He called you a ……….WHAT?

Okay so last night I’m out and about and there’s this woman walking.  She’s in loose sweats, minding her business doing her thing. 

Then there’s this man walking behind her, enjoying the view. He’s a little blatant in his eye-f—ing, but she can’t see it. She turns, walks up the stairs. The man keeps looking at her go, almost running into another.

He catches himself just before impact and by way of excuse and apology he says to the gent, “bitch got a fat ass.” 

Record skip. 

I screwed up my face and glared. Why she gotta be a bitch? All the words in the English language to describe a woman and “bitch” is the one he goes with off the top? 

It stung even if it wasn’t directed at me. Just because here’s this woman just walking, minding her business and this, THIS is how she’s considered just for being and having the misfortune to attract the attention of this a–hole for being shapely on a warm day. This, THIS is how someone somewhere has considered me simply for being at any given time. 

And no, I don’t know those people, I hope. And I should not care what they think. But I do. Cause when people talk about you as less than human, they view you as less than human, and then they treat you less than human. 

That interaction got me to wondering what is wrong with us as a people where this, this calling women out of their name as a  leisure activity is “okay.” Because it’s not the first time I’ve heard a woman blatantly disrespected for no reason. And surely it won’t be the last. I’ve certainly been called a bitch, by guys in arguments, by guys driving by with booming systems, by guys on the street, etc. I’ve been in conversations with men or groups of men where interchanging “woman” and “bitch” in the presence of a woman wasn’t a passing thought.

“Bitch” (and too, “ho”) is either so common place in their lexicon that it rolls of the tongue or so frequently used that they don’t even realize its offensive. It’s like some guys, even educated ones, just all together missed an obvious social cue so much that they are startled when I check them on it. And I always check men I know if they use it to refer to a women in general or in “unsubstantiated cases.” (Last week a guy at the barbershop was talking about how his girl locked him out of the house and he was left outside banging on the doors. He called her a “bitch.” I let it slide, but he apologized for his “french” anyway.) 

 

As a writer, I know words are not just words. Our choice says a lot, say the way CNN has Blacks “looting” food during Katrina while white folk “found” and “recovered” it. The way “bitches” just rolls off the tongues of so many Black men would seem to speak to a larger cultural issue that reveals the general dismissal, or maybe disdain, for Black women by some Black men. And perhaps that sub-par-ness and hostility in which we are viewed, as evident by the words chosen to describe us, has some to do with the tragedies that are played out upon us. And when I say tragedies, I’m thinking about domestic violence (35% higher for Black women than that of white females), murder (5x higher than white women), etc*. Like wouldn’t it follow if you don’t see me as worth respecting that it’s that much easier to disrespect or mistreat me?

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You asked…I answered…

One of my new found followers and e-mail buddies wrote and asked me about becoming a writer. I suggested she get a blog. There is no other way to become a good writer without writing constantly or at least daily. She asked me then what she should write about. I gave her the advice that a mentor once gave me: “Write what you know. Just write about your life.” Hey, it’s worked for me.

She pointed out that her life isn’t as dramatic as mine. “CamronZoe, your life is like a movie. That stuff doesn’t happen to everyone.” She was afraid her blog would be boring.

I haven’t accepted that my life is more dramatic than most. Admittedy, it helps that I am surrounded by people who can go tit for tat with my experiences. But I tend to think that if most people described their lives in narrative, pointing out the minutia, telling details that are usually only significant in hindsight , always making themselves the main character, and leaving out the dry parts of their day, their world will seem equally intense. That and I find that the moments I expect to be big and defining rarely are. I’ve noticed a theme to the way I write—and hence, the way I live– and the stories I chose to tell. If you ever analyze the posts critically, my greatest flaw and perhaps best asset as a writer are one in the same.

I took a screenplay writing seminar a couple years back. I can trace out any good movie or story by its “beats” now. Someday I’ll explain that and it will ruin movie watching for you until you forget it. In the meantime, know that every blog has the same set-up: CamronZoe thinks X will happen, everything but X does. Story editors call that the mark of good-plotting. I call it a bitch of a way to live!

