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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!

Bojangles

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…

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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.

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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.

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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

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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+        

Boomerang!

Since I am on vacation this week, I am bringing you 3 posts in one!   I’ll be back next week with more Confessions.  But I figured this one will tie you over until then.  This is a long one so enjoy it!!! 

Upset young couple sitting on bed separately

2000 was one of the toughest years of my life… I was 23 years old and in a very vulnerable state.

I think every woman dreams of the day when they can run into a guy that did them dirty and have a “Look at me now moment.”  Let’s take a walk down memory lane.

2000 was one of the toughest years of my life.  My brother had passed (not ready to go into details on that).  I was 23 years old and in a very vulnerable state.  Enter “Kyle,”  “Kyle” was a 28 year old up and coming photographer I met at a gallery opening.  He was experiencing a career high.  His latest exhibition had opened to critical acclaimed.  He was pegged “The Next Gordon Parks.”  “Kyle” was originally from Indiana.  He and his college friends had made the move from the mid west to Los Angeles to pursue their dreams.  Nearly 3 years after moving to LA he was on the rise.  When we met in the crowded Downtown LA Gallery I felt like I was in the scene from West Side Story where Maria and Tony laid eyes on each other and suddenly there was no one else in the room.

“Kyle” and I had the best conversation.  His creative mind was so intense.  He was brilliant and his photography made a statement about the world.  It felt like I was tapping into his inner being as I looked at his photography.  I have always connected with artist and photographers.  As a matter of fact when I need to clear my head, I will go to an art museum and lose myself in the world of art.  “Kyle” and I made plans to hang out the next day.  At the time he and his college friends were sharing a car.  Let me explain that in greater detail.  4 grown ass men were sharing 1 damn car in Southern California.  Not New York City where you can get away without having a car because there is great public transportation system.  Los Angeles was and still is a city where you absolutely MUST have a car.  So “Kyle” gave me his address and I went to pick his grown ass up.  Keep in mind; this is me as a young vulnerable (a.k.a stupid) 23 year old.  Back in the day before I Had truly found my stride and wanted to make sure I “made” “Kyle” like me by being accommodating.  LMAO!  Growth is a beautiful thing.  When I got to his home in the middle of the HOOD I was scared to get out of my car.  This man lived in the for sure for sure HOOD (The Jungle) and that’s with a capital H.  Yes I am from New Jersey and yes I have a smart ass mouth.  But I grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, the beautiful suburbs.  I used to apologize for being bourgeois.  Now I embrace and own up to it.  As I got out of my car I bee lined to his door and knocked.  As I waited for him to answer the door, I prayed, “Lord Jesus please let this man hurry up and answer the door before gun shots are fired.  I am too young to die. My obituary cannot say I died in The Jungle.  That’s not the legacy I want to leave behind. I want to live!!!!”  As usual the Lord is always on time!  “Kyle” answered the door and invited me in.  It was a small apartment.  It had a lot of African Wooden sculptures of naked women with pointy breasts, lots of black and white photography (unframed hung on the wall by thumbnails), the typical bachelor pad black leather (or perhaps pleather) couches and glass coffee tables.    His 3 college roommates were sitting on the couch watching a basketball game eating Cheetos and drinking Heinekens.  “Kyle” gave me a hug and invited me in.

Kyle:  You remember my roommates.

In my mind I heard the record screech to a halt.  Did he say, “roommates, with an S?

Me:  Which one is your roommate?

Kyle:  Both of them.  Did you want a beer?

Me:  No.  I’ll take a glass of wine. (even back then I loved my wine)

Kyle:  We all live here together. 

I looked around the apartment and I only saw one bedroom.  How in the world did 3 big ass grown men live in a one bedroom apartment?  As I pondered this question “Kyle” came back into the room and handed me a glass of… White Zinfandel.  WTF?  He had to be kidding me.  White Zinfandel.  I might have been a 23 year fool but even at that age I knew White Zinfindel was comparable to drinking Boone’s Farm.  But I really really liked “Kyle” so I decided to be a good sport and chill out.

Me:  So what did you want to do?

Kyle:  I figured we could hang out here and watch the game.

Me:  Ummmmm… okay.

So I sat there for 2 hours on his pleather couch watching a fucking basketball game.  Did I mention how much I hated basketball?  Did I mention the White Zinfandel was stale?  Picture me on the couch in between 3 rowdy guys watching a Laker game.  After the game ended “Kyle” walked me to my car.

Kyle:  I had a great time with you.  I like how you can just kick it and hang out.  You’re so different from these bourgeois LA girls.

Me:  Thanks.

Kyle:  Can we hang out again?

There goes that word.  “Hang out.”  I still liked him but I had a slight attitude.  I didn’t want to cuss him out just yet.  This was before the baggage.  This is when I still had hope and looked at the silver lining.

Me:  We can.  But next time I would like for us to go out somewhere.

Kyle:  That’s cool, kid.

“Kid.”  WTF?  Who was he calling kid?  Did that mean he was looking at me as a friend?  Talk about confused.  “Kyle” and I made plans to go out to days later.  Lucky for me it also happened to be a day when he had the car.  He picked me up and before we reached the restaurant he stopped at the ATM machine.  He was there for a few minutes.  It was taking him unusually long.  He started making his way back to the car.  He had his hands in his pockets and his great posture he had when he walked to the ATM was replaced with slouched over shoulders.  He got in the car.  Took a deep breath and said.

Kyle:  We have a problem.

Me:  What’s wrong?

Kyle:  I can’t access my account.

Me:  That is a major problem. 

Kyle:  I was really looking forward to us going to hear the spoken poetry at my spot. (Back in 2000 spoke poetry was VERY popular)

Me:  Don’t worry about it, let’s just go and I’ll get us a round of drinks. 

My inner loving Diva that guides me through my love life now wasn’t awakened until I hit my 30’s.  Back then I didn’t have her to shake me back into reality.  What the hell was I thinking?  I barely had two nickels to rub together at that time and here I was taking a grown ass man out for drinks?!  So “Kyle” and I headed to the spoken word spot that was in Leimert Park (not one of my favorite spots in LA even to this day… don’t judge me, but I much prefer going to Beverly Hills or Manhattan Beach.. just sayin’).  “Kyle” had no problem throwing back a few rounds of drinks that I bought!  Back then, being a young fool, I saw so much “potential” in “Kyle.”  I looked at him as the photographer that would change the world.  We still had great conversation… so I thought.  Looking back on it I don’t remember anything about the conversation.  At that time, I think I needed a hole to be filled.  Then I thought meeting the right man and falling in love would fill that hole.  Of course now I am fully aware the only person that can fill the void in your life is you.  In addition to paying for our dates I did every single stupid thing that a young girl would do to “make” a guy like me.  Ultimately, “Kyle” stopped returning my phone calls (this was prior to the text messaging days).  I even called from a friend’s house and he actually answered the phone because he didn’t recognize the number!  I felt like a damn fool!

I ended up going out to Reign (THE hot spot back in the day in LA before Keyshawn Johnson sold it in order to have to pay less in alimony when he and his wife got divorced).  My girlfriends were trying to cheer me up.  I had never been dissed like that before.  “Kyle” dissed my ass!  Big time!  I was hurt, devastated, and mad.  After throwing back quite a few cocktails.  I noticed my girlfriends face lose color.

Me:  What’s wrong?

Girlfriend:  Oh….. Nothing.  Guuurl, we should get outta here….

She attempted to pick up my stuff and scurry out.  That’s when I realized her eyes kept looking over my head.  I turned around and there was “Kyle” sitting at a table holding hands and locking eyes with another woman.  The waiter had come to the table to give him the bill and he quickly reached for it and put his credit card in the bill envelope.  I was LIVID!!!  I literally saw red.

Girlfriend:  Monique, do not give him the power.  Do not cause a scene.  Let’s just go.

Me:  Go, but I am having such a great time.  We are going to stay here and order another drink.

With that I signaled to the bartender and ordered another cocktail.  My girlfriend was nervous as shit.  I think the sense of calm that came over me scared her because I was normally such a firecracker.  I waited for my signal and it finally came two more drinks later.  I saw “Kyle” go to the bathroom.  I applied a fresh coat of lip gloss and I made my way to the restroom area when I realized his date was waiting for him at the table.  Even back then, I had the theory of never approaching the other woman.  First of all it makes you look crazy and it’s not the other woman’s fault that the man she is out with is a complete and total asshole.  “Kyle” came out of the restroom and when he saw me he looked like a deer in headlights.

