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.
Disclaimer: If you are a man who is born and raised in Carson, CA or anywhere close to that area. Please do NOT read this post. You will be offended…
It was nice to have a little break and have a little bit of consistency with one person. But then again, a part of me missed the excitement and the newness of meeting someone new. I am keenly aware this is only because the last person really wasn’t the right person. I must believe that when it’s right it’s right. If I’ve said it once I have said it time and time again. I get so tired of TV shows, movies, books, etc. making it seem like it is so hard for a black woman to meet a man and go on a damn date. That is absolute bullshit. And some Simpletons are actually buying into that foolishness. STOP! Going on dates is the easy part. Meeting your soul mate, well that’s a different story. If you’re willing to be patient and have faith along the journey you will meet the right man. All in due time. Anyway, I am already digressing.
I was set up on a set up last weekend. My close girlfriend and her fiance were having a fight party at their house. When I arrived at their home and they let me through the gates I noticed a beautiful Range Rover sitting in their drive way. When my friend and her husband both came out to greet me I was excited for my friend. I assumed in addition to the massive diamond engagement ring her fiance got her, and the beautiful new home that reminded me of a resort they just moved into he had also bought her a brand new shiny white range rover with cream navy trimmed seats and wood paneling.
Me: Bitch!!! I see you got a new car!
Girlfriend: No that’s not mine, it’s your man’s.
Me: My what?
Girlfriend’s Fiance: I have someone I want you to meet inside.
Me: Oh boy! He better not be a fool.
Girlfriend’s Fiance: Now let me be clear. I just met him recently. But he seems like a cool guy. Let’s see what happens.
Girlfriend: Exactly. No pressure.
That’s all part of being single, the match making attempts by your well meaning friends. And I didn’t mind. It’s always nice for a man to come with references. I remember them mentioning him a few weeks ago. “Jerold” was a 46 year old, divorced sports agent. He was married for 15 years and had two kids. According to my girlfriend’s fiance he was looking to get married again and he was definitely interested in having more kids. After the last guy I dated I realized if I was going to date a man in his 40’s who had children of a certain age. I needed to know upfront if he was open to having kids. Just a side note for any man who is being nosy and reading my blog, if you do not want to have any more kids or if there is a shadow of a doubt that you want to have kids. Then you do not get the luxury of dating a woman who is younger than you who does not have any children. It’s downright selfish and ignorant. Seriously, you get to have your family and you have the audacity to think that you can convince a woman who does not have children not to have kids of her own? Have several seats! There I go digressing again!
They figured meeting him at their fight party would be less pressure that I straight up blind date. This way I could see him in his environment and observe him from a distance. Now that was a great idea. When you’re meeting a guy on a blind set up there are a few thoughts that cross a woman’s mind.
1- I hope this man is somewhat attractive.
2- I hope he speaks in complete sentences.
3- I hope this man isn’t a fool.
4- I hope I haven’t already met this man before and turned his ass down.
These thoughts crossed my mind as I walked into my girlfriend’s massive beautiful home. I sat down the wine and sweet potato pies I baked in the kitchen. I looked up and there was “Jerold.” He was about 5’10, stocky (luckily he didn’t have a massive gut), with a low fade. His nails were a little too buffed out. I would prefer that a man’s manicure not look like he had on clear nail polish (that’s just a shallow side note). My girlfriend’s fiancée introduced us. He smiled and it revealed silver braces. He had on a nice button down lavender shirt, with “diamond” cuff links and his full name (first and last name) monogrammed on the cuffs of the shirt, snake skin loafers, and jeans. I put my hand out to shake his hand. “Jerold” pulled me towards him and gave me a big hug.
Jerold: I don’t do handshakes. I’m a hugger.
As he hugged me he buried his nose in my neck.
Jerold: You smell good. What kind of perfume is that?
I told him. (I’m not revealing my secret perfume so a bunch of people start walking around smelling like me :-)). He saw my sweet potato pies and his eyes lit up.
Jerold: Did you make these?
Me: I did, from scratch.
Jerold: Your man must love your cooking.
I attempted not to roll my eyes at the sheer corniness. And he had a big smile on his face which exposed his mouth full of braces again. Has he never heard of Invisilign?! But my inner loving diva kicked in, Don’t be a bitch. He’s just trying to break the ice. Besides you always said you want a man that is well groomed. At least he’s trying to get his teeth fixed. I took a deep calming breath and decided to be open minded.
Me: Well, I’m actually single.
Jerold: I guess today is my luck day.
I just smiled. When the guys left the kitchen I told my girlfriend to pour me a glass of wine IMMEDIATELY. Sometimes a slight buzz can make any situation better. Actually I think that is always the case! I grabbed a plate of food and made my way into the living room where the two other couples were sitting and chowed down. Of course they set it up where I had to sit next to “Jerold.” So I decided to make the best of the situation. “Jerold” was born and raised in… Carson. YUCK! That was a complete turn off. My ex was from there. And had I nothing good to say about that area. It’s essentially two traffic lights from Compton. And generally speaking people who are from there think that they aren’t from the hood because it’s not Compton. But when you’re spitting distance from the hood, well, you’re from the hood. I damn near broke out in hives when he said that. But I was trying to be open. My inner loving diva chimed in, “Not all people from Carson are ignorant, close minded, fronting wannabes like your ex… Breathe.” I also looked over at my girlfriend who knew me so well and she winked and tilted her glass of wine as a signalfor me to have a sip and relax. Then “Jerold” informed us that Monday was his birthday.
