This past weekend, I had the opportunity to slide down to my hometown and hang out with my childhood friend, Chance, who was in town visiting his family. Between running errands for my mom to the ever dreaded Wal-Mart and Chance having to watch his sister’s kids, we made some time to go out, throw back a few beers, and talk about the issues that were going on in our lives. In normal fatherly fashion, I gave an update on my kids along with my dating life and the blog. After I finished my soliloquy, I prepared myself to hear what transpired between he and his bedroom bully after he gathered his remaining items and left for good. Instead of that eargasmic treat, Chase hit me with yet another unfathomable tale. He began to share with me that he has been secretly dating a woman who has multiple kids. Now the fact that baby girl had kids didn’t bother me. Hell, I’ve dated women who had multiple children as well (although the children were grown and out the house). But when Chance told me that the three kids were under the age of ten, it gave me pause. However, he was smiling when he talked about his new situation. Being inquisitive (or nosy as my mother would say), I asked how he was able to see her with young children around.
“Oh, I live in her downstairs basement apartment. I’m renting it out until I can find something else”
As I slowly removed the Heineken bottle from my lips, I started to raise my hand to smack Chance across the head!
“Ummmm, what the f&#k are you doing banging another chick that you live with? Didn’t we just go through this s%@t a few months ago?!”
Chance chortled as a Hulk like rage began building inside me. He couldn’t possibly be this dumb right? Had he forgotten about little Ms. Misunderstanding? (He must have because I still hadn’t gotten my money back!) While I understood his predicament for New York housing, I was still befuddled by him dating his “landlord”. This whole scenario was equivalent to the last situation he was in . . minus the kids. While I wanted to be happy for him, I couldn’t help but wonder why my long time friend had become thirsty for love. Before I could knock him out, Chance calmed me down and began to tell me his story . . . . .
“Well Mike, it just sorta happened. I met her at a bar near Times Square two days after I got kicked out. I was working one night and she sat down in front of me while I was trying to memorize a script. She stared at me. I asked her if she wanted a drink. She ordered a Ginger and Tito. I made the drink. I go back to my script. She kept eyeballing me like she wanted something else. So I asked her if she would like another drink? She told me no and continued to star gaze. By this time, I’m a little annoyed because she was still staring at me. To kill the awkwardness, I introduced myself. She told me her name and then as if I asked, started in about how the housing market wasn’t treating her too kind and that her ex-husband was being sporadic with the child support and alimony payments. She needed to rent out her basement apartment but needed to do so quickly if she was going to be able to make the mortgage for the month. Seeing that I was sleeping on cousin Henry’s couch in Queens, I asked her where she lived and the price. She lived in Upper Manhattan. Perfect! We were both in need so I took her up on her offer”
(Now is it me, or does all of this sound just a little too familiar?) Before I could chime in on how this was the same situation with a different cast, Chance cooled me down again. He stated that he had yet to sleep with his “landlord” (who we’ll call Deborah). Chance explained that he began to see Deborah in a different light after residing at his new place for several weeks. He noticed how Deborah was extremely organized and how diligently she worked as she had no family to assist her with the kids. Chance explained that he found himself slowly finding time to talk to her. He found himself being mesmerized by her Dominican vernacular and he loved her feminine energy (and her Pam Grier figure didn’t hurt either!). He found solace in her words. She motivated him to continue to chase his dreams despite his current situation. They began having late night trysts in the basement . . . just to hold each other as they watched television. Deborah provided the balance that Chance coveted. Ever so slowly, he found himself pitching in around the house. Whether it was cleaning up after breakfast while Deborah and the kids were gone, completing in house maintenance, or cutting the grass, Chance was becoming Deborah’s real life Tony Micelli!
Then . . . . . . . there were the kids. Ten, seven, and six. Two rugged boys and one mean little girl. The three of them were opposed to Deborah having any type of relationship with a guy that was not their dad. Seeing that Chance was invested in this woman outside of sex, I asked him about his approach with the kids? He shrugged his shoulders stating that he didn’t have one. Chance stated that although he was feeling Deborah, he felt as if he could not meet the standards of the ex husband as he was a former defensive end for the Giants who currently works for ESPN. And although the oldest child’s biological father was doing a twenty year bid for murder, he was a well-known drug dealer in Harlem who stashed away money so that his son and Deborah would always have. In fact, Deborah took the oldest to see his father in prison once a month. The oldest revered his father as if his name was Tupac! The younger two refused to correspond with their father at all. Enter Chance, a slim, dreaded, struggling actor and photographer living in their mother’s basement apartment. What could he possibly contribute to this family? How could he be a positive influence to her children?
Chance looked at me for some miracle potion to help him with his dilemma. I told him honestly that I didn’t have one. Instead of telling him that I don’t date women that have multiple children that are still in the home, I simply told him,“What’s meant to be will be. Love will find a way”.
He gave me the head nod and then continued to sip on his Red Stripe as we turned our attention to the Thunder/Warriors game. With all that going on, I didn’t want to tell Chance that there was no possibility with this lady. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Even if it cost me more money, I wanted my fam to be happy, if only for a moment.
My question today is how should a man like Chance go about winning over Deborah’s children? With all the dynamics that are going on, does he have a shot? Or should he just count this situation as a no win and continue dating other misguided souls?