When the Boss Is Away…

man-at-airport

When the boss is away…

Every year my friends and I go on an annual ski trip.  It’s a group of ten of us who went to Hampton University together and it is literally a week of non-stop partying.  Black professionals hit the slopes and afterwards head over to a happy hour party that rivals any college frat party.  The only difference is the beer kegs are replaced with expensive scotches, whiskies, and vodkas.  We revert to college students only we are 30+ with bank accounts and careers.  We rent a house and we leave the warm 80 degree LA weather and head off to the cold slopes.   This year we went to Aspen.  While on the shuttle to pick up our rental car I sat next to a handsome brotha in his mid forties.  He had bronze coloring and salt and pepper hair.  He wore glasses and just looked like he had his shit together.  He was wearing jeans, Ferragamo loafers, and a coat.  He was clearly ear hustling on the conversation my friends and I were having.  My girlfriend was telling us a hilarious story about how one of the Nigerian guys who sell the fake designer purses on the NYC streets outside of her work building gave her $200 for a Christmas present “Just because.”  He chuckled but remained a little standoffish.  So at a certain point we decided to include him in the conversation. There is an assumption any black person you see in the area is heading to the slopes for the same event.  We introduced ourselves and discovered he was an Alumni of Hampton University as well and graduated nearly a decade before us.  As soon as we made that connection, “Russell” turned into a different person.  He loosened up and joined in our vacation foolery.  “Russell” was a married father of twins.  He immediately took out a picture of his beautiful family.  There sat “Russell” with is beautiful wife that looked like she stepped off the runways of Paris.  She had a chocolate complexion with high cheekbones and the natural wild hairstyle.  His little twin girls were dressed in their Christmas dresses and were the perfect blend of the two parents.  And the color coordinated family sat beaming under a Christmas tree in their holiday card picture.  He informed us that his wife “allowed” him to have a vacation with his boys but just for a day and a half.  This makes absolutely no sense!  To spend all that time travelling for ski week only to be there for a day and a half is plain stupid.  Obviously his wife was the boss of that household.  But why only let him go out for a day?  I am a firm believer in the idea of still maintaining your own life after marriage.  I think it is healthy for a husband to have his “guys” trip and for a wife to have her “girls” trips and then have a romantic trip by yourself as a couple.  I do not understand the concept of keeping your man on a short leash.  Clearly, “Russell” was a stand up guy.  He even showed us a picture of his wife.  But hell, this wasn’t my marriage and he certainly wasn’t my man so I honestly could care less.  “Russell” was actually excited that the weather conditions were bad because that meant regardless of his wife’s demands, he was stuck in Aspen for an extra few days until the snow slowed down.  “Russell” exchanged information with one my friends so we could all connect once we were settled in Aspen.  A few hours later, there was a knock on our door.  And to my surprise there stood “Russell.”  One of our friends had sent him our condo information and invited him over.  I invited “Russell” in and offered him a cocktail.  My friends and I were just bugging out having cocktails.  “Russell” fit right in.  He told us the group he was with was already getting ready to go to bed and they were not as much fun as we were.  Clearly, our group had unleashed the beast in “Russell.”   I guess we reminded him of how much fun he wasn’t having. We were having a heated debate about relationships and the guys were giving their take and the girls were shutting down the BS notions.  It was a scene from A Different World.  The bond that happens when you attend an HBCU is unlike any other experience.  Times like this really brought me back to our college days.  We had been friends since freshmen year and here we were many years later just as close and able to relate to each others as adults.  The drinks were flowing. The shit talking was at an all time high, and the altitude had all of us FUCKED UP.  It was awesome!!!  Little by little the group started retiring to bed.  It had already been a long day.  Between the travel and drinks we were spent.  Most normal people would take a hint that it was their time to go.  But not this guest.  The more “Russell” drank the more inappropriate he got.  We were all tired and were trying to give him a hint that it was time for him to get the fuck out and he just didn’t get it.  At one point “Russell” was sitting next to me and whispered in my ear:

couple_annoyed

There is a guy that I think would be perfect for you. Why don’t you come over and I’ll introduce you to him. He’s staying at my house.

Russell:  There is something so sexy about you.  I could wear you out!

I practically spit out my Yellowtail Pinot Noir (don’t judge, we had to buy the big bottle of wine).

Me:  What?

Russell:  You are just so sexy. 

Me:  Ok Russell.  (I condescendingly patted him on his leg writing him off)

Russell:  I’m dead serious.  You are so fine.  I can’t take my eyes off of you.

Me:  But you’re married.  Where are your single friends? 

Russell:  There is a guy that I think would be perfect for you.  Why don’t you come over and I’ll introduce you to him.  He’s staying at my house.

Me:  I’m not going anywhere with you.  You can email me your “friend’s” contact information. 

I’m not sure if “Russell” saw the words “dumb, stupid, and desperate” written on my forehead.  But I looked at him like he had two heads.  First of all, I didn’t care how high the altitude was, I wasn’t going anywhere with a stranger to a house with a bunch of men I didn’t know.  I would never allow myself to get that drunk.  Not to mention, I think the friend “Russell” had in mind for me was the bulge that I was seeing occur in his jeans.  At this point I got up and went to the other room where 2 of my other friends were conferencing on how in the hell to get this now drunken fool out of the house.  And of course they turned to me.  Why did I always have to be the one to be rude and do the dirty work?  My friends answer was plain and simple…That’s what you do.  I glared at the friend who invited his ass in the first place.  I took a deep breath and went back out to the living room.  I thought maybe just maybe one of the guys could do it, but they were nowhere to be found.  When I went to the living room Russell was pouring himself another drink.

