. . . . But Didn’t You Ask For This?

“Karen has some issues. . . . I mean really has some issues!”, DeVante said as he entered the barber shop.  I laughed as he came and sat down next to me as I waited on my son’s hair to be cut.  Now I haven’t known DeVante all that long.  We met at the gym and I chimed in on a conversation he was having with the smoothie guy one Saturday afternoon.  Ever since then we’ve been pretty cool, spotting each other from time to time.   I’ve known Karen (the one with the issues), since I graduated college.  She’d been a distant acquaintance but a good one none the less.  To look at Karen, she’s the archetype of today’s Black woman; successful, beautiful and extremely intelligent.  Now Karen has always been a little eccentric but nothing that the average man couldn’t handle.  Besides, doesn’t everyone have a little crazy in them?  But anyway, DeVante felt compelled to tell me about his dating woes with Karen.  I sipped on my water as I began to listen to his story . . . . . .  


Karen and DeVante started out as mere acquaintances that attended the same local church.  They stumbled upon each other on social media and after a few inbox exchanges regarding their singleness and availability, they decided to go out on a date. Although DeVante was hesitant about going to the movies on their initial meeting, Karen reassured him stating that they could eat and talk after the movie.  From the time they met up there until the time they walked out of the theater, Karen didn’t say too much to DeVante.  Instead of going out to eat afterwards, Karen stated that she needed to see a relative in the hospital who was in intensive care.


DeVante thought that this was strange as Karen did not leave her seat to take a call nor did he see her check her phone throughout the movie.  At any rate, he walked Karen to her car and shook her hand goodbye. (Awkward)  After leaving her, DeVante felt despondent and drove back home.  He believed that Karen didn’t find him worth the time and kept it moving.  However after thirty minutes, he received a call from Karen asking why he didn’t call to see if she had made it home safely? Perplexed, DeVante explained that he didn’t know she was going home after the movie, as she had stated that she was going to visit a relative in the hospital.  Karen went on to say that DeVante should have called to check on her anyway.


Two weeks past and DeVante receives a text from ol girl.  She apologized for how the movie night went down and wanted to make it up to DeVante by buying him lunch of his choice and watching the Steelers game with him on Sunday.  Not one to pass up a free meal, DeVante agrees to the date.  Two hours later, Karen sends a text stating that she didn’t know that she had a funeral to attend and must cancel the date.  She apologizes for the poor planning but states that she will make it up to him by bringing dinner while they watch Scandal.  Reluctantly, DeVante agrees.


After several Thursdays of holding Karen in his arms while they watch Scandal, DeVante begins to relax on his initial impression of Karen.  He accounted his fears to his relationship PTSD and believed that he and Karen could be more than just friends.  They texted every day and their banter became sexual in nature.  Karen told DeVante that she had never experienced a man quite like him and was appreciative of his patience. DeVante responded by stating how much he enjoyed getting to know Karen better and that he could possibly see their relationship growing. Karen agreed.  A week after Scandal, Karen began cancelling dates again one after the other.  One day there would be a funeral.  Another day there would be a wedding.  The next day there would be an event she had planned with her adult daughter that she totally forgot about.  DeVante grew weary of Karen’s instability and refused any further contact with her.


After he finished his story, DeVante looked at me for an answer.  “Why is she tripping Mike?  She said she wanted time but makes every excuse to avoid me.  Man, I just don’t get these women!  They ask for a good dude but when one presents himself, they don’t know how to act!”  All I could do was shake my head in agreement because I had been there before.  


I began to flash back to several Christmases when I began dating this Beyonce type chick.  We met right before Thanksgiving and we agreed not to buy each other gifts for Christmas. She told me to spend my money on my kids and that spending the Christmas holiday with her was present enough.  (Uh huh . . . . ) When I showed up with no gift, I was ‘buked and scorned for that day and several weeks afterwards!  What I learned that particular Christmas was that no matter what a woman tells you, they always expect something on that day.  But she said that she didn’t want anything . . . . . . . . .


DeVante’s eyes were fixated on me as I came back to reality.  He was looking for an answer to his problem.  “You didn’t do anything wrong man, she’s just not ready.  Keep it moving to the next bruh” was about all I could say.  I could tell by DeVante’s demeanor that my answer didn’t ease his predicament.  Honestly, I would feel the same way.  What can you do with a person like Karen? Karen brings added value to the table but also some unresolved issues as well. What should DeVante do?  Should he keep hope alive or just keep it moving?    

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