 

couple-arguing

There was really no rhyme or reason to my 23 year old ass going off on this man. Looking back on it I looked a total jack ass myself. But in my mind I was going to get this man told! Oh yeah! I showed him I was the shit. LOL! More like a big dumb shit.

Me:  Hello Kyle.

Kyle:  Ummmm…. Monique… uh.. Hello… how are you, kid?

Me:  If you picked up the phone to answer my calls you would know. (I didn’t realize how tipsy I was until I felt like my words weren’t coming out of my mouth as fast as they were rolling around in my brain.  Not to mention when he called me “kid” again it certainly hit a nerve)

Kyle:  I’ve been busy…

Me:  I see.  I also see you have gotten a bigger paycheck and can afford to pay for dates now.  You cheap, broke ass fuck! (that certainly wasn’t the sophisticated line I had practiced in my head when I Was walking over to confront him)

Kyle:  What do you want from me, kid?

Me:  I don’t want shit from you!  You could have been a man and been honest instead of avoiding my calls. 

Kyle:  I figured you’d get the hint.

Me:  Oh I did.

Kyle:  So why are you sweating me?

Me:  Nobody is sweating your broke tired ass.  I’m glad you had the car so you could actually pick up your date. (there was really no rhyme or reason to my 23 year old ass going off on this man.  Looking back on it I looked a total jack ass myself.  But in my mind I was going to get this man told!)

Kyle:  Have a nice night kid. 

Kyle started to walk off.  And me needing to get the last and final parting blow and being tipsy and 23 yelled back at him.

Me:  By the way your photography sucks! 

Oh yeah!  I showed him I was the shit.  LOL!  More like a big dumb shit.  I always looked back on “Kyle” with absolute disdain and horror.  I would have nightmares for months to follow after that outburst and wake up and re-run what I should have said and how I should have said it.  There were times I would pray to run into him and say, “Look at me now.”  I would play various scenarios in my mind of what I would say when I ran into him again and what I would do.  When the run in did not happen it eventually faded off into my mind as a bad memory that I grew from.

Fast forward to present time.  13 years later.  13 years of growth.  13 years of bad dates, a bad marriage, a shitty divorce, and the rediscovery of ME.  13 years of finding out who I was and discovering an inner strength I had no idea existed.  13 years of the evolution of ME.  13 years of realizing and recognizing my growth.  13 years of loving myself more than anyone else possibly could.  13 years of knowing exactly what I wanted and not apologizing for it or reasoning with myself why I didn’t deserve to have it.  13 years… I had finally reached my stride and become a true, bonafide, unapologetic WOMAN.

 

A few months ago I was at a networking mixer for work.  I had been none of the organizers of the event.  It was one of the typical Hollywood executive power mixers.  I was wearing my purple DVF power dress and some killer heels.  I was working the room making introductions, hugging people I knew, and really having a good time.  It was coming towards the end of the evening and the event was finally winding down.  This meant I was finally ready to have my first glass of wine.  I have a rule of thumb, at work events I do not have more than one glass of wine and I typically wait until the end of event.  Anyway I digressed…  As I walked over to the bar there was… “Kyle.”  The long dreadlocks had been cut off and he was now sporting a neat fade.  His bohemian chic attire was now replaced with a sports jacket, matching slacks and no tie.  He turned around and spotted me.  He did a triple take.  You know those moments when someone sees you and is trying to place where they know you from.  How funny, here was a bastard who had taught me one of the most profound and hurtful lessons (outside of my ex husband) only 13 years ago and this motherfucker couldn’t even remember me.  I wanted to take my 6 inch Jimmy Choo and poke his eye out but I remembered I was at a work event.  Not to mention my inner loving diva slowly relaxed me, “You’re no longer the “kid” he used to call you.  You’re now a grown ass woman.  You finally get the proper closure.”   With that I took a deep breath and smiled at him.  That’s when it clicked.  He realized who I was.  I walked up to “Kyle.”

boomerang

… As I walked over to the bar there was… “Kyle.” The long dreadlocks had been cut off and he was now sporting a neat fade. His bohemian chic attire was now replaced with a sports jacket, matching slacks…

Me:  Well what a blast from the past.  Hello “Kyle.”

Kyle:  Wow.  I can’t believe my yes.  You’re all grown up.

Me:  Yes I am.

Kyle:  You look great.

Me:  Thank you.  (I didn’t feel the need to return the compliment.  I hadn’t evolved that damn much.)

Kyle:  How have you been?

Me:  Wonderful.  Yourself?

Kyle:  I’ve been good.  What are you doing these days?

I told him that I was now an executive at a studio and told him a little about my job.  I kept it brief and very professional.

Me:  Good seeing you Kyle.

I started to walk off.  Kyle practically ran to me and handed me a card.

Kyle:  Here’s my card.  Please let me take you out to dinner so we can catch up.

Me:  That’s not necessary.  Like I said, it was great seeing you.

Kyle:  Listen, I know I wasn’t right back in the day and I hope we can move past that.

ME:  That’s water under the bridge.  We were both young and I was wide open then.  But I must thank you for the lesson you taught me.  You truly changed my perspective on dating and how I approached things moving forward and for that I am so grateful. 

Kyle:  I was fucked up.

Me:  Yeah you were.  You were a true bonafide asshole.  But again, that was so long ago and I have moved past that. 

Kyle:  I look forward to hearing from you.  Do you have a card on you?

ME:  No I ran out. I’ll call you.

With that, I gave “Kyle” a kiss on the cheek and strutted off.  As I left the restaurant I looked at his card and threw that shit out.  Of course I wasn’t going to call that bastard.  Yes I had moved past it and I had evolved but I had no intention of reconnecting with a man who had already shown me who he was.  I opened up my purse and looked for the valet ticket.  It was in between a stack full of my business cards I had brought with me to pass out at the networking event.  There was no way in hell I was about to waste a card on his ass either.

black-woman-throwing-her-head-back-laughing

When I got in my car I suddenly started cracking up. Not just little giggles either. I had a case of uncontrollable laughter.

When I got in my car I suddenly started cracking up.  Not just little giggles either.  I had a case of uncontrollable laughter.  I laughed at the woman I was and the silly mistakes I made and the dumb shit I did in the name of love.  I laughed at how life is truly a series of full circle moments.  And if you don’t truly allow yourself to live in the moment and be perceptive to life’s little and big lessons it will pass you by.  Talk about Boomerang!  There were so many times I wished I could run into “Kyle” and give him a piece of my mind and say “Ha-ha look at me now.”  I even have those moments with my ex husband where I would love to run into his ass and scream on top of a mountain, “YOU DID NOT BREAK ME!!!”  I realize in life things happen when they are supposed to happen.  They do not happen on your on time, they happen at the right time.  Who knows if I will ever have a run in with my ex or if I will have another run in with a dumb ass I have dated in the past.  But I can say with full confidence whatever happens I am ready.

Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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

The Real Housewife of New Jersey

black-woman-grocery-store1

I walked all around the grocery store, which was crowded with mothers and their children. Mostly bad ass out of control children.

The last few weeks have been interesting.  I have been back in New Jersey for almost 3 weeks.  Being back home I have been removed from the hustle and bustle of life in LA and have been living in the burbs a.k.a The Suburbs  Don’t worry, I will be back in LA soon…  Time in the burbs as a single woman from the city of LA makes you acutely aware that you are single.  The timing of this is quite interesting.  For the last few months I have been embracing my singledom.  I realized how much I enjoy my “me” time and dating myself.  I can get up and go without having to consult with anyone or make arrangements.  I can go out randomly on a Tuesday night.  I can have cereal for dinner.  I sleep in the middle of my bed and most importantly I can hold onto my remote control land flip through Lifetime, Bravo, Oxygen, and the Style Network.  When I actually think about it, my TV’s have never seen the likes of ESPN.  I think it might cause a power surge and cause my TV to become defective.  I go out with whomever I want whenever I want.  But most of all I am truly enjoying my “Me” time.  At the end of the day, I recommend all single women take the time to “date” themselves.  If you have no idea what you want on your own, how can you bring a partner in and be able to articulate all of your needs?  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of these bitter single bitches who are like, I don’t need a man…”   Oh trust me, I definitely want and need a man (the right one) and embrace the idea of meeting my true life partner and living “happily ever after.”  But until I meet the right guy I will not rush into the wrong situation.

