle of expensive Zinfandel Red Wine.  I was impressed.  He knew his wines.  Sometimes great things are discovered in stocky packages.  The conversation ensued.

Bad Date

This was the only thing I hated about dating, that awkward conversation that must happen. You know the typical. Why are you single? What are you looking for? If I could skip over that shit, dating would be so much easier….

Warren:  I hope I picked a good spot.

Me:  You picked well.  I’m so used to trying to control things so I am pleasantly surprised.

Warren:  Good!  So, what’s your story? 

Oh shit.  I hated that question.  This was the only thing I hated about dating, that awkward conversation that must happen.  You know the typical.  Why are you single?  What are you looking for?  If I could skip over that shit, dating would be so much easier.

Me:  What do you mean?

Warren:  You’re obviously a beautiful woman.  Why hasn’t someone snatched you up?

I became an expert at diverting those kinds of questions.

Me:  Why hasn’t someone snatched you up?

Warren:  Who me?  I have no idea.  I know I’m sexy…

He then leaned back in his chair and simulated the act of tweaking his nipples.  He thought he was being funny.  But I was disgusted.  I came close to throwing up in my mouth.  I took a chug of my wine.  Looked out the window at the beautiful skyline of Downtown LA and tried not to run out of the restaurant.  I think “Warren” sensed my disgust and tried to back pedal.

Warren: There was once a time when I was so pressed to get married.  It was all I wanted.   I found myself getting depressed because I couldn’t meet the right woman.  Then I made the decision to let go and let God.

Me:  I can certainly understand that.  So you’re a very religious man,

Warren:  Absolutely.  I love the Lord.

Me:  Okay.

Warren:  I’m very active in my church.  Many people think I have the gift to eventually become a Pastor.

I took another chug of my wine.  I had been around those super duper religious folks who judged everyone and were the most hypercritical people you could ever meet.  I knew I wanted a man who was a Christian and who was spiritual but I had no intentions of being trapped by one of those super duper religious men again.  I had just gotten out of that and realized that wasn’t for me.  But I decided to hear this man out.  I couldn’t assume that all people were alike.  I was keenly aware that I still had left over crumbs from my marriage and I didn’t want to let that baggage ruin it for the next guy.

ME:  A Pastor?  That would mean if you and I ended up together I would be a first lady?

Warren:  Yeah.  I would expect you to become active in my church as well.  I run the youth ministry and Sunday school.  It is definitely a calling for me.

I immediately had flashback to being forced to go to my ex’s church and living short of his expectations.  As well as the hypocrisy of what was preached and what was being practiced.  Don’t get me wrong.  I go to church every Sunday and I know I wouldn’t be where I was if it wasn’t for my faith.  But the idea of being with another man who was blinded by his “religious beliefs” freaked me out.

Me:  I already have a church home of my own that I love.

Warren:  You’d like my church. 

Me:  So you’re looking for a missionary type huh?

Warren:  I never thought of it like that.  But I am looking for a woman of the cloth.

ME: So once you become Pastor of you church.  What if one of your congregants came in here and saw you and I sitting here having a bottle of this wine?

Warren:  That wouldn’t happen.  Once I dedicated my life to the Lord in that way, I would no longer give in to the flesh.

I suddenly envisioned myself wearing calf length skirts, white gloves, and a big hat.  I thought about the idea of never having wine.  Or worse yet, sneaking it when my “husband” was preaching at his church.  I thought about once again being in the bondage.  And I freaked out.  I literally had a hot flash.

Church WOman

I suddenly envisioned myself wearing thigh length skirts, white gloves, and a big hat. I thought about the idea of never having wine. Or worse yet, sneaking it when my “husband” was preaching at his church…

Warren:  Are you alright?

Me:  (fanning myself with a napkin) I’m sorry Warren.  But I just got out of a situation where I was with a “religious” man and it was complete hypocrisy.  I’m not a missionary.  I like my wine, I like to party, I like to live life on my own terms.  Don’t get me wrong.  I go to church.  I pray every day.  And I know if it weren’t for my faith I wouldn’t have made it to where I am now,  But I could never be a preacher’s wife or a Missionary.  Is that what you ultimately are looking for?

Warren:  (long awkward pause)  Well, yes.  It is.

Me:  Then I’m not the one for you.

We left dinner and the ride home was uncomfortably silent.  “Warren” walked me to my door.  And suddenly he grabbed for me and kissed me and shoved his tongue down my throat.  I pushed him away.  And he looked at me completely confused.

