I guess the sadness of my son’s summer departure projected on my face as DeVante came up to me Monday morning. While I was attempting to finish my last set of arm curls, DeVante came up and invited me to the cookout he was having later that day. He wanted to chop it up a bit since we hadn’t talked in awhile. Indeed it had been some months since the Karen Chronicles and he wanted to rehash some of my dating blogs. At first, I was hesitant because I’m not one to be at a shindig with a mass of couples. Plus with my past, you never know who you may run into at these local get-togethers. But after giving the rundown of attendants and the menu, I made DeVante’s social the exception for the year.
When I entered the residence, DeVante rushed over to me and introduced his new live in girlfriend, Deja, and her three kids (I’ll discuss that later in another blog). Anyway, we exchanged greetings and I was escorted to the back yard where the ribs were calling me and the DJ was reminding me of my high school crush. I made my way to the cooler and sat down in the shade, taking in how wonderful the day was. I made some small talk with a few of the guests before DeVante sat beside me.
“Mike, I been meaning to catch up with you dog! I’ve been so busy at the hospital trying to feed these damn kids . .”
I smiled. He knew I was going to ask how in the hell he moved in a woman and her not one, not two, but three kids in less than four months?! He shook his finger at me as if he knew what I was going to say. But just as soon as he opened his mouth, a voice came over the loudspeaker:
“Time to eat!”
DeVante asked me to save him a spot at one of the tables so we could finish our conversation. After I finished piling the free food on my plate, I found a few seats in the corner. After I finished my chicken leg, I looked up to see DeVante and Deja coming to sit down. Deja was grinning from ear to ear, poking DeVante as they took their seats. I smiled back and continued to make my way through the vittles. I looked up and saw Deja continuing to smile at me. Now the look she was giving me . . . made me a little uncomfortable. I knew the first sentence out of her mouth was either going to be an indecent proposal or she was going to try to set me up with one of her “friends”.
“So Michael, I was thinking. Since you don’t know when you are being hit on, do you mind if I set you up with one of my friends?”
Damn, damn, damn!! My whole vibe was interrupted as I could see the wheels in her mind turning. I tried to remain cool as I sipped on my Crownberry Apple. This chick, who I had just met, was trying to set me up with one of her project friends! I wanted to tell her so badly that I wasn’t hard up. As DeVante saw the disdained look on my face, he immediately began whispering “I’m sorry” as Deja started scrolling through her Instagram account. She smiled as she came across a familiar face.
“What about Alexis? I think you two would make a cute couple! What do you think Mr. Gentleman?”
At the time, I was hating the fact that I had written that blog about the woman in the barber shop. I didn’t need any help trying to find my “Ruth”. But for the sake of appearance (and the fact that I was slowly drinking up all the liquor), I took the phone and saw her friend’s profile. Now before I go any further, let me say that by no means do I think I’m any of those strippers that women drool over. I got that. However, I’m not bottom of the barrel talent either! Alexis, for as nice of a person as she may be, wasn’t the type of woman that I was attracted to. I tend to like my women on the curvy, thick side with an intellect and cute face to match. Alexis was thin and . . . how do I say this nicely . . . a little hard on the eyes. So why in the hell did Deja believe that Alexis was an ideal candidate to be my new boo?
“So why do you think we would make a good couple Deja? According to her pics, Alexis doesn’t do anything outside of going to work and church”
“Well she’s a teacher and she cares a lot about children! She’s a sweetheart and I could see her getting along with your son. I think the two of you would be perfect for each other! She needs a man who would be a good role model for her kids. . . . . . ”
“Well honestly . . . . . I’m dating someone right now”
“So why haven’t you talked about her in your blogs? Why was your mom trying to set you up on Mother’s Day?”
Before Deja could utter another word, I took out my phone and showed her a picture of an acquaintance and claimed she was my steady.
“Ummmmm, this Tennessee girl is not a sista so she don’t count!”
“Well, I’ve tried dating around here and nothing has worked so . . . . .”
“You mean to tell me you can’t find a good sista here?! You can do better than her! Now give Alexis a call. You never know until you try. You’re going to let another woman pass you by like you did . . . . . “
Before Deja could finish her remark, my ace interrupted the interrogation.
“So who do you think is going to win Game 7 tonight? Golden State or Oklahoma City?“
DeVante patted his lady on the leg as the conversation switched gears. I kindly gave the phone back to Deja as I tried to forget the image that I just saw. I wanted to get my eat on in peace. People wonder why I don’t attend functions. This is the reason why . . . . . . . .
For most singles I know, Monday ‘s examination by Deja has become all too commonplace. Whether it’s at a jazz festival, a company function, or a Fourth of July get together, the question, “Why are you single?” becomes the topic of discussion. Like most singles, I normally opt out of family functions at times because I don’t have the patience to answer eleven hundred questions about my dating life. Hell, my paternal grandmother still believes that I’m married (and I’ve been divorced for nearly eight years now)! All because I don’t have the heart to explain why I’m single!
Now Deja is similar to my other female friends. They believe that I’m a good catch, but they attempt to marry me off to the first thing that is available. Trust, I’m not in a rush nor am I thirsty for a relationship. I believe in love but I also believe most singles are in a hurry to make it happen on their terms. Yeah my pace may be a little slow, but I’m not changing out wives or baby mommas every other year. Neither am I jumping in and out of relationships every three months. I’m taking my time with this because obviously the other way didn’t work so well for me.
So to all my matchmaking friends, on behalf of the single brotherhood, we’re okay! We won’t die Friday if we don’t have a significant other by Thursday. Encourage your single friends to make the right choices instead of the thirsty choices. If you do, you just might be surprised at the turnout for next year’s cookout.
Written by Michael Dock, Founder of The Wednesday Gentleman and Author of the Forthcoming Novel “Addicted to Chaos”