Sunday, August 30, 2015

He's a Classic Man!

“You can be mean when you look this clean,” he said.

After several delays on my return flight from New Orleans, I finally made it home around 10:30 p.m. that night. I was exhausted but couldn’t seem to wind down just yet, so I decided to text him.  Just wanted to let him know I made it home and kind of feel out what he thought of our encounter. The excitement of the wedding was over. The glammed look was done. It was back to reality in Maryland and his reality in Houston. We texted a bit throughout the night until I finally decided to call because my fingers were starting to cramp!

We talked for over three hours and yes, I had to work the next morning! During the conversation I asked his first thoughts of my approach in asking him to dance at the wedding. In very simple terms he stated that most women approach him! I chuckled to myself. Yep! I kind of figured that! Because of his status, good looks, education, job, and financial security, the brother doesn’t have to do much work to get the ladies, so he doesn’t! He shared that he rarely approaches a woman, in fact, he’s only done it at most, two times!

Throughout the rest of the conversation the borderline self-confidence that I graced him with at the beginning of the night slowly turned into conceit and self-absorption.  He shared that he enjoyed cooking and cooked very well. Even older women, mothers, have conceded to his cooking being better than theirs, particularly when it came to any New Orleans style cuisine. He even shared that he broke up with a woman because she invited him for dinner under false pretense that she could cook. When he entered her home he spotted Tyson chicken bags and her placing frozen chicken pieces in the oven, he was out!  

I was waiting for it. The infamous question.  So, can you cook? I was scared to answer! But hey, who is he that I should have to lie or feel intimidated? So I boldly answered, “ I can cook a little bit.”

I always back up my cooking by sharing what I lack in cooking, I make up in other places. (Get your minds out the gutters) I meant that I don't mind cleaning, washing clothes, and taking care of home. I even do a few handy-man, Do-It-Yourself things around the house. He proceeded to declare that he didn’t need a woman for those things. He does them himself. In fact, he mops and sweeps his bathroom floor EVERY night! I forgot to mention, he’s also a germaphobe!

The scene from the Best Man Holiday immediately flashed across my mind. You remember when Nia Long was outside talking to her boyfriend, that fine Eddie Cibrian, who was getting ready to leave her because he didn’t feel comfortable? He said, “You act like you don't need me.” She quickly replied, “I don’t.”  He proceeded to place his bags in the car and he left!

What a dagger to the heart. This guy was Nia Long! Heck, he is most single, successful black females! I kept thinking to myself, "wow, he reminds me of what most men think of successful black women." We are above reproach because of our education and financial income and seemingly don't need a man because we got that covered too! He explained that he simply needed a woman to support and encourage him. And in my mind, I thought, yea, and to stay at home popping out babies, but he probably got that covered too!
Earlier this week while texting, he sent me a selfie of him in a suit. Now I believe in giving credit where credit is due! The brother looked good! Those tailored suits and his clean cut face made a sister smile, so I gave him a compliment. But then he started to send more pictures. Again, the brother looked good, but the quota of compliments were about to run out. So I fed into his picture battle and sent a few pics of my own. He wasn't the only one who could take cute selfies!

I finally got a compliment from him! I jokingly asked him,” Do you give up now?” His response, “ Never that, I love myself way too much not to have at least 50 more “classic man” shots!” I was done, because honestly, I believed him!

What can I say about this brother? He was a true “classic man.” Jidenna branded a song that defined him quite nicely. So much so that his church gave him a t-shirt that read “Classic Man” on it! He probably goes to the grocery in a full suit! But I’m so serious. I neglected to share in my previous post that he declined hanging out with me on Bourbon Street because he needed to be suited and booted. A t-shirt and sweat pants weren’t going to cut it!  Heaven forbid he run into people he knew! The brother was really blowing me!

First impressions are everything, but I always try to gain perspective before jumping to full conclusions off the bat.  He seemed like a overall great guy with good intentions and success in his front and rear view mirror. But the way in which he carried it was a bit much!  Not to downplay his success in life at all.  According to various statistics, for a black man to be college educated with a Masters degree, have a great job, a homeowner, make a great deal of money, on top of being well versed in the word of God and involved in church, is an awesome and wonderful accomplishment, and I am proud of him! In many cases he is a rarity. Most women would jump at the chance to be on his arm!  But guess what, I also share in many, if not, all of those same accolades. But as a friend had to point out to me, I never felt the need to boast or divulge all of that information to him, nor did I get a real opportunity to do so. I’m confident that I look good, but I didn’t feel the need to send various pictures to solicit compliments for my ego.