Me:  What is your problem?!   I don’t know you like that!  This is our first date.  I thought you were a man of the cloth!

Warren:  I’m not yet.  Can I come inside?

Me:  Are you serious?

Warren looked at me confused.  I went into my house and slammed the door in his face.  I realized I probably over reacted. But I could not ever put myself into a situation when I was boxed into the ideology of someone else and their wants.  And again, I don’t want to come off like I am a heathen.  But I am not a missionary.  The idea of become a Pastor’s wife was not for me.  I realized “Warren” was one of those guys who had a picture of what his life was supposed to be and any woman who came into his life had to be willing to fit into his picture.  More importantly, that wasn’t who “Warren” was.  I never wanted to be in a situation where a man was conflicted between who he really and truly was and what he thought he was supposed to be.

Praying

You don’t have to be a Missionary to realize that at the end of the day this dating thing and meeting Mr. Right isn’t in your own hands. You had to be willing to ask for help and guidance. And I was finally at peace….

After I washed my face and put on my pajamas.  I couldn’t sleep.  I was tossing and turning.  So I got out of the bed and went into my meditation room.  I got on my knees and I prayed.  I prayed that I would find the husband God wanted me to have.  I prayed that all the residuals from my broken hurt were cleared.  I prayed that I met the man who was right for me.  More importantly when I met him I wouldn’t mess it up and he would be ready.  I finally reached a point where I knew I couldn’t do it on my own.  After I finished praying, I got back into my bed and I fell to sleep right away.  I knew I had faith that I was going to get it right.  I surrendered and acknowledged that it was no longer in my hands.  You don’t have to be a Missionary to realize that at the end of the day this dating thing and meeting Mr. Right isn’t in your own hands.  You had to be willing to ask for help and guidance.  And I was finally at peace….

Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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

The Ghosts of Dates Pasts…

sad-black-woman1

The Ghosts of Dates Pasts…

I recently attended a party and had an interesting thing happen.  It was the typical LA Industry party.  The location was great, the people were beautiful, the drinks were flowing, and business cards were being exchanged.  It was a typical Wednesday night in La-La Land.  I rolled to the event solo but upon entering the door I ran into other industry folks I knew and worked with.  I was feeling good.  You know how you have those moments of looking in the mirror before you leave home and doing a double take at yourself.  My recent no carbs, no sugar, no cheese, no diary diet was working.  And my three day 2 hours of work out per week plan was making my recent weight lose and muscle gain evident in the dress I was wearing.  I was finally able to wear the damn thing without spanx or control top panty hose!  I went to my hairstylist the day before and got the mini afro that was growing on the back of my neck relaxed and my haircut was giving Halle Berry a run for her money (in my own mind).  So needless to say I was at the top of my game.  I was currently experiencing what my dad refers to as my “hay day.”    My first stop at any party is the bar.  I went to the overcrowded bar and waited patiently for the bartender to pour me a glass of Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc.  She handed me the bill and I was reaching into my clutch to grab my credit card when a familiar voice came from next to me. “I’ll get this round.” I looked to my right and there stood “Corey.”  “Corey” and I went out 10 years ago.  We met through a mutual friend and we went out on a few dates.  At that time “Corey” had a propensity to date women who had blonde hair, blue eyes, and wore a size 0.  The few times we went out he made comments about his preference for those women.  And at one point when we were hanging out at his house watching a movie, when he went to the bathroom, my nosy ass decided to take a look at his photo album which was loaded with pictures of him and these blonde haired beauties.  I think the straw that broke the Camel’s back was when he made a comment about my short haircut being too short.  This was shortly after I had finally taken out the Hollywood Starlet weave and decided to follow in the steps of Halle Berry and wear a short sassy do.  That was when I made the executive decision that “Corey” was not the one for me.  Let me be very clear.  “Corey” was not an asshole or a jerk.  He really was a nice guy.  But there’s nothing more uncomfortable than being out with a man when you feel like you aren’t his type, especially at the ripe age of 25.  Fast forward 10 years later.  And here “Corey” and I were face to face at the bar having a cocktail.  He looked GOOD.  He looked accomplished (as I always knew he would be).  He recently left his job at one of the biggest Hollywood talent agencies and opened up his own talent management firm which was thriving.  He was wearing a European tailored suit.  His teeth seemed to be sparkling white when he smiled at me.  I looked down at his left ring finger and saw a wedding band.  “Corey” finally settled down and got married.

