When I walked into The Village restaurant in Studio City I realized I was a few minutes early. So of course you know I ordered a glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. I knew in my spirit that “Larry” just wasn’t right for me. But I wanted to be fair before I rushed into judgment. Earlier that week I was speaking to a mentor and a colleague of mine at a networking event. We got on the topic of dating.
Mentor: I think you’re too picky.
Me: Why do you say that?
Mentor: You only want to date black men, with college degrees, and who make just as much or more money than you. That drops you down to 5%. Then you want a man who is tall, that drops you down to 1%.
I found it interesting that he would have the audacity to say this to me given he was a tall, African American man, who was married to a homely white woman from Iowa. I wanted to grab his ear and twist it and scream, “You are 80% of the problem!” But I didn’t. Then my colleague chimed in.
Colleague: You have to realize most men do not make as much money as you. My husband does not have a college degree and he does not make as much money as I do. But he loves me and is a great father to my kids.
I found her statement interesting because her husband was tall and fine. So it felt like an even exchange.
Me: You all don’t give me enough credit. I’m not that picky.
I sat at The Village waiting for “Larry” and replaying this conversation in my mind. I started to second guess myself and the expectations I had about who my future mate should be. Maybe I was too picky. Then my inner loving diva chimed in. “Stop beating up on yourself. You’re giving this guy a chance. You do not have to settle to be happy. When it’s right you’ll know it.” Then I also thought about my girlfriend telling me to stay open. It funny how many thoughts run through my mind when I am forced to sit still in silence. “Larry” finally walked into the restaurant. He was a handsome man. Once again he was wearing a great suit. You know I can appreciate a man in a nice suit.
Larry: Sorry I was running late. It’s a crazy time of year for us at the office.
Me: No worries. I just got here myself. How’s everything going?
Larry: All is well. Business is just so slow these days. And you know I’m commission only so I need to get on my grind or else I won’t make any money.
For the love of God why did he have to bring that up again?! It’s only our second date, I don’t need to know about how business is slow and you only work on commission. That is a turn off. The waitress came to our table to ask us what to order. And I swear, I was looking at the price of each entrée because I was worried he couldn’t afford it since he was already bitching about how slow business was. Have you ever been out on a date where you are worried about ordering another glass of wine because you think the guy can’t pay?! Well if you haven’t you’re a lucky woman. Because here I was out on a date with a man who was almost 50 years old but I wasn’t sure if he could afford an entrée that was over $30 damn dollars! I mean really. Why was I here? That’s right… I was trying to be “open” and stop being so damn “picky.” I was trying to give the “1%” a chance. Side eye!
“Larry” and I continued our conversation. I settled on ordering a few appetizers off the happy hour menu. And he really was a nice guy. He was charming and funny. I thought to myself, “See, that’s what you get for always being a dismissive bitch at times. You could be missing out on a relationship of a lifetime!” “Larry” and I started talking about home decorating.
Larry: I still have some more things I need to do at my place.
Me: How long have you lived there?
Larry: I just moved there a few months ago.
ME: It’s always nice moving into a new spot and being able to fix it up from scratch. Where did you live before?
Larry: I was in San Pedro.
Me: Are you getting all new furniture or just updating the furniture you already have? I know a lot of great spots where they will customize pieces.
Larry: My roommate had most of the furniture before so I am starting from scratch.
Record screech to a loud halt. Did this grown ass 49 year old man just say “roommate?” No… that’s impossible. Maybe I didn’t hear him correctly.
Me: Your roommate?
Larry: I’ve always had roommates. This is my first spot on my own.
Me: When you say roommates, do you mean ex-girlfriends?
I said a silent prayer hoping this was the case. I could understand if he lived with girlfriends. That’s much more acceptable than roommates.
Larry: No. They were roommates.
Not only did he confirm it, but he said it like it was perfectly normal. That’s when I realized, I didn’t give a flying fuck about people thinking I was too picky, or if people thought I wasn’t being open. There was no way in hell I was about to date a man who is almost a half a century old who doesn’t have his shit together. I am willing to work with a man who is trying to build a dream… but at a certain age that dream needs to be fulfilled! I am even willing to work with a man who has been married before and is paying alimony and child support so therefore his money is going toward his former family. But what I “ain’t” gon’ do is date an old ass broke man! That’s just a deal breaker for me. I started to have a mild panic attack. Suddenly the sight of him was a turn off. I had to figure out a way to get the fuck out of there. I knew I wasn’t going to go out with him EVER again. But at the same time he hadn’t done anything drastically fucked up. I politely excused myself to the bathroom. I discreetly found the waitress. I gave her my credit card and paid for the meal. Maybe I was being a little dramatic, but I was over men acting like we women use them for free meals. So I decided to take the hit on this. At least, he can’t say I was trying to use him. I got back to the table and when he asked the waitress for the check I chimed in.
