I decided to bring you a 2 Part blog. Sometimes I just can’t get a story out in one post. Enjoy…
Since I launched this blog in January I have been asked quite a few times, “What made you start this blog?!” I ignore the times when people ask me this question with a look of horror and judgment. I secretly give them the finger and stick my tongue out at them like a child. But for the folks who genuinely are curious I tell them the story of my worse date ever…
In July of 2012 I decided to take a trip by myself to Maui. I was having an Eat, Pray, Love moment. I needed to get out of LA and just breathe. My divorce had just become final in January of that year. I felt like I never took the time to be by myself and just reflect on the last few years of my life. As you know, I spend a majority of my time travelling for my job. And one of the perks of all that travel is collecting hotel points and airline points. I booked my flight from LAX to Hawaii which cost me a total of $2.50. And then I booked my hotel, which cost me a total of $50. I only told one person where I was going just in case something happened. I left on a Thursday and tuned myself off to the outside world. My phone was off, I didn’t watch TV, and I didn’t speak to any family or friends for a total of 5 days. My mornings were spent in heavy mediation and journaling, my days were spent lounging by the pool having cocktails, and my nights were spent taking myself out to dinners. Needless to say, by the time I returned to the stratosphere, I felt renewed, rejuvenated, and healed. It was closure to the difficult chapter of my life. And I finally felt at peace and okay.
So I celebrated my renewal by meeting my girlfriends at Chaya Venice to tell them about the trip. Chaya Venice has one of the best happy hours in LA. It is always packed. While socializing with my girlfriends a gentleman walked in and asked if the seat next to me was taken. I was in a good mood so I decided to be “witty.” “It’s taken… but I will give you the privilege of sitting there.” He laughed at my humor and asked me what I was drinking. He knew the bartender well. And then he did what all single men should always do when they offer to buy a woman a drink and her girlfriends are standing there, he offered to buy them a drink as well (please note, this only applies to groups of 3 or less…. I’m not expecting you to buy drinks for a party of 10). “Jason” was a TV writer. He was originally from New York. “Jason” was NOT attractive at all. As a matter of fact the angle of his seat made it difficult to really get a sense of his looks. (Or maybe it was the fact I had a few too many cocktails since I had a designated driver that night). So I leaned over to my girl friend and asked her, ”Is he cute? I can’t tell.” Her response was to discreetly take her knife and point it in the direction of her half eaten steak skewer that was smothered in A1 sauce and say, “He looks similar to this.” My friends are just as ignorant as I am. And this is why I love them! We are all WIPs (works in progress). But as I had a few more cocktails his not so stellar looks were over shadowed by his sense of style. He had an east coast NYC vibe to him which exuded confidence. We talked about the show he was working on, jazz, art. It was a great convo. At the end of the evening when he was about to leave, I didn’t notice we had spent the last 2 hours just talking. I forgot my friends were even sitting there. He asked me for my number before he left. I was definitely not attracted to this guy physically. Most women who are of child bearing years will look at a man’s features and picture what their future children will look like. Usually when it comes to your future daughter you are even more selective about who you consider dating because if it turns into something and you marry the guy and have children, often times children get the features of the opposite sex parent. When he asked for my number, I looked at his features, his oversized nose, his too close together eyes, his soup cooler lips and imagined what he would look like as a little girl. My first thought was, “Hell no! Don’t give him the time of day. Run… Run… Think about your future children!” But then, with my newly rejuvenated fresh from Maui self, thought, I would go out with him. Not every relationship is meant for marriage. And I certainly would not risk mixing my good gene pool with anybody! I would never be serious with him. He would just be a guy I would hang out with for fun. If nothing else we could have a great friendship. Like men, women have two categories of men they date as well… The good time guy and the guy you take seriously. This man would certainly be the good time guy. With that, I gave him my number and quite frankly I could have cared less if he called me or not.
As fate would have it, he not only called me, but he sent me a text that evening, “It was great meeting you. I would love to finish our conversation over dinner. Are you free on Saturday? If so let’s meet at Luna Park at 8pm.” Even if I had planned on saying no, Luna Park was one of my favorite restaurants in LA. It was a spot that only true foodies knew about. They had great food, great drinks, and a hip east coast type atmosphere. I was actually impressed that he even knew about this spot.
So Saturday evening came and I was heading over to Luna Park. Of course I was running late (I really need to get better with that). I sent him a text message letting him know I was running 10 minutes behind. I had finally arrived at the valet at 8:10 on the dot. As I was getting out of my car I got a text message from “Jason.” I’m giving you another 5 minutes and then I’m bouncing. I have a 15 minute rule. Ummmm…. Huh? I walked into the restaurant and saw him at a corner booth. He was looking at his cell phone. I could see his not so great features from the light his cell phone gave off. My first reaction was to check him. But again, I was still in my Renewal Maui mode. When I got to the table he looked up from his phone.
Me: Ummmm…. Didn’t you get my text that I was running 10 minutes behind?
Jason: No I didn’t get it. I thought I was being stood up.
