Friday, September 18, 2009

Flashback Friday: Date Night, the Hampton Edition

I met BX my freshwoman year at a party in Virginia Beach. He didn't go to Hampton but went to a school about 45 minutes away. He was from the Bronx (hence the blog name) and made it quite clear that night that I was "that chick". We exchanged numbers and spoke at most once a week for a few minutes. (To the youngins reading this here blog, this was before cell phones and free nights and weekends. We had campus issued calling cards with a $75 limit which seem to run out in 7.5 minutes but I digress. )

BX called to say he was coming down to the Hampton Roads area to go to another school's Spring Fling weekend of events. Since he was going to be in the area, he asked if we could go out on a date. I tried to play coy but who was I fooling. A boy wanted to take me off campus and pay for me to eat something other than Gourmet Services. Hell yeah I was down!! We made plans for the following Thursday (sidebar: clearly he missed a day of class to attend a weekend celebration at another school; that should have been a clue..hahahahaa).

I spoke to him about 2 times before our actually date. Something about finally seeing each other (hadn't seen him since we met a few months before) must have peaked his interest. He actually admitted he was excited to see me and bragged how he was going to get his car detailed before heading my way.

Thursday. After class I came back to my room to change clothes. It was a beautiful sunny spring day. The kind of day where the sun seemed to be on FULL BEAM from the second it rose until the second it set. While I was changing my clothes, Roomie checked out the Menu Line. Now for those of you not fortunate enough to experience all that is Hampton University (insert snobbery here), in every dorm room, there was a phone. And on every phone, there was a button you could press to hear one of the elderly ladies read to you what the menu was for lunch and then later in the day for dinner. Oh how I wish I had an audio clip of the Lunch Ladies because it was hilarious. But anyone who went to Hampton, can quote the menu line better than a rap lyric. But I digress. So Roomie called the menu line and through the phone we heard:

Thank you for callin' the Virginia Hall Cleveland Hall Dinin' Room Menu Liiine. Our menu fo' Fried Chicken....."


Okay, real talk. That was all we needed to hear. And I know how stereotypical this is going to sound but whenever the lil old lady said "fried chicken" on the menu line, it was a stampede to the Caf. It wasn't because that was all us black folks wanted to eat. No, it was because that was the best damn thing they could cook. The line would be lonnnnnng as hell - like out the door long. Looking back, I realize how stereotypical that must look, but one of the beauties of going to a black school is that for a couple of years of your life, you're not completely conscious of every single stereotype and how it plays a role in your everyday life.

Roomie asked if I wanted her to try to sneak me back some chicken from the cafeteria. "Of course not! I'm going on a date. I don't have to wait on line for fried chicken tonight." said with all the indignation I could muster while thoughts of my pending date swirled through my head.

The phone rang.

"Janelle you have a visitor downstairs".

I stood at the top of my dorm steps and there he was, leaning against his black Acura Legend, gleaming in the sun. I smile and walk down the steps. He greets me and opens my door. Wow a gentleman. I was impressed (remember I was 18...hahahaha). He got in, made a U-turn, and we were on our way. Now, even though I was a freshwoman, my dorm was outside of campus gates. My dorm was right off of THE main street off of campus - the street that leads to you to the highway and other local streets. We're sitting at the light making small talk. Light turns green and Bx makes a right.

"Umm, didn't you mean to make a left?" I asked as we turned towards the back gate of campus.

"Chill, ma. I got this." he stated as he rolled down the windows and opened the sun roof. So I did as I was instructed and chilled. I sat back in my seat as he cruised at like 2 miles an hour through campus. It was dinner time and the weather was nice, so there were a lot of folks out on that end of the yard. I waved to a few people I knew, sat back, enjoyed the music he was bumpin', and chilled.

Yes, I realized he was profiling but damnit I was 18 and was on my way to a restaurant where I hoped no one would ask me "you want some mo' rice, babay?" As we circled through campus, I realized he was going out the back way down the road that separates Hampton U. from the VA Hospital. Hmmmm, I wonder why he's going this way when he can get to Mercury Blvd (and all the restaurants, movie theaters) by going a different way. But I didn't question it.