Me: Larry, this is on me.
Larry: Why did you do that?
Me: Because you were going on and on about how business is slow for you and I wasn’t comfortable with you paying for the meal.
Larry: I am a gentleman, I would never expect for a woman to pay for the meal.
Me: I understand that. And yes you are a nice guy. But I wasn’t comfortable with you paying for the meal. It’s been a long night and I’m exhausted.
I faked a yawn and we got up to leave. He walked me to my car and had the audacity to attempt to give me a kiss. I turned my head and did the 3 pat hug and got in my car. Perhaps I was being a little dramatic. Actually, I can admit I was being dramatic. But I was sooooooo turned off. I knew something was off. At this point in my life I am not interested in dating a man who doesn’t have his shit together at that age. I could see if I wasn’t bringing anything to the table. But, I just knew it wasn’t going to work. Not to mention, if a man hits a certain age and has never been married, engaged, or in a serious relationship, something is definitely wrong. And I wasn’t willing to waste my pretty to find out with “Larry.”
“Larry” called me the next day.
Larry: I’ve been thinking about our date the other night. And feel unsettled. I would never take a woman out and expect her to pay.
Me: I wasn’t comfortable with you paying for the meal when you kept stressing out about how slow business was.
Larry: Well I think you misunderstood me.
Me: Maybe I did. I think you’re a cool guy but I just don’t think you and I are a good fit.
Larry: Can you please let me make it up to you?
Me: Larry, it’s all good.
We talked a little longer and I realized that although “Larry” and I were not a love connection we could at least be friends. Not every man I date is an utter asshole. There are some men who just aren’t a good fit. It doesn’t mean that we will never speak again and be sworn enemies. But I am open to letting men in my life as friends too. But I know me, and I know when something doesn’t feel right in my gut then it’s not right. Perhaps that makes me picky, perhaps that means that my “1%” chance of meeting the right man is now lowered to .5%. But at least I know when I follow my heart and let me inner loving diva guide me through this dating scene I will have 100% certainty when something is right and I will not settle for less than what I need and desire.
I admit it… I’ve been slacking on my posts. So much has been going on. In the last 2 weeks I lost 2 of my great aunts. Both of them lived long fulfilling lives but most of all they lived life on their own terms. And with the recent death of Paul Walker it has me thinking a lot about life and making sure we live it to the fullest and on our own terms. Lately I have been making it a point to enjoy life and every single moment we have here on earth. This isn’t a dress rehearsal this is the real thing. My biggest fear is waking up at the age of 60 and realizing I have let life pass me by. I will NOT let that happen. Okay I already digressed…
This is the time of year where there are birthday parties, holiday parties, and just the overall theme of getting together with friends. Because I have FOMO (fear of missing out) I usually attend everything regardless of how my body feels. Most people cannot go at the pace I go. But like I said, this isn’t a dress rehearsal this is the real thing. Not to mention, whenever people ask me how I meet the various guys I go out with, you’ll never hear me say, “He magically appeared at my house.” Why? Because you have to get out there and meet folks. The other weekend was one of those crazy weekends. One of my girlfriends was celebrating her birthday and the crew went out to Kiss N Grind. I know the name sounds real suspect. But Kiss N Grind is a party in LA that is usually once every 2 months where you go to dance and sweat. It’s not the typical Hollywood party where people are standing around trying to be cute. You put on your comfortable dance shoes and you just dance your cares away. In addition to the numerous glasses of Champagne I consumed that night and all the dancing. I partied like I was 21 again and the next morning I woke up with a massive hangover, swollen feet, and my mascara smeared all over my face. Funny thing is no matter how drunk I am I always manage to wrap my hair in my scarf. And another side note: what is it about champagne that makes me get so damn drunk and hung-over? I spent that day recuperating from the hangover. This encompassed starting the day off with a greasy turkey burger and fat fries from Fatburger and going to get my nails done and drinking what seemed to be gallons of water all day. I hadn’t been this hung-over in a long time. Lesson learned… I am no longer 21 I am a woman in my mid 30’s!