Me:  Hey, there Russell.  I don’t know where you’re going but you got to get the hell out of here.

Russell:  (words slightly slurred) I know, I know.  I have overstayed my welcome.  But let me just finish my drink.

Me:  We are all really tired.  You’ve had enough. 

I took his drink out of his hand and handed him a bottle of water and his keys.  Luckily “Russell” was walking distance.  I went to get his coat and when I came back he was patting his jacket for his keys.

Russell:  I lost my keys.

Me:  What do you mean?  You just had them. 

Russell:  I don’t know where they are. 

I looked down on the floor and his keys were perfectly placed behind a chair.  Clearly he was trying to be slick and stay.  I bent down and handed them over to him.  Walked him to the door and gently nudged him out of the house and locked the door behind him.  He wasn’t a belligerent angry drunk so I wasn’t concerned for our safety.

That’s when it hit me.  I was so quick to judge his wife for only “allowing” him a day and a half to go on a trip.  That’s probably why his wife only allowed his ass to travel for a day and a half.  She probably knows what a fool he becomes when he is away from home.  That’s not a way to live.  When I am in a relationship I don’t want to have to worry that my man is going to be out somewhere showing his ass.  Think about it, if I was a scandalous bitch, I could have had a fling with him and kept it moving.  But I have this wonderful thing called MORALS!  I had a feeling that wasn’t the first time “Russell” tested out a woman to see if she would get down.  And suddenly I had a great amount of compassion for his wife.  Here this lady was at home taking care of twins trying to give her husband the benefit of the doubt and he took advantage of it.  I can’t imagine being in a relationship where I constantly had to worry if my husband would do the right thing.  When it comes down to it, if a man is going to show his ass, he can show it in a day and a half, a week and a half, or an hour and a half.  I don’t think “Russell” is a bad person, I think perhaps he just felt so free to be out and about having a good time that for a moment he wanted to be irresponsible… I know it’s a stretch, I ‘m just trying to give the brotha the benefit of the doubt.  I have friends who are married and have perfectly healthy relationships where there is trust and respect.  They give each other the freedom to still have their own life.  I chose to focus on those relationships.  I must believe “Russell” is a minority when it comes to this.  I guess it is true, for some people.  When the boss is away… the children will play.

 
Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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

The Return of The Vapor

black-woman-looking-at-cell-phone-bossip-com-378x302

The Return of The Vapor

Runyon Canyon is one of my favorite places in LA.  Aside from the big ass dogs that are off their leashes and the smell of dog shit the views of the city is amazing.  The workout is also intense.  Afterwards I always feel like my head is cleared and I have a greater appreciation for LA.  I had just gotten in my car and was putting the top down to continue to enjoy the amazing California weather.  If you can’t appreciate having 75 degrees weather in the heart of the winter than you have issues.  I was heading to Whole Foods to pick up my Emerald Sesame Kale salad for a post workout snack when my phone rang.  I typically do not answer calls if I do not know the number.  But it was Saturday and the number looked vaguely familiar besides I was in good spirits and in a Zen mode.  I picked up the phone and to my astonishment it was…  “Gary.”  (Refer to previous post: case of the Dating Vapors  http://confessionsofaserialdaterinla.com/2013/02/case-of-the-dating-vapors/ )

Gary:  Hi there.

I made a mental note to myself to stop deleting numbers after a guy pisses me off for this very reason.  At least I could have been prepared if I knew it was him calling.  Back in my 20’s when a guy pissed me off I would change his name to Do Not Answer so when they called I would see that flash up as the name and know not to answer.  But that didn’t work because those times when I got tipsy I would still send a text or call them.  By the way, side note… Friends should never let friends text drunk.  It is the number 1 killer of dignity among women from the ages of 22-33.  Anyway I digressed.  I had a few options.

1-      Hang the phone up in his face.

2-      Give him a “sista girl” response with the head roll and all and check this fool.

3-      Act like nothing happen and be pleasant.

4-      Hear him out first and determine if 1, 2, or 3 is the appropriate response.

I went with the 4th option.  Besides I was in such a peaceful state.  I would be damned if I gave him the power to change my mood.  I didn’t realize how long I had him waiting.

Gary:  Hello?  Are you there?

Me:  Well hello there.

Gary:  How have you been?

I really wanted to say, “If you had bothered to pick up the damn phone two months ago when we were supposed to go out you would know. “  But instead:

Me:  I’m wonderful…  What’s going on?

Gary:  Things have been crazy for me over the last few weeks.  I finally ended up selling the house and me and my ex were able to reach a settlement.  It’s been a hectic couple of weeks.

Me:  (waiting for an apology)  Mmmmm.  Hmmmmm.  I was wondering what happened to you.  I’m glad everything worked out for you.

Gary:  Yeah me too.  How’s your week looking? 

Me:  It’s pretty hectic, but I’m free Wednesday or Thursday evening.