Anyway, I digressed…  For the last weeks I had officially become a New Jersey Housewife (minus the husband).   I don’t know how single women who live in the suburbs do it!  Damn, it’s rough.  I went to the grocery in the middle of the day and it was packed.  You would think it was a holiday weekend.  It was a Tuesday at 1pm.  I was looking all around the parking lot for a spot.  I got excited when I finally found a spot close to the front of the store.  Only to notice the sign in front of the spot that read: Parking for Customers with Children.   What the fuck???  I noticed a parking spot on the opposite side and the sign in front of that spot read: Reserved for Expectant Mothers.  Damn!  So already I am being penalized for not having children and/or not having a bun in the oven.  Thank goodness I have high self esteem or else that could have easily sent me over the edge.  When I walked all around the grocery store, which was crowded with mothers and their children.  Mostly bad ass out of control children and mothers with the biggest diamond sparkly rocks you could imagine.  Oh how I missed the flashiness/borderline gaudiness of my home state.  I still have left over remnants of the gaudiness.  I was damn near drooling over the rings.  You can take the girl outta of Jersey but you’ll never take the Jersey outta me!  I quickly broke out of my day dream mode when  I couldn’t find the wine section.  I finally located someone who worked there.  A young teenager who was probably using Pro-Active.

Me:  Where is the wine section?

Teenage Worker:  Uhhhhh… we don’t sell wine here.

Me:  Excuse me? (The thought of not having my wine for the week sent me into a minor panic attack.  As a matter of fact the thought of not ending my day with a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc caused a slight case of hives).
 
Teenage Worker:  You’re going to have to go to the liquor store across the street.
 

How could I have forgotten in my home town state (and a lot of other states) you can not purchase liquor and wine outside of a liquor store?  It’s some stupid ass law.  It’s inconvenient as hell too.  I wasn’t about to lose my spot in Bumblefuck.  So I bought my groceries and hightailed my ass to the liquor store and bought a case of Sauvignon Blanc.

Annoyed 2

Being in the burbs there are also the questions/ interrogations I get from well meaning folks about my dating life… Each of these innocent questions are always asked and when I give them my answers I feel the slight look of pity.

Being in the burbs there are also the questions/ interrogations I get from well meaning folks about my dating life.  If you are a faithful reader of this blog you know one of my biggest peeves is when people ask me the following questions which I was asked at least 3 times a day:

Are you dating?

Me:  I’m dating everyone.

Are you seeing anyone special?

Me:  Nope. 

Is it hard dating in LA?

Me:  It is.  But I think it’s hard dating anywhere.  The only difference is in LA you really have to be true to who you are so you don’t get caught up in the hype.

Don’t worry you’ll meet the right guy when you least expect it.

My Inner Monologue:  Get the fuck outta here.  All single women are constantly looking for the right man.  They may not admit it but they do!  How the hell are you going to find MR. Right if you aren’t looking.

Each of these innocent questions are always asked and when I give them my answers I feel the slight look of pity.  What most married women do not admit is they secretly are terrified for their single friends because they know how hard it is to find the right guy.  How do I know this?  I was once married and please know and believe I had conversations with other married women at the time.  Why do you think so many women stay in shitty marriages (myself was once included in this statistic).  Some women are so afraid of being alone they would rather stay in a loveless marriage. What they don’t realize is being alone and married is far worse than being alone and single.

There is also going to a party or a BBQ in the burbs as the single woman.  You are normally greeted with looks of Who is this bitch?  You have to be keenly aware of the outfit you wear, who you talk to, and the amount of time you are spending talking to them.  Some of these housewives (again, I use the word SOME) are intimidated by an attractive single women they do not know who suddenly shows up to a BBQ and is speaking to their husband.  Even a simple request like, Excuse me, can you pass the mustard.  Can get a side eye from the wife.  9/10 you aren’t even interested in the man even if he wasn’t married.  But in their minds you are a threat.  I typically stick to the rule of only talking to the guy in a group setting.  If we innocently happen to be at the cooler at the same time getting a drink I immediately will get my drink and scurry off.  For some reason in LA I am not typically as worried about this.  There is a different mentality in a city verse the burbs.  The housewives typically think there is a hidden agenda, and that usually doesn’t have shit to do with you.  It is something that is an internal flaw or insecurity in their relationship with their husband.

Jealous WOman

Going to a party or a BBQ in the burbs as the single woman. You are normally greeted with looks of Who is this bitch? Even a simple request like, Excuse me, can you pass the mustard. Can get a side eye from the wife.

After my 2 weeks of living the New Jersey Housewife life, I needed a break.  Don’t get me wrong, it gave me a greater appreciation of my singledom.  But as I drove over the Ben Franklin Bridge and parked my car in Philadelphia, the city of Brotherly Love.  I went to Rouge and got a table in the window.  I ordered a strong cocktail.  I needed a break from my typical wine.  My thoughts began to run rapidly.  I think when we are single we spend so much time wondering what our life would look like once we are in a relationship.  We envision what we think that will look like, how much “better” our lives would be.  We imagine what our future children will look like (I know I’m not the only woman who will look through a magazine and see a picture of a cute baby with caramel skin and think, That’s what my son will look like).  It is so easy to get caught up in the what will BE instead of living in the what it IS.  Spending this time as a Real Housewife of New Jersey, I realize that I am not the suburbia kind of women.  I definitely want a marriage and I most certainly want kids, but I do not want to give up the life I have for the life I want.  Is there any way the two can co-exist?  Am I being realistic about my expectations?  I was once in a marriage where I attempted to become the person my ex husband wanted me to be and I lost myself and I lost who I was.  Now that I finally found ME I embraced ME.  I realized all my quirks, insecurities, and pet peeves made me vulnerable and I was loving that.  I never wanted to lose sight of that.  Being vulnerable is actually a good thing at times.  Just when I was beginning to doubt the possibility of having the two things I most wanted (the present me and the future me) God always has a way of speaking to you.  A couple who had to be in their late 30’s early 40’s walked into Rouge.  They had a great style to them.  They were casual but had an effortless style to them.  The women pushed in a stroller and the man was holding the hand of his son who had to be at least 4 years old.  I normally would have rolled my eyes when a couple came into a place like Rouge with children worrying that my moment of solitude would be interrupted by a loud crying ass baby but this time I was not annoyed.  They sat at a table close to me in the window and the women put the baby into a high chair.  The man put his son into a booster seat.  The couple gave each other a kiss.  He whispered something in her ear and she laughed and looked him in the eyes lovingly.  When the waiter came over the man ordered a bottle of Cabernet for he and his wife.  This hip couple sat with their kids and had their bottle of wine.  They seemed to have such a connection between the two of them.  They not only were married but they seemed to be… Friends.  And that’s when it clicked.  All this time I have been looking for something but not exactly sure what it was.  At the end of the day when you look for someone who is your friend first everything else will fall into place.  He won’t try to put you into a box and you won’t try to tie him down.

Happy Black Family

For a second I imagined myself with my future hubby and my kids chilling at a restaurant and enjoying our family time. Looking at that family made me realize it is possible for your present and future to coexist.

For a second I imagined myself with my future hubby and my kids chilling at a restaurant and enjoying our family time.  Looking at that family made me realize it is possible for your present and future to coexist.  In order to be who you are going to be, you don’t have to change who you are.  It is possible.  As I made my way back over the bridge in to the burbs, I had to make a pit stop at the grocery store.  As I passed the spot that was right in the front that was reserved for the Customer with Kids and was forced to park in West Bumblefuck I didn’t roll my yes or get mad.  Instead I parked my single ass there took my long ass walk into the grocery and embraced my temporary life as a New Jersey Housewife.  When I was in line with my two items, a lady who was there with her three kids (all under 5) stood behind me trying to tame her wild out of control kids.  I looked back at her, smiled and told her to go in front of me.  She was so grateful and thanked me a million times as she unloaded her full cart and tried to gain control over her bad ass kids.  You see, it’s also possible for the single city girl and the Suburban Housewife to co-exist as well.

 

 

 

 

Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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

Cinderella and the Size 11 Glass Slipper….

Glass Slippers

Cinderella and the Size 11 Glass Slipper….