I find it interesting that when men are of great prestige and success they are looked at as hot commodities and usually carry themselves as such. But a woman, particularly a black woman, with that same prestige is looked upon as intimidating, and stamped with the “single for life” brand upon her forehead.

I’ve learned to embrace and celebrate the success God has allowed me to achieve. But I’ve also learned to be humble in a manner that does not turn people away, particularly a man that I may find interest in. My “classic man” had me at hello, but lost me somewhere between a selfie and “I dont need a woman to…”  Needless to say we haven’t spoken much since New Orleans, and it’s ok!  No hard feelings and life goes on. But I’m thinking, my next wedding, I’ll just dance by myself and let him come to me! LOL

Sunday, August 23, 2015

I made the first move!

“So do you dance?” I asked.

Yes! I asked a man to dance. And in front of his boys! Call me crazy, bold, aggressive, or just plain stupid, but I went for it!

It was my classmate's wedding and he was a groomsmen in the bridal party. I peeped him at the hotel while they were preparing to leave for the church. I was waiting on an Uber car and he was getting into the limo. He was lively and loquacious. Speaking to everyone that passed his way, flashing a perfect smile! He was laughing and joking and you could tell he was simply happy to celebrate this day with his boy. His dreads were freshly twisted and lined up just right, pulled back in a french braid and perfectly accented his slim well structured face. Yep! I peeped him ALL the way out!

After the ceremony we connected in the lobby as I chimed in on him jokingly quoting scriptures and making church behavior jokes. He knew a little something about church and scripture.

At the reception I continued to keep my eye on him.  I didn’t see him linger with any one particular woman the entire night and many times he could be found sitting by himself scrolling through his phone. I made an inquiry to my big sister who happened to be in the bridal party as well.  She was getting the inside scoop for me.  And when I say she worked it! She worked it!

She called me over to the foyer area and gave me the 411.  He was 32, single and definitely interested in meeting someone. She shared with him that someone was interested in him but didn't mention my name. High school right? But it worked! It was now up to me to make my interest known. I officially stepped into the shoes of a man! I was taking a chance and opening myself up for rejection.  Brothers, I now officially know how you feel! I checked in with a few of my classmates to see if asking him to dance was too forward and I got a rousing answer of “no.” I waited for the DJ to play a song that could easily be danced to and lo and behold Frankie Beverly and Maze “Before I let Go” filled the sound waves. A black wedding’s anthem! I got my nerve and walked over.

Needless to say he gladly obliged and we two-stepped to Frankie, or more like he two-stepped while I shuffled and scuffled on the floor trying to keep up as he twirled me around like we were contestants on Dancing with the Stars! It was impressive. As we attempted to talk and dance, yelling in each others ears, he invited me to sit at his table so that we could have a real conversation.

We talked, or more like I listened as he talked and shared about his job, school and current travel excursions. Through his lisp, that I thought was actually kind of cute, he oozed with intelligence and prestige. It was a bit subtle, but the brother was kind of feeling himself, but why wouldnt he? He was college educated, owned a home, held a great job that allowed him to travel and his well manicured hands and perfect teeth let me know he took pride in his appearance! Oh yea, did I mention no kids! In my head I was officially winning! I was yelling Jackpot, UNO, Bingo, and Go Fish all at the same time!!

As we were interrupted periodically due to reception activities, my friend, the bride, walks up beside me and says, “Get him girl, he’s rich!” I laughed to myself. My girls were looking out for me! And I must say it peeked my interest just a little bit more, just a little bit!

We talked and flirted throughout the rest of the night. He stayed close to me and always found me to reconvene our conversations whenever interrupted.  We took photos together in the photo booth and he finally asked to exchange numbers.  I’d done my work. I displayed my interest and even initiated the interaction. The ball was in his court.  I gave that brother a Kobe Bryant assist that couldn't be missed.  All he had to do was slam dunk it like Shaquille O’Neal!

The reception was over and the night was still young. I low-key looked forward to possibly hanging with him the rest of the evening to continue getting to know one another, but the brother was making no set plans. Granted he was sweaty and I’m sure exhausted from the days activities. He had a house in New Orleans and mentioned heading home to change and shower, but again, no real plans. He made mention of possibly taking me on a tour of the city, but still no set plans.  So I decided to make other moves with my classmates and big sister.  