Gary:  I would love to meet up with you for dinner.  How about Wednesday?

Back in the day I probably would have went off on him for standing me up or I would have been a total bitch made plans for the date and stood him up just to get even.  (Yes, I was once that petty and I am not ashamed).  However, with age comes wisdom.  So I decided to be honest with him.

Me:  You know, last time we made plans I never heard from you.  You never called to let me know you couldn’t make it and you never even bothered to apologize.  As a matter of fact, you still haven’t apologized.  My time is valuable and I expect a man to respect it.  I wouldn’t be honoring who I am if I allowed you to treat me that way and think its okay.

Gary:  I’m really sorry.  I had so much going on and I forgot we had made plans.

Me:  You forgot?  Really?  Come on Gary.  You’re a smart guy.  You can do better than that.

Gary:  You’re right.  That’s not the kind of person I am.  I don’t want you to think that way of me.

Me:  I don’t have any other frame of reference Gary.

Gary:  Please let me make it up to you.  Let’s meet Wednesday at 6 at Laurel Tavern for drinks.

I was suddenly feeling empowered.  It felt good to just be… me.  I wasn’t playing games and I wasn’t worried he was going to run off if I told him about himself.  To be honest I really didn’t care if he did.  I had nothing to lose.  I had also lost a good 8 pounds since the last time I saw him, I cut my hair into a short sassy cut, and I was really in a good place emotionally.

Me:  Okay Gary.  I’m going to give you another chance.  Don’t let me down.

Runyon Canyon

Runyon Canyon… The best place to clear your mind…

Wednesday rolled around.  I decided on a pair of skinny jeans, knee high boots, and a fitted low cut belted sweater.  I got to Laurel Tavern Grill 10 minutes late.  I walked in and looked around and I didn’t see him.  I went to the bathroom to give myself a once over.  By the time I came back out and I saw he still wasn’t there I went into panic mode.  Oh shit… here we go again.  I was certainly not going to wait on his ass.  I pondered walking out.  I didn’t think my ego could handle being stood up by the same guy twice!  My phone buzzed in my bag.  It was a text from “Gary.

Sorry I’m running late.  The traffic is bad.  I’ll be there in 15 minutes.

Phew!    At least he was coming.  I ordered a glass of White Haven Sauvignon Blanc and took a seat.  When “Gary” finally showed up I must admit the initial attraction I first had with him was not as strong.  Don’t get me wrong.  He still looked good.  But often times when a man has pissed me off I can’t stand the site of their ass.  Perhaps this was it.  His smile lit up and he gave me the tightest hug.  When he let go he was still holding my hands.

Gary:  Wow!  You look good.

Me:  Why thank you. 

We were off to a great start.  Since the last time I saw “Gary” he had travelled to China and Barbados to “clear his head.”  Apparently he was a wreck after his divorce, which I could certainly understand.  I had a feeling his divorce was not something he wanted.  Things were going really well.

Gary:  I thought about you a lot over the last few months.

Me:  Really, I can’t tell. 

Gary:  Was I that bad?

I looked at him like he had two heads.  Did he really want to revisit this conversation?

Me:  You stood me up and never called.  That’s pretty bad.

Gary:  I must admit.  I was a little taken aback with our last conversation.  You took things so seriously.

Was this man stupid or just plain retarded?  Perhaps I didn’t hear him correctly.

Me:  What do you mean?

Gary:  It kind of rubbed me the wrong way.

Me:  How?   

Gary:  I was going through a lot at the time.  And I felt you kind of jumped down my throat.  You could have been more understanding of my situation.

I counted backwards from 10 to 1.  The last thing I wanted to do was cuss his ass out.  Besides, I wanted to hear him out.

Me:  Gary, let me say this.  I’m not going to apologize for what I said because that’s how I felt.  But if it came of wrong in how I communicated it, well, I can work on that.

Gary:  Thanks I appreciate that. 

I waited for an apology to come out of his big stupid mouth for being a rude, inconsiderate ass hole.  I really wanted him to at least acknowledge his part in this.  But again, men can’t read minds.

Me:  And?

Gary:  And what?

Me:  Nothing Gary.  Never mind. 

And that’s when it hit me.  This was “Gary.”  He WAS a rude, inconsiderate, ass hole.  My new haircut, weight loss, and clear communication wasn’t going to change that.  It didn’t matter how beautiful I looked, how low cut my sweater was.  This was him.    I thought about how I felt when I didn’t hear from him after our first date, when he stood me up after that and didn’t call.  I also thought about how I felt moments earlier when I walked into the restaurant and he wasn’t there.  I thought about how I panicked thinking he wasn’t going to show up.  I can tolerate a lot of things in relationships.  But what I cannot and will not tolerate is inconsistency and a man who isn’t reliable.  I knew if I continued to date “Gary” this was who he is.  The audacity of him to try to check me for being honest with my feelings!  I wanted to smack myself for giving him a second chance.  We finished our drinks and he walked me to my car and gave me a hug.  I knew I had no intentions of ever going out with him again.

