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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.

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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.

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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)

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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!!!

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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.

Paris_cafe

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+        

Great Expectations?

text_flirting

Now this was off to a nice start. I was anticipating meeting “Ron” and here I was going out with him the next night.

I was getting my hair ready for the summer.  In addition to a cut I decided to go blonde for the summer.  You know what they say, blondes have more fun!  Many of you know, in addition to styling your hair, hairstylist are also therapists.  Hairstylists in LA hold this town’s deepest and darkest secrets and know the Tea!  While my hairstylist was putting the finishing touches on my haircut I had just finished telling him yet another dating disaster story.  As he spun me around in the chair to take a final look at my slamming haircut we finished our conversation.

Hairstylist:  Honey, you need to lower your expectations!

Me:  What?  Are you crazy?  I will never lower my expectations ever again.  I did that before and look where that got me!  A divorce!  Besides that the problem with women today.  They have no standards and because of that men aren’t stepping up to the plate!

Hairstylist:  No honey, I didn’t say lower your standards, I said lower your expectations.  You always, place such high expectations on a guy when you are first dating them and when they don’t live up to them right away you either kick him to the curb or you are so disappointed…

I sat and stared at myself in the mirror.  Once again, I have been getting so many perils of wisdom when I least expected it.  I didn’t realize I was in a daze until my hairstylist snapped me out of it.

Hairstylist:  Now, I know you aren’t about to tell me you don’t like it.  This color is everything!

Me:  Oh no!  I love it.  I was just thinking about what you said.

Hairstylist:  Again, I’m not telling you to lower your standards but just lower those expectations, especially in the beginning.

I got in my car and realized it would take me too damn long to get over the hill at this hour so I decided to grab a drink at The Beverly Wilshire Hotel bar.  I sat at a table, ordered a glass of Parker Station Pinot Noir.  And it tasted so good.  I was savoring every single sip.  I kept thinking about what my hairstylist said… Lower your expectations not your standards…  I thought about how I had dated up to this point in my life.  He was probably right.  I did expect a lot and for good reason.  But perhaps I needed to change that.  I recently went out with “Ron.”  That’s the guy I met unexpectedly during my business dinner.  (refer to blog post A Speedy Recovery- http://confessionsofaserialdaterinla.com/2013/04/a-speedy-recovery/) for the deets.

The day after I met “Ron” my girlfriend/colleague sent me a text message asking if it was okay that she give him my number.  I said, “Hell yeah!”  When I met him there was a definitive attraction.  I thought he was fine as hell, smart, charming, funny and genuine.   She absolutely could give him my number, cell phone number, social security number, hell just give him all my info!  I’m such a mess!  Within 5 minutes I got a text message from “Ron.”

Ron:  So I met a new friend yesterday.  The convo was cool.  She seemed like good peeps.  She’s also a friend of a friend/biz colleague.  Do you know where I can find her?  Please tell her “Ron” is trying to contact her.  LOL!

That will forever go down as one of the sweetest endearing text I’ve received.  So I responded

Me:  You’re in luck.  I just happened to bump into her.  :-)  

Ron:  Are you free tomorrow night?  I would love meet up with you.

Me:  I’m free after 7.

Ron:  Cool.  I’ll figure out a cool spot and I’ll see you then.

Uncertainty

I kept thinking about what my hairstylist said… Lower your expectations not your standards… I thought about how I had dated up to this point in my life. He was probably right. I did expect a lot and for good reason. But perhaps I needed to change that.

Now this was off to a nice start.  I was anticipating meeting “Ron” and here I was going out with him the next night.  By the way, just a side note, I recently went on a diatribe in a former post about married friends who say, “You’ll meet the right one when you’re not looking.” In this situation, I WAS looking.  I made it a point to put myself out there as most single women should do.  Did I happen to meet a man in a place where I didn’t expect it?  Yes.  But at the end of the day, as a single gal, I’m always looking.  I just felt the need to clarify.  As you can tell that’s one of those topics I feel strongly about.  Anyway, I digressed.  I was really excited about going out with “Ron.”  We decided to meet at this new spot in the valley Page 71 Lounge around 9pm.  So I got to the spot around 9:12.  Looked around and didn’t see “Ron.”  I decided to find a spot to sit since it was getting crowded.  Fifteen minutes later I get a text from “Ron.”