Finally, we're at the light. He's turning left. And then he makes another quick left. Into the parking lot of McDonald's. Initially, inside I was like "WTF?" before there was the acronym. But Hampton girls have a reputation for being these ultra prissy, stuckup chicks, and I didn't want to wag my manicured finger in his face like "How dare you bring me to McDonald's?". I push that thought to the side and thought "Janelle, he's a college student just like you, i.e broke. Get a grip".

We walk into McDonald's. I'm all filled with mixed emotions but my 18 year old self didn't quite know how to eloquently express how I felt, so I stare up at the brightly lit menu like I'd never seen it before. Damn, I gave up fried chicken night in the Caf' for McDonald's???

"Welcome to McDonald's. May I take your order?"
Me: "Ummmmm....."
Bx: "Oh, lemme get a #2 Meal.....Supersized."
Cashier: "What kind of drink?
Bx: "Lemme get a orange drink. "
Cashier: "What else?"
Bx: "Oh, nah. That's it."
Me & Cashier: "That's it???!!"
Bx (laughing): "Oh my bad. Lemme get a extra cup for the drink."

Wait a minute. Did he just ask for an extra cup for orange drink?? Wait what's a number 2 value meal anyway (because I already had my chicken sandwich with cheese and a sprite all picked out in my mind)?? Do you know what a number 2 value meal is??? Do you?? It's the 2 cheeseburger value meal. This mofo expected me to split the 2 cheeseburger meal and his supersized fries and orange drink. I DON'T EVEN LIKE ORANGE DRINK. And that my friends, is when I went off.

"You mean to tell me that you got your car all shinin' like new, drove an hour to see me, to not only take me to McDonald's but to expect ME to split a cheeseburger meal with you?? Are you fucking crazy? How do you know if I even eat beef, huh?? You didn't even ask what I wanted??Do you know it was fried chicken night in the Caf and I gave that up for this?"

"What? I'm saying I can give you a coupla dollars towards your meal if you can't eat a burger?"

And that is when I turned on my heels, walked out of McDonald's and walked back to campus. Now I was terrified of the VA Hospital (too many urban legends and scary movies about the kind of people in there...don't judge me, I was 18. hahahahaha). However, my anger far outweighed my fear that day.

As I stomped back on the yard, I couldn't believe the vast difference between his definition of a date and my definition. Sure, I was a lil put off that he chose McDonald's for our dining pleasure but I sucked it up. At the end of the day, it was a meal and he wanted to break bread...errr, fries,......with me. But to offer to either split this paltry meal or even better "a coupla dollars" towards me reaching in my purse and paying for my own meal???!!! HAYELLL NAW.

I looked at my watch. I still had time to catch the Caf'. But then I thought about my roommate, sitting at dinner with our Big Brothers. She's probably already told them I had a date. What the hell do I look like walking up to the Caf' less than 30 minutes later??? I would have to tell them the story. Oh the humiliation. Luckily, my dorm is outside of campus gates so I can avoid the Caf' and everyone over there as I go back to my dorm.

I return back to my dorm, quiet as church mouse. I went up the back stairs to my room. I slipped in and just laid across my bed. Dwayne Wayne would have never done this to Whitley, not gas up a "date" and then expect her to fend for herself.

I wanted to call somebody. But the whole story was so embarrassing. So I called my mother. And told her the entire melodrama - fried chicken and all. She laughed but at least her laugh wasn't "HA! HA! You got played." It was more one of those motherly I'm going to send you a care package tomorrow laughs to make you forget all about this fool. (which she did by the way...hahahaha). She even offered to put an extra $10 in my account if I wanted to order pizza since she knew there was no way in HELLLL I was showing my face in the cafeteria that night. I think that was the moment I realized, "Mommy is pretty cool".

PS I ran into Bx, a couple of months later here in NY. He tried to act like he didn't know me. That was the best thing he could have done.

PPS In that care package my mother included a McDonald's coupon and a Tupperware container to bring food back from the cafeteria on nights when I have a date. Yes moms got jokes. hahahahahahaa

This my friends, has gone down in my history as one of THEEE worst dates of my life. And I've shared it with you. Well isn't that special?!


rashad said...

So that's how BX dudes do it huh? And I need to get my hands on those old cafeteria recordings..those are perfect ringtones

makeba said...

You are crazyyyyyyyy! The things you remember about Hampton always make me crack up because you always remember the things I forgot all about. LOL