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.

 

woman-looking-out-window

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

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

 

 

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

The Wicked Bitch of the West

wicked-witch

Don’t make me release my flying monkeys!!!

I decided to take a little dating hiatus.  I was enjoying the highs of dating but the lows were honestly beginning to get on my damn nerves.  To be honest I was TIRED of dating randoms just because.    I also wanted to enjoy some “me” time.  I was in the midst of organizing my closets when I got a random text message from “Randy.”

Hey what’s going on?

Some men really don’t know how to take no for a damn answer.  Why can’t the guys that I am actually attracted to be as ambitious and unrelenting?!   I met “Randy” 2 years ago when I was on vacation in Miami.  He bought me and my girls’ drinks.  We exchanged numbers, in my mind it was just on a friendship tip.  I was not attracted to him.  He immediately texted me the next day and asked me out to lunch.  Naturally I said no.  Seriously, what fool would be out having lunch in public with a guy they aren’t into in South Beach Miami.  What if a man I was attracted to saw us out?  He would assume we were a couple and I wasn’t about to have that misconception happen.  “Randy” continued to call me and text me.  Then came the Facebook friend request.  I thought there is no harm in me accepting his friendship request.  But then in a space of one hour he had gone through all of my photos and commented on 90% of them.  I posted I was heading out to NYC on business travel one day and  ironically, he called me a day later to tell me he was heading to NYC for business travel later that month.   He asked me out to dinner and I accepted.  But I called my girlfriend to come with me.  There was something creepy about “Randy.”  I couldn’t put my finger on it but he was just strange.  My friend agreed.  As she put it, Since you don’t like him we can have fun with him and ask all kinds of crazy ass questions.  Okay, I know it was mean.  Shoot me.  I can be a bitch.  But it was a fun plan.  We headed to Budhakhan to meet “Randy.”  When he walked into the restaurant my non-attraction to him was confirmed.  Let me be clear.  “Randy” wasn’t an ugly man he just wasn’t my type.  We proceeded to the dinner table where my girlfriend and I drilled him with questions.  He took it like a champ.  We proceeded to leave the restaurant and he gave me a hug before hailing me a cab.  When he hugged me he whispered in my ear.

Randy:  Why don’t we take a cab together?

I looked at him like he had two heads.  And then that creepy feeling set in again.  Something in his eyes screamed I AM A WEIRDO!

Me:  That’s okay Randy.  I have an early day tomorrow.  Have a nice night.  Thanks for dinner.

“Randy” continued to call me and text me and I simply ignored him.  A month later I was on Facebook and I noticed on my timeline that “Randy” was now in a relationship.   I was thrilled for him.  I even liked the status.  And within an hour I got the text from “Randy.”

Randy:  Hey what have you been up to?

I figured since he was now in a relationship there was no harm in being friends with him.

Me:  Just working and travelling.  How are you?

Randy:  I’m good.  Can I ask you a question?

Me: Sure.  What’s up?

Randy:  Did I do something to offend you?  When we got back from New York you stopped returning my calls and texts.

I rolled my eyes.  Seriously, if a woman sent a man the same text we would be pushed into the crazy category within 30 seconds.  I wanted to say, I stopped accepting your calls because you’re weird and creepy.  But I decided to be nice.

Me:  I don’t do long distance relationships.

Randy:  We could have made it work.  We both travel a lot.  I wouldn’t mind moving to California.

I looked at the phone because clearly I was seeing things.  This man was allegedly in a relationship.  I wasn’t in the mood to deal with him and I had tried to be nice.

Me:  That’s null and void.  I see you’re in a relationship.  Congrats!  I hope you’re behaving.

Randy:  I never behave.  😉  It should have been you.

black-woman-looking-at-phone

Why can’t the guys that I am actually attracted to be as ambitious and unrelenting?!

That’s when I snapped.  I had tried to be polite.  I had tried to give him a hint that I wasn’t interested.  But clearly this fool wasn’t taking the hint.

Me:  I was not nor will ever be interested in you.  So it would have never been me.  If I was interested I am glad I didn’t take you up on that offer if this is how you communicate with women when you’re in a relationship.

Randy:  Why do you have to be so mean?  I have been nothing but nice to you and you are just so mean.

Me:  Randy, go call your girlfriend and lose my number.

I rolled my eyes and headed to Le Petit Four on Sunset Plaza Drive to have a nice lunch by myself.  That’s also one of the benefits to taking some time to yourself.  Instead of going on dates with randoms  I took myself out for great dates.  As I sat there having a glass of Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc for some strange reason “Randy’s” last text resonated with me.  Why do you have to be so mean?  I have been nothing but nice to you.  As I sat in the beautiful 75 degree weather having a glass of wine and eating my Chinese Chicken Salad I had flash back to all the moments when I found myself “checking” a man.  I flashed back to the times I would just ignore texts and phone calls instead of being clear and saying to a man that I’m just not interested.  I think sometimes I figured if I am extra mean to a man he’ll get the hint and run away.  And again “Randy’s” statement kept playing in my mind like a broken record.  Why do you have to be so mean… why do you have to be so mean… Why do you have to be so mean…  By the time I had my second glass of wine it became crystal clear to me… I AM A BITCH!  I don’t know when this happened.  Perhaps it was a defense mechanism.  With “Randy” all I had to do was tell him I wasn’t interested.  That would have been the grown up mature thing to do.  Did my divorce, and numerous bad dates, and dating disappointments turn me into the Wicked Bitch of the West?  There was once a time when I was so sweet.  Did all of my dating baggage have me releasing my flying monkeys onto these unsuspecting victims of my wrath?  I took a deep breath and leaned back in my chair and sat with my thought for a few minutes.  I really had to get better with how I treated men.  Perhaps my evil ways was now becoming my Karma and this is why I hadn’t met the right guy.  That’s when my phone rang and it was one of my best friends.

