Some of you are probably asking why in the world I would go out with a man who was unattractive and old. This was the first time in my life I was dating just to be dating. I spent my 20’s dating with one end goal in mind… To get married (and we already know how that ended up). So I wanted to date just for fun. I figured it was good practice for when I met a man I actually liked, I wouldn’t be dusty! “Jason” had a Saturday afternoon date all planned out. He gave me directions to his house in Venice Beach. Venice Beach can be a little tricky. There are places there that are absolutely stunning oceanfront homes. And then there are other places that are shy of being a crack house. It is literally those two extremes. The way, he described his tastes in art and furniture, I assumed he lived in one of those fabulous homes or condos on the beach or near the beach. After all this man was almost 50! You know what they say about ASS-U-ME-ing. As my navigation directed me to the Venice Beach area and had me make my final right onto the street and announced my destination was on the right hand side I just knew I had to wrong place. I checked the text message with the address one more time against my navigation system. The addresses matched. I was parked in front of an old ass building with chipped paint and bars on the windows. I looked to the right where there were dumpsters and there was a homeless man going through the garbage. He finally found a sandwich, began eating it, and walked off. Oh shit!!! There was no way I was about to park Freedom (the name for my convertible Audi) anywhere near this place. I called “Jason” to let him know I had arrived. I was hoping and praying he had accidentally given me the wrong address.
Me: Hey Jason. I think I’m here. Are you sure you gave me the right address?
Jason: Yeah. I’m on my way. I’ll be there in 5 minutes. You can park in the back of my building in space 5.
Me: Um… Are you sure my car is safe here?
Jason: (laughing) Of course! You’re fine.
Me: Okay, because I have a convertible. I don’t want anyone to rip the top off and try to steal it.
Jason: No you’re fine. My car is the silver BMW. Just park behind my car. I’ll see you in a second.
Alright, so he has a BMW. So I figured my car would be safe. I drove to the back of the building and looked for parking spot #5. I saw an old BMW parked there. When I say old, I mean old. The shit had to be from 1982. AND it was propped up where it appeared to be missing the front passenger wheel. What the fuck?! Just as I was about to put my car in reverse and get the fuck out of there, I saw a man riding a bike in my direction. I squinted my eyes and saw it was “Jason.” This fool was wearing some Sear Sucker shorts, a white button up shirt, a bow tie, and a straw hat. This bitch looked like Bojangles!
Jason: Hey there. Where are you going? You can park here.
Me: I was about to… Ummmm…
Jason: Come on up for a drink. I also wanted you to see the Dali painting I was telling you about. I had an interior decorator come and do my spot. Come check it out.
Me: You’re sure my car is okay?
Jason: What’s up with you and this damn car? I already told you, you’re fine! Come on, I have a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc chilling in the freezer.
Well at least this fool knew how to make my ass stay. Besides the traffic on the 405 was like a fucking parking lot. I had driven all the way up here, the least I could do was stay for a cocktail. I followed him up the steps to his spot. And he was describing all the detail that went into decorating. I figured, maybe this was one of those buildings that looked like shit from the outside but inside it was really nice. I tell ya I can be such a judgmental bitch at times. Anyway I digressed… We got to his front door and he opened it up. “Ta-da!” I stepped into the smallest apartment I had ever seen. It was smaller than a studio apartment although it was a one bedroom. The walls were covered in art, I’ll give him that. It’s was decorated very tastefully, I’ll give him that. But that shit was so damn small. This man was about to be 50 and this place would have been acceptable for any man in his 20’s but this made no damn sense. He walked me over to a sketching he had on his wall.
Jason: This is the Dali I was telling you about.
I walked up as close as I could. My nose was probably less than an inch away from the frame. My first inclination was to scream, “Either you’re a stupid ass and got, got. Or you think I’m a stupid as that can get, get!” There was no way on God’s green earth that was an authentic Salvador Dali piece. If this dumb ass could afford a piece of that type of artwork he certainly wouldn’t be living in this shoe box he called a home! But I decided to be nice and go along with the act. So we sat down on his couch and had a glass of wine.
Jason: I wanted to give you a present.
Me: Really? You don’t have to.