Weddings…  They just bring out the best in people.  They make you believe it is possible to love and be loved.  I recently made a pact with myself that I would not attend any weddings of couples that I felt would not last or were getting married for the wrong reasons.  When I got the invite for my girlfriends wedding taking place in the Santa Barbara wine country in the middle of a beautiful vineyard, it wasn’t just the location that excited me.  But this was a girlfriend who was marrying a man that made her smile.  He enhanced her already full life.  And when you were around the two of them you felt the mutual adoration and genuine authentic love that made me believe marriage the second time around was so much better!  After a touching ceremony, my favorite part of a wedding began.  The reception!  This reception was better than most because it had a plethora of amazing wines.   And there was an endless amount.  I didn’t have to drive and I was amongst friends who were wine lovers and there was no judgment of amount of consumption that any of us were having.  In every wedding reception there is always the inevitable…  The singles table.  Having been married before and tasked with organizing a wedding, I know there is a lot of thought that goes into the seating arrangements.  My ex and I spent endless hours trying to figure out where to seat people based on personalities, common interest, and marital status when we were planning our $100K wedding (I will dedicate a blog to that one day… maybe… it might deserve a book).  Anyway I digressed…  My point is, couples do not just throw a bunch of names in a hat and randomly pick names out and seat them at a table.  A lot of thought goes into this process.  I was curious to see where my girlfriend decided to seat me for her wedding.  And she did a great job.  It was definitely the lively fun table.  There was a mixture of couples and singles.  Here was no pressure just people there to have a good time.  I knew all of the people at the table so I knew it was going to be a fun night.  A gentleman sat to next to me who I didn’t know.  He clearly knew my crew so I assumed he must be an out of town guest.  He introduced himself to me and made a wise crack (can’t remember what he said) but I felt like I was sitting next to the male version of me.  He was charming, funny, and kept pouring the wine.  “Rasan” was in business development.  He lived between NY and LA.  Now let me be very clear here.  We just happened to sit next to each other.  It wasn’t some romantic feeling like the music stopped and I thought I met the “one.”  This wedding reception was a true paaaaartay!  So all the guests were on the dance floor having a good time.  A few times we happened to dance together.  It was just fun all around.

vibe-vixen-black-couple-laughing

He introduced himself to me and made a wise crack (can’t remember what he said) but I felt like I was sitting next to the male version of me. He was charming, funny, and kept pouring the wine.

Not only was there a popping wedding reception but there was also an after party as well.  After having a round of lemon drop shots the night was definitely off to a great start.  Not to mention the DJ was playing an abundance of Prince and Michael Jackson.  But with all the drinking and partying my size 11 feet needed to have a break.  And I am not one too dance barefoot.  No judgment for people who do.  But it must be the Leo in me or the Diva in me, but I am not the chick who is comfortable being that comfortable in public.  So I sat my ass down, had a glass of water, and cooled off.  “Rasan” came and sat next to me a few minutes later.  And we spent the next 2 hours talking about relationships, weddings, life, business, and anything and everything else under the sun. (some things we discussed I will leave between me and “Rasan” see… for all you nosey ass men out there reading my blog I don’t tell everything!)  He had a great sense of humor, and I enjoyed his company.  My ride to the wedding gave me a single she was ready to go.  I assumed (there goes that damn word ASS-U-ME) he was going to ask me for my number when he saw we were getting ready to go…  He didn’t.  So I went to hug everyone goodbye and make my way out.  Of course as I hugged my various friends a few whispered, “What’s up with you and Rasan?” Talk about pressure.  Can’t two people of the opposite sex sit down and have conversation without people thinking it is going to lead to something?!  Although in my own mind I ASS-U-ME-D he would at least ask for my number since we had this great conversation.  As I was leaving I saw he was talking to one of his friends and it’s not like he went out of his way to ask for my number.  And I am not a desperate bitch who is going to go out of my way to get his.  I mean really…. We talked for 2 damn hours.  How in the world is he going to monopolize my time for 2 hours and not ask for my number?!  What the fuck?  I was slightly annoyed.  Note to the nosey ass men reading my blog:  NEVER monopolize a women’s time for hours on end and not close the deal!  That is just…. RUDE!  2 Hours?  I could have been talking to someone else!

When my girlfriend and I got in the car the conversation began.

Girlfriend:  It looks like you and Rasan were in deep conversation.  SO what’s the deal?

Me:  I have no idea.  He didn’t ask for my number.

My girlfriend slammed on her brakes and looked at me like I had two heads.

Girlfriend:  What?  You’re lying!

Me:  I wish I was.

Girlfriend:  But he was talking to you all night.  I don’t get it.

Me:  Me neither.  I definitely expressed interest.  Did he expect me to through my panties at him to let him know I was interested?!  Maybe he was waiting for right before I left.  Did I leave too soon?

Girlfriend:  I don’t think so.  I gave you the single 30 minutes before we were leaving out.  He had all night to ask you.

Me:  I’m so confused!  Maybe I left too soon…

Girlfriend:  Do you want to go back? 

Me:  HELL NAW!!!  That’s what I ain’t gon’ do!  (all the wine and lemon drop shots were beginning to take effect and my otherwise proper English was becoming straight up Jersey shore)

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Girlfriend: Do you want to go back?
Me: HELL NAW!!! That’s what I ain’t gon’ do! (all the wine and lemon drop shots were beginning to take effect and my otherwise proper English was becoming straight up Jersey shore)

The next week “Rasan” crossed my mind a few times.  I began to wonder if I had left too soon.  It just wasn’t making sense that we didn’t exchange numbers.  He was definitely single, the convo was certainly good, and we seemed to have some things in common.  How many times has that happened?  Where you meet a guy, you think you were vibing and then nothing.  What happens to these guys?  Do they disappear into dating purgatory?  You’re left wondering… did I not give him enough of clues that I was interested… Did I leave too soon… Should I have just given him my number and wait for him to call?  All that second guessing!

The following weekend I ended up going to a party with my friends.  A lot of the same people from the wedding were there.  Of course I got a few questions…

What happened with you and Rasan?  I saw y’all talking.

Me:  Nothing.  He didn’t ask for my number.

I was greeted with responses of horror.  No one seemed to get it.  There were a few theories (which I won’t go into detail on).  I was on my way out of the party and my friend had to make a quick trip to the ladies room.  As I waited for her, I looked around the club.  I was kind of bored and it had been such a long week I was certainly ready to go home.  I looked to the far right and guess whose eyes I caught… “Rasan.”  That’s the thing about LA.  When you roll in certain crowds there are only 2 degrees of separation not 6.  He made his way over to me.  He gave me a hug.

Rasan:  What’s up Cinderella?

Me:  How are you?

Rasan:  I felt like you had left the reception and I was left holding your glass slipper before I could ask for your number.

Me:  Well, I was confused.  All week I was wondering what the hell happened!

Rasan:  You left so quickly.

Me:  We were talking for 2 hours I figured once you saw me leaving you would ask for my number.

Rasan:  Well let’s exchange them now before you disappear again.

With that “Rasan” and I exchanged numbers.  He walked me and my friend to the car.  And he sent me a text later that night.

I’m glad I ran into you.  I don’t go out to clubs much but your girl told me you would be here and I thought I would take a chance and run into you.

cute-black-couple

I looked to the far right and guess whose eyes I caught… Okay. So I wasn’t a complete and total moron. He was interested.

 

Okay.  So I wasn’t a complete and total moron.  He was interested.  The next day we exchanged texts throughout the afternoon.  A little bit of a turn off but I am trying not to be so quick to drop men too soon.  Around 7:20 that evening he sent me a text.

Rasan:  Some friends and I are out bowling.  Do you want to come through?

Now I am not one that sticks with rules too often.  However, I know he didn’t ask me out to meet with him at 7:20.  Did he think I was just going to jump up and roll through?  My time is valuable.  You don’t ask a woman to meet up with you the same day and expect her to arrive in the next 30 minutes.  I felt like a…. After thought.  This was beginning to look like a pattern.  From him not asking for my number to him asking me to hang out at the last minute.  I can’t even say he was asking me out on date.  I don’t do well with dating ambiguity.  I had to make sure my response didn’t show my utter annoyance.

Me:  To be honest, I am an awful bowler.  As a matter of fact I would probably cause you and your friends to lose points.  I def would like to hang with you but I am still recuperating from the weekend so let’s try to get together another time.

Rasan:  Alright cool.

He sent me a few texts here and there. But we just didn’t end up vibing.  And because I consider “Rasan” a guy who will be a friend (not on a romantic level) I have to respect our private conversations and can’t go into detail on them.

book-burning

That’s why I suggest all women who have purchased that stupid ass book and movie, He’s Just Not That Into You to burn it. This is a man who has made millions making women feel inadequate because it insinuates there is something wrong with you that is causing a man to not respond or like you and that is pure unadulterated BULLSHIT!

