The Face that Did NOT Book
It’s been a while since I brought you tales from my dating foolery. I have taken a little dating sabbatical for the last few months to take some time out and date myself and refocus on what my needs, wants, and desires are at this point in my life. And as I always preach to you all, in order to successfully date, you MUST date yourself first. See, I practice what I preach!!! But that doesn’t mean I don’t have plenty of content stored up from all my years of dating debacles. I never want to make you all feel like I am perfect and I have never made dating mistakes. The reason why I am so passionate about this blog and my message is I have made a lot of mistakes when it comes to dating! So many! It’s not always the guy that does dumb shit. We women do dumb shit too! And I have done a lot of the leg work of foolishness and bad decisions so you don’t have to! You can learn from my mistakes and not make the same ones!
I woke up this morning full of inspiration and I also realized it is Thursday. So I figured I would bring you a good Throwback Thursday cautionary tale from my way back in the dating days rolodex.
About five years ago I was doing my usual Facebook scrolling. And low and behold I got one of those “wave” notifications. I rarely pay attention to them because to be quite honest I think that is extremely strange. It feels as though I am being watched. I understand I have a certain level of paranoia as it pertains to social media. But I think we all do. I know I am not the only one that might be on the phone talking to one of my girlfriends about a possible girls trip to Vegas and then suddenly I have bunch of ads that pop up on my social media with various advertisements for Las Vegas hotels. That is a little eerie. Although I refuse to get rid of Alexa. She has become my personal assistant that I rely on. And I also don’t plan on getting off of social media any time soon. But I always feel like “Big Brother” is watching and listening. There I go digressing… you see what happens when I don’t write a post for a while!
My point was the “wave” is just strange. For some reason, instead of ignoring this wave I looked to the side and saw it was from an old high school friend of mine. I remembered “Jared” well. We went out a date my junior year of high school/ his senior year of high school. Nothing came of it. And we were always cool. As a matter of fact, few years prior to getting the “wave” we bumped into each other at a yacht party in Miami as I was going through my divorce. And ironically, he was going through is divorce too. When two people are in the midst of a divorce there is an automatic connection because you are both in the battlefield of attorneys, mediations, and trying to figure out who you are and how you move forward in life. And on top of that we went to high school together so we were able to reminisce. We exchanged numbers, he went back to the east coast, I went back to LA and I never heard from him. I didn’t think too much of it. And although this “wave” was sent years after we saw each other in Miami, my ego wouldn’t allow me to wave back. I know, I know, I can be petty and stubborn… this is a trait I am working on.
I went about my day, and then the next day I saw I had a message on Facebook instant messenger from Mr. Jared. IT went something like this:
Jared: Hey Monique!!!
(side note: I am a sucker for the use of exclamation points)
Me: Jared!!! How are you?
Jared: Good. How’s Cali treating u?
Me: I love it here. The novelty still hasn’t worn off after 15 years. What’s new with you? I see you are the father to a beautiful little girl. Congrats!
(Side note: Two things, I always like to make it a point to let men who do not live here in LA know that I love it here upfront. This ensures there is no false expectation that I am moving. But the real shocker…This cute little baby girl was clearly conceived after I ran into him in Miami)
Jared: That’s my princess. She turns 4 in a few days. Can’t believe it. She’s awesome and keeps me motivated.
(Side note: I immediately did the math. So… he had the baby shortly after we had our run-in in Miami. Of course my brain was already coming up with a plethora of questions. But I decided to keep my anxiousness under control and see where this was going).
Me: I am so happy for you. I always knew you would be a great father.
Jared: I truly love the role and I am glad I waited to be a dad.
Me: That’s great. A lot happens in a few years. Last time I saw you was Miami. It seems so long ago.
(Side note: What I really wanted to say was, “That explains why I never heard from your ass again. But I was trying to keep it cool while reminding him that he totally flaked when we ran into each other in Miami and now I knew it was because he was busy creating a baby! Lawd have Mercy)
Jared: Yes it sure does. It’s been a few years. LOL. You look like you are still enjoying life out there… beautiful as ever.
Me: Thank you!
(Side note: flattery is my kryptonite)
Jared: Crazy part, I had her and divorced a little while later. Not my plan, but must have been His.
(Side note: so the plot thickens. And I must say Jared had game. Nice way to deflect… mention how beautiful I look to throw me off and then bring up God. And I fell for it. SUCKER! LOL!)