Even when I’m a Mess….

I’m not your Superwoman.

Im not Carrie Bradshaw either.

I’m Bridget Jones with a better wardrobe.

So I picked out this outfit days in advance to wear for my big presentation at work this morning. It’s a black knee length dress with ruffles. Professional, but festive. I wear it whenever I want to feel pretty and confident. I wore it to opening night of The Color Purple a couple years back and to the Stevie Wonder party late last year.

All weekend, I stressed about this presentation. I have this off-beat idea that I’ve decided to execute. I’m not 100% about it, but I can’t think of anything better.  I applied for a Math Specialist job for my district and today they wanted me to give a presentation on the best practices for teaching math.  In my favorite dress, I feel like I can conquer the world though so I’m not too worried.

This morning, I put on the dress. I’m marching around the house in it and I’m almost out the door when the zipper breaks apart.

Shit!

I snatch off the dress and try to fix it. I don’t have a back up outfit planned and it will take me forever to pick out something that I find equally comfortable fabulous and appropriate. I have to make this work. I remember that this happens to my favorite piece of luggage all the time and I’m always able to fix it with no problem. I’m nice with this.

I tug gently at the dress’s zipper and slowly but surely, I’m able to fix it. I put the dress back on and leave for work.

Six hours later

All afternoon at this called faculty meeting, I’ve been listening to presentations from all of the top brass. I’m operating off 4 hours of sleep from last night, and the rain, but I’m wide awake and engaged in the topics. I love where I work and what I do. I pay attention because I genuinely care about its success and my success here. I’m also the only teacher scheduled to present. I take this as a sign my boss has faith in me and trusts me to represent our team well. I feel good.

I’m not that nervous about my presentation even though I decided not to go with a fancy Power Point set up and instead chose to rely on a lot of personality that I hope will leave a lasting impression. I’ve noticed everyone who gets a chance to shine in my district has great public speaking skills. This is my big chance to show that I’m capable too.

It’s 10 minutes to go before the superintendent is set to present. She’ll talk, then throw off the mic to my Principal.  She’ll present her section and then she’ll pass the metaphoric baton to me. My nerves finally catch up to me and I shift in my seat.

Fuck!

I feel the zipper ripping apart. It’s like in slow motion, but it happens quite fast. Impending doom descends upon me.

I snatch my dress together and carefully exit the room, clutching the fabric to my hip. In the bathroom stall, I yank off my dress, and tug at the zipper. Nothing. I have to fix my dress. I have to fix my dress!! I tug and yank.

The zipper pops.

Oh, fuck me.

I stand there for a moment in shock, then self-pity. This is my life. I am a walking dramadey, except this time it’s drama and tragedy, not drama and comedy. It’s fun to write about these things. In retrospect, they make for entertaining stories and posts. But this here isn’t story time. It’s reality and my boss, my boss’s bosses and all of my co-workers are in the next room. In 15 minutes they will be expecting me to present. And there’s no way I can.

I stare at my broken zipper thinking of all the hours of prep I put into this presentation over the weekend that have just busted apart. I think of how when I was overwhelmed with planning my presentation last week and no good ideas were coming, I had a mini-nervous breakdown in the middle of mall.

I called my father in damn near tears. I’m full on in self-pity mode, I think I am not built for this sh*t.

My father’s response (in summary): “what are you gonna do, Cam? Quit? Exactly. Woman up then!”

Finding no sympathy with Daddy, I fired off an email to a fellow educator from another school who is adept at talking me down from the ledge in a crisis:

I’m turning off Alicia Keys and putting on Karyn White. I do not rock an “S” under my ruffled dress. I am not Superwoman. I am not the kind of girl that you can break down and think that everything is ok.

(I’m a writer. I have a flair for the dramatic.)

I leaned against the fountain waiting for her response and I realized my engine’s finally run out.

I wanted to call the only other person in the world that has a natch for bringing me down to earth.  TLA, but he’s out on an interview.  (I’ll tell you how I know in another blog)  So I call Kewon, then Mr. Conversation. They get me back on track. Mr. Conversation asks me why my job is so important to me and as I explain I realize I have to woman up just like my father said. I have to get this project—and all the others too—done. I am living my dream. I cannot just resign myself to failure. I have to try.