Ron:  Sorry I am running behind.  Got caught up with the family.  I’m in route.

What the fuck does “in route” mean?  Does that mean you’re in your car heading over?  OR does that mean you’re just now walking out the door.  I was so annoyed.  I thought to order a glass of wine while I waited but decided against it.  Why in the hell would I spend money on a date that I might possible be leaving before he got there?  With each passing minute my annoyance got greater.  I looked at my phone and saw it was now 9:30.  This man was 30 minutes late!  I texted my girlfriend and told her what was going on.  Her response was, ”Give him another 10 minutes.  If he doesn’t show up by then leave.  He should have been there waiting for you to come in not the other way around.  Don’t leave yet.”  I looked around the spot and perhaps it was just me feeling paranoid but there was a group of 3 women sitting across from me hanging out and I felt like they were staring at me like, “This bitch got stood up!”    My phone buzzed and I saw it was a text from “Ron.”

Ron:  Parking.

Was it too much for me to expect that a man be on time for a damn date?  Finally “Ron” walked in.  I had to calm down my inner diva who wanted to smack the shot out of him.  Instead I looked at my wrist like I was tapping my watch.

Ron:  I am so sorry I am late.  I don’t get together with my family often ad every time I was trying to leave they kept holding me up.

Me:  Those ladies over there probably thought I was getting stood up!

Ron: Well I will spend the entire night making them jealous (he gave me the warmest tightest hug).  What can I get you to drink?

Me:  I’ll just have a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

Ron went to bar to get our drinks.  Okay, my nerves were slowly starting to calm down after seeing him.  Besides that hug was nice and he was looking good.  He skin was looking extra chocolate and delectable.  And when I hugged him I smelled a slight hint of a nice cologne.  I love a man that knows how to pick out a good cologne.  He came back with my Sauvignon Blanc and a beer for himself.  “Ron” was such a… man.  He was masculine and confident.  I learned a lot about him.  He was 42, divorced, and he had a daughter.  I can appreciate a man who has children from a former marriage and not just some random woman he was fucking at the time.  He was very open about his marriage and what went wrong.  But most of all he talked a lot about his love for his daughter.  Which made him even more attractive.  One of the things about dating a man who has been married before is they have a clearer understanding of what they are looking for in relationships.  He also asked me a lot about myself.  Lately on dates I noticed a lot of men had a case of diarrhea of the mouth.  They will tell me a bunch of shit about themselves but never bother asking me any questions about me.  So I was enjoying the dialogue between the two of us.  But something in my spirit wasn’t feeling right.  In the past, I would ignore this feeling one because I wasn’t as much in tune with myself then as I am now or two because I really didn’t want to know.  I didn’t want to be disappointed.  But it was something you had to do.  So I went for it.

black_couple_bar

Ron went to bar to get our drinks. Okay, my nerves were slowly starting to calm down after seeing him. Besides that hug was nice and he was looking good. He skin was looking extra chocolate and delectable.

 

Me:  Ron, you seem like such a cool guy.  You also seem very clear in what you are looking for when it comes to relationships.  Do you have a girlfriend?

“Ron” took a long pause and took a sip of his beer.

Ron:  Well actually I’m just getting out of something.

Me:  Interesting.  What does that mean? 

Ron:  I was in a relationship but we are in the process of ending it.

Me:  In the process of ending it?  What exactly does “in the process” of ending it mean?  Do you two live together?

These are the times when I hate being a “grown-up.”  Sometimes living in ignorance is a good thing.  That bitch we call Reality loves to fuck with me!  It’s her personal mission to ruin my love life!

Ron:  We do.  But she’s moving out in two weeks.

Picture the air slowly being let out of a balloon that is exactly what I felt like.  Deflated.  “Ron” could tell I was disappointed.