 

I know you all are probably thinking…  Well damn… bitch!  Why the fuck are you even bothering writing this post?  Sometimes it’s okay to leave Prince Charming holding the glass slipper instead of your broken heart.  How many times, have we as women, met a guy and for whatever reason he didn’t respond in the way we thought he would and we automatically start wondering, What’s wrong with ME?  What did I do wrong?  What could I have done differently?  Maybe he wasn’t attracted to ME?  Lots of times when a man doesn’t respond the way you think he should it doesn’t have shit to do with you, it is all on him.  It doesn’t make him a bad guy but for whatever reason he might be going through something in his life where he can’t respond in the way that you want him to and it has nothing to do with you.  In the case of “Rasan” he was not responding to me in the way I thought he should NOT because he wasn’t into me, but because he had other stuff he had going on that didn’t have anything to do with me.  That’s why I suggest all women who have purchased that stupid ass book and movie, He’s Just Not That Into You to burn it.  This is a man who has made millions making women feel inadequate because it insinuates there is something wrong with you that is causing a man to not respond or like you and that is pure unadulterated BULLSHIT!  That book has fucked up so many women’s self esteem.  Sometimes a guy can be into you but the timing isn’t right.  Sometimes it is okay to leave Prince Charming holding that damn glass slipper.  The thing about glass slippers are with pressure, expectations, and assumptions… they break.  So how about going out to Neiman Marcus and getting a brand new pair that can handle all of you and won’t break under pressure and be ready for the KING you are meant to meet.

Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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

The Sponsorship Package

nightclub

I confess… in my 20’s I was a party girl. No surprise there.

What an exhausting week!  Whenever there is an Awards Show taking place in LA it is easy to wear yourself out going to all the various events and parties.  This past weekend was no different.  By the time Saturday rolled around I could not move out of my bed.  I literally stayed in the bed watching Lifetime and Bravo all day with the exception of heading out to Trader Joe’s to pick up a bottle of Kono Sauvignon Blanc (one of the best wines for a great price).  How in the world did I allow myself to run out of a bottle?!  Anyway, I digressed.  I had an interesting interaction with a blast from the past over the weekend.  And it stayed heavily on my mind.  I met “Sharon” shortly after I moved to LA.  I was 23 at the time.  “Sharon” never divulged her age.  I suspect she was in her late 30’s when I met her back then.  We met at a party at The Gate.  I confess… in my 20’s I was a party girl.  No surprise there.  Now let me elaborate on that because in this day and age when you say “Party Girl” people envision Lindsey Lohan, snorting drugs, and doing all kinds of crazy shit.  That is certainly not what I mean.  For me, I went out 5 days a week.  I looked forward to Thursday nights at The Gate and Sunday nights at The Garden of Eden.  Back when I was in my 20’s those were the Black Hollywood hot spots.  I knew all the bouncers.  There’s nothing more exhilarating for a 20 year to walk past a long line and hug the bouncers as they opened the red velvet rope to allow you access to the hottest party in town.  The Door Men in LA are treated like “Gods.”  They have the “power” to elevate your social status or send you into a depression by not letting you in.  I have seen it happen on many occasions.  A young girl who might be slightly overweight or unattractive gets dissed at the door.  To give someone that kind of power is astonishing.  These men are just Door Men.  Get the fuck outta here!  Looking back on it now it is so damn silly.  I would go out and get home around 3am in the morning and be up for work the next day at 8:30 and not miss a beat.  If I did that shit now I would pass out.  I had complimented “Sharon” on her fabulous Manolo Blahnik shoes.  When we discovered we both wore a size 11 we instantly bonded.  We Big Feet girls have to stick together.
Me:  I have looked all over for a size 11 in those shoes!  (I failed to mention even during the Neiman Marcus yearly sale at the reduced price of $250 my budget still could not afford it at that time)

Sharon:  Oh honey, I have to get my shoes customized! 

Me:  How much did those cost to get them custom?

Sharon:  Just $1200.

Me:  Go guuuuurl!

Sharon:  We big feet girls gotta stick together.  I have a table you should come over and join us for a drink.

With that I followed “Sharon” to the VIP section of the club.  She happened to be with a very famous real estate developer in LA.  There were endless bottles of Perrier Joulet Champagne.  I was in a sea of fake hair, oversized breast implants, skin tight short dresses, overly plumped lips, and ridiculously made up faces.  The club scene in LA comprises of various categories of women.  Actually this is LA in generally inside and outside of the club.

Draya

The Video Vixen

The Video Vixen

These are the women who make a living out of showing off their ASS-ets.  Typically they had their first child in high school and have another child with an unsuspecting rookie star athlete.  They have the long weaves, big asses and breasts with a tiny waistline.  They know they have Coke bottle bodies and make it a point to show it off. They roll with a crew of Video Vixens and typically know all the athletes and rappers in the club.  They are constantly on the grind to be featured in the next hot new video.  Refer to Draya from Basketball Wives LA.  She is the epitome of a Video Vixen.

Meagan-Good-Wallpapers-13

The Hollywood Starlet

 

The Hollywood Starlet

These are the women who are currently in a TV Series or Reality show.  They aren’t exactly A Listers but they are on their way.  They walk into a club or a restaurant with an air of “You should know who I am.”  They are bigger in their own minds than in reality.  They all are carbon copies of each other.  The long weave, the overly made up camera ready face, the trendy clothes.  But don’t hate on these up and coming starlets.  2 out of 10 of them just may make it big and become A -Listers.  Going out for them is a business it is a job to make sure they are being seen on the scene.  In their minds they figure being out on the scene they bump into Russell Simmons or Mara Brock Akil and get offered their next role.  Refer to Nene Leakes (circa RHOA Season 1) or Meagan Good (circa 2006 before she got married to the preacher)

evelyn-lozada-2

The Groupie

The Groupie

The main difference between The Groupie and The Video Vixen is really quite simple, they do not try to front like they are on a grind.  The mission of the groupie is to land a star athlete so they do not have to work anymore.  7 times out of 10 these are hairstylists who work in smaller salons and do not have celebrity clients.  (Don’t ask me why, but they are.  I’m just saying don’t shoot the messenger.)  They go to the club on a mission. These are the women when the second a star athlete walks into a party with their entourage suddenly they make it a point to dance seductively in front of them or go to the bar near them all in an effort to catch their eye.  They will sleep with one of these guys for a handbag or some small piece of jewelry.  They will rock the latest fashions and carry the largest designer handbag.  Refer to Evelyn Lozado from Basketball Wives she is the epitome of a groupie who fucked her way to stardom (no judgment).

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The Has Been

The Has Been

These women are the antithesis of the Hollywood Starlet.  They were once on a hot show or reality show.  They long to be back to where they were in their hay-day.  They are typically in their late forties but still try to dress like they are in their 20’s.  That’s the thing about Hollywood; you are only as good as your last movie or hit TV series.  The hard thing for a lot of actresses is once you are on a hit TV series or been a star of a hit movie, if you cannot keep on your grind and land the next project you are kind of screwed.  Lots of these women do not have a fall back plan or they end up being in a bunch of D list straight to video Indie movies.  Or they land on a reality show thinking it will revive their career or do all kinds of crazy antics to remain relevant in the press.  Refer to former Miss USA Kenya Moore or Claudia Jordan.

Shonda Rhimes

The Executive

The Executive

The thing I love about The Executives is because they are behind the scenes at first glance people do not know how they are unless they are in the industry and have worked closely with them.  So when the Video Vixens, The Has Beens, and The Hollywood Starlet walk past the table of executives sitting at an event or a party and do not say anything, little do they know they passed up the potential opportunity for work.  These women are classy, low key, and exude a confidence that shows.  They sit in board rooms and multimillion dollar productions of major studios.  They have power.  Refer to famous executives like a Shonda Rhimes or a Tracey Edmonds.  As well as low key executives like a Robbi Reed who has casts most of the famous black actresses in Hollywood in their first movie roles.

Monique

The Universal Down Chick

The Universal Down Chick

These are the women who actually go out to have a good time.  They are professional women.  Some are up and coming executives, doctors, lawyers, and business women.  They know how to trade in the scrubs and business suits and rock a short skirt or a tight dress.  They have a natural beauty to them; short haircuts, naturally long hair.  They know lots of people in the industry and are typically very friendly and class acts.  They are the everyday professional women.  They take care of themselves and are independent.  They like the finer things in life but they also have no problem rocking something cute from Zara’s.  They buy things based on how they look not necessarily the name brands. But don’t get it confused they will rock a designer handbag and some high Louboutins in a heartbeat.  Don’t get it twisted these woman could pull the best of the best men.  They are what men refer to as “marriage material” because they are sincere and do not have a hidden agenda.  Refer to… Me!!!