As I drove off from that date.  I had a similar feeling to the one I had that past weekend when I finished my hike on Runyon Canyon.  I suddenly couldn’t stop smiling.  For the very first time in my adult dating life, I was true to me.  I was honest with my feelings and told a guy how I expected to be treated and let him know I wouldn’t settle for anything less because I was worth it.  I wasn’t fearful that he would get turned off.  I knew my worth and I would never allow someone to come into my life that didn’t honor me.  Granted I didn’t get the response I wanted.  But I realized I had officially reached a dating pinnacle.  Being true to who you are and honoring who you are is the biggest dating high you can possibly have.  This was the new me!  And I would never revert to my old ways.  I headed home and turned up my radio and jammed to Cheryl Lynn’s song Got To Be Real.

 
Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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

Who “Nose” Best

Ugly Man

If I’m going to date a man who I’m not attracted to…. He better move mountains!

After my Ghosts of Dates Past (see last post) I was still in dating purgatory.  I was still in “beat my self up mode.”  So I decided to open myself up to dating and not be so quick to turn a “good” guy down.  Enter “Andre.”  We met at a party of a friend of a friend.  What I appreciated about “Andre” is he saw me from across the room and walked to me and bought me a drink.  A man walking across a room was unheard of in LA.  And buying a drink?  Priceless.  “Andre” was 41, single, no kids, 6’1, with a great body.  He was a successful business owner who invested in a chain of fast food restaurants.  However, “Andre” was not good looking AT ALL.  He had the biggest nose I had ever seen.  The damn thing went from one side of his face to the other… literally.   And don’t get me wrong, my nose isn’t exactly petite.  But shit, this man had a HONKER!  We exchanged numbers and 3 days later I found myself sitting across from his nose… I meant him.  At an organic café in Venice called Gratitude Café.  He had a great sense of humor.  And he was easy to talk to.  I really tried to focus on his eyes and the great conversation.  But I found myself continuously focusing on his nose.  I already know I sound like the shallowest bitch you have ever met.  But I couldn’t help but think about my future children.  What if I had a daughter, who was a spinning image of her father?!  I couldn’t do that to my future child.  I wasn’t about to mix my good genes with just any gene pool.  And you already know, if you have an unattractive son, as long as he is smart and has money making potential or is great at sports, he’ll be okay, but an ugly little girl?  She doesn’t have chance.  And as usual I had to have a heart to heart with myself.  I said, “Alright now, you just ran into two former guys you dated that you let get away.  Don’t fuck this up!  Give this brotha a chance!  You can take your daughter to have her first nose job when she turns 16.  Stop tripping.  Besides, this man will adore you.  He’ll give you the world.  It’s always better to have a man that loves you a little bit more.”

black-woman-meditating

And as usual I had to have a heart to heart with myself…

I figured, this man would be so happy to be with me he would pull out all the stops.  It was a win-win situation for me.  Clearly this man was going to give me the world because he knew he had a prize!  With that, I put my shallow inner diva back in her place and decided to give this man a chance.  After our initial date “Andre” called me every day.  He would text me throughout the day to let me know he was thinking about me.  It was refreshing.  He was smitten and the Leo in me enjoyed the attention.  I was beginning to understand the Beauty and the Beast Dating mentality.  When you are a beautiful woman dating a man who isn’t super duper fine those men tend to dote on you and really give you their all.  He asked me out on another date immediately.  And the next week, we were out at a The Lobster at the Santa Monica Pier.  I decided to really get to know this man.  We talked about our childhood and how we grew up.  We also talked about some of our favorite places to travel too.

Andre:  I think my favorite place so far was Aruba.

Me:  I heard Aruba has the most beautiful white sand beaches.

Andre:   The beaches are beautiful.  How about you?

Me:  I think my favorite spot by far was Bora Bora.

Andre:  Bora Bora?  That’s like fantasy Island.  Did you go with your girls there?

I have to admit I was a little taken aback.  I didn’t ask him who he went to Aruba with.  Shit, I already knew it was another woman but I didn’t give a shit.  So I had two choices here, I could either say yeah I went with some miscellaneous dude I was dating and open myself up for more questioning or go ahead and tell this fool I went there for my honeymoon with my ex-husband.  I decided on the latter.

Me: (I took a sip of my Cake Bread Pinot Noir) I actually went there on my honeymoon.

Andre: (obviously uncomfortable) You were married?

Me:  Yes.

Andre:  (taking a long sip of his beer) Are you still married?

Me:  If I was still married I wouldn’t be here with you.

Andre:  Is the divorce final?

Me: Yes.

Andre:  Do you two still talk?

Me: (somewhat getting annoyed by the cross examination) No.  I haven’t spoken to him since the day I left.  And before you ask there is no chance of us getting back together.

Andre: I just had to ask.  I was once in a situation where I fell for a woman and she ended up getting back with her ex-husband.

Me:  There isn’t a chance in hell I would get back with my ex.  (changing the topic) What about you?

Andre:  I’m not married.

Me:  I know that.  But what’s your dating situation?  Do you have a girlfriend?

Andre: No.

ME:  Is there a woman out there who thinks she’s your girlfriend.

This is an important question to ask a man.  Some men date and lead women on to think they are in a serious committed relationship.  So I needed to know the Tea!

Andre:  That is a good question (pauses for a moment).  No.  When I am in a relationship with someone it is clear.

ME:  Interesting.

Andre:  I have to admit me and my ex are on and off. 

Me:  Really?

Andre:  Yeah.  I have a tendency to fall into old habits.  I think we get comfortable and before we know it we are back on again.

