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What Carmen Jones (the original serial dater) Taught Me…

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When I first saw Carmen Jones, I was enthralled by her presence. She was unapologetic; she went after what she wanted, and did it all looking like a million bucks! She was my inspiration.

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!

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Go after what you want. 

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It’s okay to cater to your man and take care of him. 

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Never be with a man who tries to keep you in a box

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There’s nothing wrong with excitement when you are dating

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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.      

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Don’t settle for less than what you want.

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Having good girlfriends in the process of dating who have your back and love you unconditionally is priceless.

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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.

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Don’t be afraid to keep it moving when you aren’t getting what you want out of the relationship

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KNOW YOUR WORTH!

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Don’t be the silly naive girl in the relationship.  Always keep your power.

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Passion is a MUST!

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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!”

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Let the man take care of you!

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Be with a man who loves you a little more than you love him.

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Be unapologetic for who you are and what you want in life.

Carmen Jones

If It Walks Like An Ass, Talks Like An Ass, Looks Like An Ass… It’s An Asshole! Part 1

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…  

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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!

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.

JeroldI 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.

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Well, what if a woman doesn’t need your help and she has her own shit. Then what?

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?

Driver:  Huh?

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 K.Bradley

 

 

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

Birth of a Blog Part 2

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“Either you’re a stupid ass and got, got. Or you think I’m a stupid as that can get, get!”

Some of you are probably asking why in the world I would go out with a man who was unattractive and old.  This was the first time in my life I was dating just to be dating.  I spent my 20’s dating with one end goal in mind… To get married (and we already know how that ended up).  So I wanted to date just for fun.  I figured it was good practice for when I met a man I actually liked, I wouldn’t be dusty!  “Jason” had a Saturday afternoon date all planned out.  He gave me directions to his house in Venice Beach.  Venice Beach can be a little tricky.  There are places there that are absolutely stunning oceanfront homes.  And then there are other places that are shy of being a crack house.  It is literally those two extremes.    The way, he described his tastes in art and furniture, I assumed he lived in one of those fabulous homes or condos on the beach or near the beach.  After all this man was almost 50!  You know what they say about ASS-U-ME-ing.  As my navigation directed me to the Venice Beach area and had me make my final right onto the street and announced my destination was on the right hand side I just knew I had to wrong place.  I checked the text message with the address one more time against my navigation system.  The addresses matched.  I was parked in front of an old ass building with chipped paint and bars on the windows.  I looked to the right where there were dumpsters and there was a homeless man going through the garbage.  He finally found a sandwich, began eating it, and walked off.  Oh shit!!!  There was no way I was about to park Freedom (the name for my convertible Audi) anywhere near this place.  I called “Jason” to let him know I had arrived.  I was hoping and praying he had accidentally given me the wrong address.

Me:  Hey Jason.  I think I’m here.  Are you sure you gave me the right address?

Jason:  Yeah.  I’m on my way.  I’ll be there in 5 minutes.  You can park in the back of my building in space 5.

Me:  Um… Are you sure my car is safe here?

Jason:  (laughing)  Of course!  You’re fine.

Me:  Okay, because I have a convertible.  I don’t want anyone to rip the top off and try to steal it. 

Jason:  No you’re fine.  My car is the silver BMW.  Just park behind my car.  I’ll see you in a second.

Alright, so he has a BMW.  So I figured my car would be safe.  I drove to the back of the building and looked for parking spot #5.  I saw an old BMW parked there.  When I say old, I mean old.  The shit had to be from 1982.  AND it was propped up where it appeared to be missing the front passenger wheel.  What the fuck?!  Just as I was about to put my car in reverse and get the fuck out of there, I saw a man riding a bike in my direction.  I squinted my eyes and saw it was “Jason.”  This fool was wearing some Sear Sucker shorts, a white button up shirt, a bow tie, and a straw hat.  This bitch looked like Bojangles!

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Just as I was about to put my car in reverse and get the fuck out of there, I saw a man riding a bike in my direction. I squinted my eyes and saw it was “Jason.” This bitch looked like Bojangles!

Jason:  Hey there.  Where are you going?  You can park here. 