Ron:  Look I wasn’t expecting to meet you the other day.  But I met you and I was interested and I wanted to get to know you.  I hadn’t planned on meeting someone like you but I did and I didn’t want to wait.

I took a deep breath and took a second to take in what he was telling me.  A lot of times, I am quick to rush to judgment.  Or “check” a man he falls short of my… expectations.  But this time I didn’t want to react right away.  I just needed a second to receive the information.

Me:  Well first, let me say I appreciate your honesty.  I think it would be foolish for me to expect that you weren’t seeing anyone else.  And I get it.  I wasn’t expecting to meet anyone that night either and I think you’re cool.  I just need some time to process this info and decide what I’m going to do.

I didn’t realize how much time had went by until the lights were coming on.  I looked at my phone and it was 2:30 in the morning.

Ron:  I guess it’s time for us to head out.

Me:  I guess so.

Ron:  I’ll walk you to your car.

As we stood up to walk out, out of the blue “Ron” gave me a kiss.  I pulled back and was having a slight inner war in my head between my intelligent self and my inner diva.  I had to remind myself of what this man just told me.  Damn!  As “Ron” opened the door for me he looked at me.

Ron:  I hope that I can still get to know you.

Me:  You gave me a lot to think about.

The next day my girlfriends were all waiting with anticipation to find out how my date with the mystery man went.  I called my girlfriend who was my usual voice of reason and told her what happened.

Girlfriend:  Oh man!  That stinks! 

Me:  I know!  It really does.

Girlfriend:  But I know people who are really getting out of a relationship but live together and it gets complicated.  My friend was going through a divorce and they were living together during that time while they were trying to settle.  And she was dating other people and so was he.  You don’t know if you even like him like that.  I’m telling you give it time.  You will have all the information you need in the next two weeks.

Me:  I don’t even know if I like him like that. 

Girlfriend:  Exactly!  Sometimes we take things to seriously.  You’re dating.  Collecting data!

I went to the gym and had an intense workout.  The thing I appreciate about my gym time is it allows me to really think and sweat it out.  Although I hate going to the damn gym by the time I leave after an intense workout I have a greater amount of clarity.  When  I left the gym that evening  my spirit still didn’t feel easy.  At the end of the day, this man was living with another woman.  He needed to regroup and once the shit was over get back on the dating scene.  And I get it.  Neither  one of us were expecting to meet each other.  It’s such a Catch 22.  If he had never called after our chance encounter I would have thought my sense of connection was off.  He called, we went out, and he was completely honest with me (or so I think).  Some women have the wear with all to date a man who is going through a break up.  For me, I didn’t.  Besides, bitches are crazy.  Think back to the Bush Bitch (http://confessionsofaserialdaterinla.com/2013/01/the-bush-bitch-3/) I didn’t need to have anymore woman jumping out of a bush ready to fight because I was out with their man.  And in that scenario I had no idea he had a girlfriend.  In this scenario, he was “in the process” of ending a relationship with a live in girlfriend.  This was too complicated.  My girlfriend was right though.  Within 2 weeks I had all the information I needed to know my decision to keep it moving was right.  “Ron” texted me a few times after the date.  You know the typical…Things have been so busy text.”  I took it as code language for, “Me and my girlfriend are back together” or code language for “I know you’re not down with dating me until I get my shit together so I am going to gradually back off.”  Either way, I didn’t respond and I decided to keep it moving.

 

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Not every man we meet is going to be “the one.” Sometimes, I think we as woman are so hopeful or longing so much for companionship we do put these huge expectations on men and when they don’t live up to them we are disappointed and understandable so.

But I did think about expectations when it comes to dating.  When I met this great guy I expected that things would work out for the best because of how we met.  I decided I needed to learn how to go with the flow more when it came to dating and just let the truth be revealed.  At the end of the day, not every man we meet is going to be “the one.”  Sometimes, I think we as woman are so hopeful or longing so much for companionship we do put these huge expectations on men and when they don’t live up to them we are disappointed and understandable so.  But what would happen if we decided to let go of all of our expectations when we first start dating and go with each moment?  After all aren’t expectations merely ways we protect ourselves from getting hurt?  That doesn’t mean that we let go of our standards but we really let go of putting so much on these unsuspecting men.  Do you think we would enjoy the process more?  Just a thought…

 
Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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

The Gray Area- a.k.a GAB

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I find these moments are happening more often these days. I am not sure if it is because I am more in tune with myself right now and noticing things I might have missed back in the day or if people have just gone stone cold crazy.