Me:  I see you finally decided to settle your ass down.  Congrats Corey.

Corey:  (chuckling as he took a sip of his scotch on the rocks) at a certain point a man has to settle down.  We also just had a baby. 

Me: (giving him a hug) that’s wonderful Corey.  I am so happy for you!

Corey:  I promised my friend I wasn’t going to be taking out my phone and showing pictures.  I’ve become one of those guys!

Me:  Of course you have.  You have every right to show off your new family.  I would love to see pictures.

As “Corey” took his phone out, I took a sip of my wine preparing myself to see a picture of his blonde haired, blue eyed, supermodel wife and his curly haired bi-racial daughter.  He handed me his phone.  And there I stared at a picture of a beautiful chocolate sista, with long hair, beautiful teeth, and elegance that radiated from the picture, holding a gorgeous brown baby and “Corey” with his arms around both of them with a beaming smile.  It took everything in me not to spit out my drink in shock.  “Corey” not only married a sista, but a chocolate, classy sista at that.  I couldn’t believe it.

Me:  What a beautiful family.  I am so happy for you!  Wow!

Corey:  You look happy too.  Last time we ran into each other you had just gotten engaged.  How’s married life treating you?

This happened more times than I wanted to mention when I ran into people who hadn’t seen me since my divorce.  And I answered with my usual PR crafted response.  Then I prepared myself for the look of pity and the uncomfortable response to the breaking divorce news.

Me:  Oh, that didn’t work out. 

Corey:  I’m so sorry to hear that.  You look great.  You actually look really happy.

Me:  I am.  I really am.  And seriously Corey, I am really proud of you.

We gave each other a hug and I walked outside to cool off.  For some reason, talking about my divorce typically gave me a hot flash.  I called them mini-panic attacks.  On my way outside, I wasn’t paying attention and bumped into a muscular man wearing suit.  When he turned around I realized it was “Vincent” a former NFL player I dated a few years back.  His once muscular build and thick neck was now stocky.  He had on a three piece suit and looked like he could be a Reverend of one of those southern mega churches instead of what the sculpted Michael Angelo he used to be.  That sexy football build was no longer in existence.  Instead of his body being ready for those tight pants and football jersey, the long robe of a Pastor would have been more fitting.

Me:  Vincent?!

Vincent gave me the biggest hug and kiss on the cheek.

Vincent:  What’s up?  Long time no see.

Me:  I know.  How have you been?

Vincent:  I’ve been good.  I actually live out here now.

Me:  What?  You live in LA?

When I was dating “Vincent” he was a diehard east coaster.  As a matter of fact he told me you couldn’t pay him enough to move to LA.  That was one of the reasons the relationship didn’t go any further along with the fact that I hated football.  I knew he had gotten married to a former video vixen and had a baby.

Me:  How is the baby?

Vincent:  We actually have 3 now. 

Me:  3… Wow.

At this point a woman came up to us who had to be a good size 16 with a bad weave hanging down her back and way too much make up.  She looked me up and down and said very dryly, “Hello, I’m Vincent’s WIFE and you are?”  This was nothing new to me.  I had ran into a lot of wives and I understood their insecurity if they saw their husband talking to a woman they didn’t know.  I had mastered the art of putting their mind at ease.  So I gave her a hug and said:

Me:  HI!  IT is so great to finally meet you.  Vincent was just telling me about you and your 3 beautiful children.  Congrats.  You don’t look like you’ve had any children!  You look great.

That lie put her at ease immediately.  She instantly relaxed and had a genuine conversation with me.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her I barely recognized her with all the recent weight gain and I dare not tell her she looked like she could stand a few more hours of sleep.  And in the future to PUT THE FOUNDATION DOWN!