Jason: No I insist. I really appreciate you giving a brotha a chance and not letting age get in the way.
Me: As long as you’re up front with me we are all good.
Jason reached over and picked up the large 3 wick candle that was sitting on his coffee table.
Jason: I figured this would be nice and relaxing for you. It has a nice settle scent.
I started cracking up. Seriously, he was too funny.
Me: Jason, you are a fool! You crack me up!
Jason: What’s so funny?
Me: You pretending to give me an already used candle as a gift. That was a good one!
Jason: No I’m serious. I only used it once.
That’s when I realized he was dead ass serious. I was expecting Ashton Kutcher to jump out of his back room and the camera crew to hop out from wherever they were hiding. This really couldn’t be happening. When 30 seconds went by it settled I wasn’t on a non-celebrity episode of Punked!
ME: Thanks! Why don’t I just set it down here until I leave?
I had no intention of bringing that shitty candle home. Just as I slammed back my glass of wine. There was a car passing by with loud music. You know when a car is blasting its music so damn loud you can feel the vibrations in your house. It was that loud. I figured it would pass by but it sounded like it was getting louder and louder. “Jason” jumped up. “Our ride is here. My boy has his own cab and I knew we would be drinking so he’s giving us a ride to the restaurant.” He opened his front door I walked out and there was a cab waiting for us outside blasting gangster rap! “Jason” introduced us. I reluctantly got into the cab. As we passed various cars, the drivers and/or passengers looked over at the cab with disgust and rolled up their windows. With each mile we drove I sank lower and lower into the back seat hoping I would not be seen.
Jason: I remember you mentioned you like Oysters; I’m taking you to a spot in Santa Monica that you’ll love. Then we’ll walk down the street to the spot where I work.
Me: I thought you were a writer?
Jason: Well, yeah I do that too. But sometimes I… Uh… help out my friend at his bar and I’ll bartend if he’s shorthanded.
I gave him major side eye. I was no dummy. This asshole wasn’t a damn writer. He was a damn bartender. Now it made sense why his ass knew all the bartenders around LA. Typically when you are a waiter or bartender you know other waiters and bartenders and hang out and hook people up with free drinks! Oh my goodness. We pulled up to the elegant spot, loud music blasting. I hopped out of the taxi so fast and practically sprinted into the restaurant. I was hoping no one saw me and associated me with this foolery. Of course when “Jason” came in the first thing he did was say hello to the bartender before we were escorted to our table in the small packed restaurant. When we sat down the bartender sent us over a bottle of Rose. “Jason” was one of those men who liked to strike up conversation with people he didn’t know. The restaurant was small and packed so it was almost like a community table. “Jason’s” loud ass began to strike up conversation with a group of young ladies who were sitting at the table next to us. After he ordered our food a huge sampler plate of various seafood came to the table of the ladies sitting next to us. “Jason’s” bug eyes got even bigger as the waiter placed the tower on their table.
Jason: What’s that?
Lady at Table Next to Us: The seafood tower.
Jason: That looks real good. I might order that. Can I try some?
Lady at the Table Next To Us: Ummmm…. Uh…. Oooo-kay?
With that “Jason” grabbed his bread plate and proceeded to grab a few shrimp, crab legs, and oysters off the young ladies seafood tower and take some of the various sauces and pour a little on his plate. I wanted to die! I wanted to run out of the restaurant. Mortified doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt! He asked if I wanted some. I said no before he could even get the sentence out. There was a couple who was sitting at the table on the opposite side of us who observed this fiasco. They saw my face. I gave them a look of HELP ME!!! So the man tried to lighten the mood of the situation.
Gentleman: (to Jason) Your date is a very pretty woman. She’s a class act. You’re one lucky man!
Jason: Who her? She alright.
Gentleman’s Date: She seems wonderful!
Me: Thank you.
Jason: Naw. She’s just alright. (begins laughing)
That’s when I had officially had enough. Here I Was sitting across from a complete moroon and someone is giving me a compliment and all his ass could say was I’m ALRIGHT? With that I grabbed my purse and stood up.
Jason: Where are you going?
Me: I’m leaving.
