Doctors Orders

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“What is going on with you? You’re energy is off. I need you to come twice a week for a while so we can balance you out again.”

This week has been a doozy! You know how you have one of those weeks where everything and everyone just pisses you off and you feel alone and lonely. This week was the epitome of it. I was in a bad place and didn’t know how to shake myself out of it. I knew it was bad when someone cut me off on the highway not only did I cuss them out, “You stupid bitch!” But I followed them! I was a lunatic on wheels. Luckily for them and me they were able to dodge me! I knew when I was feeling like this I had to take extra care of myself and literally go into hiding until I was able to shake it off. I went to my acupuncturist and each needle that was placed in emotional points I screamed in pain. She was like, “What is going on with you? You’re energy is off. I need you to come twice a week for a while so we can balance you out again.” So I retreated to my home and just allowed myself to be alone and let any emotion I was having come up and deal with the shit. I took much needed “me” time. Sometimes you’re taught to push down your emotions and not allowed to be in a bad place. People make you think that if you’re not happy all the time and in a good mood then something is wrong. Well damn it, sometimes its okay for a gal to have a moment, be down in the dumps and just stay there until you’re ready to come out of it. By Sunday, I was beginning to feel like myself again.

Frustrated Woman

I knew it was bad when someone cut me off on the highway not only did I cuss them out, “You stupid bitch!” But I followed them! I was a lunatic on wheels.

I realized my mood was triggered by some feelings about the ex (the constant foolery seemed to never come to an end), my current dating situations, or lack there of, and just the scary thought… “What if I NEVER meet Mr. Right? What if I end up alone forever?” I was beginning to emerge back to the land of the living so I took a nice Sunday stroll to the Farmers Market to pick up my flowers for the week. As I took my stroll it was 85 degrees in LA, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and the flowers were extra vibrant. I made myself a great dinner, and I cracked open a nice bottle of wine and sat on my couch and got ready to watch some good Reality TV. There’s nothing like watching pure foolery to realize your life isn’t as bad as you thought it was. That’s when my cell phone rang. When I looked at the screen I saw it was “Malachi.” A part of me smiled because “Malachi” was a man who I really liked. The other part of me rolled my eyes in utter annoyance. I was just beginning to get back on track emotionally. I had two choices. I could a) answer the phone and be annoyed or b) ignore the call because “Malachi” had shown me who he was. Decisions… Decisions… Decisions… Let me catch you up to speed on the good Doctor “Malachi.”

I met “Malachi” a few months ago when I was home for Christmas vacation. He was a 41 year old Oncologist. He was recently divorced and had an 8 year old son and a thriving practice. Ironically we discovered we both went to the same college. When we met there was an instant connection. He was handsome as hell, smart, driven, funny, charming, and sexy. The man was the complete package. He called me the day after we met and asked me out for lunch the following day. When I walked into the restaurant and saw him sitting there I got nervous! Me. Nervous! Literally my stomach was doing butterflies. I had changed my outfit at least 3 times before I got there. This was a feeling that was new to me. I go out on dates all the time. But with this guy I was nervous in a good way. When he hugged me I could smell his cologne. Eww weee! My inner diva did cartwheels all throughout the restaurant. When the waiter came to take our order I decided to hold off on having a glass of wine. Instead I ordered a sparkling water. I wanted to be fully present for this date (another first for me). The conversation just flowed. When I got over my initial nervousness and allowed myself to enjoy the date it was effortless. We stayed in the restaurant for a good 3 hours. Then we went to the mall and finished up our Christmas shopping, then we went to a movie, and after the movie we sat in his car and just talked. Before I knew it, it was 2 in the morning. We literally had a 10 hour date. He drove me to my car and waited with me while it warmed up. I forgot how your windows freeze on the east coast in the winter. He gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. It was a great first date. We went out two more times while I was home for the holidays. And the last night he finally gave me a kiss. It was a good one too, passionate yet respectable. I was floating on air. Me and the fine ass Doctor. I thought he was different than any other guy I have been out with. It just felt right. When I got to LA we continued to talk on the phone. When we originally met he mentioned he was going to be in LA for a wedding the following month and I also knew I would be on the east coast for work quite a bit so it was a win-win situation. I waited for him to tell me the details of when he would be in LA. When two weeks passed and he didn’t mention it I asked him.