Me: One thing you need to know about me is I am a woman of my word. If I say I’m going to be somewhere I’m going to be there.
Jason: My bad. You look beautiful.
Flattery will get you everywhere in my book. The waiter came up to the table to get our orders and ironically he knew this waiter well too.
Me: Are you a food critic? You seem to know all the wait staff and bartenders wherever we go!
Jason: I just make it a point to know the people at the places I love to go.
I could appreciate that. They way a man treats the wait staff says a lot about who he is as a person. If he’s an asshole to a waiter, please know and believe he will be an asshole to you one day. From there the conversation ensued. Come to find out “Jason” had a 22 year old son who he hadn’t spoken to in over 2 years. When dating someone who has kids it is a very fine line in terms of the questions you should ask when you first start dating. But I was curious how a man goes without speaking to his son for 2 years. Seriously, you believe in treating wait staff with respect but you haven’t talked to your own damn son? But I didn’t want to be quick to judge.
Me: It must be hard to not speak to your son.
Jason: That little n**## pissed me off. He was staying with me and he didn’t know how to pick up after himself. Once I came home and caught his ass smoking weed in my house! When I told him that was unacceptable he went into this bullshit about how I wasn’t a father to him most of his life and I shouldn’t be telling him what to do. He said a bunch of other bullshit and I shipped his ass back to his mother’s house.
I know there had to be a bigger story to this. But I also knew I couldn’t cross the line.
Me: Do you think perhaps that was a cry for help?
Jason: Until he learns how to respect me I don’t have shit else to say to him.
I could tell he was getting very tense and his breathing was accelerated. So I changed the subject and kept it on neutral topics. And we got on the topic of art.
Jason: I’m into art. As a matter of fact I have an original Dali at my house.
Me: Bullshit! There’s no way in hell you have an original Salvador Dali piece of art work at your house.
Jason: No bullshit. I’m a collector. I invest my money in art.
I could appreciate he loved art and invested in it. However, Dali has the most forgeries of any living artist. If it is an original with a low number you could have a piece worth a couple thousand dollars, if not than not much. It’s not like he had the fucking Mona Lisa hanging up in his house. I was intrigued. The rest of the date was pretty chill. I made it a point to keep off the topic of his son, although it was certainly a red flag. But I could have cared less given the fact that I wasn’t trying to marry this guy. We went out a few days later and he took me to TH Little Door. And it was the same vibe. He knew the bartender very well. We had a bottle of Rose and dessert and it was cool. I appreciated how this man knew how to court. Then we got on the topic of upcoming birthday in a month.
Me: What are doing for your birthday?
Jason: I’m not sure yet. I’ll probably take a trip somewhere. Since this is a big one?
Me: A big one? Wait a minute… how old are you turning?
Jason: I don’t like to disclose my age.
Me: I thought you were 47.
Jason: No that’s what you guessed, I just didn’t correct you.
Me: So if your next birthday is a big one, then you must be turning 45.
Jason: No close… I’m turning 50.
Record screech to a halt! 50?! If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know I like and appreciate older men. But 50? That’s was too damn old. 50 is also known as 10 years away from needing to take a pill to keep it up. And in 10 years, I will be in the middle of my sexual peek and have no intention of trying to entertain a wet noodle unless it’s in my pasta! I’m just saying. 46 is my max. That is 10 years older than me. 50? Oh no! That’s just not my speed.
Me: I had no idea you were 50.
Jason: What can I say? I work out.
Me: Why didn’t you correct me then?
Jason: Age is just a number.
Me: So now we’re quoting Aaliyah?
Jason: We just had a cool vibe.
We finished up our bottle of Rose. But again, I wasn’t trying to have a relationship with this man. I was enjoying hanging out with him and having great dinners. He walked me out to valet.
Jason: You’re awfully quiet.
Me: I’m just in deep thought.
Jason: Come on. Don’t let a few years between us get in the way. I’m enjoying my time with you.
Me: I just don’t like that you weren’t honest when we first met.
Jason: Mea culpa. That’s on me. Let me take you out on Saturday. I’ll make it up to you.
I had two choices. I could a) run for the hills. I wasn’t physically attracted to this man and the relationship wasn’t going anywhere or b) let him take me out to another great spot in LA. At the rate I was going I could be a food critic. I chose the latter. And that’s when the craziness ensued….
TO BE CONTINUED….
* Since I am on vacation this week, I am bringing you 3 posts in one! I’ll be back next week with more Confessions. But I figured this one will tie you over until then. This is a long one so enjoy it!!!
I think every woman dreams of the day when they can run into a guy that did them dirty and have a “Look at me now moment.” Let’s take a walk down memory lane.
2000 was one of the toughest years of my life. My brother had passed (not ready to go into details on that). I was 23 years old and in a very vulnerable state. Enter “Kyle,” “Kyle” was a 28 year old up and coming photographer I met at a gallery opening. He was experiencing a career high. His latest exhibition had opened to critical acclaimed. He was pegged “The Next Gordon Parks.” “Kyle” was originally from Indiana. He and his college friends had made the move from the mid west to Los Angeles to pursue their dreams. Nearly 3 years after moving to LA he was on the rise. When we met in the crowded Downtown LA Gallery I felt like I was in the scene from West Side Story where Maria and Tony laid eyes on each other and suddenly there was no one else in the room.