Me:  So right now you all are in an off situation?  That’s not good for me.  What if I end up really liking you and then you end up going back to your ex?

Andre:  That’s not going to happen.

ME:  But how do you know?

Andre:  I know.

The date ended and “Andre” walked me to my car.  He gave me a hug and made me promise I would text him as soon as I got home.  Which I did, however, I noticed he didn’t respond right away like he did on the first date.  He texted me the next morning (late morning).  I didn’t really think too much about it because to be honest I really didn’t give a shit.  That next week his phone calls and text messages decreased.  I found it so interesting.  I didn’t even like this man; I wasn’t attracted to him at all.  And my non-attraction was confirmed when pictures surfaced from the party we met at and there was a picture of him… and his nose and it solidified if I was going to date this man he was going to have to move mountains!  He certainly couldn’t be put off that i was married before.  Typically when men find this out they are put at ease because they don’t feel the pressure of having to rush things.  But then I replayed our conversation.  And my mind focused on what he said about him and his ex being on and off again.  I kept that in my mental Rolodex

I noticed his typical sweet text messages he had sent during the week prior didn’t happen. He and I did a round of phone tag the next day but weren’t able to connect.   He sent me a text message the following day.

Andre:  I was at Hal’s last night.  Have a great Monday.

Me:  Thanks.  You too.

And he didn’t call me or text me the next day.  I was completely turned off.  Was this 41 year old man playing the “Get out of dodge for Valentine’s Day” game?  Valentine’s Day was the next day and I was curious what his game was.  He couldn’t seriously be playing the disappearing act so he didn’t have to do anything for Valentine’s Day.  I expected that type of foolishness from young guys but certainly not from an older man who I wasn’t even attracted to.  He gave me a call.  At first I wasn’t going to answer, but I was really in the mood to be amused by what the hell he had to say.

Me: (rolling my eyes)  Hello?

Andre:  Hey, how are you?

Me:  I’m good how are you? 

Andre:  Trying to get a new identity.  Tired of being me.

Me:  Wow!  What’s going on?

Andre:  I’m just mentally tired.  The ex, work, family…

So… That’s his angle.  He was going to try to play the sympathy card.  I could give two shits about his ex.  And I certainly wasn’t going to ask him for more detail.  He obviously got back together with her or whatever.  I really didn’t care!  How transparent can a man be?!

Me:  I’m sorry to hear that.  Hang in there.  Things will get better.

Andre:  I’m trying.  Thanks… Well I just wanted to touch base with you.

For a mere second I thought he was going to actually make plans to take me out for Valentine’s Day.  Just for a nano second….

Andre:  Well.  Have a good night.  I’ll talk to you later.

Me:  You too Andre.  Good luck with everything.    

Valentine's Day to Me

I decided I was going to spend my Valentine’s Day with the most amazing person on the planet. I was going to cook a great meal, buy an expensive bottle of wine, and allow myself to take care of my Valentine…

I hung the phone up and I just started cracking up.  And suddenly I rose above my mini dating depression and I was released from purgatory.  Here I was trying to make something out of nothing with a man I wasn’t attracted to just to prove I wasn’t a person who jumped the gun too quick.  You can’t keep me down for too long!  Here I was questioning all of my past dating decisions and wishing I could rewind the hands of time to relive my dating past.  Then I realized, I know what is best for me.  I will no longer allow myself to second guess if I am being shallow by not giving a man who I am not attracted to a chance.  Here was a guy who was UGLY!  But I was giving him a chance and he wasn’t acting right.  Shit!  I’ll be damned if the ugly man doesn’t adore me and treat me like a princess.  From that moment forward, I made a clear decision that if I am not attracted to a man, I WOULD NOT give him the time of day.  I wouldn’t let my married friends try to make me feel like I was being shallow.  I wouldn’t allow myself to second guess my decision.  Because when you give a man a chance who you don’t even like in the first damn place and he fucks up, you’re left wondering, why in the hell did I waste my time.  When Pinocchio decides he’s not going to treat me like a queen and I gave him the time of the day guess who I am pissed off with?  ME!  I know what’s best for me.  Sometimes, Valentine’s Day rolls around and we start to question our dating and if we really know what is best for us.  Or if our past dating decisions were wise ones.  At the end of the day, we know what we need, desire, and want.  And we must never allow ourselves to second guess that.  Women have intuition for a reason.  Now, if you meet a man who you’re not attracted to but he does what it takes to win you over, well that a different story.  But if he is playing games and not sure about what he wants… keep it moving.  Hell, that applies for the fine men too!  I decided I was going to spend my Valentine’s Day with the most amazing person on the planet.  I was going to cook a great meal, buy an expensive bottle of wine, and allow myself to take care of my Valentine… ME!  Why settle for less when you have everything within you?  You know what’s best for you and if you haven’t found it yet, don’t force it just so you can say you had a Valentine.  Be true to you!  You know what’s best.  Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!

Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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

Case of the Dating Vapors

Stood Up

Is this thing working?????

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

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

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

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

Me: Ditto. Thanks for a great night.

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

Me: Hello

Gary: Hello beautiful. What are you up to?

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

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

Me: That will work.

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

Me: Sounds like a plan.