Every once in a while someone will say something to me that makes me go, Hmmmm…”  I find these moments are happening more often these days.  I am not sure if it is because I am more in tune with myself right now and noticing things I might have missed back in the day or if people have just gone stone cold crazy.  But either way, I have been experiencing the case of the Hmmmm’s more often than not.  Recently I told a few of my married guy friends (MGF) that I was ready to date seriously.  The greatest untapped resource for a single girl is their married guy friends (MGF) who have single friends.  Now let me elaborate on this.  First of all in order for me to be friends with any married man, I know their wives and they know me.  This is a MUST in my book.  You never want to make a wife feel uncomfortable with you.  It’s a respect thing.  This also goes to the guys I knew before they were married.  Once they got serious with their now wives, the communication becomes a three way conversation.  For instance:

ME:  How’s everything going?

MGF:  All is well.

Me:  How’s “Dina” tell her I said hello.

MGF:  She’s great.  Will do.

You always want to make sure the wife is an active part of your conversation out of respect.  I figured I would reach out to my MGF’s, the successful ones that have their shit together and give them my criteria.  I had nothing to lose.  You know like attracts like.  A man who has his shit together isn’t going to associate with losers… at least they shouldn’t.  So one of my MGF stepped up to the plate.  He did a Facebook introduction to “Darren” a 48 year old advertising executive in NYC.  Darren had never been married before. Major side eye).  Typically a man who hits 42 and above and has never been married has major issues.  I looked at a few of “Darren’s” pictures and I wasn’t necessarily attracted to him.  But there was a certain amount of swag and confidence that permeated through his pictures.  You can always tell a boss type man.  He definitely had that feel to him.  He immediately called me and we spoke on the phone.  Surprisingly his voice didn’t match his look.  Now keep in mind I was just going based off of his Facebook pictures that I had seen.  In his Facebook pictures “Darren” was rocking tailor made suits.  But over the phone he sounded… how can I say this… Fuck it I’ll just say it.  He sounded HOOD!  Straight up ghetto!  You would never have guessed he graduated from Columbia University.  I was slightly turned off.  I’m not looking to date Carlton Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.  But damn, this man sounded like he had just been released from a state prison.  Certainly my MGF couldn’t have gotten it all wrong.  When he told me about him he said, “This brotha is a solid dude.  He has his shit together and he would appreciate a woman like you.”  Note to self, next time I decided to get a hook up through one of my MGF’s I need to make sure he is vetted through his wife.  Men often overlook the foolishness of their boys as a guy code where women will be honest and say, “Oh hell no, they would never work out!”  But I decided to go ahead and give this brotha a chance.  You know my new motto.  I have nothing to lose.  Ironically “Darren” had a business meeting in LA that following week.  So we decided to meet that following Friday afternoon for drinks at The Montage in Beverly Hills.  An afternoon date is perfect.  I could always use the excuse I had diner plans if it was a train wreck.  So that Friday afternoon I found myself walking into the bar at The Montage.  It was hot as hell that day so I settled on a short and flowly pink dress with some super tall wedges.  Since this was somewhat of a blind date I was curious to see if he would pass my height test.  When I walked into the bar I spotted him sitting down in the corner checking emails on his phone.  He was wearing a pair of sweatpants a t-shirt and a jean jacket.  WTF?  Are you fucking kidding me?  I had a sudden urge to turn around and run.  But that urge was killed when my stomach growled.  I was hungry as hell!  So I walked up to him:

Me:  Hi Darren.

“Darren” stood up and went to give me a hug.  “Darren” had to be a good 5’5.  I was towering over his short ass like a beast.  I think he had to go on his tippy toes to even give me a hug.