“Kyle” and I had the best conversation. His creative mind was so intense. He was brilliant and his photography made a statement about the world. It felt like I was tapping into his inner being as I looked at his photography. I have always connected with artist and photographers. As a matter of fact when I need to clear my head, I will go to an art museum and lose myself in the world of art. “Kyle” and I made plans to hang out the next day. At the time he and his college friends were sharing a car. Let me explain that in greater detail. 4 grown ass men were sharing 1 damn car in Southern California. Not New York City where you can get away without having a car because there is great public transportation system. Los Angeles was and still is a city where you absolutely MUST have a car. So “Kyle” gave me his address and I went to pick his grown ass up. Keep in mind; this is me as a young vulnerable (a.k.a stupid) 23 year old. Back in the day before I Had truly found my stride and wanted to make sure I “made” “Kyle” like me by being accommodating. LMAO! Growth is a beautiful thing. When I got to his home in the middle of the HOOD I was scared to get out of my car. This man lived in the for sure for sure HOOD (The Jungle) and that’s with a capital H. Yes I am from New Jersey and yes I have a smart ass mouth. But I grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, the beautiful suburbs. I used to apologize for being bourgeois. Now I embrace and own up to it. As I got out of my car I bee lined to his door and knocked. As I waited for him to answer the door, I prayed, “Lord Jesus please let this man hurry up and answer the door before gun shots are fired. I am too young to die. My obituary cannot say I died in The Jungle. That’s not the legacy I want to leave behind. I want to live!!!!” As usual the Lord is always on time! “Kyle” answered the door and invited me in. It was a small apartment. It had a lot of African Wooden sculptures of naked women with pointy breasts, lots of black and white photography (unframed hung on the wall by thumbnails), the typical bachelor pad black leather (or perhaps pleather) couches and glass coffee tables. His 3 college roommates were sitting on the couch watching a basketball game eating Cheetos and drinking Heinekens. “Kyle” gave me a hug and invited me in.
Kyle: You remember my roommates.
In my mind I heard the record screech to a halt. Did he say, “roommates, with an S?
Me: Which one is your roommate?
Kyle: Both of them. Did you want a beer?
Me: No. I’ll take a glass of wine. (even back then I loved my wine)
Kyle: We all live here together.
I looked around the apartment and I only saw one bedroom. How in the world did 3 big ass grown men live in a one bedroom apartment? As I pondered this question “Kyle” came back into the room and handed me a glass of… White Zinfandel. WTF? He had to be kidding me. White Zinfandel. I might have been a 23 year fool but even at that age I knew White Zinfindel was comparable to drinking Boone’s Farm. But I really really liked “Kyle” so I decided to be a good sport and chill out.
Me: So what did you want to do?
Kyle: I figured we could hang out here and watch the game.
Me: Ummmmm… okay.
So I sat there for 2 hours on his pleather couch watching a fucking basketball game. Did I mention how much I hated basketball? Did I mention the White Zinfandel was stale? Picture me on the couch in between 3 rowdy guys watching a Laker game. After the game ended “Kyle” walked me to my car.
Kyle: I had a great time with you. I like how you can just kick it and hang out. You’re so different from these bourgeois LA girls.
Kyle: Can we hang out again?
There goes that word. “Hang out.” I still liked him but I had a slight attitude. I didn’t want to cuss him out just yet. This was before the baggage. This is when I still had hope and looked at the silver lining.
Me: We can. But next time I would like for us to go out somewhere.
Kyle: That’s cool, kid.
“Kid.” WTF? Who was he calling kid? Did that mean he was looking at me as a friend? Talk about confused. “Kyle” and I made plans to go out to days later. Lucky for me it also happened to be a day when he had the car. He picked me up and before we reached the restaurant he stopped at the ATM machine. He was there for a few minutes. It was taking him unusually long. He started making his way back to the car. He had his hands in his pockets and his great posture he had when he walked to the ATM was replaced with slouched over shoulders. He got in the car. Took a deep breath and said.
Kyle: We have a problem.
Me: What’s wrong?
Kyle: I can’t access my account.
Me: That is a major problem.
Kyle: I was really looking forward to us going to hear the spoken poetry at my spot. (Back in 2000 spoke poetry was VERY popular)
Me: Don’t worry about it, let’s just go and I’ll get us a round of drinks.