I had just spent every free moment Saturday and Sunday working on my presentation. It had shaped up to be really good.

And now this. All that work was all in vain. Maybe I’m not meant to succeed here. Maybe I don’t deserve to be here. Maybe trying my best isn’t good enough.

Tears well up in my eyes in the bathroom stall. I try to think of a Plan B. I’m blank. I’m out of steam. I wonder what I’m going to do since I’m not built to be a roll-with-the-punches type of teacher, since I come apart at the seams–literally– under pressure. Maybe I can’t handle the pressure afterall. If this Math Coaching thing isn’t going to work out, I have to have a back up plan.

But there’s never been one. I only had one dream.

This is it.

I have to woman up! I don’t have a choice.

I quickly pull my dress back on, cover as much of the busted zipper as I can with my sweater, bunch the fabric to my waist, and go back into the conference room.

I sit next to my boss, lean over and tell her as diplomatically as possible, that I am having a wardrobe malfunction and I will need to delay my presentation. She nods like she understands and doesn’t ask anything further. Right here. Right now. In this moment. I love this woman.

I rush back out of the room, kick off my heels and run to the home economics room. I run throuh the building –barefoot– back to my classroom. I rush the closet, and see a bin of pins sitting on top of a trunk like they were waiting for me.

I snatch up the box and run back through the school to motion to my girl whose in the meeting looking bored out of her mind to tell them she needs to go to the restroom.  As she’s making her exit out of the conference room, I blurt out what happened and she runs behind me to the bathroom to pin my dress together.

She fixes me to decency, promising all along that the dress will be fine and so will my presentation. When I’m fixed, I hug her tight and thank her profusely for being a friend. Instead of telling me ‘you’re welcome,” she yells, “Go! Go! You have to present!!!” and shoos me out of the bathroom. (I am so thankful to have such great friends.)

I run back to the conference room. Barefoot.

Just before I open the door, I slip back into my heels. I walk in as dignified as possible, and hear my name. My boss is at the podium. I start toward her, only to realize it’s not my time to present yet. She’s just started her presentation.

I take a seat and try to calm my nerves, try to get my mind right for this presentation. I’m flustered, thrown off in a bad way. I don’t even know if my C-game is accessible right now, much less my A-game. I grab a napkin from table and wipe my face. We’ve been told by the higher ups that we’re not being judged, but I know an opportunity to make a good impression is upon me. I have to do a good job—despite my sweating brow.

I deep breathe myself into semi-calmness, but I’m still hot as all get out.

When my name is called to go to the mic, I’m not totally unfrazzled, but I’m better. I vow to give this presentation my best. I’m going for broke. I don’t have a choice.

I came with my A game.

I was in my zone. You know sometimes when you know you’re on point? You’re rhythm and flow are just right? That was me up there at the mic. I did better than I thought possible. Experts say the best way to do well is to envision your success. In all those times I rehearsed my presentation, I didn’t see this.

As soon as I take my seat and settle my nerves (and wipe my brow. I felt like I was having a hot flash up there), I realize I couldn’t have ever done this well if the zipper hadn’t popped. That adrenalin rush, that moment on the ropes was what I needed to realize the stakes and just how much they meant to me. I am built for this afterall.

When the presentations wrap, the District Representative gets up to explain just what the point of today’s presentations were. She recaps how we were given a last minute assignment with vague instructions and it was to teach us how to perform under pressure. The higher ups wanted to see what we were capable of. They wanted us to see what we were capable of. The lessons learned today will take us far in life, she tells us.

It was a test.

Life is a series of them.

Today, I passed.

It’s not what they say, it’s what they do…..

Sometimes I wonder if men have feelings. They don’t often express them in ways I understand (verbal, written) and even when they do, I don’t get it most of the time. A gentleman once spent five minutes stumbling over his words about us having much in common and wanting the same things out of life, then finally blurted out, “I think you’re great!” I thought ‘wow, he must really like me. A week later, I figured out that ‘you’re great’ actually meant “this isn’t working.” He was letting me down nicely. Huh?