Am I a Bitch

By the time I had my second glass of wine it became crystal clear to me… I AM A BITCH! I don’t know when this happened. Perhaps it was a defense mechanism.

Girlfriend:  Girl who the fuck is “Randy?”

Me: This annoying guy that I met in Miami a few years ago, why?

Girlfriend: He poked me on FB and then sent me an inbox asking if he could get to know me.

Me:  What?!

Girlfriend:  Yes girl!  He was like, “Can I get to know you.”  And I was like, “Do I know you?”  And he then said, “You don’t know me, but I can make it worth your while.”

Me:  You have got to be kidding me!

Girlfriend:  I kid you not.  I immediately blocked him.

Me:  Girl that fool is crazy!

 

Black Women Laughing

There’s nothing like a good laugh with your girlfriend in times of self doubt!

She and I had a good laugh.  When I hung up the phone with her.  I immediately deleted and blocked his ass from Facebook.  He wasn’t even worth sending a text or inboxing him about how inappropriate that was.  But I had a good laugh with myself.  Lately I found myself questioning a lot about how I date and why I do what I do.  I realized I know what I’m doing.  Granted, I did acknowledge that I needed to do better with being upfront and truthful if I’m not interested in a man instead of being mean.  I also acknowledged that I did have a wall up that used being a bitch as a defense mechanism.  This was something I had to work on.  You see, in time when you have had major disappointments and hurts there are defense mechanisms that can hinder you in your current dating.  Mine happened to be bitchiness.  But the first step in fixing something is acknowledging you had a problem.  Now I can’t guarantee that I won’t check a clown in the future.  But at least I am now aware of the issue.  However, at the end of the day, some men deserve to be checked and cussed out and the flying monkeys released!  And “Randy” was certainly one of them!  If I had the power, I would create a tornado and have a house land on his stupid ass!  But for now, I will just work on becoming Glenda, the good witch….

 
Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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

Knee Pad New York….

knee Pads

Things can get lost in translation with text messages.

There is something about being out of town that makes me feel freer and the men more attentive.  I have the privilege of traveling to New York City every few weeks.  And I am a firm believer in mixing business with pleasure.  I don’t know if I give off a different aura when I’m in NYC or if the men just know how to treat a lady.  It never fails that every single time I come into this great city I have at least 2 dates in the week.  And I typically meet men so easily.  Perhaps my subconscious is in vacation mode therefore anything goes?  Maybe it’s the excitement of the city.  I have to admit, I feel like I’m in an episode of Sex and the City every time I have to hail a cab.  I feel powerful and extra confident.  I have no idea.  While in NYC a few weeks ago I went to Harlem Social with some friends to celebrate my girlfriend’s birthday.  While sipping on my Sangria, I looked up and saw a tall handsome man standing on the other side of the room (I am a sucker for a man with height).  I gave him my mega million dollar smile and winked.  He smiled and winked back.  It was a great start to the night.  Typically in LA, that rarely happens.  As a matter of fact that is usually how I can tell the difference between men who live in LA or who are visiting just based on their approach.  A few minutes later he was making his way over.  He asked to buy me a drink.  It was so refreshing to be in a spot where a man actually took the time to walk from across the room to connect with you.  Gotta love those NYC men!  I told him I was visiting from LA and would be leaving in two days.  Not only did he ask for my number but he had me call him from my phone right there on the spot and put my information in his phone immediately.  The next day he called me and asked me out.  He knew I had a wedding to go to that afternoon and I only had a small window of opportunity to see him if it was going to happen this trip.  So a few hours later I was sitting in the lobby of my hotel across from “John” having coffee and getting to know him.  “John” was a recently divorced father of 2 and had a career in governmental affairs.  He was born and raised in the Bronx and currently lived in Harlem.  He had that NYC edge I like.  You know I am a Jersey girl and I’m naturally drawn to east coast men.  He had charisma and confidence.  As we finished up our first meeting he asked me out for the next evening right away.  We took a stroll around Central Park and then went for cocktails at LAVO in midtown.  In dissecting this, I believe there are a few factors that played into this: 

1-       When men know that they have a limited window of time to see you they step up their game.  When you live in the same city there seems to be a lackadaisical attitude of, “She’ll be around I’ll ask her out when I get to it.”  Whereas when you’re an “Out- of-Towner” there is a greater sense of urgency.  Men want to figure out sooner if you’re worth the investment of time and money.  They need to get that first date in right away to see if they are willing to put in the text messages, the long phone hours, and even more so invest in getting a plane ticket to come out to your city to visit.