He texted me throughout the night while I was out and I ended up running into him in the lobby as I waited for a cab to meet my classmates. We sat on the couch and talked some more, but still no set plans. He walked me to the cab and away I went. I thought about cancelling my cab and staying with him, but i just needed the brother to say something explicit! I even gave the appropriate pauses to give him time to come up with something! I could tell he wanted to hang out but just couldn't seem to quite say it in a non- “I’m pressed to hang with her, I am feeling her, but don't want her to think I am too into her” kind of way.

The next morning, as only a woman can do, I replayed the entire night in my head and re-read his text messages a few times. Did I miss something? Did I possibly miss an opportunity or a subtle hint that he was throwing. Being that I’m such a straightforward person, I tend to miss Morse code and subtle guy cues they think they are giving. Without him clearly stating, “let’s get together tonight”, I couldn’t sit around waiting on him to figure it out.

Of course you begin to over analyze to the dark side. “Well, maybe he wasn't that interested.” “Was I too forward?” “Did I turn him off?” I immediately stopped myself! What’s done is done! The wedding was amazing and hanging with him the time we did get to spend was cool! We’ll always have the photo booth! I enjoyed myself with my classmates whom I don't get to see that often and I chalked it up to “what's meant to be will be!”

Once again I met another great guy while out of town.  More exposure to good guys who have great things going for them, despite their planet Venus ways of communicating and thinking! I’m just going to say, the Lord is definitely up to something! He continues to give me fresh perspective on my dating life which keeps me from traveling down that lonely, “woe is me”, road of disappointment and despair. I will simply add him to the friend and prayer list compilation I’ve started and keep in contact for possible connections in the future!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Praying for Him...

“I was just thinking about you,” he said.

Whenever his text comes across my phone it brings a smile to my face.  Its just something about him! I met him in New Orleans during Essence Festival and we still talk from time to time, whether through text or phone conversation. He was my “Mr. I’m not going to ask if he is saved cause I just don't want to know” guy. And no, I have yet to ask him about his salvation because I am almost certain he isn’t!  You know a tree by the fruit it bears.  Any conversation that veers on the side of religion brings forth either a sarcastic tone or simple silence. Not in a negative way, but in a “I didn't grow up in church so anything overtly churchy is misunderstood or comical” kind of way.  He knows I’m a minister and never ceases to imitate the asthmatic preacher from Coming to America as his depiction of all ministers. Many times I have to laugh, but inside I am slightly saddened that he just doesn't get it.

Besides his lack of church culture and salvation we have the best conversations! No less than an hour on the phone every time we talk. The conversations are insightful and meaningful on various topics: sports, media, music, etc. He listens and is interested in everything I have to say.  He is socially conscious and knowledgeable on so many levels. Our last conversation was almost two hours, and yes I do look at the phone when we talk. One of my love languages is quality time. I value a man that would spend more than 30 mins on the phone discussing something other than sex and/or when he can come over.

Our last conversation entailed discussing the negative effects of music on our culture and in particular, our young black males.  He spoke so many truths and enlightened me on musical lyrics I was completely unaware of.  If we really knew the words of the songs these kids listen to, we would get back to the days of banning music from playing on the airways or even sold in stores! Remember that episode on a Different World? They immediately shut down the entire radio show because of an obscene song Dwayne Wayne decided to play on the radio! But I digress…

Because of the missing puzzle piece of salvation, I knew a romantic relationship could not come to fruition. But, don't you know I prayed about! My prayer went something like this:

Lord, now I’ve been CONTENT with being single all this time.
I’ve prayed that you would send me a saved man,
And this man you have allowed me to cross paths with is beautiful!
He is attractive, tall, educated, and has a great smile! You know Lord, all the things I like!
All I am asking is that you save him! I mean Lord, you can do all things!
I dont ask for much! (Don’t we always end with this line when we’re begging God for something! LOL)

Now I know you are probably thinking, now Kristin, you ought to be ashamed of yourself! You know better than that! You’re right! I do! But sometimes you take a stab at to see if God would oblige! But once I got out of my feelings, which took about a day, I truly started to pray for him. Sometimes you come across some amazing people who you simply think to yourself, if they only knew Christ, what an even more amazing person they would be.

Its that whole evangelism piece. I found myself no longer longing to be his girlfriend and having unsaved thoughts of us together, at least not as frequent ( just being honest), but seeking God on his behalf for salvation. Interceding for him and asking God to show me how I can shine my light whenever we interact or speak.  Not beating him over the head with scripture and church jargon, but truly continuing to be myself and let God do the work.