Me:  I was about to… Ummmm…

Jason:  Come on up for a drink.  I also wanted you to see the Dali painting I was telling you about.  I had an interior decorator come and do my spot.  Come check it out.

Me:  You’re sure my car is okay?

Jason:  What’s up with you and this damn car?  I already told you, you’re fine!  Come on, I have a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc chilling in the freezer.

Well at least this fool knew how to make my ass stay.  Besides the traffic on the 405 was like a fucking parking lot.  I had driven all the way up here, the least I could do was stay for a cocktail.  I followed him up the steps to his spot.  And he was describing all the detail that went into decorating.  I figured, maybe this was one of those buildings that looked like shit from the outside but inside it was really nice.  I tell ya I can be such a judgmental bitch at times.  Anyway I digressed…  We got to his front door and he opened it up.  “Ta-da!”  I stepped into the smallest apartment I had ever seen.  It was smaller than a studio apartment although it was a one bedroom.  The walls were covered in art, I’ll give him that.  It’s was decorated very tastefully, I’ll give him that.  But that shit was so damn small.  This man was about to be 50 and this place would have been acceptable for any man in his 20’s but this made no damn sense.  He walked me over to a sketching he had on his wall.

Jason:  This is the Dali I was telling you about.

I walked up as close as I could.  My nose was probably less than an inch away from the frame.  My first inclination was to scream, “Either you’re a stupid ass and got, got.  Or you think I’m a stupid as that can get, get!”  There was no way on God’s green earth that was an authentic Salvador Dali piece.  If this dumb ass could afford a piece of that type of artwork he certainly wouldn’t be living in this shoe box he called a home!  But I decided to be nice and go along with the act.  So we sat down on his couch and had a glass of wine.

Jason:  I wanted to give you a present.

Me:  Really?  You don’t have to.

Jason:  No I insist.  I really appreciate you giving a brotha a chance and not letting age get in the way.

Me:  As long as you’re up front with me we are all good.

Jason reached over and picked up the large 3 wick candle that was sitting on his coffee table.

Jason:  I figured this would be nice and relaxing for you.  It has a nice settle scent.

I started cracking up.  Seriously, he was too funny.

Me:  Jason, you are a fool!  You crack me up!

Jason:  What’s so funny?

Me:  You pretending to give me an already used candle as a gift.  That was a good one!

Jason:  No I’m serious.  I only used it once. 

That’s when I realized he was dead ass serious.  I was expecting Ashton Kutcher to jump out of his back room and the camera crew to hop out from wherever they were hiding.  This really couldn’t be happening.  When 30 seconds went by it settled I wasn’t on a non-celebrity episode of Punked!

ME:  Thanks!  Why don’t I just set it down here until I leave?

I had no intention of bringing that shitty candle home.  Just as I slammed back my glass of wine.  There was a car passing by with loud music.  You know when a car is blasting its music so damn loud you can feel the vibrations in your house.  It was that loud.  I figured it would pass by but it sounded like it was getting louder and louder.  “Jason” jumped up. “Our ride is here.  My boy has his own cab and I knew we would be drinking so he’s giving us a ride to the restaurant.”  He opened his front door I walked out and there was a cab waiting for us outside blasting gangster rap!  “Jason” introduced us.  I reluctantly got into the cab.  As we passed various cars, the drivers and/or passengers looked over at the cab with disgust and rolled up their windows.  With each mile we drove I sank lower and lower into the back seat hoping I would not be seen.

Jason:  I remember you mentioned you like Oysters; I’m taking you to a spot in Santa Monica that you’ll love.  Then we’ll walk down the street to the spot where I work.

Me:  I thought you were a writer?

Jason:  Well, yeah I do that too.  But sometimes I… Uh… help out my friend at his bar and I’ll bartend if he’s shorthanded. 

