Picture Perfect

Text Photo Horror

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

Summertime is in the air!  Am I the only one that loves the summertime?  I feel like people are a little more laid back, the sun is constantly shining.  I thrive in the summer.  Perhaps it’s because I was born in August and my spirit automatically feels rejuvenated during the summertime.  But either way it’s a beautiful time to live in LA.  As you know I recently took a hiatus in the dating world.  I made up my mind I would not date anyone who I didn’t see having potential or anyone I wasn’t attracted to.  I did the research on both and I had a new perspective.  When I think about it, I think I dated a lot right after my divorce because it kept me busy and I also questioned my judgment on everything when it came to dating.  Then I started to think I was shallow so I started dating men who I might not have necessarily been attracted to thinking they would treat me like a queen.  I quickly realized that was not necessarily the case.  So I have taken the last few weeks to be EXTREMELY selective and guess what?  I am completely fine with that.  Judge me if you want.  I’m doing things my way and for the first time in my life I really and truly don’t give a shit what anyone else thinks about it.  Don’t get me wrong, this is in no means a bitter girls rant.  It just feels so freeing when you finally realize the key to having the life you want is living the life you want.  What a simple theory.  It took me 35 years to figure it out.

I completely digressed….  Recently unbeknownst to me, my acupuncturist  decided to play match maker.  Only in LA!  LOL!  She gave me the number to a guy she met that she thought would be perfect for me.  According to her, he is a really nice guy, handsome, 6’5, and driven.  I figured I had nothing to lose.  And the superficial side of me could appreciate the 6’5 height.  Yes I am still a shallow vain bitch at times.  So I gave the guy a call.  And he seemed nice, charming, funny, smart, the caveat was he lived in Northern California.  I really wasn’t looking to do another long distance relationship.  But at least this guy lived on the same coast.  We continued to talk on the phone and then the inevitable happened.  He asked for me to send him a picture and then he said he was going to send me a picture.  And I freaked out.  I instantly had a flashback to 3 years ago….

3 years ago I was still going through my divorce at this time.  So to get my mind off of my ex and LA my friends and I took a girls trip to South Beach Miami.  While I was there I ran into an old college buddy who was there with some of his frat brothers.  He introduced me to one of them.  “Ryan” was a Psychologist with a PhD. There was an instant attraction between the two of us.  We needed up hanging out while I was in Miami.  He lived in the Mid West.  So once we returned to our home bases we continued to talk on the phone.  We had our first phone conversation.  It lasted over 3 hours.  We talked a lot about relationships.  “Ryan” had recently broken up with his daughter’s mother.  We talked about world events, racism and just life in general.  I was really excited.  The fact that he came with a referral was definitely a plus.  So as we were ending our 3 hour conversation”Ryan” had one request.

Ryan:  Can you send me a picture?

Me:  Sure, but I am going to need one of you.

Ryan:  I got you covered…

So we hung up the phone and I ended up falling asleep.  I didn’t get a chance to send him my picture that night.  I woke up the next morning and instantly went to check my phone.  I’m NOT a morning person, so when I first wake up it takes me a minute to adjust to the light that comes into my room and wake up.  So I rolled over and picked up my phone and saw I had a picture message from “Ryan.”  I opened the picture message and had to do a double, triple, quadruple take.  Suddenly I was wide awake.  I jumped up from out of my bed, wiped my eyes and looked at the picture again.  It hadn’t changed.  “Ryan” had sent me a picture of Penis!  With a text message that said… Good Morning.

What the fuck?!  First of all, I had only gone out with him one time.  We didn’t even talk about sex during our conversation and now he was sending me an unsolicited picture of his dick?!  Granted he was certainly packing in that area.  BUT who the fuck sends someone they have never been intimate with a picture of their dick?!  I didn’t ask for that!  This man had a PhD in psychology you would think he had some damn sense.  And let me tell you something, I am not one of these simple bitches that send pictures out of myself.  Could you imagine, a naked picture of yourself showing up on the internet somewhere?  I didn’t know how to react to this.  I was actually at a loss for words.  So I decided to ignore it.  But as ignorance would have it “Ryan” reached out to me an hour later…

Ryan:  Did you get my text :-)?

What a stupid ass!  You would think he would have taken my silence as a sign that he went too damn far.

Me: I got it.

Ryan: And…

Me:  And, what would make you think I would want a picture of your dick?!

After a good 20 minutes went by.

Ryan:  It wasn’t mine.

This was a blatant lie.  But this lie made him dig his hole even deeper.  No pun intended.