Me: When are you coming to LA for the wedding?

Malachi: I’m not sure if I am going to come. I sent them a gift. But I am going to try to make it out here soon. I have a few people out there I need to see.

Me: Okay. Well let me know.

Malachi: For sure. We’ll talk soon.

Record screeched to a halt. We’ll talk soon. What the fuck did that mean?! There were a few things wrong with this conversation. First of all, he should have been making plans to get his black ass out to LA immediately to see me. Also, what did he mean, “I have a few people out there I need to see.” What the fuck did that mean?! And the final knockout blow to my ego, “We’ll talk soon.” What the hell? I hung up perplexed, confused, and wondering if perhaps the connection I felt with him was one sided. It wouldn’t be the first time I was off. I decided to pull back and just go with the flow and see what happened. “Malachi” continued to call me. We continued to have great conversations.

Young woman rolling her eyes

I had two choices. I could a) answer the phone and be annoyed or b) ignore the call because “Malachi” had shown me who he was. Decisions… Decisions… Decisions…

He never did make his way out to LA for the wedding. I noticed a pattern developing with him. Whenever we would have deep conversation he wouldn’t call for a few days. Whenever I let go and connected with him he would pull back. I had no idea what the hell we were doing. So I stopped returning his calls for a while. And then he would start blowing up my phone. I had a business trip back east planned and we made plans to see each other. We met for dinner at a great Italian restaurant. I still had the butterflies when I saw him. He sat next to me during dinner and held my hand. I felt like we had established a good friendship up to this point. But I still had no idea what we were doing. So instead of playing the Guess What The Hell He Wants game I decided to have a grown folk conversation with him.

Me: I’m trying to figure out what we are doing here. I like you and I think you’re a cool guy. But I’m not sure what you’re looking for.

Malachi: I like you to. I think you’re cool and I want to get to know you more. You’re smart, beautiful, and you went to the best university on the planet.

Me: That’s good to know. I just need to know where you are coming from.

Malachi: I hear you. And I want to get to know you as well.

Me: If you want to b friends that’s fine, but I don’t kiss my friends.

Malachi: I don’t want us to just be friends.

What a relief. So after that date. I thought there was a clear understanding of where we were going and what he was looking for. And of course like clockwork he went MIA. To be honest I didn’t think it was another woman. I just think he had gone through such a crappy divorce that he had baggage. It was something I could certainly relate to. But it was getting ridiculous. To be honest, I was getting exhausted of the up down roller coaster ride with him. I hated holding back and having to play these games. So when we spoke again I was just very frank with him.

Me: Malachi, I feel like you have this wall up and I’m not exactly sure how to handle it.

Malachi: Am I that emotionally fucked up?

Me: I’m not saying you’re emotionally fucked up. But I do think you are holding back. I don’t even think you are doing it consciously. But whenever we connect you put a wall up. And I can only do this for so long before I am done and when I’m done I’m done.

Malachi: Maybe you’re right. But you gotta give me a chance. I’ll work on it. If you had a cousin who was mentally off and he didn’t know how to hold a fork would you stop talking to him or would you help him to learn how to pick up his fork.

“Malachi’s” sense of humor is what attracted me to him but at that moment I Wanted to take a fork and poke his eyes out. I was trying to works with the brotha. In the past I was so quick to run for the hills. But there was something about him that made me want to work with him.

Me: What?

Malachi: I’m just saying. I’ll work on it. I didn’t realize I was doing that. By the way, I’m coming out to LA soon.

Me: Good! Finally!

I hung up the phone and it felt like we had made progress. We started communicating regularly and I was feeling like we had turned a new leaf. Things were going really well until he pissed me off… again. I tell you I am exhausted even writing about this foolishness. It was a Friday night and I went to my neighborhood spot to have a cocktail and unwind after a long work week. I happened to be on the phone with “Malachi.”

