God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
Let me say this. I’m not one to judge. Well, sometimes I am, but I try to be open. Try. As you know, I have a thing for chocolate. Hot cocoa. Double fudge brownies. Coffee chocolate ice cream. Kalua chocolate coffee cheesecake. (I like coffee too. Maybe I should start saying, coffee colored man?) Chocolate covered raisins. Chocolate men. While chocolate comes is several hues—white to dark—this one particular specimen was right in the middle of milk and dark chocolate. Big thick arms, beautiful lips, jet black hair, broad shoulders, very nice lips. Did I say nice lips?
His pictures though…I’m not sure how to describe them. I really appreciate a man with moisturized lips. Chapstick. Vaseline. Burt’s Bees. Nothing cracked and dry. It says something about a man when he knows how to care for himself, you know? And I’m not talking about pretty and shiny like a woman. I don’t have a need for arched eyebrows on a man, not matter how bushy the originals were. You can miss me on that. Moisturized lips are nice though.
But this moisture on this guy was different. This shine reminded more of the kind I see when someone has left the MAC counter, clear Lipglass…but I’m not going to make any assumptions about this guy. Yet.
But it wasn’t just the lips. He smiled in every picture. Hard. The plus side is that I knew he had teeth. All of his teeth. You may think I am being extreme here but not all men have all of of their teeth. And sometimes men that have all of their teeth, well, let’s just say that sometimes they are in a state of disrepair.
I love nice teeth, but I’ve dated a man or two with a missing one or three, or a bigger front tooth here or there. Wait. Don’t judge me. I bet you had a Johnny or Michael with a somewhat imperfect, or really imperfect, grill and I bet you loved his dirty drawers anyway.
But I digress. The point here is that Mr. Chocolate smiled in EVERY photo. Hard.
And he stood in a particular position with his feet. Let me try to describe this.
The heel of one foot rested near the instep of the other foot, perpendicular to it actually. Now, at first glance, maybe there is nothing wrong with standing in this fashion.
I distinctly remember my mom coaching me to stand in this same way. And I am a girl.
As you can see, I am having thoughts about Mr. Chocolate. But I sent him my number anyway.
A few hours later, he sends me a message
Him: Gm hru.
Me: I’m well and you?
Him: Blessed and highly favored.
Me: Hoping to connect today.
Him: Yes, so am I. Can’t wait to talk to you…
To be clear, when a man uses the words “blessed and highly favored,” I tend to be suspicious. In my experience, super religious men switch hit. You know, go both ways. Use women as their beard. Just in my experience. Ok. Using the word usually may be a stretch, but I have dating more than my share of men who wanted…well…men.
But nope, nope! I’ve been told that I jump to conclusions about men, especially when they seem even a little effeminate. This time, I’m going to try something different.
Maybe he really is blessed and highly favored.
3 days later
Him: Gm I thought that we were going to connect, but it’s apparent that you are too busy so I feel that I’m just being lead on and it will never happen so thank you anyway…
Me: I’m in a meeting now, but I have to ask, do you feel comfortable calling me? I’m open to getting to know you. (I really want to say You in your feelings. Bye boy. But I don’t. Maybe he is just extra sensitive right now.)
Him: Yes, I do feel comfortable in calling you. So when you have the time to talk let me know…
Me: But you’ve never called me…why is that?
Him: I did not know when would the right time to do so. It’s not that I did not want to.
Me: May I say something?
Him: Sure please do.
Me: May I call you?
For some reason I go into counselor mode and try to understand where he us coming from. All patient and smiles and soft words. Open-ended questions, clarifying statements and attentive listening.
This is exhausting. Then, he says something that turns my attention a bit. Well, a bit more actually. Because the glossy lips, the foot positioning, and the in his feelings already have me turned.
Him: Listen, I am looking for a life partner. I’ve prayed for God to send him. And I believe He will.
Me: (Did he just say him? I’m trying so hard to keep my voice even.) I’m sorry. You said you believe God will send you what?
Him: You know, a life partner. Hallelujah! Someone to spend my life with. I’m tired of looking.
Me: (I probably shouldn’t ask this, but I have to. He did say he). Well. Are you interested in…
Him: Interested in what? (Thing is, he literally sounds open and generative. Like he has no idea what I am thinking.)
Me: (I’m not sure what word I should use next; so I clear my throat and buy some time). I was just wondering if you are interested in, well, interested in women.
Him: Of course I am. I am a man of God! What would make you ask that?
The negro sounds shocked at my question. 1) Well, you said him. 2) Your lips are glossier than mine. 3) Your foot positioning. 4) You stay in your feelings. 5)You have that lisp thing going on.
But of course I don’t say all of that. Instead, I censor myself a bit.
Me: I thought I heard you use the pronoun “him” when you said God would send you someone.
Him: Oh no, honey. You must be hearing things. I am a one-man woman. You know what I’m saying? Wait. Hold on. Chile, this is my sister on the other line. She wants me to watch her kids. She is such a mess. You know what? Ima call you later.”
One man woman? Chile? Mess? We are now at 6, 7, and 8 on the list.
He never called back. I didn’t call him either. I think it’s best that we both go and find our hims and husbands.
When the narrator said, “but this moisture on this guy was different.” BINGO! As soon as she said that, I thought, “There it is right there.” And I paused. I also began to make my own assumptions: 1) He is going to be a metro sexual. 2) He takes care of himself. 3) He is well to do. Meeting these criteria is the fantasy of a lot of women. He may have a little money. He is a handsome, chocolate man. But he may like a little pipe here and there. But here is a bigger question, Why would she give him her number anyway when she is seeing so many signs already? Being curious again? Or giving him a chance to get to know if she is right or wrong? What could it be?
She said, in her experiences, she has dated more than her “share of men who wanted…well…men.” There you have it right there. She had clear signs that she needed to pause. It’s just bizarre for me to even know you can see every sign and still proceed. She lined everything up–the glossy lips, the foot positioning, and him being in his feelings. They were all clear indications that there may have been something peculiar about this individual. This same woman might even be thinking, “I just went through this with Tony three months ago; now I’m going through it again with another guy.” So, why did she continue when she saw there were clear red flags? To give her credit, overall, she sounded like she was accurate on her assessment of him. But I still wonder, if she sees all of these signs, what made her move forward?
On the other hand, sometimes we might see things in people or think we see things in people and assume, but until you get to know that person, you really won’t know if there is any truth to what you believe. We often like to judge books by their cover, but maybe we shouldn’t. But we do it anyway. Fortunately, the narrator is already guarded. So if it turned out that he was bisexual or gay, she wouldn’t be that surprised.
And what about his perspective? Why pursue a woman when he may really want a man? He might want to do what the Bible says or do what his father says that he should do and that’s have a wife and kids.
In all, she doesn’t seem too far off in her assessment. She doesn’t want to just to say, “Your lip gloss is popping,” or “You’re walking and standing funny like you’re a runway model” and not give him a chance.
On the other hand, the signs she thinks she saw would have been good enough for me if I was a woman. I understand that we want to be cultured, but it’s ok for a woman to say there is someone else she wants to give a chance to. If my daughter told me she saw a man walking better than her, wearing what looked to be lip-gloss, had posture better than her, I would tell her to give herself permission to simply move on.