I walked out the restaurant. And I forgot my fucking car was at his house. So I walked to the corner to see if I could hail a taxi. I didn’t see one in sight (this was before the Uber days). Shortly after Bojangles came out of the restaurant.
Jason: What’s wrong with you? We still have oysters coming.
Me: I’m done! How dare you just say I’m alright when someone compliments me? Who the fuck do you think you are?
Jason: You’re trippin’! I was just playing.
Me: The shit wasn’t funny and I don’t appreciate it.
Jason: (throwing his hands up in the air) Get the fuck outta here. You’ve been tripping all day with your bourgeois ass. Fine then go the fuck home! I don’t have time for this shit.
Me: Then bring your broke, wanna be Bojangles, 50 year old, living in a shack, waiter ass wanna be a writer ass back in the fucking restaurant. That’s what I get for associating with hired help!
Jason: Fuck you!
Me: Fuck you! I can’t believe I gave your ugly ass the time of day!
Jason: Fuck you!
I saw a taxi pulling up. Thank goodness. But I still had to have the last word because at that point I didn’t give a shit. As I grabbed the handle of the taxi to open the door I stuck him with my parting words hoping to cut him with my tongue.
Me: And by the way, give your son a call. On top of being an ugly ass broke fuck you seem to be shitty father too. Go fuck yourself and never ever call me again.
I hopped in that taxi so fast and prayed that he wasn’t going to try to reach in and grab me and kill me. I told the taxi to get me back to his address as soon as I could. I prayed that a) he hadn’t called someone to wait for me at his house to kill me or b) had someone vandalize my damn car. Why oh why can’t I learn how to just keep my mouth shut sometimes?! Why oh why do I always have to have the last word?! When we got to his house I had the taxi driver drive me to the back and wait for me until my car started and I was driving off. I even asked him to follow me until I got to the freeway. Thank God the driver was so accommodating.
I made it safely back to my home. I called at least 5 of my girlfriends and told them what happened. The reactions were all the same. What?! No way…. You gotta to be kidding me… what a stupid ass… I am so glad you are okay and weren’t hurt… And the conclusion that all of them came up with was… You gotta write a book about your dates!
The next morning I woke up. I was still in a state of rejuvenation since the Maui trip despite that little speed bump from the night before. I went in my mediation room and did my usual journaling, praying and meditation and sat in silence for a few minutes. And suddenly I began to have a flashback of that date, which was by far the worse date in the history of my 30+ years on this earth. I flashed back to all of the other dates I had been on in the last year, and in my 20’s. I flashed back to me and my girlfriends meeting up for drinks later on to discuss all the dates. The laughter, the disappointments, the lessons, the horrors, and it hit me… These stories must be shared if for nothing else pure entertainment or life lessons. I even thought back to the journey life had taken me on through my marriage and ultimately the divorce. I realized I could use my stories and hopefully help others through their journey and let them know they were not alone. And with that I began this blog and Confessions of a Serial Dater in LA was delivered….
I decided to bring you a 2 Part blog. Sometimes I just can’t get a story out in one post. Enjoy…
Since I launched this blog in January I have been asked quite a few times, “What made you start this blog?!” I ignore the times when people ask me this question with a look of horror and judgment. I secretly give them the finger and stick my tongue out at them like a child. But for the folks who genuinely are curious I tell them the story of my worse date ever…
In July of 2012 I decided to take a trip by myself to Maui. I was having an Eat, Pray, Love moment. I needed to get out of LA and just breathe. My divorce had just become final in January of that year. I felt like I never took the time to be by myself and just reflect on the last few years of my life. As you know, I spend a majority of my time travelling for my job. And one of the perks of all that travel is collecting hotel points and airline points. I booked my flight from LAX to Hawaii which cost me a total of $2.50. And then I booked my hotel, which cost me a total of $50. I only told one person where I was going just in case something happened. I left on a Thursday and tuned myself off to the outside world. My phone was off, I didn’t watch TV, and I didn’t speak to any family or friends for a total of 5 days. My mornings were spent in heavy mediation and journaling, my days were spent lounging by the pool having cocktails, and my nights were spent taking myself out to dinners. Needless to say, by the time I returned to the stratosphere, I felt renewed, rejuvenated, and healed. It was closure to the difficult chapter of my life. And I finally felt at peace and okay.