I finally felt like I was 85% to normalcy and head out to another girlfriend’s surprise party that evening. It was at a cool spot and very low key. While on the dance floor my friend’s husband grabbed a guy from the side and pulled him on the dance floor to dance with me. It was a pleasant surprise. He was tall, handsome, and he seemed real cool. We danced all night and talked. “Larry” walked me out to my car and even called me later on that evening. We talked on the phone until 1 in the morning. When I woke up the next morning I was greeted by a nice text message from “Larry.”
It was great meeting you. I look forward to hanging out with you again soon.
“Larry” was off to a nice start. When he called me later on that evening we made plans to go to Perch in Downtown LA the next evening. I loved that spot. It had great views of Downtown LA. He showed up looking good. We ordered a nice Bordeaux and proceeded to get to know each other. “Larry” was raised in…. Carson, CA. What the fuck?! Why did I keep meeting men from Carson? I tried not to pre-judge him based on my ex, and the last 3 guys I went out with from Carson. I really was practicing being open to endless possibilities. My inner loving devastated coaching me, Okay Monique, there must be a reason why you keep meeting men who are from Carson. God is trying to teach you something. BE open and for the love of God don’t roll your eyes!
As we continued to converse I discovered “Larry” sold car insurance and he was 49 years old! Oh boy! I was batting a thousand. I like dating older men but “Larry” was turning 50 in 3 months! And “Larry” had never been married, engaged, or in a long term relationship, and had no kids. When a man is 43+ and fits this criteria he already get side eye but when a man is almost half a century old and fits this criteria I’m looking at him like, “What the fuck is your deal?” As we sat there getting to know each other his phone started to vibrate.
Larry: I’m sorry this is my landlord. Let me get this real quick.
Did this motherfucker say landlord?! Was I really out with a man who was almost 50, never been married, and had no kids who didn’t own his own place. Now before you start judging me let me just say this. I get that LA is expensive. I’m not expecting a single man to live in a mansion. Also, when a man has been married and divorced with kids and is paying child support and alimony I can completely understand him having financial issues. But this man was almost 50 damn years old. What the hell was he doing? But again, I realized I was jumping ahead and quite frankly I Was being a judgmental bitch. Hell, I didn’t own my condo. This man was really nice and I had to tell myself to have several seats. We ended up having another glass of wine on the rooftop checking out the view and then “Larry” looked me in my eyes with the utmost sincerity.
Larry: I’m worried I am not going to live up to your expectations.
ME: What do you mean?
Larry: You seem like the type that’s used to dating big time corporate executives, doctors, lawyers, or athletes. I’m just worried I’m not going to measure up.
Me: I have in the past. But you’re college educated man. You’re no slouch.
Larry: I know. I just want to make sure I can be on the level you’re used to.
That was honest. Had I been so jaded and put myself in such a box when it came to dating that perhaps I was being too regimented? I decided right then and there that I would really be open and give this brotha a chance. So far he had been cool and very attentive. I wasn’t going to downplay the red flags but I wasn’t going to put on my running shoes yet and scratch him off the list.
“Larry” walked me to my car. He gave me a respectable kiss and he made plans to take me out again two nights later….
To Be Continued…
The holidays can be a little trying for us single girls. From the Kay Jeweler “Every Kiss Begins with K” commercials with the staged engagement scenes, to the Lexus commercials where the husband surprises his wife with a brand new Lexus in the driveway with a huge red bow, it can make you sit on the couch with your glass of wine and feel lonely as hell… If you allow it to. After being in a marriage where I experienced what it meant to spend the holiday season married but lonelier than ever, I embrace being alone but NOT lonely. But at the same time I would be lying to you if I told you that every once in a while when I watch those commercials I don’t think to myself, “Awww… that would be nice.” (Not an engagement ring from Kay Jewelers either… just to be clear) As soon as the commercials started to play, I prepared myself for the Holiday Season. And my inner loving Diva gave me a pre-Holiday pep talk, “This year, you are going to embrace your singledom for the Holidays. You are going to live life to the fullest and enjoy every moment. You will not be sucked into that Woe is me bullshit!” And with that I came up with a fun way to spend the Holidays and make it a little unpredictable. One of my mother’s close friends was a famous bestselling author. She had such a fun personality and it was always enjoyable to be around her and her family. She and her husband met later on in life and they had a mutual respect and adoration they shared for each other. He was supportive of her successful career and encouraged her. And in turn she loved and respected that man as well. She passed away a few years ago and the love that he had shared with her is something that really honored the vow, “Till death do we part…” My mother was in town last month for some quality mother-daughter time and her friend’s husband met up with us. He is one of my “adopted” uncles. You know, one of those men who look out for you like you are their own daughter. We were laughing and reminiscing about his wife. And I asked him the story of how they met.