Me: That’s exciting, what do you have planned?
Jerold: Originally I was supposed to be in Europe.
ME: Oh really which part?
Jerold: I was starting off in Paris and then heading over to London.
Me: Two of my favorite cities. I used to live in London.
Jerold: Which part?
Me: Camden Town. When are you leaving?
Jerold: The trip got postponed to the end of next week.
Me: So what are you going to do for your birthday now that you’ll be on town?
Jerold: I don’t know yet where would you like me to take you?
Me: You’re going to take ME out for YOUR birthday? That’s very nice of you.
Jerold: We should go to Nobu in Malibu.
Alright now, things were looking up! I could over look a railroad on someone’s teeth and over the top “diamond” cuff links for a man with good taste in restaurants. Braces eventually come off and I can tweak the hell out of a wardrobe!
Jerold: Let me call my driver so I can make arrangements for us to get picked up.
Jerold then took out his phone and proceeded to dial his driver right then and there on SPEAKERPHONE!
Jerold: My man, what’s up?
Driver: Who’s calling?
Jerold: It’s me, Jerold.
Driver: How can I help you?
Jerold: It’s my birthday on Monday and I’m gonna need two pickups.
Driver: Okay, just send me the details. It will be an extra charge for the additional pick ups.
Jerold: Have you ever had a problem with payment?
Jerold: You just said there was gonna be an extra charge. You know my money is riiiiight. I got you covered.
The driver hung up. And I sat there so turned off. Was I supposed to be impressed? Did he not realize I used a car service on the regular basis? And to make the call on speaker phone? Really? Typical LA guy. Typical fronting Carson guy! But I didn’t want to generalize. The fight was over and as usual when it is a group of men and women the conversation quickly turned to relationships. My girlfriend’s fiance was one of those men who enjoyed deep grown and sexy conversations. “Jerold” started talking about his divorce.
Jerold: My divorce cost my over $1M. My problem is I have a tendency to pick women who are like projects.
I swear my head spinned around in a complete 360 full turn like the fucking Exorcist.
Me: What do you mean by projects?
Jerold: You know what I mean. Women who don’t really know what they want in life. I help them find their potential. With the young lady I dated recently she wanted to start a clothing line so I helped her out. She just needed someone to recognize her potential and go from there.
Me: Well, what if a woman doesn’t need your help and she has her own shit. Then what?
Jerold: Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m looking for a woman who needs to be guided. At this point I want a woman who has her own shit together. I’m like show me a credit report. If her shit ain’t on point I’m not taking it on.
Then my girlfriend’s fiance piped in.
Girlfriend’s Fiance: Wait a minute my man. You’re kind of contradicting yourself.
Jerold: How so?
Girlfriends Fiance In one breath you’re saying you have a tendency to take on projects to help a woman find their potential. But right before that you said if a woman’s credit isn’t together you wouldn’t deal with her at all? That doesn’t make sense. If you love someone you are going to try to help them reach their full potential my man.
Jerold: No that’s not what I meant. I’m just saying I’m all about helping someone reach their potential. I just don’t want to be in a situation where they don’t have shit and I’m doing ll the work.
That’s the thing about having these healthy debates with other men. They will ask the questions you want to know and check someone n a heartbeat if they aren’t making sense. I got to sit back and listen to what this fool had to say. My girlfriend’s fiance was like a brother and he knew exactly what he was doing. He was gathering information for me! I love when my friends marry men who have some damn sense!!!! We talked for a few more hours about relationships and life. “Jerold” was contradicting himself left and right. The night was coming to an end I was helping my girlfriend clear up the kitchen.
Girlfriend: What did you think? And before you answer, let me be clear, we don’t really know him too well. My honey just met him a few weeks ago and you know he got all excited when he found out he was single. He’s ready for us to take trips together and do double dates!
Me: What was up with calling his driver on speaker phone? What the fuck was that?
Girlfriend: I know!
Me: See that’s that New Money shit that I can’t tolerate. AND he’s from Carson?!
Girlfriend: I know you wanted to die.
Me: You know I did. Last time I went out with someone from Carson, I discovered they changed the numbers on their Mercedes so instead of the numbers reading S430 which was already a nice car it said S500 just so he could front. Of course I found that out after I was already married to his dumb ass.
Girlfriend: I know! I know! But just be open. He was just trying to impress you. You know the problem is a lot of these LA bitches are impressed by shit like that and men feel the need to keep doing that kind of shit thinking that it will impress all of us.
Me: Okay. I’m going to be open about this. We will see. Something just isn’t adding up. I can’t put my finger on it. But my antenna is definitely up.
My girlfriend and I had a good laugh and then of course the inevitable came. “Jerold” was heading out and asked for my phone number. Good Lawd. I reluctantly gave it to him. About an hour later he sent me a text.
Jerold: Hey MK! Great meeting you. Had a blast. Gotta pick up where we left off.
Me: Nice meeting you as well.
TO BE CONTINUED
©Monique Kelley and Confessions of A Serial Dater In LA, 2013-2019 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Monique Kelley and Confessions of A Serial Dater In LA with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Copying my posts and changing some of the words is still plagiarism.