I gave him major side eye.  I was no dummy.  This asshole wasn’t a damn writer.  He was a damn bartender.  Now it made sense why his ass knew all the bartenders around LA.  Typically when you are a waiter or bartender you know other waiters and bartenders and hang out and hook people up with free drinks!  Oh my goodness.  We pulled up to the elegant spot, loud music blasting.  I hopped out of the taxi so fast and practically sprinted into the restaurant.  I was hoping no one saw me and associated me with this foolery.  Of course when “Jason” came in the first thing he did was say hello to the bartender before we were escorted to our table in the small packed restaurant.  When we sat down the bartender sent us over a bottle of Rose.  “Jason” was one of those men who liked to strike up conversation with people he didn’t know.  The restaurant was small and packed so it was almost like a community table.  “Jason’s” loud ass began to strike up conversation with a group of young ladies who were sitting at the table next to us.  After he ordered our food a huge sampler plate of various seafood came to the table of the ladies sitting next to us.  “Jason’s” bug eyes got even bigger as the waiter placed the tower on their table.

Jason:  What’s that?

Lady at Table Next to Us:  The seafood tower.

Jason:  That looks real good.  I might order that.  Can I try some?

Lady at the Table Next To Us:  Ummmm…. Uh…. Oooo-kay?

With that “Jason” grabbed his bread plate and proceeded to grab a few shrimp, crab legs, and oysters off the young ladies seafood tower and take some of the various sauces and pour a little on his plate.  I wanted to die!  I wanted to run out of the restaurant.  Mortified doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt!  He asked if I wanted some.  I said no before he could even get the sentence out.  There was a couple who was sitting at the table on the opposite side of us who observed this fiasco.  They saw my face.  I gave them a look of HELP ME!!!  So the man tried to lighten the mood of the situation.

Gentleman:  (to Jason) Your date is a very pretty woman.  She’s a class act.  You’re one lucky man!

Jason:  Who her?  She alright.

Gentleman’s Date:   She seems wonderful!

Me:  Thank you.

Jason:  Naw.  She’s just alright. (begins laughing)

That’s when I had officially had enough.  Here I Was sitting across from a complete moroon and someone is giving me a compliment and all his ass could say was I’m ALRIGHT?  With that I grabbed my purse and stood up.

Jason:  Where are you going?

Me:  I’m leaving.

I walked out the restaurant.  And I forgot my fucking car was at his house.  So I walked to the corner to see if I could hail a taxi.  I didn’t see one in sight (this was before the Uber days).  Shortly after Bojangles came out of the restaurant.

Jason:  What’s wrong with you? We still have oysters coming.

Me:  I’m done!  How dare you just say I’m alright when someone compliments me?  Who the fuck do you think you are?

Jason:  You’re trippin’!  I was just playing.

Me:  The shit wasn’t funny and I don’t appreciate it.

Jason:  (throwing his hands up in the air) Get the fuck outta here.  You’ve been tripping all day with your bourgeois ass.  Fine then go the fuck home!  I don’t have time for this shit.

Me: Then bring your broke, wanna be Bojangles, 50 year old, living in a shack, waiter ass wanna be a writer ass back in the fucking restaurant.  That’s what I get for associating with hired help!

Jason:  Fuck you!

Me:  Fuck you!  I can’t believe I gave your ugly ass the time of day!

Jason:  Fuck you!

I saw a taxi pulling up.  Thank goodness.  But I still had to have the last word because at that point I didn’t give a shit.  As I grabbed the handle of the taxi to open the door I stuck him with my parting words hoping to cut him with my tongue.

Me:  And by the way, give your son a call.  On top of being an ugly ass broke fuck you seem to be shitty father too.  Go fuck yourself and never ever call me again.

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As I grabbed the handle of the taxi to open the door I stuck him with my parting words hoping to cut him with my tongue.

I hopped in that taxi so fast and prayed that he wasn’t going to try to reach in and grab me and kill me.  I told the taxi to get me back to his address as soon as I could. I prayed that a) he hadn’t called someone to wait for me at his house to kill me or b) had someone vandalize my damn car.  Why oh why can’t I learn how to just keep my mouth shut sometimes?!  Why oh why do I always have to have the last word?!  When we got to his house I had the taxi driver drive me to the back and wait for me until my car started and I was driving off.  I even asked him to follow me until I got to the freeway.  Thank God the driver was so accommodating.

I made it safely back to my home.  I called at least 5 of my girlfriends and told them what happened. The reactions were all the same.  What?!  No way…. You gotta to be kidding me… what a stupid ass… I am so glad you are okay and weren’t hurt… And the conclusion that all of them came up with was… You gotta write a book about your dates!