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

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

The Help

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

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

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

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

Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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

The Bush Bitch

The Bush Bitch

Don’t allow yourself to become The Bush Bitch!

Its #TBT (Throwback Thursday) and I am going to take a walk down memory lane to when I was 26 years old.  I met “Michael” an entertainment attorney through a mutual friend at a dinner party.  He had charisma and swag.  He was just a year older than me.  He oozed sexiness.  He could dress his ass off, drove a Range Rover (which at that age was important to me) SMDH!  (Growth)  We talked non-stop from the time we met until the end of the party.  We exchanged numbers and he called that same night.  After a 2 hour phone conversation we made plans to meet at Cut in The Beverly Wilshire Hotel.  I like casual dates where you can wear jeans and let your hair down.  However, perhaps it’s the Leo in me, but getting dressed up for a date is so much more exciting.  I wore a cute little black dress, a bright pink pashmina scarf, a pair of killer heels that should only be worn if you’re sitting down all night (or laying down) :-).  When I walked into the restaurant my usual 10 minutes late and saw him I had to concentrate on keeping my legs straight because they were literally turning into jello.  “Michael” wasn’t what I would call fine, but he had a presence that demanded attention.  He was tall, chocolate, with deep set seductive eyes, and lips that begged to be kissed.  He had on a nice pair of slacks that fitted him so well.  A lavender button down shirt that only accentuated his chocolate skin and you could tell through the shirt his body was sculpted to perfection. He had the nerve to be wearing beautiful cuff links with M engraved in them.  I took a deep breath gave him a hug and inhaled his cologne.  Remember that moment in Waiting to Exhale when Whitney Houston puts her arms around the guy on the dance floor and exhales.  That’s exactly what it felt like.  I was exhaling.  Just like when we first met and our first 2 hour phone conversation, the conversation was endless.  He was smart, driven, well traveled  all the qualities I like in a man even back then.  Throughout our date I could hear his phone vibrating.  Not just every once in a while but constantly.  When we were having our dessert he finally picked up the phone, looked at it, and shook his head.

Me:  Do you need to get that?

Michael:  No.  I am so sorry.  That’s just my, ex.  She hasn’t gotten over the fact that it’s over.  She’s crazy.

There are two things wrong with the statement he made.

  1.  “That’s just my ex.  She hasn’t gotten over the fact that it’s over.”– Typically a woman does not get over the fact that a relationship is over if you the man is still sleeping with her.  Also, when a woman feels that comfortable blowing up a man’s phone, than clearly you aren’t being that damn direct about what you want in the relationship.
  2. “She’s crazy”- When a man says this, it should be your cue as a woman to run as fast as you can.  Sprint and get as far away from that guy as possible.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am fully aware there are some crazy bitches out there.  I get that.  However, 8 times out of 10 a woman is made crazy by a man that is a) lying to her or b) treating her like shit c) cheating on her.  And some men are so quick to say a woman’s crazy without acknowledging how their actions could have played a role in her craziness.

Now keep in mind this is not the 35 year old woman I am today that is fully aware of these facts.  This is the 26 year girl I was back then.  Instead of getting up and getting the hell out of there I was mesmerized by his good looks and charm.  Instead my dumb ass responded.

Me:  Well maybe you should pick up the phone and call her back.  She’s probably going to keep calling.  I’m going to go to the ladies room. 

I got up and went to the ladies room, to refresh my lip gloss.  When I returned he was in a heated conversation on the phone and when he saw me he hung up.  At the end of the date, he walked me to the valet and paid for my car, gave me a hug and a respectable kiss.  The next day I woke up to a dozen roses being delivered to my home.  This was just what novels were made of.  It’s amazing how you can ignore signs that someone is a fool because you are blinded by what you want the relationship to be.  2 days later he took me to Luna Park in Miracle Mile.  He clearly had his phone on silent.  He apologized for the phone issue we had during our first date and reiterated that his ex-girlfriend was crazy.  I didn’t ask for details.  I just took his word for it and tried to brush over the subject.

For our 3rd date he invited me to his house for dinner.  If a man did that now, I would politely decline and suggest a neutral public location for us to meet.  But at that time, I wanted to be accommodating.  I didn’t want to “risk” missing out on this “good thing.”  LOL!  I still laugh at myself… lovingly.  Seriously, the things you do when you are not secure with who you are.  He invited me over on Tuesday for a Saturday evening date.  Although I was a simple minded 26 year old.  I had enough sense to grow the hair out on my legs to ensure I wouldn’t do anything stupid and take things too far.  I knew I had no intentions of sleeping with him just yet because at the end of the day, I saw him as “husband material.”  And this was pre-Steve Harvey Think Like A Man advice.  I am not one of these women that take dating advice from Steve freaking Harvey.  I mean seriously.  We don’t need Steve Harvey to tell us that sleeping with a man too soon will lead to you becoming just a jump off/booty call.  Anyway I digressed…