My inner loving Diva that guides me through my love life now wasn’t awakened until I hit my 30’s. Back then I didn’t have her to shake me back into reality. What the hell was I thinking? I barely had two nickels to rub together at that time and here I was taking a grown ass man out for drinks?! So “Kyle” and I headed to the spoken word spot that was in Leimert Park (not one of my favorite spots in LA even to this day… don’t judge me, but I much prefer going to Beverly Hills or Manhattan Beach.. just sayin’). “Kyle” had no problem throwing back a few rounds of drinks that I bought! Back then, being a young fool, I saw so much “potential” in “Kyle.” I looked at him as the photographer that would change the world. We still had great conversation… so I thought. Looking back on it I don’t remember anything about the conversation. At that time, I think I needed a hole to be filled. Then I thought meeting the right man and falling in love would fill that hole. Of course now I am fully aware the only person that can fill the void in your life is you. In addition to paying for our dates I did every single stupid thing that a young girl would do to “make” a guy like me. Ultimately, “Kyle” stopped returning my phone calls (this was prior to the text messaging days). I even called from a friend’s house and he actually answered the phone because he didn’t recognize the number! I felt like a damn fool!
I ended up going out to Reign (THE hot spot back in the day in LA before Keyshawn Johnson sold it in order to have to pay less in alimony when he and his wife got divorced). My girlfriends were trying to cheer me up. I had never been dissed like that before. “Kyle” dissed my ass! Big time! I was hurt, devastated, and mad. After throwing back quite a few cocktails. I noticed my girlfriends face lose color.
Me: What’s wrong?
Girlfriend: Oh….. Nothing. Guuurl, we should get outta here….
She attempted to pick up my stuff and scurry out. That’s when I realized her eyes kept looking over my head. I turned around and there was “Kyle” sitting at a table holding hands and locking eyes with another woman. The waiter had come to the table to give him the bill and he quickly reached for it and put his credit card in the bill envelope. I was LIVID!!! I literally saw red.
Girlfriend: Monique, do not give him the power. Do not cause a scene. Let’s just go.
Me: Go, but I am having such a great time. We are going to stay here and order another drink.
With that I signaled to the bartender and ordered another cocktail. My girlfriend was nervous as shit. I think the sense of calm that came over me scared her because I was normally such a firecracker. I waited for my signal and it finally came two more drinks later. I saw “Kyle” go to the bathroom. I applied a fresh coat of lip gloss and I made my way to the restroom area when I realized his date was waiting for him at the table. Even back then, I had the theory of never approaching the other woman. First of all it makes you look crazy and it’s not the other woman’s fault that the man she is out with is a complete and total asshole. “Kyle” came out of the restroom and when he saw me he looked like a deer in headlights.
Me: Hello Kyle.
Kyle: Ummmm…. Monique… uh.. Hello… how are you, kid?
Me: If you picked up the phone to answer my calls you would know. (I didn’t realize how tipsy I was until I felt like my words weren’t coming out of my mouth as fast as they were rolling around in my brain. Not to mention when he called me “kid” again it certainly hit a nerve)
Kyle: I’ve been busy…
Me: I see. I also see you have gotten a bigger paycheck and can afford to pay for dates now. You cheap, broke ass fuck! (that certainly wasn’t the sophisticated line I had practiced in my head when I Was walking over to confront him)
Kyle: What do you want from me, kid?
Me: I don’t want shit from you! You could have been a man and been honest instead of avoiding my calls.
Kyle: I figured you’d get the hint.
Me: Oh I did.
Kyle: So why are you sweating me?
Me: Nobody is sweating your broke tired ass. I’m glad you had the car so you could actually pick up your date. (there was really no rhyme or reason to my 23 year old ass going off on this man. Looking back on it I looked a total jack ass myself. But in my mind I was going to get this man told!)
Kyle: Have a nice night kid.
Kyle started to walk off. And me needing to get the last and final parting blow and being tipsy and 23 yelled back at him.
Me: By the way your photography sucks!
Oh yeah! I showed him I was the shit. LOL! More like a big dumb shit. I always looked back on “Kyle” with absolute disdain and horror. I would have nightmares for months to follow after that outburst and wake up and re-run what I should have said and how I should have said it. There were times I would pray to run into him and say, “Look at me now.” I would play various scenarios in my mind of what I would say when I ran into him again and what I would do. When the run in did not happen it eventually faded off into my mind as a bad memory that I grew from.
Fast forward to present time. 13 years later. 13 years of growth. 13 years of bad dates, a bad marriage, a shitty divorce, and the rediscovery of ME. 13 years of finding out who I was and discovering an inner strength I had no idea existed. 13 years of the evolution of ME. 13 years of realizing and recognizing my growth. 13 years of loving myself more than anyone else possibly could. 13 years of knowing exactly what I wanted and not apologizing for it or reasoning with myself why I didn’t deserve to have it. 13 years… I had finally reached my stride and become a true, bonafide, unapologetic WOMAN.