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These stories must be shared if for nothing else pure entertainment or life lessons… I realized I could use my stories and hopefully help others through their journey and let them know they were not alone. And with that I began this blog and Confessions of a Serial Dater in LA was delivered….

The next morning I woke up.  I was still in a state of rejuvenation since the Maui trip despite that little speed bump from the night before.  I went in my mediation room and did my usual journaling, praying and meditation and sat in silence for a few minutes.  And suddenly I began to have a flashback of that date, which was by far the worse date in the history of my 30+ years on this earth.  I flashed back to all of the other dates I had been on in the last year, and in my 20’s.  I flashed back to me and my girlfriends meeting up for drinks later on to discuss all the dates.  The laughter, the disappointments, the lessons, the horrors, and it hit me…  These stories must be shared if for nothing else pure entertainment or life lessons.  I even thought back to the journey life had taken me on through my marriage and ultimately the divorce.  I realized I could use my stories and hopefully help others through their journey and let them know they were not alone.  And with that I began this blog and Confessions of a Serial Dater in LA was delivered….

 
Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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

Birth of a Blog Part 1

 I decided to bring you a 2 Part blog.  Sometimes I just can’t get a story out in one post.  Enjoy…

meditate_beach_woman

I decided to take a trip by myself to Maui. I was having an Eat, Pray, Love moment. I needed to get out of LA and just breathe.

Since I launched this blog in January I have been asked quite a few times, “What made you start this blog?!”  I ignore the times when people ask me this question with a look of horror and judgment.  I secretly give them the finger and stick my tongue out at them like a child.  But for the folks who genuinely are curious I tell them the story of my worse date ever…

In July of 2012 I decided to take a trip by myself to Maui.  I was having an Eat, Pray, Love moment.  I needed to get out of LA and just breathe.  My divorce had just become final in January of that year.  I felt like I never took the time to be by myself and just reflect on the last few years of my life.  As you know, I spend a majority of my time travelling for my job.  And one of the perks of all that travel is collecting hotel points and airline points.  I booked my flight from LAX to Hawaii which cost me a total of $2.50.  And then I booked my hotel, which cost me a total of $50.  I only told one person where I was going just in case something happened.  I left on a Thursday and tuned myself off to the outside world.  My phone was off, I didn’t watch TV, and I didn’t speak to any family or friends for a total of 5 days. My mornings were spent in heavy mediation and journaling, my days were spent lounging by the pool having cocktails, and my nights were spent taking myself out to dinners.  Needless to say, by the time I returned to the stratosphere, I felt renewed, rejuvenated, and healed.  It was closure to the difficult chapter of my life.  And I finally felt at peace and okay.

So I celebrated my renewal by meeting my girlfriends at Chaya Venice to tell them about the trip.  Chaya Venice has one of the best happy hours in LA. It is always packed.  While socializing with my girlfriends a gentleman walked in and asked if the seat next to me was taken.  I was in a good mood so I decided to be “witty.”  “It’s taken… but I will give you the privilege of sitting there.”   He laughed at my humor and asked me what I was drinking.  He knew the bartender well.  And then he did what all single men should always do when they offer to buy a woman a drink and her girlfriends are standing there, he offered to buy them a drink as well (please note, this only applies to groups of 3 or less…. I’m not expecting you to buy drinks for a party of 10).  “Jason” was a TV writer.  He was originally from New York.   “Jason” was NOT attractive at all.  As a matter of fact the angle of his seat made it difficult to really get a sense of his looks.  (Or maybe it was the fact I had a few too many cocktails since I had a designated driver that night).  So I leaned over to my girl friend and asked her, ”Is he cute?  I can’t tell.”  Her response was to discreetly take her knife and point it in the direction of her half eaten steak skewer that was smothered in A1 sauce and say, “He looks similar to this.”  My friends are just as ignorant as I am.  And this is why I love them!  We are all WIPs (works in progress).  But as I had a few more cocktails his not so stellar looks were over shadowed by his sense of style.  He had an east coast NYC vibe to him which exuded confidence.  We talked about the show he was working on, jazz, art.  It was a great convo.  At the end of the evening when he was about to leave, I didn’t notice we had spent the last 2 hours just talking.  I forgot my friends were even sitting there.  He asked me for my number before he left.  I was definitely not attracted to this guy physically.  Most women who are of child bearing years will look at a man’s features and picture what their future children will look like.  Usually when it comes to your future daughter you are even more selective about who you consider dating because if it turns into something and you marry the guy and have children, often times children get the features of the opposite sex parent.  When he asked for my number, I looked at his features, his oversized nose, his too close together eyes, his soup cooler lips and imagined what he would look like as a little girl.  My first thought was, “Hell no!  Don’t give him the time of day.  Run… Run… Think about your future children!”  But then, with my newly rejuvenated fresh from Maui self, thought, I would go out with him.  Not every relationship is meant for marriage.  And I certainly would not risk mixing my good gene pool with anybody!   I would never be serious with him.  He would just be a guy I would hang out with for fun.  If nothing else we could have a great friendship.   Like men, women have two categories of men they date as well… The good time guy and the guy you take seriously.  This man would certainly be the good time guy.  With that, I gave him my number and quite frankly I could have cared less if he called me or not.