Saturday evening came.  The hair on my legs had grown out to a nice embarrassing length so I knew sex WAS NOT going down.  I put on my over-sized cotton grandma draws that were reserved for my monthly visitor.  And I high tailed my ass over to “Michael’s” condo where he prepared a 3 course meal, followed by an amazing chocolate dessert. It was a great evening.  When it was time for me to leave he walked me out to my car.  He had been a gentleman all night and didn’t try to sleep with me.  When we got outside of the building, we stood under the moonlight, and Michael looked me in the eyes.  He gently touched my face and held it in between his two hands.  I knew our first real kiss was coming.  He kissed me on the forward head.  And then he bent down and gave me a passionate kiss.  His lips were so soft.  He was one of those guys who constantly put on Carmex.  You all know back in the day (and even some guys still do it) guys would constantly put on some Carmex to make their lips soft.  And it worked!  Suddenly time stood still.  I felt like I was in one of those Spike Lee movies where the cameras have the sweeping and panning dolly shot which create a surreal take on the events happening on screen.  (If you’re not familiar take a look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cu9-UymSApM&playnext=1&list=PL0sk0d5kIO9GOP8BI2ubIZ7s7uD7I0Vqp&feature=results_main).

Time was standing still.  I was in the moment.  Until I heard a wrestling in the bushes.  I figured it was a squirrel.  Until a woman screamed, “Who the fuck is this bitch!”  We quickly broke our embrace I turned around to a girl who was wearing a Juicy Couture sweat suit, sneakers, her long hair which looked like it hadn’t been brushed for days.  It was matted and greasy.   She ran towards us.  He wild hair was blowing in the wind.  As she got closer I could tell her mascara was smeared and tears were streaming down her face.  She looked like a wild beast.  The Jersey girl in me immediately went into survival mode.  I wasn’t sure if this crazy bitch had a gun or a knife or what.  So I didn’t make any quick moves.  Once she got to “Michael” she started beating his ass!  She was fighting him like it was a Pacquiao fight.  I gave “Michael” his props for not lifting his hands up to fight her back.  She was yelling:

Crying Young Woman with Running Mascara

How could you do this to me again!  You promised things would be different this time.  How could you.  I’m tired of this shit.  I’m going to kill your black ass!  You muthafucka!  

I had already ran and got into my car.  I wasn’t about to stay there long enough to see if she was planning on a round 2 with my ass.  I might know how to talk shit, but I wasn’t prepared to fight the heavy weight champion!  As I drove off he finally had tamed the wild beast and was hugging her as she cried uncontrollably in his arms.  He rubbed her hair and kissed her on her forward.  Similar to how he had just kissed my forehead only minutes ago!  Once I was a good distance away.  I realized there was a piece of notebook paper stuck to the wind shield of my car.  I pulled over and grabbed the note.  It was written in psycho handwriting.

I don’t know who you are.  But I thought I should let you know “Michael” is a piece of shit.  He is a low down dirty dog and has given me gonorrhea.  If you fucked him tonight you should get yourself checked.  Stay away from my man bitch!   

I went home and of course “Michael” attempted to call me which I ignored.  I had no intentions of hearing what he had to say.  The next morning I went to my car to run errands, I noticed there was a long scratch on my car.  The scratch went from my trunk all the way to my front headlights.  On the other side of my Montero Sport were the letters B-I-T-C-H.  The Bush Bitch keyed my damn car!  Luckily I had excellent insurance and didn’t even bother suing her ass.  If I knew then what I know now…  Luckily I have learned from that experience.  As women we should never allow ourselves to become a Bush Bitch.  If you don’t see a man for who he really and truly is you could become that “crazy” woman jumping out of a bush.  I must say, looking back now, I owe the Bush Bitch and “Michael” a thank you card.  For some women they learn the lesson quicker.  For me it took me numerous bad experiences and a divorce to realize, fear can lead you to become the Bush Bitch (literally and figuratively).  Fear of being alone, fear of thinking you can’t get better, fear of speaking your mind, and fear of having high standards and expectations.  What a great lesson learned…

Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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

WTF? Perplexed and Confused…

black-woman-confused1

WTF????