KimPorterPDiddyKimPorterHangingOutvd1t8Xjljttl

The Kept Woman

The Kept Woman

These women take being a Groupie to the next level.  These are women who only deal with multimillionaires/billionaires.  I’m talking $300million plus.  Dating an athlete is beneath them.  They do not have time for new money men.  They want old and solidified money.  Typically the men the deal with are married or have a significant other.  That doesn’t bother these women as a matter of fact the wives usually know they exist and just deal with it.  Their lifestyle is being funded by these men.  This includes their high end condos, expensive cars, clothes, and just day to day living expenses.  They are at the mercy and becking call of these men.  They take trips to St. Tropez and other exotic places.  They are living life to the fullest on the dime of these men who have the money to spend it.

“Sharon” was a kept woman.  She and I became close because she trusted me with a lot of her secrets.  I was always amazed with how she would just spend money like it was nothing.  We would have lunch at the Polo Lounge, dinner at Crustaceans.  Her life was fascinating.  She lived in an amazing condo in the Palisades that over looked the ocean.  She has a personal shopper at Neiman Marcus and Saks.  Here I was struggling at that time in my life.  I had just moved out to LA with a dollar and a dream. But I had this thing called independence.  I never wanted to be dependent on anyone.  And then you had “Sharon” who was living the high life.  However, I remember the times when “Sharon’s” “sponsor” would get mad at her and she had no idea how she was going to pay her rent or car note.   That’s the thing with being a Kept Woman.  The lifestyle seems so glamorous and so enticing but a man can wake up and change his mind and what are you supposed to do then?  What is your fall back plan?

And that’s exactly what happened to “Sharon” one day her “sponsor” woke up and changed his mind and she was left with NOTHING!  She fought him on it and threatened to tell the press his deepest darkest secrets and write a tell all book.  He ended up giving her a settlement and made her sign an NDA which shut her up for good and she couldn’t go back and ask him for more money.  She ended up leaving LA for a while.  I had no idea where she went and we lost touch.  Fast forward to last weekend when I ran into her.  She had definitely aged.  Her weave was looking tired.  As a matter of fact you could see her tracks.  She had on an older Herve Leger dress.  The sparkle that once existed in her eyes when we used to hang out a decade earlier was lost.  It was quite sad.  She gave me the biggest hug.  We promised to get together for dinner later that week at Riva Bella.  This was one of the newest restaurants by the same owner of Boa (Definitely one of the Hollywood hot spots of the moment).

Just like old times the bitch was late!!!  And not just a few minutes late, try 1 fucking hour late!  I was completely annoyed and close to bouncing out.  Luckily, the host knew me well from my various client meetings I had there so she was able to get me a table.  I looked outside and saw “Sharon” had pulled up in a Honda.  It was quite a switch from the comfortable Jaguar she used to drive.  I was stunned.  When she finally made her appearance she was frazzled.

Sharon:  Girl I am so sorry I was late.  I wasn’t sure what to wear. My friend said this dress wasn’t fancy enough but I thought it was fine….

Me:  You look fine but your ass was about to get left.

Sharon:  I know, I know there was so much traffic.

Me:  Where were you coming from?

Sharon:  Ladera Heights.

Me:  Ladera Heights?  What were you doing there?

Sharon:  I’m staying with a friend there.

I was shocked.  Ladera Heights is often referred to as the black Beverly Hills or the Hills above the Hood.  A lot of professional blacks live in that area.  The houses are beautiful and reasonably priced.  But it is a few traffic lights from Inglewood and not really my cup of tea.  I prefer to live in the actual Beverly Hills a few traffic lights away from Bel Air.  That’s just me.  There was once a time when “Sharon” said she wouldn’t be caught dead in Ladera Heights and now she was living there?  When we finally got to the table she hadn’t stopped talking.  She was now interested in managing talent and was in the process of finding “clients.”

Me:  What have you been up to in the last few years.

Sharon:  I ended up living in Barbados for a while just to get away.

Me:  Have you spoken to——

Sharon:  Girl once.  I had called him and asked him if I could get more money.  You know he gave me a settlement but that wasn’t enough to live off for a long period of time.

Me:  Did he send you more money?

Sharon:  Guuuurl no!  He hung up on me and blocked my calls.

Me:  Damn.  I’m sorry to hear that.  So now what?

Sharon:  Next week I am taking a break and heading out St. Tropez.  It’s time to find another sponsor girl!

Me:  How in the world are you going to afford to go to St Tropez?!

Sharon:  A friend of mine got me a ticket and I am staying with him for a while. We deserve to live the glamorous life.

Me:  Why not stay here and build your management firm?  You don’t need a sponsor you need to start depending on you.

I tried not to sound judgmental or too motherly.  But hadn’t she learned her lesson?  She once had a sponsor and lived the high life and that got her absolutely NO WHERE but broke and penniless and here she was damn near 50 and still up to the same shenanigans.  It was sad.  There was once a time when I looked up to her lifestyle.  All I saw was this glamorous life she lived.  At that time I had no idea the price she had to pay for that lifestyle.  It is so easy to get caught up in that lifestyle and living for the moment instead of the bigger picture.  LA is a city where if you aren’t grounded you can end up in orbit and not know how to return to the stratosphere.  Lots of times us Universal Down Chicks look at the Groupie, The Video Vixens, The Kept Women, and The Has Beens and we can find ourselves wondering What am I doing wrong?  Why do they always seem to get the “good” guys?  Maybe I should get a weave or change my wardrobe…  We look from the outside and not the reality of what’s really going on.  At the end of the evening I ended up paying for our dinner and gave her a hug as I left.  Hey, if she likes it I love it.  It was defeintely a full circle moment.  I love the lane I am in an don’t plan on switching.  There is certainly something to being the Universal Down Chick and The Executive.  Nice girls don’t always finish last.

Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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

IHOP

Couple Eiffel Tower

. Paris quickly became my soul mate as I strolled the streets and breathed in the air, ate amazing food, drank delicious wine, shopped in expensive boutiques.

Last fall I took a trip of a lifetime with my mother.  We did a mother-daughter trip to Paris and then headed over to London.  When I was in college, I spent a semester abroad in London and fell in love with the culture, the people, the pomp and circumstance, and the beer (I returned with a bit of a beer gut).  And London was one of my favorite spots overseas.  But that was until I went to Paris last year.  First of all, can we get a moment of silence for the European men?  They are just so damn sexy and manly.  They are romantic and they can dress their asses off.  Paris quickly became my soul mate as I strolled the streets and breathed in the air, ate amazing food, drank delicious wine, shopped in expensive boutiques.  My French even improved after a while.  I know they had me when I said, “D’accord” without even thinking about it.  I realized I must have been Parisian in another life.  The moment I left, my spirit longed to return.  Oh… Paris… How I miss thee!!!

Fast forward to present time, last week my girlfriend and I decided to switch things up.  It was the NBA finals and we knew every man in LA was going to be at some sports bar catching the game.  So we figured we might as well switch things up a bit and head over to Mad Bull’s Tavern in the valley.  We knew it was going to be packed but we didn’t realize it was going to be an Oasis of men!  It was great.  What I discovered is men are in a different start of mind when they are in a sports bar watching a game.  They are extremely laid back and relaxed.  They are in their element.  They get to enjoy two things they like beer and food.  So their guards are down.  As a woman walking into their environment the key is to adjust.  Ladies, please don’t walk into a sports bar with a pair of heels on and a dress that’s called PRESSED!  My girlfriend and I were able to get a table.  I ordered a glass of wine (yes I had wine in a sports bar) and some wings and let the festivities begin.  I decided to root for the Spurs.  I could have given two shits about who won or lost the game but rooting for the team that most of the folks in the bar were rooting against made for some great conversation starters and an easy way to flirt.

Guy at Bar:  You’re rooting for the wrong team!  What’s up with that?

Me:  I like to root for the under dogs.  Besides I’m over Lebron and Chris Posh’s game has been off all season. (Mind you I had no fucking clue what I was talking about.  The only reason I know anything about Chris ugly ass Posh is simply from reading the gossip blogs about his ongoing custody battle with his baby momma and the fact that his former video vixen wife is pregnant again… I’m a mess!  But I did sound convincing)

Guy at Bar:  I ain’t mad at you!