woman-in-bar

While socializing with my girlfriends a gentleman walked in and asked if the seat next to me was taken. I was in a good mood so I decided to be “witty.” “It’s taken… but I will give you the privilege of sitting there.” He laughed at my humor and asked me what I was drinking.

As fate would have it, he not only called me, but he sent me a text that evening, “It was great meeting you.  I would love to finish our conversation over dinner.  Are you free on Saturday?  If so let’s meet at Luna Park at 8pm.” Even if I had planned on saying no, Luna Park was one of my favorite restaurants in LA.  It was a spot that only true foodies knew about.  They had great food, great drinks, and a hip east coast type atmosphere.  I was actually impressed that he even knew about this spot.

So Saturday evening came and I was heading over to Luna Park.  Of course I was running late (I really need to get better with that).  I sent him a text message letting him know I was running 10 minutes behind.  I had finally arrived at the valet at 8:10 on the dot.  As I was getting out of my car I got a text message from “Jason.”  I’m giving you another 5 minutes and then I’m bouncing.  I have a 15 minute rule.  Ummmm…. Huh?  I walked into the restaurant and saw him at a corner booth.  He was looking at his cell phone.  I could see his not so great features from the light his cell phone gave off.  My first reaction was to check him.  But again, I was still in my Renewal Maui mode.  When I got to the table he looked up from his phone.

Me:  Ummmm…. Didn’t you get my text that I was running 10 minutes behind?

Jason:  No I didn’t get it.  I thought I was being stood up.

Me:  One thing you need to know about me is I am a woman of my word.  If I say I’m going to be somewhere I’m going to be there.

Jason:  My bad.  You look beautiful.

Flattery will get you everywhere in my book.  The waiter came up to the table to get our orders and ironically he knew this waiter well too.

Me:  Are you a food critic?  You seem to know all the wait staff and bartenders wherever we go!

Jason:  I just make it a point to know the people at the places I love to go.

I could appreciate that.  They way a man treats the wait staff says a lot about who he is as a person.  If he’s an asshole to a waiter, please know and believe he will be an asshole to you one day.  From there the conversation ensued.  Come to find out “Jason” had a 22 year old son who he hadn’t spoken to in over 2 years.  When dating someone who has kids it is a very fine line in terms of the questions you should ask when you first start dating.  But I was curious how a man goes without speaking to his son for 2 years.  Seriously, you believe in treating wait staff with respect but you haven’t talked to your own damn son?  But I didn’t want to be quick to judge.

Me:  It must be hard to not speak to your son.

Jason:  That little n**## pissed me off.  He was staying with me and he didn’t know how to pick up after himself.  Once I came home and caught his ass smoking weed in my house!  When I told him that was unacceptable he went into this bullshit about how I wasn’t a father to him most of his life and I shouldn’t be telling him what to do.  He said a bunch of other bullshit and I shipped his ass back to his mother’s house.

I know there had to be a bigger story to this.  But I also knew I couldn’t cross the line.

Me:  Do you think perhaps that was a cry for help?

Jason:  Until he learns how to respect me I don’t have shit else to say to him.

