I hope that each and every one of you had a wonderful holiday weekend. By now, you’ve eaten your fill of collard greens and gotten most of your Christmas shopping out of the way. For me, it’s been . . . adventurous! From watching and playing Family Feud with my dad to having a much, much, much older woman try to kiss me! (we’re gonna chuck that one up to the alcohol!) In between those two, I ventured to Best Buy with my brother to purchase (more like attempted to purchase) a 50 inch flat screen that was for the low low.
Now when I know I’m going to be somewhere waiting for an extended period of time, I normally bring my journal to record my thoughts for a new blog or novel. Seeing that we arrived several hours before the doors were scheduled to open, I pulled a folding chair from the trunk and made myself comfortable in the ever growing line. Just as I was beginning to get into my groove, an appealing, mahogany brown stranger took a liking to my manuscript.
“Do you always write your thoughts in cursive? You have beautiful handwriting . . . . . for a guy”
After I laughed off her sexist remark, I confessed to being a writer. Why, oh why did that open the flood gates up for conversation? For some reason, she wanted to discuss everything! And in her inquisition of me, the inevitable question came up . . . . .
“Why are you still single?”
I didn’t want to hit her with all the Thanksgiving clap backs I had memorized. Instead, I plainly stated that I was taking my time this go round. But like most singles, my new friend (who we’ll call Bailey) started to share her war stories of dating, from the bizarre initial meetings to the pitfalls of maintaining the interest of a guy that she liked. Now she was real quick to say what her male partners did to contribute to the relational demise. But when it came to disclosing her wrong turns, she was very reluctant. Me being curious, I wanted to know why this intelligent woman kept making the same mistakes.
“So let me get this straight. You’re almost forty. No kids. Make good money as a director of nursing. Nearly debt free. And you still can’t find someone to share your life with?”
“That’s what I keep saying! I’m like damn, I’m cute enough! And even though I don’t have much ass, my “girls” make men blush when I walk by!”
I had to look down into my notebook as Bailey took off her jacket to unearth her “girls”. And she was right! I was indeed blushing . . . and so were many of the guys that were standing near us! Once I took a moment to digest the image, I continued with our conversation.
“Okay, okay. You’re blessed beyond measure and everyone and their momma can see that! You should have your pick of the lot Bailey! So why are you complaining?”
“I’m always attracting the wrong ones”
“So enlighten me. Who would you say are the wrong ones?”
“Shit, the married ones, the no job having ones, the eight baby momma ones, and the no having ambition ones! And they all wanna get at me! Like I have some damn neon light flashing above my head proclaiming I date dead beats!”
“You know Mike, you’ve been doing a whole lot of “uh huhing” and “hmmmming” during our chat”
“Yeah, people say I do that a lot. Not intentional though. I’m just thinking aloud quietly”
“Yeah, pretty much I understand your issue, but I’m not sure if you’re ready to hear the truth on the matter”
“Not ready? We’ve been in line for almost two hours! Go ahead and say what you need to say!”
“Okay here it goes. Would you say that you’re approachable Bailey?”
“What do you mean approachable?”
“I mean when you see a guy that you like, do you smile or make eye contact with him?”
“Noooooooooo! Why would I do that? Only thirsty women do that!”
“Seriously? There’s nothing thirsty about smiling! A smile is inviting. More than ever, I find women who are guarded don’t smile a lot. However, they still want to date”
“So more women smiled in the past than they do now?”
“I would say yes. Women were more apt to let a man know it was okay to approach them in any setting. If the woman didn’t like you, they wouldn’t make a spectacle out of it and embarrass you”
“So basically you’re saying times have changed and you haven’t. You want things to be the way they used to be?”
“In a sense, yes. I would dare to say that women want that old fashioned dating back as well. Brothers used to court sistas back in the day, but that rarely happens anymore. There’s no chase”
“That’s true to a point, but women having to smile just to let a man know she’s interested? What about the fellas that mean mug all the time? Is that acceptable?”
“That’s not acceptable either. Trust. That’s one of the things I work on now. Whether at work or church, I want others to feel like they can approach me. I’m not mean but my face says otherwise when I don’t smile”
“But you are saying women should smile more to assert the male?”
“Bailey, I’m simply saying that a smile invites someone to come over. Doesn’t matter if it is a male or a female”
“So there is no other form of communication that works? How does a woman know the man she’s smiling at is single?”
I flashed a side eye that made Bailey pause. I was becoming a little irritated and I needed Bailey to know that I was her friend, not the enemy.
“Well all I know is if he’s interested in me, he should come over and talk. There’s nothing wrong with that!”
“But Bailey, how does a man know when to step to a woman?”
“He steps when he’s interested! I see why you’re still single Mike! You’re making this a lot harder than it needs to be”
“Because I just met you, I’ll let that comment slide. However, dating in 2017 is more difficult than it was twenty years ago!”
“You can say that again!”
“Dating is more difficult because we, as people, have become so apathetic. It’s not as easy to ask a woman out anymore”
“And why is that?”
“Because the risk are much greater for a man that’s trying to hold on to what he’s got”
“You’re not making sense Michael. The risk of being turned down is just as great for a woman as it is for man”
“The risk of being turned down is the same. I’ll agree with you there. However, men have to worry about being smeared all over social media outlets now if we simply ask! I don’t hear too many stories about a woman asking a man out and her rejection is trending on Twitter within the hour”
“So what’s the level of maturity of these women? Can’t you figure that out before you walk over to them?”
“You can’t determine a person’s maturity level from across the room! Maturity can only be determined by chatting with them. Which would explain why a lot of hook ups occur in private online groups”
“Michael, you can hear if someone is loud, ghetto, or fake! What happened to making some good ol’ fashion observations?”
“Observations? If I make an observation then I’m staring too long and I’m creepy!”
“So you mean to tell me that you wouldn’t take a risk and come over?”
“Exactly! Going over to meet you is a calculated risk. It shouldn’t be, but it is! If you haven’t looked my way or smiled at me, there is no way of knowing that you are interested in dating at all! You may be on a sabbatical. You may be married, but refuse to wear your wedding band. Or you may be that type I mentioned earlier who likes to defame a brother”
“Where are you getting this information from?”
“From real life!”
I laughed to myself because I didn’t know how naive Bailey was to this whole thing!
“Michael, don’t take this the wrong way, but you think too much! It’s like you’re over analyzing the situation to the point that you’ve convinced yourself not to speak to her”
“You may be right about that, but again, all I’m asking for is a sign. A smile. A wink. A relaxed, open posture”
“I don’t know about all that player!”
“Why is it so hard for you to smile Bailey? What’s the point of looking all mean?”
“To keep the dead beats away!”
“But aren’t those the guys that keep coming up to you?”
“Well . . . . yeah. But I feel if a man truly knows what he wants, he wouldn’t let a simple “no” keep him away. I mean look at Kanye and Kim. Kim told Ye “no” and he still pursued her”
“If a woman says “no” to me, then there is no chasing! If I continue the course, it is called sexual harassment. Plain and simple!”
“So you don’t chase? Ewwwww”
“I have to know that you’re interested in order to chase. Case in point. If you see me every week, but you go out of your way to not speak to me, I take that as you don’t want to be bothered”
“Michael, Michael, Michael! That’s a sign that she does like you! Man, you’ve got a lot to learn! A lot to learn!”
Now normally I don’t let things go like that, but the line began to move quickly. But here’s my question for the day:
Is smiling considered thirsty now? What signs do you give to let a man know you’re interested? Fellas, what keeps you from stepping to a woman? Inquiring minds would like to know! This should be fun . . . .
Written by the Wednesday Gentleman