A few months ago I was at a networking mixer for work. I had been none of the organizers of the event. It was one of the typical Hollywood executive power mixers. I was wearing my purple DVF power dress and some killer heels. I was working the room making introductions, hugging people I knew, and really having a good time. It was coming towards the end of the evening and the event was finally winding down. This meant I was finally ready to have my first glass of wine. I have a rule of thumb, at work events I do not have more than one glass of wine and I typically wait until the end of event. Anyway I digressed… As I walked over to the bar there was… “Kyle.” The long dreadlocks had been cut off and he was now sporting a neat fade. His bohemian chic attire was now replaced with a sports jacket, matching slacks and no tie. He turned around and spotted me. He did a triple take. You know those moments when someone sees you and is trying to place where they know you from. How funny, here was a bastard who had taught me one of the most profound and hurtful lessons (outside of my ex husband) only 13 years ago and this motherfucker couldn’t even remember me. I wanted to take my 6 inch Jimmy Choo and poke his eye out but I remembered I was at a work event. Not to mention my inner loving diva slowly relaxed me, “You’re no longer the “kid” he used to call you. You’re now a grown ass woman. You finally get the proper closure.” With that I took a deep breath and smiled at him. That’s when it clicked. He realized who I was. I walked up to “Kyle.”
Me: Well what a blast from the past. Hello “Kyle.”
Kyle: Wow. I can’t believe my yes. You’re all grown up.
Me: Yes I am.
Kyle: You look great.
Me: Thank you. (I didn’t feel the need to return the compliment. I hadn’t evolved that damn much.)
Kyle: How have you been?
Me: Wonderful. Yourself?
Kyle: I’ve been good. What are you doing these days?
I told him that I was now an executive at a studio and told him a little about my job. I kept it brief and very professional.
Me: Good seeing you Kyle.
I started to walk off. Kyle practically ran to me and handed me a card.
Kyle: Here’s my card. Please let me take you out to dinner so we can catch up.
Me: That’s not necessary. Like I said, it was great seeing you.
Kyle: Listen, I know I wasn’t right back in the day and I hope we can move past that.
ME: That’s water under the bridge. We were both young and I was wide open then. But I must thank you for the lesson you taught me. You truly changed my perspective on dating and how I approached things moving forward and for that I am so grateful.
Kyle: I was fucked up.
Me: Yeah you were. You were a true bonafide asshole. But again, that was so long ago and I have moved past that.
Kyle: I look forward to hearing from you. Do you have a card on you?
ME: No I ran out. I’ll call you.
With that, I gave “Kyle” a kiss on the cheek and strutted off. As I left the restaurant I looked at his card and threw that shit out. Of course I wasn’t going to call that bastard. Yes I had moved past it and I had evolved but I had no intention of reconnecting with a man who had already shown me who he was. I opened up my purse and looked for the valet ticket. It was in between a stack full of my business cards I had brought with me to pass out at the networking event. There was no way in hell I was about to waste a card on his ass either.
When I got in my car I suddenly started cracking up. Not just little giggles either. I had a case of uncontrollable laughter. I laughed at the woman I was and the silly mistakes I made and the dumb shit I did in the name of love. I laughed at how life is truly a series of full circle moments. And if you don’t truly allow yourself to live in the moment and be perceptive to life’s little and big lessons it will pass you by. Talk about Boomerang! There were so many times I wished I could run into “Kyle” and give him a piece of my mind and say “Ha-ha look at me now.” I even have those moments with my ex husband where I would love to run into his ass and scream on top of a mountain, “YOU DID NOT BREAK ME!!!” I realize in life things happen when they are supposed to happen. They do not happen on your on time, they happen at the right time. Who knows if I will ever have a run in with my ex or if I will have another run in with a dumb ass I have dated in the past. But I can say with full confidence whatever happens I am ready.
The last few weeks have been interesting. I have been back in New Jersey for almost 3 weeks. Being back home I have been removed from the hustle and bustle of life in LA and have been living in the burbs a.k.a The Suburbs Don’t worry, I will be back in LA soon… Time in the burbs as a single woman from the city of LA makes you acutely aware that you are single. The timing of this is quite interesting. For the last few months I have been embracing my singledom. I realized how much I enjoy my “me” time and dating myself. I can get up and go without having to consult with anyone or make arrangements. I can go out randomly on a Tuesday night. I can have cereal for dinner. I sleep in the middle of my bed and most importantly I can hold onto my remote control land flip through Lifetime, Bravo, Oxygen, and the Style Network. When I actually think about it, my TV’s have never seen the likes of ESPN. I think it might cause a power surge and cause my TV to become defective. I go out with whomever I want whenever I want. But most of all I am truly enjoying my “Me” time. At the end of the day, I recommend all single women take the time to “date” themselves. If you have no idea what you want on your own, how can you bring a partner in and be able to articulate all of your needs? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of these bitter single bitches who are like, I don’t need a man…” Oh trust me, I definitely want and need a man (the right one) and embrace the idea of meeting my true life partner and living “happily ever after.” But until I meet the right guy I will not rush into the wrong situation.