It is rare that I am left speechless.  I have been dating since I was 14 years old and I have had my share of good and bad dates.  I have also had my share of moments when a man says or does something that is completely inappropriate and out of line.  But I have never experienced being at a total loss of words where I am left dazed and confused.  Last night was my first time having a dating moment where I simply scratched my head and said, “What the fuck?”  I ended up hanging out with a guy who I went out with a few months back.  He and I both have extensive travel schedules.  He is out of the country half of the time and I am in NYC the other half.  This guy is what I would call dreamy.  I know it sounds corny but when he looks me in my eyes I feel like he is piercing straight into my soul.  He has extreme sex appeal.  Between his deep voice, piercing eyes, full soft lips, 6’3 height, and nice build I literally become a giggling school girl when I am around him.  The first time we went out we met up at Whisper’s Lounge at The Grove.  And we connected.  He’s from the east coast.  You know I have my theory about East Coast transplants.  I am drawn to them because they typically have way more swag, maturity, and class than these west coast men.  During our first date the conversation was endless.  When he told me he wanted to get married and have children before he was 40, I must admit, I instantly went into day-dream mode picturing our wedding and how beautiful our kids would look.  I hadn’t allowed myself to day-dream like that since my divorce.  It was refreshing but at the same time it was scary.  Of course, because Murphy’s Law is just not on my side, he headed off to Europe for 3 weeks for work.  However, I expected to get a phone call from him when he returned asking me out on a second date… And that didn’t happen.  I wanted to file him into the Asshole category.  But I didn’t right away.  Because I admit it, I’m a sucker for a fine ass man!  And before you ask… no I didn’t call him either.  Because I’m not a sucker!   However, I ran into him a few months later at various parties, we did the typical Hello and hug and kept it moving.  When he didn’t call me back after the run ins it became clear he wasn’t feeling me.  And the for sure sign was when I ran into him at an event and he happened to be out on a date with your typical LA video girl.  You know, the girl with a bad weave hanging down her back, cheap clothing, wannabe designer purse, red bottoms, and an ass that a man could put a soda bottle (not can) on.  Which made me laugh because that is the antithesis of me.  No I’m not Au Natural like India Arie.  But a video girl I am not!  I thought, okay, I guess he’s just not that into me.  As fate would have it, I ran into him at a party the other night.  We did a little bit of flirting and you know I have a smart ass mouth and commented on his taste in women, which he laughed at.  When the event ended he asked me out to grab a drink at the Besos in Hollywood (Eva Longoria’s former restaurant).  Of course I said yes.  Not only was he looking even better than I had remembered but he had the nerve to be wearing a tailored custom suit.  And he wore it well.  Good Lawd, I think God took more time in creating him!  And I must say, we looked good together, damn good.  My dad always told me when two tall attractive people walk into a room you make a statement and draw attention to you.  My dad is 6’5 so he would know.  We got to Besos, as soon as we walk in a former contestant on America’s Next Top Model runs up to him and hugs him in her drunken giddiness.  She was polite and introduced herself to me.  I smiled.  After all, he’s not my man.  And even if he was, the dumbest thing a woman can do is let on to another woman that she is insecure.  Then we walked to the bar and another actress walked up to him and gave him a hug.  I’m not sure if it is the Leo in me, but I have always liked being out with a man who other women fawn over.  Perhaps it’s the feeling of justification that I’m the one out with him and you’re the one fawning.  However ,when a man knows almost every woman in a room and well might I add, you start to wonder if perhaps he’s a player.  At the same time, when a man reaches a certain point in life he puts his player cards on the shelf and becomes a man ready for the right woman (we should hope).  So I could not get mad if other women know him from his player days and come up to him as long as he’s not disrespecting me.  We had a few drinks, and of course, being out with him is like being out with someone I have known for years.  I can be myself and he can be himself.  It’s a win-win situation.  On our way back to our cars the conversation went something like this.

McDreamy:  I really like you.  I have so much fun with you.  I liked you from our first date but I know you could tell I was holding back.  And I’m sure you wondered why I didn’t call you back.

Me:  Yeah.  You’re right.  I could tell you were definitely holding back.  But after seeing you with the video girl I just assumed that was your stillo… (we both laugh)

McDreamy:  No that’s not my type. I wouldn’t settle down with a woman like that.  You know, I travel a lot and I have a very active lifestyle.

Me:  Uh-huh.. So do I.  I think that’s the great thing about dating someone who travels a lot too.

McDreamy: I’m not one that can just be with one woman.  A lot of the women I have dated in the past have been….. bi-sexual…

Me:  (I blink twice as I try to figure out if I have had too many drinks or if I heard him correctly)  Um… okay.  Interesting.  Well, obviously I’m not and don’t plan on becoming one…. No judgment.

McDreamy:  I know.  I just think that I am a very sexual person and I’m not conventional when it comes to sex.  I like the swinger lifestyle.    

Me:  Uh… The swinger lifestyle?????

McDreamy:  I know I have had a lot of drinks and I don’t know why I am telling you this.  I guess I just feel really comfortable with you and I really like you.  You’re the type of woman I could see myself with and I am conflicted because I have this other side to me.

Me:  I really respect the fact that you are so honest and upfront with me.  But let me be very clear.  I am not interested in being with someone who cannot be with just one woman.  And I am not by any means bi-sexual or plan on experimenting with becoming bi-sexual.  In terms of sex, it can be great when you’re with the right person.  I’m not a nun, but I draw the line at some things.  So I hope I am very clear to you in terms of my expectations and what I am looking for. 

McDreamy:  I understand and I just don’t know if I’m ready.  I like you and I’m attracted to you, but I just feel like you should know that about me.

Me:  Thanks for being honest. 

McDreamy:  I am confused because I really like you and I have liked you since the first time we went out but I am worried that my lifestyle would ruin things and I don’t want to mess that up.

Me:  Then we should keep things as is.  See you around.

Man and Two Women in Bed Together

I got in my car drove off and I was left wondering, what in the hell just happened?  What in the hell was he telling me, that he is used to dating some freak?  More importantly if he’s into the swinger lifestyle is it crazy for me to assume he’s also bi-sexual?  Can a man who is used to dating women who do all kinds of unconventional sexual shit (no judgment) settle down with a regular woman?  I ain’t a prude in the bedroom either.  But certain things are a non negotiable. When a man tells you who is you have to believe him.  This got me to thinking   And I hate to sound like I am 15 years old.  How many other men are into extremely kinky sex and just not honest enough to be upfront about it.  This man could have pulled my chain and had me dating him for a few months, fall in love, and then tell me.  I honestly respected him being as upfront as he was.  But at the same time, I am disappointed that McDreamy ended up being a McFreaky! Damn, another one bites the dust.    Hmmm…

 

 

Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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