Whenever I begin to doubt the existence of emotion in men, I put on my Boy Band playlist. It’s mostly Jodeci, Dru Hill, and Boys II Men. These men had feelings. The wail on “I’m Still Waiting” or “U and I?” The begging on “One Good Reason?” The confused emptiness on “End of the Road” and the passionate promises to make love to you like you want me to? (Pause. They just don’t make music like they used to.) I know they’re performers , but all that deep emotion you just can’t fake. They felt something for someone and some point. And they’re like men, so there, it does happen. You just have to wait and pay attention close for when emotion comes out.

I finally saw—instead of heard—a little man emotion recently. And frankly, it’s just odd, like seeing a six year old in a stroller. Now let me set this up for you. I roll with a traveling party of three, sometimes four, dudes most days. They are all fine/handsome, confident, and pretty suave without really trying. Two of them I think of like Brothers. Two are just in the Untouchables Box for various reasons. Combined, I’ve watched them—all single– meet or converse with hundreds of women over the past year and change. And most days of the week, they can just kind of stand around in a room and the women will come to them. They never have to try too hard and depending on which combination happen to be standing to together, it can be like watching women throw panties on stage for an R&B crooner. (Honestly, that might be the best approach as they can be generally oblivious to the effect they have on most ladies.)

Last night, at the UN-official Play Date, one encountered a woman that left him, usually witty and charismatic, stumbling over his words Then he got quiet. He’s never quiet. I was standing next to him while he chatted and turned around to see what the hell was going on. The woman he was speaking to was flawless. Not in the big hair, big boobs, lots of make-up kind of way. She wasn’t even wearing make-up and she glowed. She was wearing a simple outfit, which if photographed anytime between now and 1960 would be fashionable. Oh, and she had perfect teeth. He introduced us, and in the 10 seconds we said hellos and how are yous?, I gathered that she was super nice, but also didn’t take any shit. She’d be perfect for my boy, make him show some consistent act right and stimulate his mind… ( I think he knows this too. Hence the stumbling.) But she has a man.

She gave him a minute more of brief conversation, then went about the business of to working the room. He spent the next 20 minutes and most of the ride to our second destination) talking about how great she is. And not once did he mention anything physical. Well, except to say how just pretty she is.

We headed over to Lola’s for a fundraiser of sorts to help a totally amazing, but struggling restaurant that’s facing adversity for being too-black in a non-black neighborhood. There, our pair encountered the other half of our crew. A woman stopped by to chat for a few minutes and another of my usually chatty friends, suddenly had nothing to say. Er? When Ms. Amazing walked away, he looked a little awestruck, then actually declared himself, I quote him, smitten. He and my Play Date companion actually got into a conversation about how good it feels. I thought they were joking.

Later in the evening, Ms. Amazing (also, simple, nice, smart, and relatively physically flawless), was walking in our direction, headed toward the exit. He leapt—no really, a full leap, not just a hop or a jump– from his bar stool and jetted—not just a run or a sprint—to open the door for her and say good night. The remaining three of us gave each other the ‘what the fuck’ look… then burst out laughing.

He swaggered back to his seat with a grin, looked at us like we were stupid. And then lost himself re-thinking of his very brief encounter with Ms. Amazing. He was just too pleased with his act of gentlemanly courtesy .

So that’s how man-feelings come out, huh? Actions, not words. I guess that means I should stop waiting to hear declarations of like and watch for what happens next. I wonder if anyone’s smitten with me and I just haven’t noticed because I’ve been waiting for him to say something?

Hmmm.

“Urgent like a mother f*cker”

So I usually don’t plug movies on here. I ‘m not a spokesmodel and I don’t get paid for it, so what’s the point? I have to love something before I’ll tell others they have to have, see or listen to it. But I just got an email from Mr. Conversation with the trailer the movie for our movie date. The trailer was for Be Kind, Rewind it was a flick with Jack Black and Mos Def. Quick summary: 2guys own a video store. The videos get erased and so they recreate the bootleg to sell versions of movies like Ghostbusters and Driving Miss Daisy. The idea seemed fun and fresh and amusing.