As the night went on there was a feeling of comradery among the bar patrons.  Everyone was having a good time and there was a great energy.  At one point during the game I notice a guy across the room giving me the eye.  SO I gave him my mega million dollar smile (if you can’t flatter yourself, who else will) and he smiled back.  Okay… I liked this scene.  By the end of the evening he had made his way over to my table.  The second “Pierre” opened his mouth I knew he was French!  Oui! Oui! Oui!  My inner diva did cartwheels.

Pierre:  Did you enjoy the game?

Me:  It was a good game.

Pierre:  What’s your name?

Me:  Monique.

Pierre:  Monique.  French name huh?

At that moment I wanted to send my mother a text message thanking her for naming me a French name.  The sound of my name in a French accent was just right on time.  But I first had to confirm he was indeed from France.  No offense, but I’m not interested in dating Prince Akeem from coming to America!  (don’t judge my ignorance)

Me:  Where are you from? 

Pierre:  France. 

Me:  That’s what I figured.  Paris is one of my favorite places.

So with that we continued our conversation about Paris and how I want to brush up on my French and we exchanged numbers.  The next day “Pierre” asked me out on a date for that weekend.  He picked a great location too.  A new spot called The Village in Studio City.  When it was time to order our drinks he ordered a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.  I could hear him say Sauvignon Blanc over and over again.  “Pierre” was a 37 year old engineer.  He was divorced and had no kids.   He moved to LA from France 10 years ago.  He talked about how when he first got to the states he hung out with mostly all French people but realized he needed to become fluent in English so he started hanging out with Americans.   He was truly a genuinely nice guy.  It was refreshing to be out with a man who was well traveled, smart, and knew all about my favorite city in the world.  At one point the waiter came up to our table and asked him if he was from France.  Ironically the waiter was French too and they started speaking in French.  Now here’s the deal.  I can appreciate when people speak in another language and have enough sense to translate for me.  That way you don’t feel like a complete outsider.  This was definitely a good first date in my book.  It has been a while since I have went out with someone that I actually liked and who knew how to court a woman.

The next few days went by we spoke over the phone and we also texted.  Our next date he invited me to this party at Sur Lounge.  It’s called French Tuesdays.  I had a work event to go to earlier that evening but I decided to live a little and meet him afterwards.  When I got to Sur Lounge he was waiting outside for me.  Like I said earlier, European men have a style to them that American men just haven’t mastered.  He was wearing a beautifully tailored blazer and jeans.  His face lit up when he saw me… I liked that!  When we walked into Sur Lounge I was literally transformed into another world.  There was lounge music playing and the place was packed.  No one in there was speaking English.  I literally felt like I had taken a flight to Paris.  It was great.  We ordered champagne.  He introduced me to his friends.  I attempted to speak a little bit of the French I knew and butchered it.  But the great thing was he helped me out.  I have lived in LA and never experienced this type of scene.  It was glamorous, sexy, and very European.  I really had a great time and it was unexpected.

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I think what draws me to Parisians is they live life to the fullest. They drink their wine without worrying about if they are drinking too much, they eat their pastries without the concern for calories, and they show affection without thinking about what people think.

Seriously I am really beginning to enjoy my singledom.  This was truly an IHOP experience (International House of Possibilities).  I’m learning to stop limiting myself.  I’m not going to put so many damn parameters around this dating thing.  I think what draws me to Parisians is they live life to the fullest.  They drink their wine without worrying about if they are drinking too much, they eat their pastries without the concern for calories, and they show affection without thinking about what people think.  Perhaps if I began to live my life like I am the inner Parisian woman that I see myself as I will learn how to let go and embrace these various possibilities.  I have no idea what the future holds with me and “Pierre” and I am not thinking about it either.  I am just going to live and enjoy myself as if I were in Paris.  Laissez bon temps rollez!  Au Reviour!

 

 

 

Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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

40 Shades of Grey

Looking in Mirror

I remember the first few months of my divorce; I would look at myself in the mirror and feel like there was a huge weight on my shoulders. I would also look at myself and feel like I was a different person.

I remember the first few months of my divorce; I would look at myself in the mirror and feel like there was a huge weight on my shoulders.  I would also look at myself and feel like I was a different person.  I still looked like myself but I felt like I was wounded and I didn’t know how to heel the injury.  Fast forward to present day.  I have really been focusing on my friendships and my family.  I went out with one of my close girlfriends last weekend.  She is 42 and newly engaged.  We have been close friends for the last 10 years.  We have gone through the ups and downs of dating and as her close friend it is so great to see her excitement during this time of her life.  As we sat down having cocktails overlooking the ocean at the Loew’s Hotel in Santa Monica she was reminiscing over the last decade.

Girlfriend:  I tell you, life is so interesting.  You really have to enjoy your life and live in the moment. 

Me:  That has been a recurring theme lately.

Girlfriend:  Trust me, I understand.  I met my honey later in life.  But if I had met him before I did neither one of us would have been ready.  You see, the 20’s are for making the mistakes.  The 30’s are for learning the lessons, and once you reach your 40’s you hit your stride.  You’ve made the mistakes and learned the lessons.  And you are at a point in your life where you say fuck it!  I am who I am and it’s okay.

Ironically, this wasn’t the first time I had heard that saying.  But perhaps it was the first time I was really paying attention to what she was saying.  The very next day, I met up with another group of my girlfriends who happened to be in their early 40’s as well.  We were celebrating my girlfriend’s 40th birthday.  It was a beautiful day in Malibu.  We sat outside at Gladstone’s eating Oysters and having some wine.   We were all sharing our dating horror stories and just bonding.  All of us at the table had gone through a divorce or some type of heartache at one point in our lives and had made it to the other side.

Me:  What are some of the lessons you learned in your 30’s?

Girlfriend:  Let me tell you something.  You are young.  You cannot settle!  Lots of times we settle and we put up with a lot of shit that we shouldn’t.  If something doesn’t seem right, keep it moving!

Me:  How do I know if I am not being reasonable?  In the past I have been accused of not giving guys a chance.

Girlfriend:  Oh please, if it’s not right it’s not right.  You know when shit doesn’t feel right.  You can’t force stuff.  I’m not telling you to be a raging bitch.  But I don’t want you to be in something just because you don’t want to be alone.  I don’t want you to put up with crap just because you think you can’t get better or you’re getting “old.”  Chile’ please. 

There seems to be a certain stride that women hit once they turn 40.  I noticed it in a lot of my friends.  First of all, they all look beautiful.  There is an inner and outer beauty that radiates from within.  There is a certain amount of confidence I notice in women in their 40’s as well.  When I was going through my divorce my mother once told me, “You have earned your battle stripes.”  I realized those times when I was looking at myself in the mirror I WAS looking at a different person.  I no longer lived in this fantasy world.  I had gone through the trenches of a bitter breakup and I made it.  I realized I was becoming a true grown ass woman.  You see, in my 20’s I saw things as either black or white.  There was no in between.  I was going to be married by the time I reached 30, it would last forever, I would have my 2.5 children, and a house with a white picket fence.  By the time I reached my 30’s and was in a bad marriage, I still saw things as black and white, I was determined to make things work in spite of the fact I knew deep in my soul I was with the wrong person.  I was willing to shrink who I was to fit into his small world in order to make him happy.  But by the time I was going through the divorce that is when my black and white world was suddenly turning gray.  And that’s when I realized as a 35 year old women I am in the midst of becoming the woman I was supposed to be.  Without the experience I had I would have still been living in my black and white fantasy world.

I don’t think it is a coincidence that I have a lot of my close girlfriends who are in their 40’s.   They are like big sisters to me and there is such a love that we share.  And there is also authenticity.  We don’t bullshit around; we say it like we mean it.  Although I have sometime before I hit my 40’s (I ain’t trying to rush shit).  I realized I was finally hitting my stride.  I was in the middle of learning those lessons.  I had already made the big mistakes and now was my time to learn from them.  It’s amazing what happens when you decide to focus on you and not finding a relationship.  I am hyper aware of a lot of things around me.  I yearn for those perils of wisdom.  I can’t lie, in the last few months I had those moments of feeling like, I’m getting older.  If I don’t meet someone by the time I hit 40 the pickings are going to get slimmer.  I live in LA; men will think I am too old.  I want to have children one day.  I need to hurry up and find someone before I hit 40!

