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The One I Called Gay on a Date
This is not my proudest moment, but it makes for a great story.
I moved back to the DMV area from Atlanta at the end of 2015 to start over. I had been living in Atlanta since 2008, and I was ready for a change. I felt like I had exhausted the dating scene, and I was equally exhausted with the Atlanta lifestyle.
Black Hollywood, as they call it, is truly everything. But I knew if I wanted to settle down, find a quality partner, start a family and get away from the flashing lights, I had to leave. That city gave me too much temptation and too much access to things and people I had no desire to have in my life. So, it was time to separate.
After taking the holidays to get my new apartment together in Northern VA, I was ready to hit the dating scene again. Of course, I turned to good ol’ faithful Tinder.
Things were a bust for the first 7–8 months. Just a few dates here and there, nothing of any substance until one day I met Mike. Name has been altered.
It didn’t take long for us to set up our first date after matching on Tinder. Our conversation via the app was good enough to pique my interest, so I said yes to a lunch date over the weekend.
We met at one of my favorite Farm to Table restaurants. Knowing that I am an on-time type of girl, I arrive precisely at 1p, assuming he would not already be there because I usually beat my dates to our dates. But to my surprise, when I walked into the restaurant, he was already seated at a table. +1!
We had a typical lunch date and chatted about the bullshit you do when getting to know someone. After lunch, he asked if I wanted to grab ice cream across the street. Surprised he wanted to keep hanging out, I said sure.
The minute we walked out of the restaurant, he grabbed my hand to cross the street. I’m talking interlocking fingers type of hand-holding. It felt nice but also felt weird since I just met buddy.
Our ice cream date was cool. The conversation was intriguing. So when he asked what else I had going on that day, I was surprised. The truth was I needed to go to the mall to get some new shoes, but did I want to tell him that? I told him. He asked if he could come with me because he likes shoe shopping.
I thought to myself, well, this dude has nothing to do today and wants to hang around me, so what the hell, let’s go to the mall.
Instead of taking two cars, we left my car near the restaurant and walked to his car, hand in hand once again. He opened my car door, +1, and we were off to the mall.
On the ride over, I had a slight panic attack thinking about how my toes currently look. I had not anticipated going shoe shopping with a dude I just had a first date with. I shoe shopped with busted toes all the time when it’s just me, but now with someone who clearly is showing interest, I am thinking twice of what I signed up for.
For the life of me, I can’t think of what my feet look like, and that is sad AF. That means my life is currently dry dry dry.
We get into the mall, and buddy grabs my hand again. So I finally say something, “You like holding my hand don’t you?”
“It fits in mine very well, don’t you think” he replies.
I’m flattered, so I don’t move it.
We window shop a few stores before settling on one to try on shoes. When I ask the sales rep for a few shoes in my size, Mike wonders over to the men’s section for a section, and I feel like it’s the perfect moment to check my feet out. I pull off my sock and bootie to reveal fully polished toes. Thank goodness.
When the sales rep comes back with my shoes, he is sitting next to me again.
Up until this point in my life, I’ve only shoe shopped with one other person in my entire life. An African who I met at some African after-hours spot in Atlanta years back insisted on taking me to lunch and shopping the next day. I believed the lunch part but was mad skeptical about the shopping excursion he was tempting me with. But to my surprise, he was being truthful and we Phipps Plaza after lunch and said pick out whatever shoes you want. And my simple behind picked out a moderately priced pair of knee-high boots and a matching bag when I should have run that check TF UP! Anywho, back to the original story.
At this point, I am trying on shoes and immediately walking over to the floor-length mirror to check them out. And when I would walk back over to the bench to take them off and put on another pair, he would ask me to stand in front of him so he could take a look too.
The first pair he said he didn’t like. I wanted to be like, “what you know about women’s shoes,” but I just said, “ok cool, these are out.” After a couple more pairs, he finally picks a pair of shoes he likes on my feet and says, “these are the ones.” I just agreed and told the sales rep to ring these up for me without much thought.
While both of my bare feet are exposed on the shoe store floor, he leans over to me and whispers in my ear, “next time we go shoe shopping, make sure you lotion your feet and ankles.”
If I had water in my mouth, I would have spit it all out on the floor at that very moment. Did he just carry the hell out of me about my feet? I looked down at my feet, and I honestly didn’t see any ash, and I guess he knew what I was thinking and said, “your heels need some moisture.”
Now I am mortified. And all I could think of doing at that moment was laugh and get my socks on as fast as possible. I had no response and nothing to say in return. I booted up and darted straight to the register.
When we walked out of the store, he grabbed my bag from my hand and then interlocked fingers with me, asking if I needed to go anywhere else before he took me back to my car. I nodded and said, nope, I just needed some shoes. So we head out.
We get to his car, and maybe 5 minutes into our ride back to my car when a jam comes on the radio, or maybe his playlist. The following 60 seconds of our interaction was very interesting.
He turns up the volume, “This is my song,” comes out of his mouth, and he proceeds to bop his head. I respond with, “You don’t know how to dance.”
His neck whipped around in a fashion that reminded me of Wayman from A Low Down Dirty Shame and said, “Who said I can’t dance” in a very pitchy voice and tone that I had not heard in the last 3 hours.
And then he hit me with a “tuhh” and the smack of his lips. I was stunned and didn’t know how to respond for a moment. I widened my eyes and searched in my bag for my phone to distract myself.
At this point, I am ready to get back to my car because it’s like whoever this person is sitting next to me was not the same person from lunch, the ice cream, or shoe shopping date.
We finally get to the parking lot where my car is, and he hops out the driver’s side, grabs my bag from the back, and opens my car door. He is such a gentleman, I think.