She was about your age at the time. She was still living back east and was planning a trip out to LA to visit some friends. And you know she had a lot of spunk. She told each of her girlfriends that she wanted them to fix her up on a different blind date each day she was in LA. I was Wednesday. We just connected when we met. It felt right. At the end of the date I told her “I know what you’re up to and you can tell Thursday and Friday you already have plans.” And as they say, “The rest is history.” We were inseparable until her dying day.
I looked at my “adoptive” uncle’s eyes. There was such a genuine love as he told the story. You could tell he missed his soul mate but you could also feel and hear the cherished moments that they shared between the two of them.
And to think she was about my age at the time of their first date. At the end of the day, she took a chance, humbled herself (in a fun way) and was bold enough to tell her girlfriends to make things happen! And look how that turned out. So in her memory I went home that evening and I sent 6 of my married and/or in serious relationship girlfriends the November Blind Date Challenge as an inbox message on Facebook. I thought what the hell! I don’t have shit to lose.
Hello Ladies! I hope all is well. This is NOT a random chain email. In honor of my mother’s close friend I am doing a November/December challenge. She and her husband met on a blind date. She was coming to LA on vacation and she told each of her friends to set her up on a date for each night she was here. She met her husband on Wednesday. When she met him he told her to cancel Thursday-Sunday dates. And they were married until she passed away a few years ago. That being said I wanted to reach out to my friends who are already married or in a serious relationship and give you all the challenge of setting me up on blind dates for the next month. I trust all of your judgments and I know you all know me we’ll enough to pick great men. As you all know I am a dating blogger. Although I change names, occupations, and locations if you prefer I not write about any of the guys you set me up with let me know and I will respect that request. Let’s see who wins this challenge out of the crew! If you have any questions you know how to reach me!
And I was surprised by the excitement from my girlfriends and their mates. I love having a competitive, loving group of friends. Each of them are determined to win the challenge. I made sure not to give them explicit instructions on what I wanted and the type of men they should pick. Instead I am trusting the process and looking forward to what happens. This will also make the Holiday season a little less predictable. We’ll see what happens. As we kick off this Holiday season my challenge to you is to be open. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have focus on what you have and where you are going. Do something unpredictable. Humble yourself to the possibilities. Drink lots of wine, eat without worrying about calories, go to the gym to burn off those unknown calories, smile at strangers, and live each day like you are a reality star on the show called YOUR LIFE.
I was around 10 years old when I first saw Dorothy Dandridge as Carmen Jones. Up to that point I was fascinated by Lena Horne’s beauty, Bette Davis’ diva attitude, and Marilyn Monroe’s sex appeal. I have always been drawn to the glamorous divas of the 1950’s… go figure! But when I first saw Carmen Jones, I was mesmerized by how she encompassed all three of the traits. She had presence. She was unapologetic; she went after what she wanted, and did it all looking like a million bucks! She was my inspiration. And to this day whenever this movie is on I stop everything I am doing, sit down and watch it with the same fascination I had as a 10 year old little girl. Dorothy Dandridge would have been 91 last week. In honor of her birthday I wanted to pay a tribute to her and the character that changed my life. Carmen Jones the original serial dater. Here’s what Carmen Jones taught me:
Be the life of the party!
Go after what you want.
It’s okay to cater to your man and take care of him.
Never be with a man who tries to keep you in a box
There’s nothing wrong with excitement when you are dating
When dating your philosophy should be: May the best man win! Too many times we are trying to win over the man instead of it being the other way around.
Don’t settle for less than what you want.
Having good girlfriends in the process of dating who have your back and love you unconditionally is priceless.
Always, always, always wear you lipstick, do your hair, keep your nails done, and be on your A game. You never know when you will bump into Mr. Right. NOT to mention the better you look the better you feel for yourself.
Don’t be afraid to keep it moving when you aren’t getting what you want out of the relationship
KNOW YOUR WORTH!
Don’t be the silly naive girl in the relationship. Always keep your power.
Passion is a MUST!
Every diva wants a man who gives her a little bit of a challenge. “You go for me and I’m taboo, but if you’re hard to get I go for you, and when I do then you are through boy. My baby that’s the end of you!”
Let the man take care of you!
Be with a man who loves you a little more than you love him.
Be unapologetic for who you are and what you want in life.
©Monique Kelley and Confessions of A Serial Dater In LA, 2013-2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Monique Kelley and Confessions of A Serial Dater In LA with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Copying my posts and changing some of the words is still plagiarism.