So I celebrated my renewal by meeting my girlfriends at Chaya Venice to tell them about the trip. Chaya Venice has one of the best happy hours in LA. It is always packed. While socializing with my girlfriends a gentleman walked in and asked if the seat next to me was taken. I was in a good mood so I decided to be “witty.” “It’s taken… but I will give you the privilege of sitting there.” He laughed at my humor and asked me what I was drinking. He knew the bartender well. And then he did what all single men should always do when they offer to buy a woman a drink and her girlfriends are standing there, he offered to buy them a drink as well (please note, this only applies to groups of 3 or less…. I’m not expecting you to buy drinks for a party of 10). “Jason” was a TV writer. He was originally from New York. “Jason” was NOT attractive at all. As a matter of fact the angle of his seat made it difficult to really get a sense of his looks. (Or maybe it was the fact I had a few too many cocktails since I had a designated driver that night). So I leaned over to my girl friend and asked her, ”Is he cute? I can’t tell.” Her response was to discreetly take her knife and point it in the direction of her half eaten steak skewer that was smothered in A1 sauce and say, “He looks similar to this.” My friends are just as ignorant as I am. And this is why I love them! We are all WIPs (works in progress). But as I had a few more cocktails his not so stellar looks were over shadowed by his sense of style. He had an east coast NYC vibe to him which exuded confidence. We talked about the show he was working on, jazz, art. It was a great convo. At the end of the evening when he was about to leave, I didn’t notice we had spent the last 2 hours just talking. I forgot my friends were even sitting there. He asked me for my number before he left. I was definitely not attracted to this guy physically. Most women who are of child bearing years will look at a man’s features and picture what their future children will look like. Usually when it comes to your future daughter you are even more selective about who you consider dating because if it turns into something and you marry the guy and have children, often times children get the features of the opposite sex parent. When he asked for my number, I looked at his features, his oversized nose, his too close together eyes, his soup cooler lips and imagined what he would look like as a little girl. My first thought was, “Hell no! Don’t give him the time of day. Run… Run… Think about your future children!” But then, with my newly rejuvenated fresh from Maui self, thought, I would go out with him. Not every relationship is meant for marriage. And I certainly would not risk mixing my good gene pool with anybody! I would never be serious with him. He would just be a guy I would hang out with for fun. If nothing else we could have a great friendship. Like men, women have two categories of men they date as well… The good time guy and the guy you take seriously. This man would certainly be the good time guy. With that, I gave him my number and quite frankly I could have cared less if he called me or not.
As fate would have it, he not only called me, but he sent me a text that evening, “It was great meeting you. I would love to finish our conversation over dinner. Are you free on Saturday? If so let’s meet at Luna Park at 8pm.” Even if I had planned on saying no, Luna Park was one of my favorite restaurants in LA. It was a spot that only true foodies knew about. They had great food, great drinks, and a hip east coast type atmosphere. I was actually impressed that he even knew about this spot.
So Saturday evening came and I was heading over to Luna Park. Of course I was running late (I really need to get better with that). I sent him a text message letting him know I was running 10 minutes behind. I had finally arrived at the valet at 8:10 on the dot. As I was getting out of my car I got a text message from “Jason.” I’m giving you another 5 minutes and then I’m bouncing. I have a 15 minute rule. Ummmm…. Huh? I walked into the restaurant and saw him at a corner booth. He was looking at his cell phone. I could see his not so great features from the light his cell phone gave off. My first reaction was to check him. But again, I was still in my Renewal Maui mode. When I got to the table he looked up from his phone.
Me: Ummmm…. Didn’t you get my text that I was running 10 minutes behind?
Jason: No I didn’t get it. I thought I was being stood up.
Me: One thing you need to know about me is I am a woman of my word. If I say I’m going to be somewhere I’m going to be there.
Jason: My bad. You look beautiful.
Flattery will get you everywhere in my book. The waiter came up to the table to get our orders and ironically he knew this waiter well too.
Me: Are you a food critic? You seem to know all the wait staff and bartenders wherever we go!