Anyway, I digressed… For the last weeks I had officially become a New Jersey Housewife (minus the husband). I don’t know how single women who live in the suburbs do it! Damn, it’s rough. I went to the grocery in the middle of the day and it was packed. You would think it was a holiday weekend. It was a Tuesday at 1pm. I was looking all around the parking lot for a spot. I got excited when I finally found a spot close to the front of the store. Only to notice the sign in front of the spot that read: Parking for Customers with Children. What the fuck??? I noticed a parking spot on the opposite side and the sign in front of that spot read: Reserved for Expectant Mothers. Damn! So already I am being penalized for not having children and/or not having a bun in the oven. Thank goodness I have high self esteem or else that could have easily sent me over the edge. When I walked all around the grocery store, which was crowded with mothers and their children. Mostly bad ass out of control children and mothers with the biggest diamond sparkly rocks you could imagine. Oh how I missed the flashiness/borderline gaudiness of my home state. I still have left over remnants of the gaudiness. I was damn near drooling over the rings. You can take the girl outta of Jersey but you’ll never take the Jersey outta me! I quickly broke out of my day dream mode when I couldn’t find the wine section. I finally located someone who worked there. A young teenager who was probably using Pro-Active.
Me: Where is the wine section?
Teenage Worker: Uhhhhh… we don’t sell wine here.Me: Excuse me? (The thought of not having my wine for the week sent me into a minor panic attack. As a matter of fact the thought of not ending my day with a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc caused a slight case of hives). Teenage Worker: You’re going to have to go to the liquor store across the street.
How could I have forgotten in my home town state (and a lot of other states) you can not purchase liquor and wine outside of a liquor store? It’s some stupid ass law. It’s inconvenient as hell too. I wasn’t about to lose my spot in Bumblefuck. So I bought my groceries and hightailed my ass to the liquor store and bought a case of Sauvignon Blanc.
Being in the burbs there are also the questions/ interrogations I get from well meaning folks about my dating life. If you are a faithful reader of this blog you know one of my biggest peeves is when people ask me the following questions which I was asked at least 3 times a day:
Are you dating?
Me: I’m dating everyone.
Are you seeing anyone special?
Is it hard dating in LA?
Me: It is. But I think it’s hard dating anywhere. The only difference is in LA you really have to be true to who you are so you don’t get caught up in the hype.
Don’t worry you’ll meet the right guy when you least expect it.
My Inner Monologue: Get the fuck outta here. All single women are constantly looking for the right man. They may not admit it but they do! How the hell are you going to find MR. Right if you aren’t looking.
Each of these innocent questions are always asked and when I give them my answers I feel the slight look of pity. What most married women do not admit is they secretly are terrified for their single friends because they know how hard it is to find the right guy. How do I know this? I was once married and please know and believe I had conversations with other married women at the time. Why do you think so many women stay in shitty marriages (myself was once included in this statistic). Some women are so afraid of being alone they would rather stay in a loveless marriage. What they don’t realize is being alone and married is far worse than being alone and single.
There is also going to a party or a BBQ in the burbs as the single woman. You are normally greeted with looks of Who is this bitch? You have to be keenly aware of the outfit you wear, who you talk to, and the amount of time you are spending talking to them. Some of these housewives (again, I use the word SOME) are intimidated by an attractive single women they do not know who suddenly shows up to a BBQ and is speaking to their husband. Even a simple request like, Excuse me, can you pass the mustard. Can get a side eye from the wife. 9/10 you aren’t even interested in the man even if he wasn’t married. But in their minds you are a threat. I typically stick to the rule of only talking to the guy in a group setting. If we innocently happen to be at the cooler at the same time getting a drink I immediately will get my drink and scurry off. For some reason in LA I am not typically as worried about this. There is a different mentality in a city verse the burbs. The housewives typically think there is a hidden agenda, and that usually doesn’t have shit to do with you. It is something that is an internal flaw or insecurity in their relationship with their husband.
After my 2 weeks of living the New Jersey Housewife life, I needed a break. Don’t get me wrong, it gave me a greater appreciation of my singledom. But as I drove over the Ben Franklin Bridge and parked my car in Philadelphia, the city of Brotherly Love. I went to Rouge and got a table in the window. I ordered a strong cocktail. I needed a break from my typical wine. My thoughts began to run rapidly. I think when we are single we spend so much time wondering what our life would look like once we are in a relationship. We envision what we think that will look like, how much “better” our lives would be. We imagine what our future children will look like (I know I’m not the only woman who will look through a magazine and see a picture of a cute baby with caramel skin and think, That’s what my son will look like). It is so easy to get caught up in the what will BE instead of living in the what it IS. Spending this time as a Real Housewife of New Jersey, I realize that I am not the suburbia kind of women. I definitely want a marriage and I most certainly want kids, but I do not want to give up the life I have for the life I want. Is there any way the two can co-exist? Am I being realistic about my expectations? I was once in a marriage where I attempted to become the person my ex husband wanted me to be and I lost myself and I lost who I was. Now that I finally found ME I embraced ME. I realized all my quirks, insecurities, and pet peeves made me vulnerable and I was loving that. I never wanted to lose sight of that. Being vulnerable is actually a good thing at times. Just when I was beginning to doubt the possibility of having the two things I most wanted (the present me and the future me) God always has a way of speaking to you. A couple who had to be in their late 30’s early 40’s walked into Rouge. They had a great style to them. They were casual but had an effortless style to them. The women pushed in a stroller and the man was holding the hand of his son who had to be at least 4 years old. I normally would have rolled my eyes when a couple came into a place like Rouge with children worrying that my moment of solitude would be interrupted by a loud crying ass baby but this time I was not annoyed. They sat at a table close to me in the window and the women put the baby into a high chair. The man put his son into a booster seat. The couple gave each other a kiss. He whispered something in her ear and she laughed and looked him in the eyes lovingly. When the waiter came over the man ordered a bottle of Cabernet for he and his wife. This hip couple sat with their kids and had their bottle of wine. They seemed to have such a connection between the two of them. They not only were married but they seemed to be… Friends. And that’s when it clicked. All this time I have been looking for something but not exactly sure what it was. At the end of the day when you look for someone who is your friend first everything else will fall into place. He won’t try to put you into a box and you won’t try to tie him down.