Darren:  My, my, my, you look even better in person.  What’s up?

Me:  Nothing.  I see you dressed up for the occasion.

Darren:  (laughing) I’m in chill mode, you know how that goes.

Me:  I see. 

The waiter couldn’t come fast enough to bring me a glass of wine.  I order a nice glass of Sancerre wine.  “Darren” was loud and even more ghetto in person.  How the fuck could this man be an advertising executive acting that simple?  You know how you have those moments when you are out on a date and you look around and the other patrons look at you like, What is that beautiful woman doing with this clown?  Well that’s how I felt.

Darren:  How tall are you?

Me:  5’8 without heels with heels I can go from 5’11-6’3 depending on my mood.

Darren:  Yeah, I like tall women.

Me:  Why?

Darren:  It’s a good look.  It cracks me up when I’m out with a tall woman and other tall guys try to hate.

ME:  Try to hate?  How? 

Darren:  They be like, “Why you out with that short n****?”

Me:  Interesting.

Darren:  But that shit don’t bother me.  I be like she my woman.

Me:  Well okay!

Darren:  Besides shorter men make more money than taller men.

This was actually getting amusing.  I decided to indulge this clown.  Only so I could have material to write for my blog (the things I do for my readers)  J

Me:  They do?  Why is that Darren?

Darren:  Because we got to work harder.  Tall men don’t have to work as hard.

Me:  Interesting.

Now when a short man makes a comment like this, you already know they have an issue with their height and that shows straight up insecurity.  What a clown.  I had to speak to my inner diva, Don’t roll your eyes.  Just humor this fool!  Don’t be a bitch.  And damn it, try not to be too damn bourgeois!  I agreed with my inner diva with everything but the Bourgeois part.  Yeah I’m bourgeois as hell.  I don’t apologize for it and I will not pretend to be anyone else.  I ordered another glass of wine.  “Darren” and I got on the topic of relationships.

Me:  So Darren, I’m just curious.  Why have you never been married?

Darren:  I wasn’t ready.  I was working on my career.

Me:  Do you typically date women your age or younger?

Darren:  I date women anywhere from 25-40.

Me:  25?!  But you’re damn near 50.  What do would you have in common with a 25 year old?

Darren:  You’d be surprised.  These 25 year olds know what they want more than some of these late 30’s GABS.

Me:  GABS?  What’s that?

Darren:  You never heard of GABS?

Me:  Um…. No.

I took a swig of my wine.  Last time a man used an acronym on a date he hit me with the GRP (Golden Rod Of Power… refer to: http://confessionsofaserialdaterinla.com/2013/04/the-golden-state/).  I wasn’t sure if I could handle another ignorant comment without going to jail for violence!

Me:  What is GAB?

Darren:  Gray Area Bitches.

Record screech to a halt!  Did this man just use the B word?  Now granted I use it all the time.  Usually as a term of endearment (I’m a WIP:  Work in Progress). But when a man says and on the first date it’s downright ignorant.  So I decided to give him a chance to redeem himself.

really-bad-first-date

This was actually getting amusing. I decided to indulge this clown. Only so I could have material to write for my blog (the things I do for my readers)

Me:  I’m sorry, could you repeat that?

Darren:  (un-phased) Grey Area Bitches.

I gave him the biggest side eye ever.

Darren:  Oh my bad.  I didn’t mean to be disrespectful.

Me:  Well what the hell does it mean?

Darren:  Let me break it down.  Usually when a woman hits her late 30’s she is successful.  She is travelling the world and enjoying life.  Lots of times they aren’t sure if they really want to get married.  They might decide to just have a baby with some random n**** or go to a sperm bank and create a baby with a turkey baster.  But they don’t know if they want a husband because they worry their lives will change and a man will come in and try to shut that down.  It usually happens for a woman when she hits 36 so you got another year. 

Me: That’s the most ignorant shit I have ever heard in my life.

Darren:  It’s true.  Just sit back and watch.  Now that I have told you this, you’re going to be talking to one of your girls and it’s going to hit you.  This bitch is a GAB!!!