Malachi: It’s loud all of a sudden where are you?

Me: One of my favorite neighborhood spots having a glass of wine.

Malachi: Well have fun. Take someone home with you!

Long awkward pause…

Malachi: Hello.

Me: I’m going to talk to you later.

With that I hung up the phone. I was done. What the fuck was he thinking? A few minutes later I get a text from “Malachi.”

I appreciate all of your support.

I ignored it. And then he sent me another text.

Go home alone! LOL!

I ignored it. The worse thing a woman can do outside of texting drunk is texting when a man has pissed you the fuck off. So I took a few hours and I sent him a text back.

You are a piece of work. Have a nice life.

I already knew what was going to happen. I knew he would call me the next day and feel me out and try to figure out if I was pissed or not. Of course I called my girlfriends and the consensus was that statement was bullshit. It’s like was purposefully trying to push me away. So the next day he called. I answered and was very dry. He knew I was pissed. Did this man say, “I’m sorry. I took the joke too far.” Nope he just talked like everything was okay. So finally I told him I was busy and I hung up. He called me two days later.

Malachi: Hey how are you?

Me: I have to be honest you really pissed me the fuck off the other day.

Malachi: I know I did and I apologize.

Me: I’m letting you know right now. You have cashed your last check. I already told you when I’ done. I’m done. I’m really trying to work with you but you’re making it hard.

Malachi: I knew I went too far. My bad.

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I am a 35 year old woman. I would be a fool to think that I can make an emotionally unavailable man change. When he’s ready and open to be in a relationship and open up perhaps if I am still available and single we could work. But at this point I recognized this was pure absolute unadulterated bullshit and I had to protect myself and my heart.

I was exhausted from this relationship. And I use the term “relationship” loosely. And of course this all happened around the time when I was already in a shitty place to begin with. Here’s the thing. When a man is into you he’s into you. Here I was dealing with a man who was 3000 miles away and he couldn’t even act like he had an inkling of sense?! I began to get it. I was safe for “Malachi.” He could call me when he was bored and shoot the shit. I do believe there was a connection and who knows what would have happened if I lived on the east coast. But this was bullshit and I knew it. I am a 35 year old woman. I would be a fool to think that I can make an emotionally unavailable man change. When he’s ready and open to be in a relationship and open up perhaps if I am still available and single we could work. But at this point I recognized this was pure absolute unadulterated bullshit and I had to protect myself and my heart. I was just beginning to feel like me again. My acupuncturist put those needles in the right points and my energy was feeling normal again. My walk to the farmer’s market put me at peace. And I was serious when I said I would no longer date a man that was not what I needed. Emotional Availability was at the top of my A List. I had discussed with “Malachi” how I was feeling. I wasn’t in the mood to revisit it. To be honest, you can tell a man until you’re blue in the face what you need and what you desire. But if they aren’t willing or able to do it then you have to walk away. Or else, you will drive yourself over the edge with frustration because deep down inside you know you are not getting what you need. I was married to a man who didn’t give me what I needed and I thought eventually things would change. And it didn’t. And I was frustrated with myself for staying in a relationship and marriage with a man who didn’t, wouldn’t, and couldn’t give me what I needed. I believe “Malachi” was a test. And as I sat on my couch looking at my phone with his name on the screen this was the final part of the test. So what did I do? I hit ignore. Put the phone down and continued having my glass of wine. I knew I made the right decision when “Malachi” didn’t even leave message. You see, I know that when I meet “the one” things will feel right. I won’t question how a man feels about me, or feel like he isn’t honoring me. I will know it and he will show it. Just like my acupuncturist gave me the order to come to her twice a week for a while. I was giving myself a prescription. If shit didn’t feel right you must keep it moving. And I was planning on sticking with that order. I knew if I did I would eventually find my way to a healthy relationship.
 
Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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

The 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!

flirt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Girlfriend:   Import… Export.                           

Me:  Exactly!

Moving

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

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

Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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

The Ghosts of Dates Pasts…

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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

 

 

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