For a second I imagined myself with my future hubby and my kids chilling at a restaurant and enjoying our family time. Looking at that family made me realize it is possible for your present and future to coexist. In order to be who you are going to be, you don’t have to change who you are. It is possible. As I made my way back over the bridge in to the burbs, I had to make a pit stop at the grocery store. As I passed the spot that was right in the front that was reserved for the Customer with Kids and was forced to park in West Bumblefuck I didn’t roll my yes or get mad. Instead I parked my single ass there took my long ass walk into the grocery and embraced my temporary life as a New Jersey Housewife. When I was in line with my two items, a lady who was there with her three kids (all under 5) stood behind me trying to tame her wild out of control kids. I looked back at her, smiled and told her to go in front of me. She was so grateful and thanked me a million times as she unloaded her full cart and tried to gain control over her bad ass kids. You see, it’s also possible for the single city girl and the Suburban Housewife to co-exist as well.
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.
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.
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.
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….
Every year these bullshit articles/blogs come out about single black women and the struggle of finding good black men. As of late I have been bombarded with these various articles and blogs. In the first blog a single woman of 40 writes about how she has made herself okay with the fact that she more than likely will never have kids or a marriage. She is beautiful, successful, and smart but she has not been able to find her significant other so she has made herself okay with the idea of having no kids and being by herself. The next article a woman in her late 30’s discusses her research on post feminist women (herself included) who are successful and should accept that more than likely they will have to end up with a man that is either not as successful as she is or a man who is successful but is a playboy because statistically speaking that is the best society has to offer. She even went into all the research she did for the article interviewing women with the same perspective! Then there is the annual article about how black women should consider dating outside of their race in order to find happiness since their options for black men are limited. It goes on to addresses the increase of black men who are in prison, gay, or not dating black woman so therefore a single black woman should either a) make themselves okay with the idea that they will never find true love, b) date outside of their race, or c) date beneath them. Throw out the idea that there is a perfect man out there for them and reside themselves with the idea of settling.
This is absolute total bullshit and women are starting to believe it. Not only are they starting to accept this foolery but they go as far as sending these ignorant articles out to their friends on Facebook and then have people liking the status or commenting on it. Do not get me wrong, if you are interested in dating outside of your race. By all means do so. Hell, when I was in Paris over the summer I saw some fine ass European men that definitely had me reconsidering my ideal man. And every time I see Henry Cavil I have a few minutes of imagining what our mixed children would look like. I see my future children the coloring of café au lait with wild curly blondish brown hair. Okay I digressed… My point is I am not against black women dating outside of their race if they chose to not as a fall back plan because of a false belief there isn’t a black man out there for them. I also have friends who are dating or married to men who do not make as much money as them. And again, that is fine as long as that women isn’t settling for something she doesn’t want because she thinks it is not possible to find it.
It is already bad enough I have friends reading this crap and posting it but now MEN are reading these articles and starting to believe their own hype. So you have successful, single, black men who happen to be on Facebook reading these posts and the comments and believing that they are a rarity and therefore bringing this into their dating life. I remember reading one of these articles during the aftermath of my divorce. (These articles tend to emerge when you’re already at you most vulnerable place). I was questioning everything about myself. My future as a newly divorced woman back on the dating scene, would I ever be able to love again, was I deserving of a real and healthy relationship. Any dating self doubt I had was right on the surface. And I just so happened to read one of those depressing articles.
Enter “Edward” a hotelier from the east coast. We met years ago when I had first started dating my ex husband. He tried to ask me out and I was in a relationship so I of course I refused. I am sure I was one of the few women who had ever turned him down. As fate would have it, when I went to South Beach for a post divorce weekend of relaxation with the girls I ran into him at a pool party. He was looking good. Tall, chocolate, and rich. He had just opened his second hotel in Atlanta. Granted I lived in LA and he was on the east coast we exchanged numbers and started talking everyday over the phone. He was in the process of opening another boutique hotel in LA and was spending more time on the west coast. It was a perfect introduction into dating after the divorce. The distance was great because it allowed us to really get to know each other and gave me the space to take my time. “Edward” was one of the most arrogant men I ever met in my life. In the beginning his self confidence was a turn on. The arrogance I found extremely sexy and charming when I first met him was beginning to get on my damn nerves. If he wasn’t talking about his latest project, he was talking about his Maserati or his latest painting he bought for his house. Everything was about “Edward.” I was merely an audience in the “Edward Show.” And I was really trying to work with him. Then he started making little comments that rubbed me the wrong way.