Jared: Anyhow, I am due to head out to LA later this month and I’d love to catch up and grab dinner. Wolverines for life (our high school mascot)
Me: That’s sounds great. Here’s my cell. And please don’t be a stranger in the meantime.
Jared: LOL! I won’t Ms. Monique. Here’s my cell.
So I did what any normal single girl would do. I went straight to his Facebook page and did some major investigating. I looked at his pictures. Saw there was no wedding ring, there was no mention of a wife, his relationship status said “single”. And of course I read the comments under some of the pictures to see if there was mention of his wife and family from some of his other friends… nothing. It looked like Jared was doing well in his professional life. His daughter was his world, he was actively involved in his fraternity and we even shared a lot of post high school friends. This world was too damn small! And don’t judge my “research/ investigating.” We all do it. I’m just brave enough to admit it! A few days later Jared gave me a call. It was like old times. The conversation flowed. Because we had gone to high school together we didn’t have that same awkward uneasy conversation that most people have who are just meeting. Jared told me that shortly after we saw each other in Miami he and his now ex-wife decided to give their marriage another shot. And that’s why he never called me. Okay… I could respect that. And I didn’t think he was lying about the divorce back then. It’s not like we were on a romantic date. We were two old high school friends bumping into each other at a party and catching each other up on life. I respected that he really tried to give his marriage another try. I applaud couples who are willing to put in the work and try to make things work. It’s easy to throw in the towel and say “screw it” than to put in the hard work and try to make things work. That said a lot. He and his now ex-wife ended up having their daughter and unfortunately shortly after trying to make the marriage work they ended up getting divorce.
It’s fascinating how life happens after high school and college. The life you mapped out for yourself never turns out quite how you expected. I enjoyed his honest conversation. Jared had always been a really nice guy even in high school. I was busy dating the popular “player types” (I guess not much changed since high school. I was still making some of the same dating mistakes LOL!) and Jared had a longtime girlfriend in high school and they broke up and that’s when we went out on our first date back in the 90’s. Wait… I should have seen a pattern here. URGH! We talked a lot during this time. And I was even able to pull up the picture from our first date way back in high school. And of course, I immediately did what a lot of women do, I started thinking of this as a sign. What a great story… me and my high school friend rekindled a romance almost two decades and two divorces later. You hear stories of other couples who reconnected through the use of social media. Maybe this was going to be my story. And talking to Jared was so refreshing because it was natural because we had been friends… in high school.
A few weeks later Jared came out to LA and we had dinner, went out to parties, and really enjoyed being with each other. Let’s just say things moved at a lightening speed. And it felt so right. We continued to talk to each other after the trip and made plans to get together again.
We were talking every day consistently. And you know when you get used to a consistent pattern and suddenly that pattern comes to a halt and switches up. Jared and I would speak every single day a few times a day. So when Thursday came and went and I didn’t hear from him I thought that was odd. But I didn’t want to be a stage 5 clinger so I played it cool and didn’t call him. For all I knew he had his daughter or a long day and something came up. I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Then Friday came and went… no contact with Jared. Hmmmm…. That’s odd. So by Saturday, I called his cell phone, it rang once, and then went to voicemail, “This voicemail box has not been set up, please try your call again.” Ummmm…. What the fuck?
I sent him a text.
Hey Jared. Hope you’re having a good day. Give me a call when you have a chance.
Saturday came and went and… nothing.
Then Sunday came and went… Nothing. I started to get concerned. Surely, something must have happened to him. I know my high school friend wouldn’t just Ghost me. I knew after our “connection” we were solid. I knew we were both “looking forward to seeing where this went” because “it felt so right.” But why was I suddenly feeling like shit?! I did what most women do in this situation, I called my girlfriends and talked to them for hours. We came up with all kinds of conspiracy theories. We were determined to crack this cold case. I knew what my friends were thinking but too sweet to say. They knew what I knew but my pride wouldn’t let me say it out loud. Jared was with another woman!!! I knew it. I felt it. And not only did I know and feel it in the pit of my soul, I felt dumb as hell.
Jared had already proven who he was. He showed it when he never called me back after we ran into each other in Miami. Hell he showed it back in high school when we went out on our date and then nothing came of it. But I didn’t count that because the adult Jared was much better looking than the high school pimple faced Jared. I wasn’t really attracted to him in high school. But I let the idea of us being high school friends remove my common sense temporarily. I allowed other stories of how people reconnected and fell in love and got married to cloud my better judgement.