I’m even starting to gain greater perspective on why God allows me to cross paths with various people, in particular men that I may initially date. Dating is simply spending time to get to know someone.  I constantly share with people that I have yet to have a bad experience with dating. Several of the men I’ve gone on dates with are not saved and it just hasn’t worked out. But in hindsight, even if I choose not to continue dating them, it doesn't mean I can’t still pray for them! Instead of becoming frustrated because I’ve deemed them not “the one”, I add them to my prayer list! What a concept!

We are Christ's ambassadors whether we are on a date or in a foreign country. We’re to always seek to fulfill the Great Commission, even if it's over dinner and a movie! Sounds crazy right, but so true!

I truly have a desire for all people, particularly my African American brothers, to know Christ; to seek after Him and live a life pleasing to God. Not just to be someone’s husband, but to simply be the man of God he was called to be.

But Ladies, could you imagine? We’d have more than two brothers to pick from in church! You don't know when to shout, or better yet, you don't know when to start praying! Get to work, but check your motive at the door!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

God said...

“Go after the men that are going after you,” she said.

My big sister texted me the other day letting me know that she’d been reading my blogs and wanted to share a word the Lord laid upon her heart. I appreciated the advice she was willing to share and the simple fact that she was reading my blogs. But in all honesty, my initial reaction was “here we go again.” I struggle from time to time when people tell me, “the Lord said.” It doesn't matter who it is. As a single woman, I recieve advice about dating on a weekly if not daily basis. Sometimes from the most random people. It’s almost as if I have a sign on my back that reads: “SINGLE: Please help!” The advice comes like the bible describes blessings, “you just don't have room enough to receive them!  Now don't get me wrong, many of them are blessings, but other times they can just be too much and I have a hard time taking them in!

So God had to check me like only he can!  Hi! My name is Kristin and I do suffer from a terrible disease called pride! Yes! I can admit and say that five letter word out loud! I have a tendency to think I know it all and struggle to receive advice from others at times. It’s also hard to receive when you are so use to pouring out to others. You trick yourself into thinking that you don’t need the help or advice from others. There! I said it! The first step is acknowledgement! The truth is, I've always known this about myself. Its definitely a struggle I bring before the Lord on a daily,hourly, and even a minute by minute basis.  The bible says pride comes before a fall, and in this season, I want to fall in love, not on my face in shame!

My sister is older, a minister, a physical therapist, and she is married! I look up to her and admire her and she always comes in a humble spirit! She desires the best for me and I love her! I mean, she is in a place that I desire to be, married! Why not heed to her advice!? Who am I?! A single woman desiring to be married! So I asked God to humble my spirit and show me how I was to apply her advice. In all honesty my immediate thought was that I was not to “go after” any man. I’m suppose to be found, right? Me being a bit literal and again, prideful! Then I began to run down some of the men that have come after me. If she only knew! Many of them I wouldn't even walk behind let alone run after! So what were you saying again Lord?

That Monday, a gentleman I use to “talk” to texted me randomly and invited me to dinner! You may recall, he was “Mr.Too Much Too Soon.”  Talking about courtship before I even knew his last name. Him! I hadn’t spoken to him in over a month and I was a bit taken back by his text. No small talk, but straight to the point. I was hesitant about the request and waited until the next day to give him an answer. And her text message came up on a Tuesday! LOL

I’m all about second chances and if I applied her text message correctly, he was going after me, again! So after much debate and a talk with my mother who confessed that she was afraid she would never have any grandchildren, I obliged and we went to dinner. It was nice, but again I realized that I wasn’t interested.  There wasn’t a connection and I simply was not attracted to him, but we could definitely be friends.  At least that’s what I decided in my head, for the second time. He proceeded to text me everyday after our dinner, and I tried to engage, but something in me just said let it go. 

Now I get the whole “going after you” piece, but if you’re not interested, you’re just not interested. I’ve slowly but surely let go of my list but chemistry still goes a long way. So even with his checklist being quite impressive, I’ve always gone with the fact that every great guy isn't for me, but that one great guy will be!

So back to God and this text message. As I re-read her message I also found where she said, “their main concern, priority, and desire should be you!?” And I absolutely agree! I want a man that wants me, prioritizes me at the top of his list, and desires to be with me and only me.  

Through this experience I received her advice and attempted to apply it. And what God continues to reveal to me is that with every word others may give, DISCERNMENT is absolutely key! Advice divided, multiplied and added with discernment equals wisdom. And wisdom applied to the proper place, time, and person equals divine purpose.

She shared that her first lady gave her that advice years before she met her husband, and I truly believe she applied it at the right time. Her husband absolutely adores her and chased after her relentlessly. And the kicker, he wasn't even her type!  

God always places people in your path who have been there and done that! It’s simply up to you to receive and apply it appropriately.