Edward: What are you doing tonight?
Me: I’m going out with my girlfriends to a birthday party.
Edward: You’re going out again? Did your ex-husband let you go out as much?
Me: What do you mean “let” me go out? I don’t need anyone’s permission to go out. What’s your point?
Edward: Calm down, I was just asking. You’re always out. You should stay home and relax.
Me: Edward, I’ll call you in the morning.
Then there was the time he was in town for MY birthday weekend and he took me with him to his tailor where he spent 3 hours (literally no over exaggeration) picking out shit for himself! Custom shirts, suits, ties, cuff links. You name it he bought it. Did the bastard even ask me if I wanted as much as a handkerchief?! Ummmm… no!
The straw that broke the camel’s back was one night when we went out to dinner at Boa Steakhouse in Beverly Hills. This is one of my favorite spots. I do not eat red meat but I find steakhouses usually have the BEST sides. I have no idea how we got onto this conversation about SBF. But somehow he managed to bring it up.
Edward: I know a lot of successful single black women out there.
Me: I know a lot of successful single black men too. (trying to hide the annoyance in my voice)
Edward: I know, but it’s different for men we have more options than y’all do. I think the problem with successful single black women is they don’t know how to let the man be the man. Y’all are always trying to control shit.
Me: (taking a sip of the $200 bottle of Caymus Cabernet he just ordered) What do you mean?
Edward: I think women who make a lot of money no longer know how to be submissive. And that’s why it’s hard for them to find a good man.
Me: What makes you think it’s hard for them to find a good man? I know a lot of white women, Asian women, and Latina women who are successful and single as well. So what’s your theory behind them? (Right as a I said this, in walks Kobe Bryant with Vanessa Bryant holding hands)
Edward: (tilting his head towards Kobe and Vanessa smirking) Well that’s different because they have their pick of men. Black women don’t.
Me: You’re single. Why haven’t you landed a woman yet?
Edward: Because I can be selective. I have a lot of options. Besides I’m a man. My biological clock isn’t ticking. I talk to women all the time about how it is hard to find a good black man. I also read those articles that my homegirls post on Facebook. I’m not the first person to state these facts. (Swirls the wine in his glass and arrogantly takes a sip).
Me: I wouldn’t necessarily call them facts. I don’t subscribe to that.
Edward: I think a lot of you successful single black women need to lower your standards. Or else you’ll find yourself 40 and alone.
Me: That’s absolute bullshit.
Edward: Look I’m not the one who made this up. Talk to your girls who post the articles. I read all of them and I know I’m a rarity… Finish your food babe.
I sat there and visualized myself stabbing him with my fork, getting up and splashing my wine in his face, but decided against it. The thought was refreshing. After leaving dinner I was disgusted, annoyed, and I even had a moment of thinking he might be right. There I sat across from an arrogant asshole who thought he was God’s gift to women and the person I had to blame for that was the women who fed into the bogus articles. Hell, if I’m honest with myself, I ended up marrying the wrong man because deep down inside, I thought he was the best I could get. I was tired of the dating scene and I was ready to settle down. I chose to overlook that we had absolutely nothing in common but he had the right criteria on paper. That belief had me in a shitty relationship. I do have a lot of beautiful and successful single friends who are looking for love. And the dating scene is a struggle. And it is at moments like this when I began to question all aspects of being a single black female (SBF). I began to think that perhaps being in a shitty marriage was better than being alone. At these low points, these stupid ass articles come out and I begin to fall for the hype. And for a mere second I question my decisions and my concept on love and finding a true soul mate.
Then my intellectual inner loving mother smacks me into reality. The reality is it is far better to be single and alone than married and alone. I have such a full and great life that anyone I allow to enter into it has to enhance it and bring something to the table. The bigger reality is we as women must STOP reading and supporting these articles. And even more so, we MUST stop sharing them. What’s happening is some men are reading them and believing the hype and thinking that single black females are desperate and will put up with anything when that really isn’t the case. How can we get men to respect us and honor us if we put out there that it is so hard to find a good one? I want to start a movement. Moving forward if there are any of these articles out, do not comment on them, do not post them, do not believe them, and most of all STOP telling men how hard it is to find a god man! You’re fucking it up for the rest of us!!!!! You must ask yourself what is the purpose of these articles? What good does it do? Why not post articles about women in their 30’s and 40’s finding true love because they did not settle and believe the hype? We must support each other in our search for Mr. Right. I did the settling leg work for you and I can confirm it is not worth it. There are good black men out there. Think of it, at this very moment there is a man out there who is searching, praying, and hoping to find his soul mate. It could be you. Do not give up hope and do not settle. In the meantime, enjoy your time as an SBF…
©Monique Kelley and Confessions of A Serial Dater In LA, 2013-2019 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Monique Kelley and Confessions of A Serial Dater In LA with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Copying my posts and changing some of the words is still plagiarism.