 

cupcakebirthday

I don’t think it is a coincidence that I have a lot of my close girlfriends who are in their 40’s. They are like big sisters to me and there is such a love that we share. And there is also authenticity. We don’t bullshit around; we say it like we mean it.

That’s why it is important to surround yourself around positive people who have some damn sense!  I was already beginning to do exactly what I was doing in my late 20’s and look where that got me.  Now at 35 I had learned the lesson.  When you let fear and worry dictate your actions you end up making major mistakes.  I am finally learning to enjoy my “grey” time.  Life isn’t just black and white.  When you mix the two colors together you become a fully authentic woman.  When you earn your battle strips you learn what roads lead you to another war.  When you begin to embrace who you are at any age life becomes worth living it to the fullest.
 
Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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

Picture Perfect

Text Photo Horror

I opened the picture message and had to do a double, triple, quadruple take. Suddenly I was wide awake.

Summertime is in the air!  Am I the only one that loves the summertime?  I feel like people are a little more laid back, the sun is constantly shining.  I thrive in the summer.  Perhaps it’s because I was born in August and my spirit automatically feels rejuvenated during the summertime.  But either way it’s a beautiful time to live in LA.  As you know I recently took a hiatus in the dating world.  I made up my mind I would not date anyone who I didn’t see having potential or anyone I wasn’t attracted to.  I did the research on both and I had a new perspective.  When I think about it, I think I dated a lot right after my divorce because it kept me busy and I also questioned my judgment on everything when it came to dating.  Then I started to think I was shallow so I started dating men who I might not have necessarily been attracted to thinking they would treat me like a queen.  I quickly realized that was not necessarily the case.  So I have taken the last few weeks to be EXTREMELY selective and guess what?  I am completely fine with that.  Judge me if you want.  I’m doing things my way and for the first time in my life I really and truly don’t give a shit what anyone else thinks about it.  Don’t get me wrong, this is in no means a bitter girls rant.  It just feels so freeing when you finally realize the key to having the life you want is living the life you want.  What a simple theory.  It took me 35 years to figure it out.

I completely digressed….  Recently unbeknownst to me, my acupuncturist  decided to play match maker.  Only in LA!  LOL!  She gave me the number to a guy she met that she thought would be perfect for me.  According to her, he is a really nice guy, handsome, 6’5, and driven.  I figured I had nothing to lose.  And the superficial side of me could appreciate the 6’5 height.  Yes I am still a shallow vain bitch at times.  So I gave the guy a call.  And he seemed nice, charming, funny, smart, the caveat was he lived in Northern California.  I really wasn’t looking to do another long distance relationship.  But at least this guy lived on the same coast.  We continued to talk on the phone and then the inevitable happened.  He asked for me to send him a picture and then he said he was going to send me a picture.  And I freaked out.  I instantly had a flashback to 3 years ago….

3 years ago I was still going through my divorce at this time.  So to get my mind off of my ex and LA my friends and I took a girls trip to South Beach Miami.  While I was there I ran into an old college buddy who was there with some of his frat brothers.  He introduced me to one of them.  “Ryan” was a Psychologist with a PhD. There was an instant attraction between the two of us.  We needed up hanging out while I was in Miami.  He lived in the Mid West.  So once we returned to our home bases we continued to talk on the phone.  We had our first phone conversation.  It lasted over 3 hours.  We talked a lot about relationships.  “Ryan” had recently broken up with his daughter’s mother.  We talked about world events, racism and just life in general.  I was really excited.  The fact that he came with a referral was definitely a plus.  So as we were ending our 3 hour conversation”Ryan” had one request.

Ryan:  Can you send me a picture?

Me:  Sure, but I am going to need one of you.

Ryan:  I got you covered…

So we hung up the phone and I ended up falling asleep.  I didn’t get a chance to send him my picture that night.  I woke up the next morning and instantly went to check my phone.  I’m NOT a morning person, so when I first wake up it takes me a minute to adjust to the light that comes into my room and wake up.  So I rolled over and picked up my phone and saw I had a picture message from “Ryan.”  I opened the picture message and had to do a double, triple, quadruple take.  Suddenly I was wide awake.  I jumped up from out of my bed, wiped my eyes and looked at the picture again.  It hadn’t changed.  “Ryan” had sent me a picture of Penis!  With a text message that said… Good Morning.

What the fuck?!  First of all, I had only gone out with him one time.  We didn’t even talk about sex during our conversation and now he was sending me an unsolicited picture of his dick?!  Granted he was certainly packing in that area.  BUT who the fuck sends someone they have never been intimate with a picture of their dick?!  I didn’t ask for that!  This man had a PhD in psychology you would think he had some damn sense.  And let me tell you something, I am not one of these simple bitches that send pictures out of myself.  Could you imagine, a naked picture of yourself showing up on the internet somewhere?  I didn’t know how to react to this.  I was actually at a loss for words.  So I decided to ignore it.  But as ignorance would have it “Ryan” reached out to me an hour later…

Ryan:  Did you get my text :-)?

What a stupid ass!  You would think he would have taken my silence as a sign that he went too damn far.

Me: I got it.

Ryan: And…

Me:  And, what would make you think I would want a picture of your dick?!

After a good 20 minutes went by.

Ryan:  It wasn’t mine.

This was a blatant lie.  But this lie made him dig his hole even deeper.  No pun intended.

Me:  So you sent me a picture of another man’s dick?  What the hell are you doing with the picture?

Ryan:  My bad.

Once again I went MIA for a while.  But you know these men don’t take the damn hint.

Ryan:  So are we never going to speak again?

Me:  I’m cool on you.  I’m not interested in a guy that sends random pictures of his dick out to women he doesn’t even know.  And I’m certainly not interested in a man who has a picture of another man’s penis either.  Although you and I both know that it was yours. 

Ryan:  What about forgiveness?  People can’t make mistakes?

Me:  Goodbye Ryan.  Have a nice life.

I didn’t even bother telling my friend about this episode.  Clearly it is true what they say about some Psychologists.  They are more fucked up than their patients!  I was so damn disappointed.  I really enjoyed the conversations I had with this man up to this point.  But I was so damn turned off.  Now don’t get me wrong.  If that is the nature of your relationship with someone, then all means get ready for your close up.  But when you’re just getting to know someone and you are expecting a picture of him in a suit smiling and instead you get a fully erect penis shot don’t judge me for being taken aback even if you have been blessed in that department.  I guess “Ryan” was proud of his 3rd leg and wanted the world to see it.  SMH!

So coming back to the present moment, I waited for the new guy to send me the picture.  When my phone buzzed I was nervous to pick it up.  What if this guy was a fool?  What if he sent me a picture I wasn’t ready to see?  I slowly picked up my phone turned it around, and luckily there was a picture of a handsome man smiling into the camera with a great body and straight teeth.

0714-girl-text-messaging_sm

I slowly picked up my phone turned it around, and luckily there was a picture of a handsome man smiling into the camera with a great body and straight teeth. Woosa, I could relax.

Woosa, I could relax.  Who knows what the deal will be with this new guy.  Don’t you wish you could meet someone and they could give you a detailed report of what their issue is so you didn’t have to waste time trying to figure the shit out?!  But what I realized with this latest experience, I was carrying around some baggage from the past.  Some of the baggage was from the ending of my marriage.  Some of it was from my recent dating disasters.  I recently took out a purse I hadn’t used in years.  When I got to work this morning I dropped the purse and out came 3 pictures of me and my ex.  They were pictures from when we had first started dating and we went on a double date weekend to Temecula.  I thought I had destroyed all of the evidence that I was once happy with this man.  My first inclination was to immediately rip the pictures up then burn them, as I had done with all of the other pictures.  But instead I closed the door to my office sat in the chair and stared at them for a few minutes.  I was once happy with this man.  I once thought that he was my knight and shining armor.  I once loved him deeply.  I looked at the pictures and the girl that was staring at me smiling looked like me but she seemed like such a stranger at the same time.  How could I have been so wrong?  Looking at the younger version of myself in the picture, I was so happy, I had no idea that only a few short years after that picture was taken that man would hurt me beyond all measure.  That he would shake me to my core.  But at the same time, that experience would make me this wiser woman who was now looking at the picture of her younger self.  I realized I had to let go of the hurt and pain of my past in order to embrace my future relationship with the man I was supposed to be with.  I think my fear of making the same mistake again, of not knowing the signs ahead of time had me on edge when I was dating.

 

woman-looking-out-window

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

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

 

 

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