2-      I think I give out a different energy when I am out-of-town.  Because I do not live in the city I have nothing to lose.  I could get on top of a table and dance at a party and not care because I don’t live here.  When I land in a different city I automatically have a different vibe.  It’s New York, I feel energized and I also stand out.  If you walk into a crowded restaurant in New York City, it is easy to spot out an out-of-towner.  It’s even easier to spot out someone from LA.  Los Angeles women have a glow to them.  A permanent golden tan, a brighter smile, a relaxed chilled out attitude.  We definitely stand out in a crowd!

3-      New Girl syndrome think back to when you were in high school and a new girl  starts in the middle of the school year or even think back to your freshmen year in college.  In both scenarios you are fresh meat.  Men appreciate and are attracted to new things, new women, and new conquests.

When I left New York, “John” and I were off to a great start.  He was calling me every day.  He was sending me texts at a decent text to phone call ratio.  Texting is NOT a damn conversation.  Texting should be used to communicate information, let me know I am on your mind in the middle of the day, but not as a full-out conversation.  I can’t tell you how many women fall into the text trap and think they have a relationship with a man because they are texting all day.  That is absolute bullshit!  Like Patti Stingers says, intimacy happens between your ears not under your fingers.  I digressed…  I’ll save the whole text messaging discussion for a future blog.

LA-vs_-NYC-2

Different cities…Same problems…

I was enjoying getting to know this man.  He was charming, witty, and we had great conversations.  I started making plans for upcoming meetings in NYC an I was excited to know I would be there for a full week and get to spend some quality time with “John.”  Two days before I left for the Big Apple I was out running errands at The Grove.  While I was trying on a new shade of pink lip gloss from MAC I got a text message from “John.”

John:  Hey beautiful, what are you up to?

Me:  Running errands…shopping.

John:  Don’t forget to buy some knee pads.

You know that moment in a movie when there is a loud screeching of a record coming to a sudden stop.  I swear, no over exaggeration this happened (in my head).  I looked at the text for a few minutes.  I thought there had to be a glitch in the iPhone system.  You know auto correct can be a bitch.  There is no way in hell, this well-traveled, sophisticated man I had been talking to for a month would have sent some ignorant ass text message on purpose.

Me:  Don’t forget to buy what? (When I hit send, I prayed that he would send me a message that his auto correct had put the wrong word in his previous text)

John:  Don’t forget to buy knee pads ;-)… I have plans for you.

Okay.  So it wasn’t auto correct.  This Simpleton (one of my mother’s favorite words for a fool) was serious and even elaborated on it!  My sweet “getting to know a man” side immediately went running away and in entered my “You’re an asshole and you will get checked” side.

Me:  Sure I’ll get knee pads… what’s your size?

JohnLOL!  Not for me, for you.  (Not only was “John” highly inappropriate.  Apparently he was selfish too)

Me:  That text came out of nowhere.

John: You’re tripping.

Me:  John, what’s up with your crazy ass text message?

John:  Why are you tripping?

Me:  I’m not tripping at all.  I don’t know you like that.  I want to make sure I am managing your expectations.  SEX ISN’T GOING DOWN WHEN I SEE YOU!

And really to be honest, at the end of the day if I was contemplating going there, he had turned me off so much that any small percentage of chance was now gone!  However, I understand how things get lost in translation with text messages.  I really get that.  I’m not unreasonable.  In the past I was so quick to cut a guy off and never call him again but I was doing things differently.  I wanted to give this man the benefit of the doubt.  So I called him.  He answered on the first ring.

John:  You’re tripping.

Me:  You’re coming out of left field.  Knee pads?  Really?

John:  That’s the problem with women.  You all want to fuck just as badly as men do.  But you all are busy reading Steve Harvey and making these damns rules!  (Here we go with that damn Steve Harvey bullshit!  Remind me to kick his ass when I see him.  He has really fucked it up for single women who were actually holding out without his “advice”)

Me:  You know what John, take you knee pads and go fuck yourself.  (With that I hung up the phone and to this day ignore his phone calls and text messages.

NYC

What would happen if I took that same mentality and aura I have when I am out of town and put out that same energy when I am in LA?

NYC/LA… Different city…Same Problems…  However, here’s a thought.  What would happen if I took that same mentality and aura I have when I am out-of-town and put out that same energy when I am in LA?  So many times, as women, we are so quick to point out what men do and don’t do.  But what would happen if we started with ourselves instead?  Look at what kind of energy we project into the dating world.  It was right after I hung the phone on “John” that I made a conscious effort to change my LA dating energy into my NYC dating energy.  I’m not saying that would mean I wouldn’t have another dating disaster.  But at least I could begin to enjoy my singledom and not take it so damn seriously.  What kind of dating energy are you projecting?  Vacation:  let loose and have fun or Home Base: anxiety ridden tenseness.  At least my experience with “John” gave me a small golden nugget…. Knee pads?  SMH!

Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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