I could tell he was getting very tense and his breathing was accelerated.  So I changed the subject and kept it on neutral topics.  And we got on the topic of art.

Jason:  I’m into art.  As a matter of fact I have an original Dali at my house. 

Me:  Bullshit!  There’s no way in hell you have an original Salvador Dali piece of art work at your house.

Jason:  No bullshit.  I’m a collector.  I invest my money in art.

I could appreciate he loved art and invested in it.  However, Dali has the most forgeries of any living artist. If it is an original with a low number you could have a piece worth a couple thousand dollars, if not than not much.  It’s not like he had the fucking Mona Lisa hanging up in his house.  I was intrigued.  The rest of the date was pretty chill.  I made it a point to keep off the topic of his son, although it was certainly a red flag.  But I could have cared less given the fact that I wasn’t trying to marry this guy.  We went out a few days later and he took me to TH Little Door.  And it was the same vibe.  He knew the bartender very well.  We had a bottle of Rose and dessert and it was cool.  I appreciated how this man knew how to court.  Then we got on the topic of upcoming birthday in a month.

Me:  What are doing for your birthday?

Jason:  I’m not sure yet.  I’ll probably take a trip somewhere.  Since this is a big one?

Me:  A big one?  Wait a minute… how old are you turning?

Jason:  I don’t like to disclose my age.

Me:  I thought you were 47. 

Jason:  No that’s what you guessed, I just didn’t correct you.

Me:  So if your next birthday is a big one, then you must be turning 45.

Jason:  No close… I’m turning 50.

Record screech to a halt!  50?!  If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know I like and appreciate older men.  But 50?  That’s was too damn old.  50 is also known as 10 years away from needing to take a pill to keep it up.  And in 10 years, I will be in the middle of my sexual peek and have no intention of trying to entertain a wet noodle unless it’s in my pasta!  I’m just saying.  46 is my max.  That is 10 years older than me.  50?  Oh no!  That’s just not my speed.

black-couple-in-bed

And in 10 years, I will be in the middle of my sexual peek and have no intention of trying to entertain a wet noodle unless it’s in my pasta!

Me:  I had no idea you were 50.

Jason:  What can I say?  I work out.

Me:  Why didn’t you correct me then?

Jason:  Age is just a number.

Me:  So now we’re quoting Aaliyah? 

Jason:  We just had a cool vibe. 

We finished up our bottle of Rose.  But again, I wasn’t trying to have a relationship with this man.  I was enjoying hanging out with him and having great dinners.  He walked me out to valet.

Jason:  You’re awfully quiet.

Me:  I’m just in deep thought.

Jason:  Come on.  Don’t let a few years between us get in the way.  I’m enjoying my time with you.

Me:  I just don’t like that you weren’t honest when we first met.

Jason:  Mea culpa.  That’s on me.  Let me take you out on Saturday.  I’ll make it up to you.

I had two choices.  I could a) run for the hills.  I wasn’t physically attracted to this man and  the relationship wasn’t going anywhere or b) let him take me out to another great spot in LA.  At the rate I was going I could be a food critic.  I chose the latter.  And that’s when the craziness ensued….

TO BE CONTINUED….



Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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

If These Walls Could Talk

deep thought

When I got married I did it until death did we part, through good times and bad, in sickness and health. I had no idea he wasn’t along for the same ride. But I am so thankful for what the experience taught me.

If you have been a loyal reader to my blog you know I have mastered the art of having ME time.  Whether I am going to the beach, taking myself out for a nice meal, or spending an extra day on a business trip to explore a city, I have it down to a science.  But what I haven’t mastered is the art of down time at my house.  I am not referring to when I am having a lazy day in my bed watching Lifetime Movie Network and Bravo and I am not talking about when I am organizing my closets and unpacking from another road trip.  I am talking about down time when I am left in the four walls of my own home and left to my own devices aka my own thoughts.