I left that party and thought to myself, “What the fuck just happened?”  Suddenly that extra boost of self confidence I had when I walked into the party was deflated as I waited for my car to pull up from the valet.  Here were two men from my past one who didn’t even like black women who was now married to a damn Ebony Goddess and the other who told me he would never move to LA that was now living there.  I was thrown and confused.  I went to bed that night feeling alone, sad, and regretful.  Perhaps I didn’t give either one of these men a chance.  Someone recently asked me, how would I know if I met Mr. Right.  And I honestly couldn’t answer them.  I had no fucking clue.  I will never pretend to be an expert on dating.  It the blind leading the fucking blind.  I was one marriage down and numerous dates in and I still hadn’t figured it out.  Clearly, maybe I didn’t give these men a fair shot.  Especially “Corey.”  The next day I woke up thinking I would have slept off the mini depression that was sinking in.  But no, I hadn’t.  I decided to make a run to the grocery store.  When I was checking out I was stuck behind a woman who was in her late 40’s/early 50’s.  She was unloading at least 50 cans of cat food.  She wasn’t wearing a wedding ring.  She looked tired and drained.  And it hit me.  This could be me.  I could become that 50 year old single woman in the super market buying cat food for my 3 cats.  I quickly left the line and ran to the wine aisle and picked up a bottle of expensive Pinot Noir.  Normally when I was in one of these single girl funks, I would call up a friend and go out.  But on this particular day, I decided I wasn’t going to run away from these thoughts.  I was going to face them head on and just let the feeling come up and not try to push them down.  But I was smart enough to know that I was going to need a bottle of wine for a little company.

waiting-to-exhale-cast

I no longer looked at these women as disgruntled….

I got home, sat on my couch and turned on the TV.  And low and behold Waiting to Exhale Came On.  I remember the first time I saw this movie, I thought these were 4 of the most disgruntled bitches I had ever watched on the silver screen.  But as I poured my third glass of wine, I found myself relating to these women now that I was 35.  Perhaps it was me.  There certainly had to be a reason why I ran into these former men I went out with.  Was it my past trying to tell me what a fuck up I had been?  Perhaps, if I had hung in there instead of running away at the first sign of conflict I would be sitting in the picture with “Corey” holding our beautiful baby boy.  Perhaps I had made his desires of wanting a blonde haired, blue eyed, super model a bigger deal that it was.  With “Vincent” I could have made myself like football and moved back to the cold ass east coast.  All I needed was a good fur coat and I am sure I could have learned to love sitting in the football stand in the winter time cheering my man on.  By the time I poured the last drop of Pinot into my glass, and Waiting to Exhale was over.  I turned off the TV sat on my couch and for the first time in a long time.  I cried.  I mourned the loss of my marriage.  After all, I thought I was done dating.  It would have been nice to be at that party with a husband.  Then I mourned for the bad dating decisions I made.  It’s not always the guy who fucks things up.  I look back at some of the times I was so quick to cut a man off without giving him the benefit of the doubt.  I allowed myself to cry at the fear of ending up alone.  Granted I will NEVER get a damn cat.  But the analogy, I cried over the fear of becoming that lady in the grocery story who only had cats to take care of instead of a shitty baby diaper to change.  I literally cried myself to sleep that night.  It’s amazing what happens when you stop running from your thoughts and allow yourself to be alone and think those scary thoughts.

black-woman-crying1

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

I woke up the next morning.  My eyes were puffy and red.  I didn’t realize in my wine induced state I hadn’t even made it upstairs to my room.  The sun was shining on my tear stained face.  I sat up and took a deep breath.  I couldn’t remember the last time I allowed myself to be by myself and just cry like a baby.  It actually felt good.  You see, at the end of the day.  I always knew I was not destined for an ordinary normal life.  I wanted it all: the career, the husband that adored me, the beautiful children, the house, the vacations, and the great friends and parties.  I didn’t just want a job or just a marriage I wanted something special.  I tried to settle for the ordinary life and it wasn’t for me.  The reality is, here I am at 35 years old recognizing there might have been relationships in the past that I fucked up and I could have done things differently.  I am sure if I would have hung in there with one of my Ghosts of Dates Pasts I could be standing by their side being introduced to their exes or being showed off to a woman from their past on their iPhone as I held my baby.  But for whatever reason that wasn’t the case.  And NO I wasn’t like the women in Waiting to Exhale.  And don’t get me wrong, I love that movie.  Just like many women out there, the scene where Bernadette burns her husband’s clothes and car is one of the best moments in cinematographic history.  However, I would never have an affair with a married man like Bernadette, Savannah, and Robin did in the movie.  And no I am not like the cat lady in the grocery store.  I just know what I want.  I am not sure if when I meet “Mr. Right” I’ll know right away.  But what I do know is when I meet “Mr. Right for ME” that everything will fall into place.  What I do know, is that it is okay for a single girl to have a little pity party and cry every once in a while.  What I know is that sometimes it’s okay to admit when you’re lonely.  But the most important thing when you are haunted by your Ghosts of Relationships Pasts is to always remember that the past is best to be left right back where you left it…. In the past.

Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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

Case of the Dating Vapors

Stood Up

Is this thing working?????

There is always something going on in LA. If you don’t pace yourself you end up running yourself ragged trying to go from one event to the next. It was one of those nights for me. I had just watched a performance of Cirque du Soleil for a work event and after the show attended a cocktail reception. From there I had to head straight over to the W Hollywood Residences for another networking mixer. Why I do this to myself at least 3 days of the week I will never know. In addition to my diagnosis as a Serial Dater I also had a self diagnosed severe case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). Seriously, I can’t expect to meet anyone if I am sitting at home twiddling my thumbs reading a book. For people who try to keep up with my schedule they will find themselves in a corner passed out by Thursday night. I get it. I’m intense. Life is just too short to miss out on new adventures. So l left that great performance exhausted as hell, made a pit stop at Coffee Bean to grab a vanilla latte, and high tailed my ass over to the next event. It was worth it. I walked into a star studded chilled back mixer. Jamie Foxx, Shaquille O’Neal, Megan Goode (pre- Devon Franklin), and other members of the who’s who of black Hollywood were in attendance. There was an abundance of food and drinks and we were on the top floor in a fabulous penthouse that over looked the city. I decided to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the party and went outside on the balcony where it was quiet. LA is a sight to be seen at night with all the twinkling lights. The reflection of infinite possibilities. I was enjoying the view and sipping on a glass of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc reflecting on how far I had come. Only 2 years prior I was in the midst of a bitter divorce battle, depressed, and wondering what would become of me. Now here I was, at an A list party, not as a Hollywood wannabe starlet but as an actual power player. It was moments like that when I thought about how ordinary and boring my life would have been if I stayed in an unhappy, unfulfilling marriage to a man who had no idea of what dreaming big and stepping out of your comfort zone meant. I was finally at peace. I took a deep breath closed my eyes and exhaled. That’s when I heard a voice from behind me said, “Do you mind if I join you?” I was slightly annoyed because I was really enjoying having a moment to myself. I didn’t want to be rude. But I had a long day and I really just needed 15 minutes of solitude. I turned around about to give my typical I’m just taking a moment to MYSELF speech. I mean seriously, can’t people tell when you’re not in the mood to be bothered.

Me: I’m just taking sometime to myself. I’m really not trying to be bothered….

Then I turned around and saw what was in front of me and quickly changed my mind. “Gary” was a 42 year old recently divorced (what’s up with 42 year old recently divorced men. I’m beginning to see a pattern here), former MLB player turned producer. And before you get all excited about the MLB part he only played for 3 years and that was many many moons ago. He had that Blair Underwood clean cut look. He came to the party with a friend of his that he lost somewhere in the party and was taking a breather from the party as well. Gary had no kids, and he actually lived in LA but travelled often for work. He had a corny sense of humor. He was one of those guys that laughed at his own stupid jokes. But I found that cute. It gave him a certain amount of vulnerability and humility. He didn’t have that typical arrogant LA in the know attitude. He was genuinely a nice guy. As we talked the more I started to think this might be a sign. Everything happens for a reason. When we exchanged numbers and I left the party I was intrigued by “Gary.” I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I couldn’t remember the last time I was really excited to get a call from a man. The next day I tried to keep myself busy at work. I updated my profile picture on Facebook in case he tried to do a cyber investigation for info on me. Every time my phone would ring I would hope it was him. Seriously, I was really acting like a total clown over a guy I barely knew. Around 9pm that next night I finally got the call from “Gary.” We talked o the phone for hours. We made plans to meet 3 days later at Bodega Wine Bar in Pasadena. You already know he got a gold star on that one. I love wine and I love old Town Pasadena charm. The day of our date I changed my outfit at least 3 times and settled on a short flowing belted dress with stilettos. I walked into the restaurant and there he was sitting waiting for me. He gave me the warmest tightest hug. And things just seemed so right. One of the things I appreciated about dating a man who has been married before is they have such a different perspective on relationships. They typically have learned from their mistakes and the things they did and didn’t do in their marriage. And generally, if they have an ounce of sense, they try to do things better. Afterwards we took a stroll down Colorado Blvd. When we crossed the street he gently touched my lower back to guide me along and he took my hand and we were walking hand and hand. We went into Pottery Barn and the sales lady thought we were married. I had to fight off the vision of him waiting for me at the end of the aisle as I took my last and final stroll down the aisle to be his wife. He walked me to my car. And there under the same twinkling sky that we met a few days earlier he gave me the softest and sweetest kiss. I drove off and was in a daze. Within minutes I got a text message from him.