I read further in the message and see that there’s a Play Date tonight and there will be an opportunity for guests to make their own scenes from their favorite films. I pause. I think. LOVE JONES!!

Immediately I forward the invite to all my friends telling them that they have to go to this party so we can recreate our favorite scenes. I cast myself as Nina (“Falling in love… that shit is played out like an eight track”), and then assign the other roles based on the personalities that match the characters.

Brasen as Darius: “This here, right now, at this very moment is all that matters to me. I love you. That’s urgent like a motherfucker.”

Don.Q’ as Wood: “I believe in that shit like flowers, candy. Just not every day.”

Kewon as Savon: “Falling in love ain’t shit. Somebody please tell me how to stay there.. Do I love my wife? Hell yes. Is she here? Hell no.”

Cheryl as Shelia: “Oh, nigga, I got your progressive.”

Ariel and Merial will have to duke it out for Josie (both like wearing big hair.) Merial decides she’ll get a blow dryer and play Troy (”Don’t wait by the phone, Negro!”) Leaving Ariel to ask, “Played out like an eight track? You did say that didn’t you?”

In a flurry of e-mails we start quoting our favorite lines, regardless of character:

Darius: “Romance is about the possibility of the thang. You see, it’s about the time between when you first meet some fine ass woman and when you first make love to her. And when you first ask a woman to marry you and when she says ‘I do.’ When people who have been together a long time say that the romance is gone.. Mmm-mmm, what they really saying is they’ve exhausted the possibilities.”

Savon: “You asking me if I married my soulmate? It depends on what day you ask.”

Ed: “Romance is dead they said while cheating at pool. But the very last frame of this nine ball game, the cat who had the date on the top of the Empire State is the one who got hustled like a fool.”

Nina: Ah, persistence.
Darius: You’d be surprised about how far it can get you.

Wood: “I can’t help it if I’m the Chosen One.”

Nina: It was like his dick just… talked to me.
Josie: What’d it say?
Nina: Ni-na!
Josie: Damnnnn. Day-ummmmmn

Marvin: “I’m going out for some motherfucking Toasted Oats. You’re trippin.”

Darius: “You and I both know you don’t want to be out here this late stomping up and down like somebody done stole your fucking bike.”

Darius: “Saving something for later? Baby you ain’t got to save mine for later. I’d rather have it right now anyway.”

In a rare emotional admission, my friend Brasen aka Mr. Conversation that this movie had a profound effect on his life: “Ya’ll don’t understand. This movie came out and was the source of 99.9% of my inspiration when I was trying to holler.

I think we all kinda felt that way when we saw it. How often –before or since– have you gotten a cast of Black characters in a contemporary drama that acted, thought, and looked like you and your crew (or at least how we hoped to be in 10 years. I was 17 or 18 when it came out)? One that so aptly portrayed two people who were so feeling each other but let themselves and their egos get in the way (isn’t that most people’s biggest problem? And why it is sooo hard to get out of your own way?)

The movie has its flaws (why did a high-paid Negro offer her a train ride to New York? That ish is 8 hours and the same price as flying); Nina gives a new address at the record store, but she’s house sitting. Her apt (and Darius’) change without notice or explanation midway through the movie. And did anyone get her poem at the end? (50 viewings and counting. I’m still baffled.)

Despite any of that, on my first and only trip to Boule for business, I extended my stay by two days, mostly so I could run around the city and visit all the landmarks in the movie. I was positively giddy in Grant Park walking to Buckingham Fountain. And I also started drinking white wine because Nina looked so sophisticated holding her glass in the “set scene.” It’s also the reason I learned how to step (DC style, not Chicago) and wear “bloomers.” (Go watch the movie if you don’t get that last one.)

Hands down, it’s one of the greatest films of all time, and it happens to be Black. It gets even better when I start picturing my friends acting it out.

I can’t wait for this Play Date!