Jason: I just make it a point to know the people at the places I love to go.
I could appreciate that. They way a man treats the wait staff says a lot about who he is as a person. If he’s an asshole to a waiter, please know and believe he will be an asshole to you one day. From there the conversation ensued. Come to find out “Jason” had a 22 year old son who he hadn’t spoken to in over 2 years. When dating someone who has kids it is a very fine line in terms of the questions you should ask when you first start dating. But I was curious how a man goes without speaking to his son for 2 years. Seriously, you believe in treating wait staff with respect but you haven’t talked to your own damn son? But I didn’t want to be quick to judge.
Me: It must be hard to not speak to your son.
Jason: That little n**## pissed me off. He was staying with me and he didn’t know how to pick up after himself. Once I came home and caught his ass smoking weed in my house! When I told him that was unacceptable he went into this bullshit about how I wasn’t a father to him most of his life and I shouldn’t be telling him what to do. He said a bunch of other bullshit and I shipped his ass back to his mother’s house.
I know there had to be a bigger story to this. But I also knew I couldn’t cross the line.
Me: Do you think perhaps that was a cry for help?
Jason: Until he learns how to respect me I don’t have shit else to say to him.
I could tell he was getting very tense and his breathing was accelerated. So I changed the subject and kept it on neutral topics. And we got on the topic of art.
Jason: I’m into art. As a matter of fact I have an original Dali at my house.
Me: Bullshit! There’s no way in hell you have an original Salvador Dali piece of art work at your house.
Jason: No bullshit. I’m a collector. I invest my money in art.
I could appreciate he loved art and invested in it. However, Dali has the most forgeries of any living artist. If it is an original with a low number you could have a piece worth a couple thousand dollars, if not than not much. It’s not like he had the fucking Mona Lisa hanging up in his house. I was intrigued. The rest of the date was pretty chill. I made it a point to keep off the topic of his son, although it was certainly a red flag. But I could have cared less given the fact that I wasn’t trying to marry this guy. We went out a few days later and he took me to TH Little Door. And it was the same vibe. He knew the bartender very well. We had a bottle of Rose and dessert and it was cool. I appreciated how this man knew how to court. Then we got on the topic of upcoming birthday in a month.
Me: What are doing for your birthday?
Jason: I’m not sure yet. I’ll probably take a trip somewhere. Since this is a big one?
Me: A big one? Wait a minute… how old are you turning?
Jason: I don’t like to disclose my age.
Me: I thought you were 47.
Jason: No that’s what you guessed, I just didn’t correct you.
Me: So if your next birthday is a big one, then you must be turning 45.
Jason: No close… I’m turning 50.
Record screech to a halt! 50?! If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know I like and appreciate older men. But 50? That’s was too damn old. 50 is also known as 10 years away from needing to take a pill to keep it up. And in 10 years, I will be in the middle of my sexual peek and have no intention of trying to entertain a wet noodle unless it’s in my pasta! I’m just saying. 46 is my max. That is 10 years older than me. 50? Oh no! That’s just not my speed.
Me: I had no idea you were 50.
Jason: What can I say? I work out.
Me: Why didn’t you correct me then?
Jason: Age is just a number.
Me: So now we’re quoting Aaliyah?
Jason: We just had a cool vibe.
We finished up our bottle of Rose. But again, I wasn’t trying to have a relationship with this man. I was enjoying hanging out with him and having great dinners. He walked me out to valet.
Jason: You’re awfully quiet.
Me: I’m just in deep thought.
Jason: Come on. Don’t let a few years between us get in the way. I’m enjoying my time with you.
Me: I just don’t like that you weren’t honest when we first met.
Jason: Mea culpa. That’s on me. Let me take you out on Saturday. I’ll make it up to you.
I had two choices. I could a) run for the hills. I wasn’t physically attracted to this man and the relationship wasn’t going anywhere or b) let him take me out to another great spot in LA. At the rate I was going I could be a food critic. I chose the latter. And that’s when the craziness ensued….
TO BE CONTINUED….
* 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!!!
