An hour later, the Wise Men and I are in the Jeep headed back. Because of driver, height, and drop-off requirements, the Boyfriend is in the passenger seat and I’m behind the driver. It’s postmidnight, and it seems Cinderella’s ball has ended. The guys are discussing with great vigor their frustrations with Black women. Being the Girlfriend was fun while it lasted, but I’m back to being the Home Girl.
Now that the fun is over, I realize I am no better than Corey. I used a fantasy boyfriend as a decoy at a party to one-up him. I live a great life. A wonderful fabulous, fulfiflling life surrouned by great friends at great events in the greatest city on earth. So why did I feel I had to impress him? Am I insecure about being single?
A commenter on my blog called me a serial dater once in an e-mail. She’d been following my dating chronicles before she reached her conclusion. Is that what I am? And is that supposed to be bad? Isn’t everyone who didn’t marry their high school sweetheart or isn’t in a multiyear relationship a serial dater? And if you’re not a serial dater, how do you find the One? How do you even know what you’re looking for in the One if you don’t date to figure out what’s out there and what you like?
If dating and meeting and interacting with a lot of people in the hopes that I meet someone I enjoy make me a serial, then I’ll be that. But I prefer to be thought of as a woman looking for meaning, one who doesn’t settle for mediocrity. I’m not mediocre, so I don’t expect mediocricy in return.
I zone back into the car conversation and hear that the menfolk have moved from discussing Black women who date interracially to the pivotal scene in Crash with Thandie Newton and Terrence Howard. The Black married couple gets pulled over by a white cop. The cop feels up the wife while the husband does nothing. I argue that in the given scenario, the onus was on the woman to defuse the situation and keep the husband from being killed. The Boyfriend, or ex-boyfriend, is explaining that come hell or high water, it is a man’s role to protect his woman, especially his wife. Yes, even at the risk of being arrested or getting beat or killed by cops. He wants to know, what kind of man doesn’t protect his woman?
They still make this model?
We drop Chris off, then circle back to drop me off. I can’t remember how the remaining three of us got on the topic of exes, but we did. The Boyfriend, who is American and raised in Maryland, is explaning how he’s never dated a non-Caribbean woman.
“What you got against American girls?” I ask from the backseat. “Nothing. Just never dated one.” He shrugs and never bothers to look back.
Just because I’m not the type to give up that easily, I throw out, “You should try one sometime. Might like it.”
Now he looks back. “You think I should, Cam?” I nod, bit my bottom lip, and look him directly in the eye. “Definitely.”
He turns back in his seat, leans his head against the headrest, and unleashed that amazing smile again. “I think I will.”
Chris calls the next day to say Church Boy expressed an interest in me. He wants to know if it is okay to pass my number and e-mail along. I tell him it is fine, and when I arrive at work a few days later, there is an e-mail in my personal account wishing me “Good Morning and Happy Monday.”
For the next two weeks, Church Boy and I talk, e-mail and text regularly, but he never asks me out. The revelation hits me as I am logging off of my Outlook and Yahoo at work around eight P.M. Just as I am reaching for my purse, a text comes through from Church Boy, inviting me to a party he is headed to with his boys.
With his boys?
I text Church Boy back that I won’t be able to make it and head home to sulk. Another one – an even cuter one- bites the dust. I hit Ariel for advice but she’s too busy trying to decipher the actions of her own semielusive crush to indulge my passive ponderings. After talking her down off her own emotional ledge, I decide to text Kewon to blatter about my romantic woe.
He’s one of the few men around with whom I completely let go of all pretenses and let all my emotional shortcomings and insecurities run rampant. I can talk to him as if he’s a girl, but he responds to me like a boy. I figure he’s a better information source than Ariel, anyway.
In my semidepressed state, I lean against the kitchen counter to eat crackers and jelly. (It’s better than a tub of ice cream.) I type: “So, he invites me out last minute to hang, talks to me on the phone for hours e-mails and texts me all day, but has not asked me out on a date. why not? He doesn’t like me, does he? Sulk-Sulk.”
I hit send and reach for a knife to spread jelly on a saltine as I continue to think about Church Boy. And that’s when I realize…..
OH MY GOD!!
I grab the phone frantically, scroll through the sent messages, and have my worst fear confirmed.
No! No! Oh, noooooooooooooo! I sent the message to Church Boy. Not Kewon.
I am mortified. he’s gonna think I’m nuts. Or maybe he’ll think I’m grown-up and honest and don’t play games. I dunno. This could go either way.
I send off another text, triple-checking that it’s headed to Kewon before I push send, tell him the idiot mistake I’ve just made, and forwarding the original text that went to Church Boy. I need Kewon to tell me how to get out this one gracefully, if that’s at all possible.
Kewon doesn’t hit me back. Neither does Church Boy. I can’t bear the thought of reading Church Boy’s response anyway. What if he says something mean? Worse, what if he says nothing at all? My mind is running in a thousand different directions that lead to a decaying brick wall like the one those women encountered at the end of Brewster Place. The nothing that Church Boy and I already had is now offically ruined.
Kewon, a true friend, finally texts me to say it’s not the end of the world: “It’s a’ight. It happens, Cam. I would think she can’t stop thinking about me….good sign for me.”
Before I can answer, an e-mail comes through from Church Boy, not a text. I take a deep breath and read. Church Boy apologizes for taking so long to ask me out. Er? Says he hopes the delay didn’t hurt his chances of getting to know me better, and, furthermore, can he take me out on Monday night?
Can life be this simple? That you ask what you want to know and an answer is deliverd just like that?
I text Church Boy back, happily accepting his offer for a proper evening with me. I’m so pleased with myself that I set on my counter an giggle like a gleeful toodler as I marvel at my profound discovery.
I asked what I wanted to know, and I got ths answer. Better than that, I got the answer that I wanted to hear. I text Kewon my new theory to approaching life: ask and you shall receive. Can life really be this simple?
He writes back thirty seconds later: “YES!”