The Case of the Pretty Pocket Book……aka the VAJJ

Every time I have to go to the OB/gyn I am plagued with a sense of dread. Not because of the chair, or the metal stirrups, or that damned speculum. No, I’m pretty fine with all that. I’ve read enough Essence to know to tell my doctor the truth even if I lie to everyone else and myself, and to ask questions about my health and point out any problems. I never freak out over the OB/gyn topics that are discussed in all the articles about The Visit.

Too wax or not to wax? To shape up? Line-up? Go bare? These are the questions that distract me in the days leading up to my trip.

This is the issue– my gyno and I are kinda like friends. Not in the circle I hang out in all the time (she’s always working), but we’re close enough in age and met through a relative (my father) a long time ago. We often end up vacationing in the same places at the same time and attending the same events whenever I toy with the idea of going corporate. We party together in resorts and islands and we chat enough in the city that when I go to my yearly appointment, she doesn’t need an update on my sex life because she already know who and when, but not where. I also text her to make appointments and ask questions. She’s not my Ace but she’s my girl.

My mother insists that doctors don’t care what vaginas look like, (“if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ’em all,” she says). But I know my doctor well. And well, I care about what her impression is. I’m concerned even if mother is not.

I ask an elder friend (everyone 40+ is elder to me) what she thinks. “Um, Cam, as long as you don’t look like Wolf Man Jack, I don’t think she cares,” Clarice says.

I agree. I am a firm believer that though the hair on my head is wild, the hair elsewhere should be tamed. The natural look should be reserved for your crown of glory, not the crown decorating your glory. By personal preference, I’m never looking like Mother Nature would intend. But this isn’t about what I prefer to see, this is about making an impression on someone I have to see at social functions.

“Go Bare,” says Anita when I ask her what should be done. “I always go bare. I want her to get a good look at everything.”

Bare? I thought that was reserved for pop stars, porn stars and pre-teens. However, I humor this thought for a moment longer than I usually would. The last time I went to my doctor, I was trying to point out something. She said she didn’t see what I was describing. I tried to tell her again, but it’s hard to give Map Quest worthy directions to that location. She pulled out a mirror.

“Show me!” she says and holds up the looking glass so that it reflects my glory. I sit up the best I can in that sloped chair with my feet still in the stirrups and her head way too uncomfortably close between my eagle-spread limbs. I prod and point until she finally sees my concern.

“Oh that?” she inquires, poking with me with a gloved index finger. I bite my lip to keep from laughing hysterically at the lunacy of this situation. “Uh-uh. It happens. Nothing to be concerned about. Trust me.” She then offers an explanation full of technical words and blah, blah, blah. All I care about is that it’s “nothing to be concerned about.”

I suppose that whole experience could have gone a lot smoother if there was nothing in the way. Maybe I could have saved myself from that moment of sheer embarassment. Maybe bare is best.

Anita’s given me the number to her waxer, who she promises doesn’t hurt…. that much. I make an appointment to remove all the grass from the lawn.

I mention my prep-work to my ISO (insignificant other, def. a male companion with whom you are emotionally entangled who fulfills boyfriend-like duties, but has no benefits… yet.) He’s appalled at the idea. “That’s gross,” ISO says, scrunching up his face. “You’ll look like a little girl. I don’t wanna see it like that.”

I give him the fool-please look.

“I’m serious, Cam. I’ll wait till it grows back.”

I’ll admit, I’m not all that thrilled with the bare idea either. Though it seems like a good option, I keep thinking of all the pain. The shape up hurts bad enough. I want to look nice for The Visit, but I don’t want to be tortured.

I cancel the appointment at the spa, decide I’ll go to my regular lady for the job. I tell her that The Visit is coming up and I want to look nice. She looks at me a little crazy at first, then nods like she understands. I think she’s pacifying me.

She gives me the usual with a twist– a nice trim, sorta- like a fade this time– and a crisp shape-up. She leaves the room so I can get dressed and I look at myself in the mirror. It looks… nice. Not too flashy, but definitely shows that some thought went into the look. I think this is just the impression I hoped to make.

Now I’m looking forward to my appointment.

The Revolution will Not be Televised!

New Year’s Eve 2012. Wow, is pretty much all that I can say.