Darren started cracking up.  As he laughed I looked at his ugly face and thought this short little shrimp thinks he’s the shit because he has money.  Perhaps he dated too many video vixens in NYC.  But I couldn’t stand to be there another second.  I abruptly got up.

Darren:  Where you going baby?

ME:  I forgot, I… Um… I have to pick my friend up from the airport.  I’ll give you a call later. 

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At the end of the day, most successful women want to leave their offices and board rooms and be treated like a Princess at home.

I high tailed my ass out of The Montage.  I didn’t realize I was practically sprinting until I tripped on the carpet in the Lobby.  When I got home later on that evening I was left to wonder, about the GAB.  How many other men had this same theory?  Why were women who were successful being made to feel like their success was preventing them from getting a quality guy?  Why is it okay for a man to say he was focusing on his career and that was why his simple ass hadn’t been married yet, but when a woman says the same thing she is looked at like a circus freak?  Did men not realize we want a real relationship but just weren’t settling?  Did they really want a girl who was younger and confused and didn’t know what they wanted?  Was I now reaching the age where some men would think 35+ is too old for them?  At the end of the day, in my 20’s I was so busy trying to be the person I am now.  I admit it, back then I read Why Men Love Bitches, Why Men Marry Bitches, The Rules, etc.  Looking back on it, the books were absolute and total bullshit.  However, they pretty much emphasize having a life of your own and not giving everything up to be with a guy.  And teach women dating “strategies.”  Whereas now, because I have a busy career and active social life I don’t have to make shit up to “Seem” busy and “elusive.”  I simply am.  Any man that comes into my life will have to enhance it and add to it.  Not put me in some little box because he is an insecure short Simpleton (my mother’s favorite word).  That doesn’t make me a damn GAB.  That makes me a women who is finally confident in who I am, what I desire, and what I need and deserve.  Perhaps we are GAB’s.  Greatly Anticipating the Best.  Because at the end of the day, that’s what we deserve.  We should enjoy our hard earned success and not be made to feel like it is a burden.  At the end of the day, most successful women want to leave their offices and board rooms and be treated like a Princess at home.  So guess what.  I will continue to be a GAB if that means I am not settling for the okey doke!

Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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

The A List

The A List

I realized I had no freaking clue what the hell I was looking for.

So I made the conscious decision to take a break from dating.  All of the recent bad dates had me feeling… What’s the word I’m looking for… Defeated.  Between Professor Klump, Knee Pad New York, The Swinger, The Dating Vapor, I didn’t want to go out on another bad date.  I was completely and officially over it.  I wanted my next date to lead to something more significant.  I was over being a serial dater.  I was ready to become a Serial Dater with my Ideal Man.  I made a conscious decision to spend time preparing for the real deal.  I perfected certain recipes.  I went out with girlfriends for cocktails and shit talking.  I was taking some serious “me” time.  I refused to just go out with someone for the sake of just going out with them.  I knew I was true to my word when I went to a party with a girlfriend of mine last week the typical LA industry party for a launch of a new liquor.  I made eye contact with a cutie pie.  He came up to me and struck up a good conversation.   He was from Queens and was a former professional athlete.  He gave me his card.  When I looked at it, it said Professional Trainer.  Um… Trainer, I don’t think so.  I am a professional woman and I do not have any interest in having a serious relationship with a trainer unless you are on some Billy Blanks status.  Call me a bitch but I would only want one thing from a trainer.  A good workout :-)  Not a serious relationship.  I want a man who is on my professional level.  I could see if I weren’t bringing anything to the table but I am and I shouldn’t have to lower my expectations just to have a man.  I politely put his card in my purse.  When I got in the car with my girlfriend to head home (she was the designated driver for the night) the conversation ensued.

Trainer

. I am a professional woman and I do not have any interest in having a serious relationship with a trainer unless you are on some Billy Blanks status.

Girlfriend:  Well at least the men were approaching us at this party.  What was up with the cutie you were talking to?

Me:  He was cool.  But girl, he was a trainer!