Recently I connected with a special someone.  As you know when I am into someone and currently dating them I do not go into detail.  I keep my shit private… Well you know what I mean.  LOL!  But what I will say is the man I am kind of seeing is definitely an unexpected surprise the shit kind of snuck up on me.  It has taken me by complete surprise.  I haven’t been excited and/or looking forward to hearing and seeing someone consistently since 1932.  All jokes aside, I really can’t remember the last time I was consistently excited about someone.  Well actually that’s not true.  I do remember the last time I was consistently excited about someone and I ended up marrying him and then going through a VERY painful divorce.  That’s what is scaring the shit out of me.  All this time, it’s been easy to talk about the shitty dates, the disappointments, and enjoying my singledom.  But what is more terrifying is the possibility of something that makes sense.  I had no idea how petrified I was until I went to my close girlfriends house for a Friday Happy Hour.  Every woman should have a girlfriend who all you do is go over to each other’s homes make a nice appetizer spread, drink some great wine, and catch up on reality TV.  My girlfriend and I had done this for years.  We literally watched reality TV through our dating experiences, my engagement, my wedding, my divorce, and her engagement.  It’s funny, we could name each reality show we watched during each period of our lives (don’t judge me, reality TV is my escape).  Anyway… I digressed.  Her fiancée was now a regular at our girl’s night.  He would sit with us and gossip.  How we got on the topic of my divorce I do not know.  Perhaps it was the bottles of wine we were consuming for the last 3 hours.  As my girlfriend opened up the 3 rd bottle of Sincera Red Zinfandel her fiancée got serious for a second.

Girlfriend’s Fiancée:  Real talk… How long did it take you to get over your ex.

That was the second time in the last week I had been asked that question.  I had met up with a girlfriend of mine who was in the beginning stages of her divorce.  And she asked me the same question.  And I was honest with her.  I was no longer embarrassed to tell people the honest to God truth and I wasn’t willing to give her some sappy answer.  So I told him exactly what I my girlfriend earlier in the week.

Me:  To be honest, it took me a good 3 years.

Girlfriend’s Fiancée:  Really?  Wow, you really loved that dude.

Me:  Yeah.   I really did.  I wish I could sit here and tell you different but it really wasn’t until 3 years that I got to a place of indifference where I really and truly didn’t give a fuck.  When I got married I did it until death did we part, through good times and bad, in sickness and health.  I had no idea he wasn’t along for the same ride.  But I am so thankful for what the experience taught me.

Girlfriend’s Fiancée:  That’s real talk sis.

There was once a time when I would pretend to the public that I was over the divorce but when I got within the walls of my home it was a different story.  There was once a time when the walls of my home were the only place where I felt comfortable enough to break down.  It was truly my Oasis.  But as I got stronger I think I avoided being within these walls and constantly keeping my mind pre-occupied because it was a constant reminder of when I was at my lowest and weakest point.  Once again the old me and the present me had to find a way to co-exist in my home.  I no longer needed to be out and about to create a certain amount of happiness.  It was right here within these walls.  I no longer had the need to pre-occupy myself with various “to-do” items in order to keep my mind off of the times when I would sit on my couch and cry until the tears no longer could flow.  I was now a happy, single woman who was currently experiencing the possibility of a situation that might make sense.  One thing this home had not experienced just yet was me in love and in a happy relationship with someone.  I had no idea what that looked like at this point in my life.  What would the walls of this home look like as I created new memories with someone who I truly loved and cared about?

Couple having wine

I put on some Pat Methany, poured myself a glass of wine and I sat unoccupied and imagined me the serial dater…. In Love and happy. And guess what, it wasn’t so damn bad. I welcome the experience.

It’s interesting.  When you go through a really shitty break-up or divorce it’s hard to imagine yourself in love again.  There is this terrifying feeling of being hurt again.   I am not talking about carrying baggage and not allowing you to be open to the possibility of a new relationship.  I am talking about visualizing yourself in that new relationship as the person you are now.  Whether or not this possibility turns into something I realized I needed to sit in my home and let things be.  Visualize what it means to fall in love as the woman I am today with all the lessons I have learned post divorce.  So that’s what I did.  I put on some Pat Methany, poured myself a glass of wine and I sat unoccupied and imagined me the serial dater…. In Love and happy.  And guess what, it wasn’t so damn bad.  I welcome the experience.  Perhaps I will spend more time within these walls that have guided me through hurt, pain and devastation, and allow transformed walls to lead me into love, continued growth, and happiness.  These walls were certainly talking to me and I was listening.  What a great transformation…. Woosa…

Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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