We knew each other in HIGH SCHOOL between then and the time we reconnected we hadn’t spoken to each other. Shit… we didn’t know each other. This was a grown ass man, this wasn’t the sweet pimply faced Jared from high school. A few text messages and phone calls does not justify a relationship. I got caught up in the story and the fantasy of reconnecting with my high school friend. I gave him the benefit of the doubt because I thought he respected our history and friendship and wouldn’t give me the same bullshit lines he would give to a random woman he just met. Ultimately, I was the one to blame for this because I let my guard down. I allowed myself to be swept up into the fantasy instead really looking at the reality of the situation. I did what I usually do when I realized I made a dumb dating move… I beat myself for not being smarter and wiser. How could I have allowed myself to fall for the okie doke?! But after a few glasses of wine and more hours of talking to my girlfriends, where now the conversation turned from giving the brotha the benefit the doubt to what an asshole Jared was and my game plan moving forward. My head was readjusted and returned from being in the clouds and my common sense had returned.
Monday evening came and you guessed it… Jared called me. I held the phone in my hand and watched it ring. I answered on the last ring. I took a deep breath. My first thought was to cuss his ass out, but I had to make sure I handled this with dignity and class.
Me: Hello Jared.
Jared: Hey. How was your weekend?
(Side note: really asshole? Was he really going to go this route and not even acknowledge that he went missing in action for 5 damn days?! I wanted to go off. But I was able to maintain my cool. This is when my theatre degree came in handy)
Me: It was great, how are you?
Me: So… what did you do this weekend? I had tried to call you and didn’t hear back. Is everything okay?
(Side note: For a second I was hoping he was going to tell me that someone was in the hospital, he died and came back to life after five days, or he had been kidnapped, tied up and just escaped… I still had a glimmer of hope that Jared wasn’t an asshole)
Jared: (long pause)
Jared: I really care about you. I wasn’t expecting to fall for you like I did. Before we met I had already made plans to take someone to Napa and I didn’t feel right to just leave her hanging. I’m ending it with her because I realize I want to be with you. I just want to be honest with you.
Me: I appreciate your honesty. But I am really hurt. I thought that we were trying to build something solid. I understand that when people link up no one is fully single and alone. I know there is clean up that has to happen. But I never thought you would take another woman to Napa given our conversations and then completely go missing in action. I am really hurt by how you handled this situation. I am not some kind of side chick!
Jared: I don’t look at you like that. I know I fucked up but please give me a chance to make it up to you. I’m really sorry.
Me: The problem is, that now I don’t trust you. You have now shown me that you are inconsistent and have the ability to just check out and go MIA. That would never work for me especially given the distance. I’m really hurt because I never thought that you would do something like this.
(Side note: at this point I had no problem being honest and telling him how hurt I was. And I really wanted to give him an emotional kick in the balls, so I was extra with it.)
Jared: I feel like shit. How can I make this up to you?
Me: You can’t. I wish you nothing but the best. But I’m good. Much luck to you Jared.
I hung up the phone and started setting up my usual emotional boundaries. I blocked him from on my phone. I blocked his ass on all social media. And because I have an extra flair for the dramatics. I ripped up the picture from our date back in high school. That Jared was not the Jared I had just encountered.
As women, we can all become victim of the fantasy land. It is so important that when you do reconnect with an old flame you are very clear you do NOT know that person. You know the person they were a few decades ago when you were in high school or college. But the person they are years later is completely different. This person has lived life, more than likely gotten married and divorced, had kids, have careers, have baggage just as you do. You cannot rush into the end of the story because it just “seems so right” and you have “known them for years.” You haven’t. You knew them from yester-year. Social media tends to make you feel like you are closer to people because you are following their lives through pictures. But you have to remind yourself they are choosing what they want to share. They aren’t sharing what actually is. And I am not being a hater, I know quite a few couples who reconnected through social media and are in loving relationships. But that is THEIR journey… that is THEIR story. You are NOT them and you do not share the same story. So don’t lose your head and common sense being hopeful and not really getting to know the person as they are today.
Fast forward two years later, I thought I had blocked Jared from social media. But I saw I had an instant message from him. As much as I love Facebook, they switch things up so often with their settings, they set you up.
Jared: Monique, break up with your boyfriend and go with me to Napa next month! LOL… Seriously, how are you?
Facebook wasn’t about to have me acting a fool. I left Jared exactly where he belonged, in the land of unanswered Instant messenger messages. Boy bye! Fool me once, shame on you… Fool me twice, shame on me.