Me:  So you sent me a picture of another man’s dick?  What the hell are you doing with the picture?

Ryan:  My bad.

Once again I went MIA for a while.  But you know these men don’t take the damn hint.

Ryan:  So are we never going to speak again?

Me:  I’m cool on you.  I’m not interested in a guy that sends random pictures of his dick out to women he doesn’t even know.  And I’m certainly not interested in a man who has a picture of another man’s penis either.  Although you and I both know that it was yours. 

Ryan:  What about forgiveness?  People can’t make mistakes?

Me:  Goodbye Ryan.  Have a nice life.

I didn’t even bother telling my friend about this episode.  Clearly it is true what they say about some Psychologists.  They are more fucked up than their patients!  I was so damn disappointed.  I really enjoyed the conversations I had with this man up to this point.  But I was so damn turned off.  Now don’t get me wrong.  If that is the nature of your relationship with someone, then all means get ready for your close up.  But when you’re just getting to know someone and you are expecting a picture of him in a suit smiling and instead you get a fully erect penis shot don’t judge me for being taken aback even if you have been blessed in that department.  I guess “Ryan” was proud of his 3rd leg and wanted the world to see it.  SMH!

So coming back to the present moment, I waited for the new guy to send me the picture.  When my phone buzzed I was nervous to pick it up.  What if this guy was a fool?  What if he sent me a picture I wasn’t ready to see?  I slowly picked up my phone turned it around, and luckily there was a picture of a handsome man smiling into the camera with a great body and straight teeth.

0714-girl-text-messaging_sm

I slowly picked up my phone turned it around, and luckily there was a picture of a handsome man smiling into the camera with a great body and straight teeth. Woosa, I could relax.

Woosa, I could relax.  Who knows what the deal will be with this new guy.  Don’t you wish you could meet someone and they could give you a detailed report of what their issue is so you didn’t have to waste time trying to figure the shit out?!  But what I realized with this latest experience, I was carrying around some baggage from the past.  Some of the baggage was from the ending of my marriage.  Some of it was from my recent dating disasters.  I recently took out a purse I hadn’t used in years.  When I got to work this morning I dropped the purse and out came 3 pictures of me and my ex.  They were pictures from when we had first started dating and we went on a double date weekend to Temecula.  I thought I had destroyed all of the evidence that I was once happy with this man.  My first inclination was to immediately rip the pictures up then burn them, as I had done with all of the other pictures.  But instead I closed the door to my office sat in the chair and stared at them for a few minutes.  I was once happy with this man.  I once thought that he was my knight and shining armor.  I once loved him deeply.  I looked at the pictures and the girl that was staring at me smiling looked like me but she seemed like such a stranger at the same time.  How could I have been so wrong?  Looking at the younger version of myself in the picture, I was so happy, I had no idea that only a few short years after that picture was taken that man would hurt me beyond all measure.  That he would shake me to my core.  But at the same time, that experience would make me this wiser woman who was now looking at the picture of her younger self.  I realized I had to let go of the hurt and pain of my past in order to embrace my future relationship with the man I was supposed to be with.  I think my fear of making the same mistake again, of not knowing the signs ahead of time had me on edge when I was dating.

 

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My first inclination was to immediately rip the pictures up then burn them, as I had done with all of the other pictures… I was once happy with this man. I once thought that he was my knight and shining armor. I once loved him deeply. I looked at the pictures and the girl that was staring at me smiling looked like me but she seemed like such a stranger at the same time. How could I have been so wrong? Looking at the younger version of myself in the picture, I was so happy, I had no idea that only a few short years after that picture was taken that man would hurt me beyond all measure. That he would shake me to my core.

Here was a man that had no idea of the picture faux pas that occurred a few years ago and I was already nailing him to the cross and that wasn’t fair to him or even to me.  Regardless of what the future holds for any relationship I had that “ah-hah” moment.  I needed to let go of the hurt and trust that I had learned my lessons for the future and finally trust myself.  When you go through a painful experience the hardest person to forgive and begin to trust is yourself.  At that moment I realized I spent so much time working on forgiving my ex and trying to erase that I once loved him.  I was finally ready to acknowledge that yes, I once loved this man, and yes he hurt me deeply.  But the good news was I knew I had the ability to love and love deeply.  I was no longer going to let that hurt and pain I experienced stop me from believing I could love like that again.  And most importantly, I wasn’t going to hold back when it felt right because I didn’t trust myself or I feared getting hurt again.  A picture does say a thousand words, and this time I was going to listen…
 
Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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