Week 1 – What’s your story?

Sometimes opportunity knocks on your door when you least expect it.  That’s exactly what happened when I met date numero uno.

Working late one evening, a gentleman paused as he approached my office door.  Now let’s keep it real, a potential office romance is completely out of the question since 80% of our male staff is married and the remaining 20% consist of shlumpadinks (thanks Oprah).   Feeling his presence, I looked up.  To my surprise, I saw a familiar face, “the contractor” who was remodeling our office.

He chatted a bit, sharing a barrage of details about his age, business, children, ex-wife, baby momma, custody battle…he went on and on.  I was not particularly surprised by his life story, because I’ve heard this tale over and over again (having one too many nights eating dinner at bars).

After all, I am 41 years young.   A cougar to the 20-somethings and a ripe tenderoni to the nifty fifty and up crew.  Most of the single men I encounter have a little baggage behind their belt which may include a heartbreak, a child or a failed business venture.

Who am I to judge?  I’m not perfect.

Once I uttered the words single with no kids, his interest piqued.  With raised brows, he eagerly handed me his card stating he would love to take me out for drinks.  I handed him mine and challenged him to make it happen.

My phone rang the following day.  Yep, my challenge worked.

Men are hunters and I allow them to hunt.

A date was set and we met a few days later for drinks.  He was running about 15 minutes late, so making the best use of my time, I networked at the bar.

When he arrived, I noticed for the first time that he was a giant.  Not really, but close enough.  His 6’4 (and a half) frame towered over my 5’2 (and a half) one.  Secretly, I loved it.  I haven’t dated a tall man in so long, I forgot how it feels to look up to a man.  He definitely passed my rule of dating a man who is able to pick me up with ease (mentally checking that box).

I introduced him to my friends at the bar and the hostess seated us in a nearby booth.  Finally, my first date was front and center.  At that moment, I was able to take a closer look.  His face was pleasant, much softer than his sturdy build.  His hands appeared strong and sizable (sorry guys, hand size does matter). Not bad for a man who works with his hands all day.

His conversation was unfiltered, candid, raw.  He mostly talked about his daughter’s recent graduation from college, the challenges of being a parent, his amicable relationship with his ex-wife, his court ordered relationship with the mother of his youngest child – he laid his business out on the table.

Normally, I would be annoyed that the conversation was one-sided.  My first thought would have been I have encountered yet another self-absorbed brother. But for whatever reason, his lack of questioning did not bother me and I opened my ears and listened.

Near the end of our date, exhausted from talking about himself, he finally looked me in the eye and asked, “What’s your story?”

Wow, finally a probing question! While I pondered my answer, I realized that my relationship life has been pretty uneventful.  I have never been married or engaged, and I have no children.

All of the men I dated in serious relationships were commitment-phobes.  Common excuses were similar in nature…I need to establish my career, make more money, and save more money before I consider marriage.  Nobody acknowledged the strengths I brought to the table until the relationship was over.  By then, I had moved on.

He asked, “Are you crazy?”  My reply…”No, I’m not.”

“It just does not add up.  You’re smart, attractive, employed with a decent job, great personality, in good shape. Why are you single?”

Maybe I’m too picky.  Maybe I refuse to deal with the bullshit.  Maybe single Black men in Atlanta love having options and don’t see the value in marriage.  Or just maybe I am supposed to be single.

Shaking my head and shrugging my shoulders, I answered “I don’t know.”

Because honestly, I don’t know the real answer.

12 thoughts on “Week 1 – What’s your story?

  1. This is a fabulous read! It’s effortless and exciting! Tremendously, fantastically funny and candid! I just love it!!! Girl, I thought that was my last date…are you sure you weren’t at the table next to me ear hustling? Ok, I’ll admit, maybe my guy was a little younger (29), but I was up for the challenge and that’s all that matters right? Get out there!!! LOL Still can’t come to grips with that term cougar. My story? Well…

    • LOL…no ear hustling here. I haven’t had a cougar date yet, but I’m interested to see what a young tenderoni has to offer. I hope to inspire you to join me in this journey…because 52 Dates Await!

  2. This was great and quite entertaining. You have perked my interest in this journey. Good luck and I look forward to reading more!

  3. None of the single men in Atlanta know how to commit, and if more of us wouldn’t tolerate their “BS” we might encourage the men of the ATL to recognize a “good woman” when they have one rather than settling to be a side-chick or one of many!

    • I think that a lot of single Black men in Atlanta aren’t pressed to settle down because they can get what they want without being in a committed relationship. I don’t know the solution to this problem. Can we address the Black male shortage and create remedies to decrease incarceration and increase college graduation rates? Or start dating outside of our race to get the relationship we desire? Is there a solution?

  4. I am finally catching up on your blogs but after reading this one I can’t wait to read the rest.

    People ask me the ‘why are you single’ question all the time. I think it’s because I want to marry the right person at the right time and that hasn’t happened for me yet. Either I haven’t been ready, or that man wasn’t ready. Since I only want to do it once, I’m completely okay with where I am right now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s