Gary: I had an amazing time with you. Looking forward to seeing you again soon.

Me: Ditto. Thanks for a great night.

Century-City-at-night
The next day I just knew I would hear from “Gary.” By 9:30 that next night I didn’t receive a phone call. I called my best friend and gave her the run down on the date and we both agreed most men don’t want to look too pressed so I should hear from him in the next day or so… 2 freaking days went by and I still hadn’t heard from him. I thought to myself, what the fuck is going on here? Just when I was picking up my phone to call him, my television flashed a preview of the upcoming movie He’s Just Not That Into You. I put my phone down and began pacing back and forth. I hated that damn book. I hated that book even more than I hated Steve Harvey’s book. That book should be re-titled The Best Way to Fuck Up A Woman’s Self Esteem. But it’s true. I hated to admit it. When a man is into you, he’s going to call and he’s going to show his interest. Call me old fashioned but I am not chasing after a man. The way you start a relationship dictates the way the relationship will flow. If that asshole “Gary” was interested in me he would call me. This is why I hated liking a guy, because I didn’t know how the hell to act. I begin to get too much in my head and lose the upper hand. Just as I was about to file him away into the ASSHOLE category, my phone began buzzing on the table. It was a call from “Gary.” I did my hallelujah dance, jumped up and down, and took a deep breath and answered… calmly.

Me: Hello

Gary: Hello beautiful. What are you up to?

Me: I just left the gym. (A blatant bullshit lie. But I wasn’t about to tell him I spent the last 4 hours obsessing over why his black ass hadn’t called me yet)

Gary: I’m so sorry I’m just getting back to you. It’s been a crazy week. But I would love to see you. Are you free Friday?

Me: That will work.

Gary: Okay. Cool. Let’s plan on meeting around 8. I’ll text you that day once I figure out the location.

Me: Sounds like a plan.

I hung up and did another “Hallelujah, I got a second date dance.” Friday couldn’t come fast enough. But I had to sit myself down for a heart to heart. If I continued down the road I was going I was going to go bald stressing myself out about what was going on in his head. After all, I was the catch here. Any man who wants to be with me had to realize that. Sometimes we as women forget what we bring to the table when we get excited over a man who has so much “potential.” I think I was just excited because this was the first time since the divorce that I met a man who a) lived locally, b) was attractive and smart, c) who had the qualities I was looking for in a man. So I settled on the mantra from The Help but with a twist:

I is kind… I is smart… I is important… I is beautiful… I is successful… And if this man fucks this up he is a fool!

The Help

I is kind… I is smart… I is important… I is beautiful… I is successful… And if this man fucks this up he is a fool!

Friday finally arrived.  When I hadn’t heard from him by 1 pm I figured he had a busy work day and was in meetings all day. When 6pm rolled around I called my phone directly to make sure it was working. By 9pm that night it sank in. I think I have been stood up. Me… Stood up at the ripe age of 35? I know I hadn’t lost my dating touch. I tried to call him, because I assumed he was in the hospital on his death bed, or he better had been. The phone rang and rang and rang. I left a message. I didn’t say what I really wanted to say which was, “What the fuck is your problem, where the fuck are you?” Instead I said:

Hey Gary. I was just calling to touch base with you. Give me a call when you get a chance.

The next day came there was no return phone call and there was no text message. There was nothing. “Gary” was an official case of the Dating Vapors. My ego was deflated and I was so upset. I thought I had a connection with him. I thought I played everything just right. Dating really is a gamble. You are playing Russian Rolette with your emotions and putting yourself out there. Some women would have taken this and became bitter and taken the “I hate all men” attitude but I couldn’t allow myself to do that. The one thing I always had even after my divorce was the belief that true love really does exist. The second you lose sight of that and become a bitter woman is the moment you miss out on the possibilities that lie ahead. Yes there will be disappointments in dating that make you question everything you ever believed and even question yourself. But as Shakespeare once said, “It’s better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.” The same thing goes for dating. You have to be willing to take chances knowing that you might lose. But you always have to be willing to be a player in the game. And when all else fails, remember the mantra… I is kind… I is smart… I is important… I is beautiful… I is successful… And if this man fucks this up he is a fool!

Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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