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
When you write a blog about dating it is the inevitable, people will want to give you unsolicited advice. I have learned to develop a thicker skin when it comes to the various advice I have been given. People fail to realize, I obviously know how to date. Hell! I once was married so I certainly know how to close the damn deal. I think people assume since I haven’t met “the one” just yet that I need “help.” In the last few months the “advice” I have been given varies and I usually have a comeback for all of these “nuggets” of “wisdom” (clearly I am in a Quote happy sarcastic mood as I write this):
~ You don’t need to tell any guy you are first dating about this blog. It will turn him off and you’ll be single forever.
Me: If he is that easily turned off and insecure then I don’t need to date him. You’d be surprised how many men I have met that want to get the female perspective on dating. Also, if they don’t give me anything to write about they won’t become a subject.
~ You need to be more open. Have you considered dating outside your race? You are so well traveled and classy a lot of black men will be intimidated by you.
Me: I will date who I am attracted to. All races have fools. I haven’t given up on black men and I never will. There are plenty of well traveled classy black men out there. Hell I just need to meet one!
~ You need to move. There are no good men in LA.
Me: So how do you explain all the single women in other cities? Granted LA is different breed but I love it here. If I meet someone and fall in love with them and they happen to live in another city then I will cross that bridge when I get to it. But I am certainly not going to leave a city I love and be doing the exact same thing in a city I don’t.
~ Don’t you think you’re a little picky?
Me: No. I’m bringing a lot to the table and so should the man I date.
~ Have you considered online dating? I know quite a lot of people who have been successful with dating online.
Me: I know a lot of people where online dating worked for them and they are happily married. I tried it for one week a few years ago and it’s just not for me.
I was finally reaching my breaking point of advice. The other thing that kills me:
~ Are you dating anyone?
Me: I’m dating everyone.
~ Have you met anyone special yet?
Me: Trust me, when I do, you’ll be the first to know.
Seriously, don’t they know if I had met someone special I would let them know? I’m not sure if my annoyance is because I haven’t met anyone special or if over the last few months I have been bombarded with the same damn question. The only time it is acceptable to ask a single person that questions is if it is followed up with:
Well I know a great guy who is single and would be perfect for you. Since you’re not seeing anyone can I give him your number?
I tried online dating a few years ago and I found it wasn’t for me. Don’t get me wrong, I have met plenty of people who are now happily married and met using online dating. So I am not hating on them and I know it is possible to meet a good man via online dating. But my experience wasn’t necessarily positive a few years back. First of all E Harmony makes you go through this long ass questionnaire. And then each day you are bombarded with profiles of various men none of which were my type by any stretch of the imagination. Then there was Match.com. This seemed like a total hook up site. First of all, I need for men who participate in online dating to get the memo:
Selfie pictures of yourself standing in front of your bathroom with no shirt make you look creepy and somewhat gay. Just sayin’
On top of that, I came across profiles of a few guys I know. And then I happened to get an email from a guy I know who saw my profile:
Now you know we should have gotten together a long time ago. What’s up? Let’s make it happen.
I have to be honest here. I was mortified. It’s one thing to be online dating and feel a sense of security that no one knows exactly who you are until you are ready. It’s another thing when someone you know sees you on the site. I felt desperate and exposed. Not to mention this was a guy who I was NOT nor would ever be physically attracted to… EVER! So now he thought he had a chance and knew I was pressed enough to do online dating. Just when I was already feeling doubtful about this whole online dating thing my friend who was recently divorced at the time told me she was on E Harmony and they matched her up with… her ex-husband!!!! Can you believe that shit? If the algorithms supposedly work for this online dating matching suggestions then how in the hell did they match her with her crazy ex-husband? That was enough to send me over the edge. I immediately shut down my accounts and vowed I would never ever do online dating again!
Fast forward 3 years later to present time. Recently I got set up on a blind online date. A friend of mine took it upon herself to use her match.com account and check out some guys that she thought fit my criteria and she sent them notes on my behalf. I had no idea she was doing this (refer to the post Picture Perfect http://confessionsofaserialdaterinla.com/2013/05/picture-perfect/) you know I got a picture of one of the guys. “Norman” was a motivational speaker and author. He lived up north in the San Francisco area. From his picture I could tell he was handsome and he was 6’5. I’m a sucker for a tall man with a nice body. But you can never tell when it’s a selfie picture. He ended up calling me and we had a great conversation. But there was something in my spirit that just didn’t feel right. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but as you now, I have made a conscious choice to listen to that intuition no matter what because that is a gift we have as women. You know how some men just seem a little overly eager? Well this guy was one of them.