Every year the Productions hold a fabulous New Years Eve Party. This year they held their party in Charlotte, inside of the ballroom of the Hilton Hotel. It was fabulous. I made it my years agenda to go and have a fabulous time, considering the last several months of 2011 were damn near horrid.

As most of ya’ll know, me and TLA (better known as Jay) are no longer together. He and I have had several long drawn out discussions about how and why things fell apart for us. Ultimately he blames me. Hell I blame me. But tonight is the last night of the year. I’m learning to be okay with the thoughts of us as friends. I decided to enjoy the night. I’m a beautiful woman with much to offer the world. So hello world…..

I was beyond drunk. Long story. It was the unofficial REVOLUTION and New Year’s Eve party. There are pictures to prove I did what I did and the stories of what I said (and did) are starting to filter in slowly from friends. I didn’t dance on any tables. All things considered, I think I was pretty well-behaved.

Anyway, a very attractive man (for the sake of this blog he shall remain nameless) noticed I was sitting alone on the couch. He invited me to party on the dance floor with him. Strange thing is, I’ve known cutie for many many years; but LAST NIGHT, I NOTICED HIM. He was a great dancer. He pulled my body close to his, and inhaled the scent of my perfume. He whispered quietly but loud enough for me to hear the words “damn you smell good” escape out of his lips. I smiled. Better yet I blushed, and I allowed him to pull me even closer. From our first dance, he was great. We laughed, we joked, and we really got to know each other the best we could given the situation.

He had great conversation, only one dimple and a smile just made for dropping panties–and he seems to be wholly unaware of this. His laughter made me laugh. All good signs. I realize I’m nervous. Really nervous. This is very very good and very very bad too. It’s been years since I’ve liked anyone other than TLA. He made me goo goobs of nervous and no one has affected me the same way since–until now. I don’t like this feeling. I like to be in control. I debate ending this roller coaster ride but when I looked up at him, I couldn’t say a thing. Mr. Great Conversation has the longest eyelashes I’ve ever seen on a man. They make his eyes beautiful. I could stare at him all day. I sigh outloud and I can feel my face burning. I am blushing. My normally deep-for-a-woman voice is girlish and light. I twirl my hair over my fingers as we celebrate the arrival of 2012. I’ve got it bad.

He asks me a question about my last relationship and it catches me off-guard. I spill half of the champagne that I just sipped out of my mouth.

After the fumble. Mr. Conversation decided that it would be better if we finished our conversation sitting down. So we spotted an empty couch and made it our home for the next hour. We continue our get to know you interview, and the conversation continues to flow. UNTIL ….. He asks me what my sexual fetishes are. It catches me off guard. I realize that it is the first day of the New Year, and we are practically strangers and here he is asking me about sex (bad sign), but there is no way I’m ruining the oh-so-romantic moment with my sometimes prudish, tendencies. That and I was halfway through my third Tom Collins. I think it was the latter of the two that thrilled me.

“I got this thing for…” I laugh ’cause I can’t believe I’m about to confess this to a virtual stranger. “like bondage…. like tieing my lover to the bed, with my pantyhose,” I add quickly. “Not kinky, no whips, tie-me-up type chains.”

He sips his champagne, studies me, and leans back on the couch (you know that sexy man- sprawl they do). “What is it about the pantyhose?” he asks, eye-ing me now, smirking as he waits for my answer.
“Sometimes I like to be the one…. I like to make a man say my name for a change… That’s sexy to me.”

He smirks. “You have control issues.” A statement not a question.
I freely admit to him that I do.
“But you like to be manhandled too, huh?”

Over the course of the night he’s developed this habit of catching me off guard. Instead of spilling my drink, I laugh until I am near-tears. I avoid answering the question and he doesn’t press the issue. He hands me a napkin and just when I think he is going to switch the subject, he tells me he already knows the answer.

My girlfriends are waving their arms at me, motioning for me to meet them at the the car. I smile, and tell Mr. Conversation that all good things must come to an end. He says he’s not ready for the night to be over and offers to take me home a little later. I let him.

The REVOLUTION will NOT be televised….