So I figure the best way to get over my dating slump is to go on a date. At one of the parties I attended on Saturday, I met a man. Good convo, cute in the face, very grown man swag. We exchanged small talk and I liked what he had to say. At some point in the evening we parted ways without exchanging contact info. and he came to find me on the dancefloor to tell me, “I want your number before you leave.” It doesn’t sound so impressive on screen, but he said it with some authority and some bass. Interesting. And yes, I made sure he got my number.
So he texts. I don’t get around to texting him back because… well, I was in a mood about dating. So he calls, leaves a message telling me how great it was to meet and we should hang out sometime. Two days later, I bother myself to return his call. I remind myself that just because I have a bad outlook at the moment, this is no reason to pass up attractive, interested men with good conversation. . So I call on the way to meet up with my girls at this Mexican spot in Tribeca. No answer. Voicemail. I never leave messages, but this time I do. I take Asha's advice about change starting with me.
“Hey you, this is [Belle] returning your call. Sorry it took so long to get back to you, but I’m dumb busy. Hope we can link up soon.” End Call.
An hour later, he calls back. I answer in the middle of dinner with the girls, which I never do. This is sacred time. And today’s story is very juicy too (“So then he said, ‘I have to be forced to commit so we should make a baby tonight. Are you ovulating?”) But I pick up to hurriedly tell him that I am busy and out with friends. My thumb is all ready to push the Red button to end the call when he says, “sure, okay, yeah, but let me ask you this before you go: you want to have a drink with me later tonight?” He’s doing that authority with bass thing again. Just commandeering his way around the Earth.
“I think I can find time for that,” I say. I hear my Southern accent creeping up. My girls look at me and roll their eyes. They know what that voice means.
“Text me. Let me know what time to meet you,” he says. He’s doing the a little take, a little give dance, I see.
“Okay. I’ll do that.”
I’m late. I told him I’d meet him at 10:30ish and its damn near 11 by the time I get off the train. I text him to tell him I am running in heels to meet him and apologize profusely for being late. When I get to the restaurant, I don’t even recognize him. I’m talking to the bartender asking what time they close and wondering where ol’ boy is when my eyes land on all kinds of fine in a suit.
Damn! I almost say it outloud.
“Hey you,” I say. I smile so big my eyes damn near squeeze shut.
He gives me a “hey” back and quick hug, then he gives me a pocket square to wipe my brow. (I was really running in heels.) Turns out, he is in need of food, and Madiba’s kitchen shut down at 11 (told you I convince everyone to meet me there.) We walk around Brooklyn in search of food, which I don’t mind as it’s an amazing night. After ten blocks, we end up a corner up from where we started. By this time I’ve discovered that he’s in finance (of course), he’s got an MBA (of course), and he eventually wants to get into politics (surprise, surprise.) Oh, and he’s six feet (of course.) He’s the exact on-paper run down (always finance or law. Artists do not love me) of damn near every guy in the past 7 years who’s met me and taking an immediate liking. I’m guessing by swag factor that he’s around 32 and if he was all diesel and muscular, he’d be damn-near” my type” to a T. How predictable. I’m bored already.
We sit outside Chez Oscar and catch the Brooklyn breeze—something I’ve never done before. I make a point to talk about nothing I talk about usually. Conversation doesn’t flow with great ease; it’s a little bit of work, but that’s okay. We talk about Maryland winning the championship and my brainiac cousin who’s in college in Michigan and how much I miss undergrad. As we’re talking about college ish, he says something that catches my attention. Busta’s “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See” came out my freshman year... He remembers it from junior high.
“Huh? You had to be at least a junior in college,” I tell him. “No way you were in high school.”
He sort of cocks his head. “Uh-uh. I was in eighth grade.”
“When you’d come out of college?” I blurt, my mind turning trying to compute dates.
I just stare at him. “What?” I finally say. “How old are you?”
I make him give me his license. No way he is 26. Impossible. He has all that authority and bass. I stare at the numbers. 1982? He is not only 26, he just turned 26.
“You’re older than me, I’m guessing?” he asks. I look up. His expression is so smug. His swag is out of this world. He’s just so damn confident and self assured. Twenty–six and getting mistaken for grown-ass man swag? How is this possible?
“I nod. I’m---“
“I don’t want to know.” He shrugs. “If it doesn’t bother you, I don’t care.”
We move to other subjects, but while he’s talking, I’m paying attention for some sign of immaturity. Like something that denotes 26 that I somehow missed. Some goofiness. Some awkward gesture. Some stupid comment. I mean he’s a 26-year-old male and everyone agrees that men mature much slower than women. So that would make him like the emotional maturity of what? Like a 23 year old woman? Good Lord. But as I keep looking for something, I realize there’s nothing. He’s totally normal and likable and nice. And then I realize that I am upset about someone being all good things and nothing being wrong with them and for not boring me by being the same thing that everyone before them has been. And why am I looking for something to be wrong with him instead of thinking about what’s right. What is wrong with me? When did this pessimism take hold?
And so just like that, I stop. I zone back in and he’s saying something about the gym and being tatted on both arms so he has to stay cut up. It’s like some sample sale light starts blinking above my head and I realize he’s taken his jacket off. He’s down to his dress shirt, which any halfway competent luster for the male species knows is the most form flattering attire for a well-built man. You can see the “V” without seeing it really. It’s like female equivalent of a man seeing a woman in a long skirt with high splits. Just enough to get the imagination going when turned the right way. But he’s sitting and I can’t check for a “V.” I can, however, see broad, square shoulders.
How in the hell did I miss those? Was I so busy trying to think of what’s wrong with him that I missed them?
After he pays the check, he gets up to leave and there it is.. the “V. “ He’s very broad at the top, and very narrow in the waist. And he’s got a cute ass. (Cue Bilal’s “Something to Hold On To… “youuuuu make me feel stingy and what not…”)
I assume he’s walking me to the train when he mentions that he drove over and offers me a ride. I tell him I’ll accept if he promises not to Ted Bundy me.
“You‘re probably too young to get that reference,” I quip.
“I’ll do a Dahmer and put you in the freezer instead. That better?” he shoots back.
We’re talking about serial killers and somehow I think, “Cute, witty f*cker.”
I swat his arm and connect with… well, you know what it was: a wall of man. He instinctively flexes. All guys do that when girls swat them. And why am I swatting him? I’m behaving like a teenager. I laugh at myself…..
What happened to all than ‘damn dating! I’m so bored I could die?” …
I’m stopping now. I could go on for another 1000 words about the minutia of my night. But you’d read all that only to discover nothing of great significance happened on the ride home. He drove me there, I said good night, thanked him for a nice time, and got out his ride. It was a completely anti-climactic end to a non-eventful evening over non-exciting subject matter that managed to be profound because it was just different. There was no immediate connection, no zsa-zsa zoo, no butterflies. He’s 26 with grown man swag. And if he asks me out again, I’m saying yes just because he’s just not the same as everyone before him and he doesn’t bore me. And well, I ain’t mad at that “V” or that arm either. The End