Norman: You are beautiful.
Me: Thank you.
Norman: I asked God to bring me an angel and then I met you.
I took a deep breath and tried not to throw up in my mouth. Was the fool reading something out of a Corny Pick Up Lines book?
Me: Thank you.
Norman: You must have men tell you that all day every day.
Me: Ummm… well…
Norman: You are just so beautiful.
Okay… Got it… I am beautiful… on to the next subject. That’s what I wanted to say. He was about to make a left turn into the town of Creepyville. But instead I did a smooth transition into another topic.
Me: So what made you do online dating?
Norman: I am don’t really like to go out much. “Norman” is not a drinker so “Norman” doesn’t do clubs and I am so busy and focused on work that I figured I should give it a try besides there aren’t a lot of women like you here.
Did this fool really refer to himself in the 3rd person? You already know I do not like men who don’t drink. That isn’t a selling point f or me. And he was a loud talker. I suddenly envisioned him and I out having dinner at some exclusive restaurant and him telling a story so loud the entire restaurant patrons were looking at us. “Norman” and I continued the convo. He was 43, divorced, and he had a 10 year old son. He and his ex-wife had a very bitter divorce. “Norman” wanted to get remarried again eventually, but like most people who have gone through a divorce, he wanted to make sure he got it right the second time. “Norman” was planning to come out to LA a few weeks later. He happened to have some meetings in the area and he wanted to meet up. We spoke a few times over the phone and I noticed a few things. The whole entire “motivational speaker” thing was adding up. He also mentioned he was back in school getting another masters. The main reason I prefer dating men who are older is I assume they had their shit together. They should have finished all of their schooling and be working on building and maintaining their career. Things just weren’t adding up. I wasn’t about to meet up with some random stranger and show up missing. So I did what any smart woman would do. I sat on my couch, with a glass of wine and opened up my laptop. I typed in “Norman’s” name on Google images. After all, if he was such a big time motivational speaker and author I am sure his info would come up. As I waited for the images to download, I savored my wine. I also savored my space. That’s one of the advantages of living by yourself. You can do what you want, when you want to, uninterrupted and not have to explain shit. I saw the picture of the cover of his self published book. Okay that fact checked up. There were a few other images of him promoting his book. Then I clicked on the second page of images and there it was…. A fucking MUG SHOT!!!! I did a double take. I even pulled up the picture I had of “Norman” on my phone just to make sure it was him. And yup it was. Not only was it a mug shot, but it was a recent mug shot from last year. Okay now, before I went into judgmental bitch mode I decided to find out what he was arrested for. Was it a DUI? Was it a mistake? Upon further research it was domestic battery. Awwwww…. Hell no! You see now. It’s one thing to have made a mistake back in your 20’s. But this man was 40 fucking 3! And you know with my mouth I can’t be with a man who can’t control his temper or else you would see a mug shot of both of us! This is why I don’t do the online dating thing! But for me I need to be able to meet someone in person and feel out their energy.
Here’s the thing, when you are single you will get all kinds of advice. People will tell you what you’re doing wrong, why you’re still single, who you should consider dating. In other words you get all kinds of unsolicited advice. At times it is hard to tune out all the noise. But you have to get to a point in your singledom where you know who you are, you’re secure in your walk, and know what works for you. There are plenty of people who have met their soul mate online and are happy as can be and it worked for them. For me, I know it’s just not for me. It’s great to be in a place where you are secure in who you are and what you need and are looking for that you can walk the walk without the unsolicited advice and be okay. It’s a process to get here, but now that I am finally secure in my own shoes, it has made the entire dating thing bearable. So thanks so much for all the advice but… I got this!
©Monique Kelley and Confessions of A Serial Dater In LA, 2013-2019 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Monique Kelley and Confessions of A Serial Dater In LA with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Copying my posts and changing some of the words is still plagiarism.