Girlfriend:  Awwwww…. Damn!

Me:  My thoughts exactly.  What was up with you and the cutie you met?

Girlfriend:  He’s an actor.

Me:  Awwwww damn!

When you work in the industry as an executive the last man you want to date is an up and coming actor or writer.  This might sound harsh.  But keep in mind we live in LA.  Those are typically the guys who find out which studio or network you work for and want to get a hook up for an audition.  OR want to give you their script.  You constantly have to ascertain if the interest in you is genuine or if they are looking for a come up.  So women in the industry generally avoid the no name up and coming actor for that very reason.  And don’t hit me with, “You could be blocking your blessing.”  Most women in the industry know this as a general rule of them.

Girlfriend:  So are you going to call the trainer.

I took the card out and looked at it.  He had a shirtless picture of himself on it and I could see every single one of his well sculpted biceps against his smooth chocolate skin.  Wow!  But I decided I was no longer just going to go out with a guy just because, for fun, for practice.  Now that I was officially over the divorce and ready for the real deal I was going to make that night the first night of dating only serious prospects.  So I tore the card up in tiny pieces and threw it out the window.

Girlfriend:  You are serious about this new dating thing?

Me:  I sure am!

Girlfriend:  I’m proud of you!

Me:  I’m tired of quantity, I only want quality!

Girlfriend:  I heard that.

That weekend I went to the 30th birthday of my cousin.  She recently moved to LA and we hadn’t had a chance to really talk since the divorce.  In my family I am a good decade older than most of my younger cousins.  They look up to me as the successful cousin making moves and enjoying life.  I was sitting on the beach at her bonfire.

Cousin:  So cuz how have you been since the incident?

It’s funny that’s what my marriage was now referred to.  “The Incident.”

Me:  It’s was a process.  But I am great.

Cousin:  Are you dating?

I gave her my usual crafted response.

Me:  I’m dating everybody!  I’m just enjoying myself. 

Cousin:  Have you met anyone special?

Me:  Not yet.

Cousin:  Is it hard?

Me:  No.  To be honest I wasn’t ready until recently.  I needed time to heal from “the incident.”

Cousin:  I understand.

Cousin:  So you’re ready now?

Me:  I think so.

Cousin:   Do you know what you want this time around?

She looked at me with the utmost sincerity.  And that was the first time I had been asked that question and I realized I had no freaking clue what the hell I was looking for.  I had written a list before I met my ex.  And unfortunately I had gotten everything I asked for.  It had been a long time since I had actually written a list of what the hell I wanted in my soul mate.  I had already created my vision board but in terms of writing down my list of what the hell I wanted, I hadn’t done that since I was 27.  Perhaps a part of me was terrified of missing something and getting exactly what I got before…  A freaking disaster!  But I knew it was time to revisit this list.

 

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The next evening I went to my meditation room with a glass of wine, lit candles, and wrote exactly what I was looking for. This time I was able to pinpoint exactly what I wanted. But first I meditated and prayed over it and I took my time.

So the next evening I went to my meditation room with a glass of wine, lit candles, and wrote exactly what I was looking for.  This time I was able to pinpoint exactly what I wanted.  But first I meditated and prayed over it and I took my time.  Instead of putting down- Kisses me on the forehead, wears a suit to work (the things that were on my27 year old bullshit list).  The 35 year old list had- Is a good communicator, doesn’t shut down when there is conflict, loves me unconditionally, spiritual not religious (and other things that I will keep between me and the universe).  By the time I blew out my candles and left the meditation room I hadn’t realized 2 hours had went by.  But I felt good and at peace.  I was no longer going to think I could change someone into becoming who I want them to be.  Like that famous quote says, When a man tells you who is… Believe him!  I was no longer going out just for the sake of it or not following that little thing called intuition.  Moving forward I was looking for something deep and meaningful and I knew I was deserving of it.  I can’t say I won’t go out on any more bad dates or never kiss another frog.  But what I can say is I am switching up my approach.  I’m going to try it out and see what happens.  After all at this point I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

 
Monique K.Bradley

 

 

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