I recently read a story about a woman who locked eyes with a guy on a New York subway, but when she decided to reach out to him, he got lost in a crowd of commuters entering and exiting the train. On Valentine’s Day, she posted a sketch of him and asked fellow New Yorkers to aid in her search for a missed connection. My heart went out to her because I too have searched for a lost connection and eventually found him, but that’s another story.
A few weeks ago, I was on LinkedIn looking for a prospect for work and noticed that I had a message in my inbox. I open the message and, to my surprise, it was an attractive man whose face looked familiar. I reflected a minute and remembered that we met in December of 2012 at Perimeter Mall. My cousin and I were holiday shopping when I noticed him staring at me. I walked past him thinking maybe he was looking at someone else. A few minutes later, I ran into him again after placing my order at Chick-fil-a. Our eyes met once more.
“Do I know you?” I remember asking.
He shook his head no and gave me some witty response. We exchanged cards and I recalled him asking me to give him a call sometime. I tucked his card away and never called. A man that attractive surely has somebody and if he was truly interested and available, he would have called me.
My eyes averted back to the LinkedIn message. He wrote that, when we met at the mall, he was working at an advertising agency and, when he needed some media assistance, he could not locate my card. My profile recently popped up in his feed. He clearly remembered me and decided to reach out. I called bullshit, because I’m sure he probably was involved with someone when we met and just stumbled upon my card, but he didn’t quite know how to reach out after so much time had passed.
We exchanged emails and phone numbers, and this time the ball was in his court. On the Thursday of the second ice storm that hit Atlanta, he sent me a text message checking to see how I was doing and he stated that he was working. I responded and suggested that we should chat when he was available. He agreed, but I didn’t receive a call that night.
The next day, I received a text saying “Happy Valentine’s Day if I must say that.” I wished him the same and he responded with “I’m not a lady, but it’s good to get a wish.” I didn’t bother to respond any further. The weekend passed without a call or a text.
On Monday, I received the following text, “Hey there…lunch soon?” Really? Who does this guy think I am? The dating game has definitely changed due to the widespread use of text messaging. If I could reimburse Matti Makonnen, the inventor of mobile text messaging, the 300 euros he made to take this invention back; I would do so without batting an eye.
I responded, “FYI…I don’t accept invites via text message…so impersonal.”
Clearly taken aback, he replied “Oops…absolutely. I will call you later to personally ask you to lunch and limit my texting in the process.” Again, I received no phone call that night. I started to think he may have a wife or girlfriend that he is still involved with.
The next day, during lunch time, I finally received a call from him. My co-workers were congregating in my office and I had to shoo them out.
“Hello,” I purred in the sexiest office voice I could muster.
“You have the perfect voice for sales,” he replied. My heart sank. His voice was strong and manly.
He went into this long spiel about how we met and he lost my card…and thought about me often…and when he saw me on LinkedIn he had to reach out. There was something about me that had him intrigued and he wasn’t sure what it was exactly, but had to explore it. It wasn’t sexual in nature he assured me, but an energy that he felt in my smile. He asked if we could have lunch on Friday, just to meet and reconnect. I agreed and the date was set.
The following day, he phoned me as I drove to the Hawks game. We chatted briefly and he suggested possibly meeting at Ted’s on Friday, if that was okay with me. As long as I had healthy options, any restaurant would suffice.
Over the next few days, my schedule was busy and we played phone tag. The Thursday before our date, he called while I was in a work meeting and I told him I would call him later that evening. That night, I phoned him to no avail. At that moment, I realized this man has some other obligations that I am not privy to.
On my drive to work the next morning, unbeknownst to me, I received multiple text messages from my impending date. It was not until I settled in at my desk that I pulled my phone out of my purse. The first message read, “How about IHop at 11:45 a.m.?” I scowled at the phone. Apparently, he had a 1pm meeting that was scheduled the night before and wanted to know when I was available to talk. My co-worker was walking by my office and questioned why I had that look on my face. I told her what I just read and she started laughing.
“Girl, he is playing with you,” she laughed.
“No, he is serious” I assured her. “I can’t believe I just got downgraded from Ted’s to IHop,” I sighed with disappointment.
My co-worker told me to respond with “okay” and a time for him to give me a call. She believed that he was testing me and I should play it cool. I followed her advice and he called to confirm at 9 a.m.
If it wasn’t for this damn blog, I wouldn’t have gone on this date. I worked up until 5 minutes before our date, since it was a mile away from my office. I got caught by a few lights and arrived a few minutes late, and I didn’t bother to call. He was already seated and, when I walked his way, I noticed that his hair was much longer. Admittedly, I found him extremely attractive. He was a perfect amalgamation of Ahmad Rashad and Chiwetel Eljiofor. Standing at 6’3, he fell in line with my past basketball crushes Grant Hill, Steve Smith and Jayson Williams (before he accidentally shot his limo driver).
Ah, me like, I told myself in a Cookie Monster voice.
After greeting me with a hug, date number nine settled on the bench and began to chat incessantly. He talked about his current job and its challenges, his college career as an intermediate hurdler and his brief stint as a cornerback. In between stories of his youth, he told me often how attractive I was. While I listened to his tales, I couldn’t help but notice that he had the most beautiful doe eyes with the longest eyelashes that I have ever seen on a man.
I’m in trouble, I admitted to myself.
After realizing that he was garrulous, he said that I probably had a few questions for him. I nodded with agreement and proceeded with my first question, “Are you married?”
Animated by nature, he didn’t answer right away, but went into a spiel about the number of possible questions that I was about to ask him. This is not a good sign, I thought.
He countered with “Would you date a man who is separated?”
I quickly answered, “No!”
He further explained that he had been separated from his wife since late 2012 and his divorce would be finalized in a month.
“Well, there are exceptions to every rule and we could hang out, but I will be picking up my own tab,” I assured him.
Feeling a sense of relief, he turned his focus on me. He made a correct assumption that I was not married and had no children, but maybe I had one.
“No kids,” I replied. “Do you have any kids?” I inquired.
Again, he failed to answer me immediately. Ah, this is not a good sign again, I thought to myself.
He opened his arms and said, “Look at me, I’m healthy. I don’t smoke weed…”
Uh-oh, he must be hiding a deal breaker. Please don’t let him say he has ten kids like my cousin Tank.
“How many kids are too many?” he asked and held his breath.
“I always wanted a large family and five was my ideal number,” I confessed.
A sense of relief spread across his face. He finally answered, “I have five children”.
Wow. Stop the presses.
My date looked at his watch and noticed that he was running late for his 1 p.m. meeting. He helped me with my coat and we quickly said our goodbyes.
Five children would be a deal breaker for most of my friends, but I think I can actually deal with it. As long as he takes care of them, what does it matter anyway? I actually liked him and that is a rarity. He was funny, intelligent, attractive, had a sense of spirituality, health conscious and we appeared to have a lot in common.
I will agree with him on one thing, there was an undeniable energy between the two of us.
I have no choice but to explore it.