Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Over the past couple of days I've gone on a few dates, dipping my feet back into the dating pool. Testing the waters if you will. Who knew I was such a cheap date??

Date #1 lets call him Suit. Suit is tall, dark, and well he's average looking but has a smile to die for. He's a Wall Street man - you know the type: Brooks Brothers suit, Brunomagli wingtip shoes freshly shined by the old man at Grand Central Station, Wall Street Journal neatly folded under his arm. The type that plans to be on the cover of not only Black Enterprise but also Forbes magazine. In our pre-date conversations I've learned that Suit went to the right schools for undergrad and grad, because he got in and also for the networking opportunities each school afforded him. He is in his mid 30s, no kids, never been married. After a slew of Treo to Blackberry text messaged conversations, and a couple of very brief phone conversations thrown in for good measure, we finally were able to coordinate our schedules to go out on an actual face to face date. Suit suggested a Zagat top rated restaurant (yes I checked...LOL) for dinner. I arrived on time (for those who know me..YES ON TIME...LOL) at the restaurant, dressed in a simple but subtly sexy sundress with my shoe game tight. As I approached him at the bar, he was on the phone. Since it was a work day, I figured he was wrapping up some last minute business. Ten minutes later, he profusely apologized and we were seated immediately. Conversation was pleasant but predictable. The meal was incredible, and according to him the wine he was drinking was really a good year. The only downfall to the evening was the incessant vibrations from his Blackberry. Every couple of minutes or so, he would pause our conversation to have one with his Crackberry. After he finished phone call or text I would have to remind him where we left on in conversation. After the fourth time this happened I was beginning to feel like a court stenographer retelling someone's testimony during a trial. I spent most of the meal, eating in silence - not because the food was so amazing but because my dinner companion was on a date with his Crackberry. Each instance he would promptly apologize, briefly explain business reason for call, then ask an update on where our actual conversation left off. At the end of the evening, in proper prep school fashion, I allowed him to kiss me on my check with promises to do this again, as he helped me into my taxi. We have since resumed our Treo to Blackberry text messaging relationship.

Now on to Date #2. Let's call him Hustle. Hustle owns his own business. Don't let the moniker deceive you - his business is legal. Hustle is tall, somewhere around 6'3", dark (like milk chocolate) and handsome with a killer smile. (hey I'm a sucker for a smile! LOL). Hustle is in his mid-30s, divorced, no kids. In his Che Guevara Tshirt, jeans, and sneakers you would never know this man has the business savvy of Bob Johnson (minus the whole perpetuating the stereotypes of Black folks for the comedic pleasure of white folks.) Our Treos have a text messaging relationship as they speak almost daily. Our most recent date was not our first date. We go out whenever our work and social calendars are in sync. Whenever we are together we talk and talk and talk. Politics, religion, men-women relationships. money, business, movies, TV, cultural differences, history (his, mine, and the world's), you name it. We have more topics that a week of Jeopardy episodes. Now this date in particular was prefaced by a conversation about salad. Yes salad - you know lettuce, tomatoes, etc. Hustle claims that he knew a place that made the best chicken salads in the city. I asked him what was so special about some chicken on top of lettuce and tomatoes. He told me I would eat my words with my first bite of this salad. The time arrives for our date. I meet him about 15 minutes later than I was supposed to (hey, I'm working on it. LOL). We drive to an Italian pizza shop - the kind where you can buy pizza by the slice. "Are you telling me that this hole in the wall has the best chicken salad in the city??" I asked. "Look up at the sign, punk!" Sure enough there was a ginormous (SIDEBAR: did you know my word is in the dictionary now?? I've been saying it for years. Now I gotta work on getting celebritous in the dictionary!! LOL) banner above the store proclaiming "BEST CHICKEN SALAD IN THE CITY PERIOD". We walk in and place our order with an older gentlemen who looked about 8 months pregnant under his tomato sauced stained apron. Hustle slides 20 bucks on the counter. Prego hands him his change and our beverages. We sit at a table decorated with red and white checkered table cloth and topped with a glass vase with one silk rose. He with his Corona and I, with my bottled water, continue the ebb and flow of our conversation. About 15 minutes later, Prego slaps 2 red cafeteria style trays on the counter and announces, "You're order is ready." Hustle goes and retrieves both trays and places the prettiest grilled chicken salad in front of me. The mozzarella cheese was slighly melted by the warmth of the grilled chicken underneath. Hustle waited for me to taste the salad - said he wanted to see me eat my words. I picked up my plastic fork and dug in. That first bite was like a first kiss - full of anticipation but worth it in the end. That salad was AMAZING - the best salad I've ever had. Period. The grilled chicken, mozzarella cheese, fresh mushrooms, roasted red peppers, black olives, mixed greens, and green peppers all made for a very delicious meal. Conversation ceased again. This time because the food really was delicious. The only thing I said between bites was "Oh my God. This salad is soooooo good. Mmmmm." and his response was "Told you, punk!" To steal a line from a friend of mine: Good times indeed.

Both dates were cheap dates. On the surface one would say Date #2 was the cheap date. He gave the man 20 bucks for 2 chicken salads, a Corona, and a bottle water and still got change back. Now while Date #1 spent way more monetarily on me, he was cheap with his time and attention. And where Hustle didn't break bank to try to impress me, he lavished me with great conversation and attention. But overall, both cheap dates were the best dates I've been on in a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnng time. In their own way, each man wanted to impress lil ole me. And they each succeeded in their mission.

So who will I go out with again? Both of them. I'm relearning the art of dating. I'm not leading anyone on. They both know from whence I came, and where I am in life. They respect that and still would like to spend time with me. Now it would be naive of me to think that neither one wants the keys to the garden. But right now that's irrelevant. I'm just testing the waters and the waters feel really good. I'll dive in when I'm ready.

1 comment:

rashad said...

You know this reaks of Carrie from Sex In the City, but i'll let it slide. Its DEFINITELY nice to read that your swagger/mojo is in full effect. Oh, and you will fall in love again. please believe that champ.