After our goodbye exchanges which consisted of the usual “I had a great time” and “hope to see you again soon,” we were off on our separate ways.
Not only did he clown me because of my lack of lotion use, but then his personality flipped, and I couldn’t figure out the last few minutes of our time together. All I could think to do at that moment was go home and write about this crazy date in my journal. I had to document this to revisit it later in life.
It was a good date. I ate good and picked up a new pair of heels. And that was that. Or so I thought.
The Next Day…
I get a text from Mike.
Mike: Good Morning. How are you?
I look at the text and decide not to respond right away. I was walking into church anyway, so there is no need to start a conversation with him now. I will hit him later.
4 hours later…
I texted him back to let him know I went to church and was prepping for the workweek. He didn’t acknowledge that my text was four hours later, but he did ask me what my schedule was for the upcoming week. He wanted to hang out again.
I thought about it for a second and then said to myself, “what the hell, I’m not doing anything,” and agreed to a date on Thursday evening.
He offered to pick me up, but I declined, not ready for him to know where I lived yet. We met at an outdoor mini-golf spot. I thought it was a cute second-date pick. He didn’t stick with the typical dinner or ask me to a movie. He put a little thought into the date, +1.
As we were making our way through the slightly challenging course, he had this stance that just made me think about his neck swerving in the car on our first date.
When it was my turn to put, he would stand leaning his body weight onto the golf club, with his left hand on his hip while it was slightly poked out. Maybe this was a comfortable position for him, but I couldn’t help but just stare and wonder. But I said nothing and continued to talk shit as I whipped his behind in the game.
Somehow we got on the topic of Chipotle, no clue how, but he proceeded to tell me a story about how one of the employees at Chipotle hit on him one day. He was like, “I had to check him and let him know I wasn’t gay,” but he used the F word instead, -1.
I didn’t care for his comment at all. It was very homophobic and derogatory. So I checked him on his language use, he apologized but, in the same breath, said he didn’t know why he thought he could approach him like that.
I couldn’t hold the petty in anymore. My following statement was incorrect, but it came out like word vomit.
“Well, if you were in there standing how you are standing right now, I can see why he would hit on you.”
He looked at me like, “no this bitch did not just say that.”
I laughed, hoping he would think I was joking, but I was honest. Maybe a little too direct.
“This is a basketball stance,” he told me. I wanted to argue that point down to the ground, but I left it alone. And he also left that stance alone for the rest of the evening. I could tell he was thinking twice every time he was waiting and watching me take my turn putting the ball. He didn’t want to be caught in whatever stance again.
After this date, I knew it would be over. There was no way he would ask me on another date. I wasn’t mad at it either. We had fun, he made me laugh, but there was just something about him that I couldn’t put my finger on that was bothering me.
I decided I didn’t want to waste my time anymore, and I would let it fizzle out.
The next day…
I wake up to a text from Mike saying good morning and what I got going on for the weekend. I was shocked. Like buddy must really like me or something because after my comment last night, I swore that was it, and he wouldn’t talk to me anymore.
Instead of responding on the spot, I decided to get ready for work and hit him back when I got to my office. I needed to think about how I could get out of this situation.
On my way to work, I heard on the radio that the Summer Sixteen tour with Drake & Future was in town that night and the following night. I love Champagne Papi, so I thought of taking myself to that show on Saturday night.
But then I had a better idea, maybe ask Mike if he wanted to buy us tickets and go. I assumed he would be like, “nah” cause tickets were not cheap, like $200–250 apiece. And when he said no, that would be my excuse to let him know I would go anyway, and we could maybe get together another time. Solid plan, so I thought.
After being at work for a couple of hours, I hit him back and told him I didn’t have many weekend plans, but I was thinking of going to the concert tomorrow night.
Thirty minutes later, this fool sends me a screenshot of two tickets he just purchased for the Saturday night show and a message saying, “I must really like you.”
Well, it looks like we got date three happening tomorrow. My plan to use the price tag as an out didn’t work, but at least I get to see the show.
We decided to meet at the bar connected to the arena to grab food before heading into the concert. I wasn’t thinking about our previous interactions until the waitress came over to take our order.
I ordered first and then Mike had a few questions about the cocktails. He asked about a specific one, and the waitress said she didn’t recommend that drink. So course he asks why; I would too.
She tells him it’s a very fruity pink drink that comes in a martini glass with some garnishing.
“Mmmmm, that sounds good. Let me get that,” he said. And the waitress, stunned for a second, asks him if he is sure and proceeds to say it’s a popular drink amongst women. He responded with yes, I want that drink. Then, while pointing at whatever food item on the menu, his wrist bends back with his pinky standing straight in the air.
I looked at the waitress, and she looked at me. All I could do was smile and say thank you.
I say nothing. I keep my mouth MF’ing shut. But my mind was racing.
He was being friend-zoned immediately in my head. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a guy who has an energy than I’m not used to. But how I was looking at him started to shift. It shifted from looking at him as a potential to a friend.
While waiting on our drinks, we are making small talk. About 10 minutes later, the drinks arrive. His came just how I expected it to, very pink with garnishes that would make you feel like you are on the beach in Mexico.
After one sip, he says, “Girrlll, you gotta try this; it’s so good.” Yes, he extended the word girl.
At that moment, I had another word vomit that I regret, but I couldn’t help it at that moment.
“Are you gay” came out of my mouth. He looked at me with utter shock and proceeded to say, “I ain’t no motherf*cking [insert F word].” I was not in the place to correct his derogatory word choice, so I let that one slip. You could tell the shock on his face.
“No one has ever asked me that or said that to me ever a day in my life,” says Mike.
I wanted to say that maybe no one had the guts to ask you, but I didn’t. Instead, I just said, “Hey, it’s just a question.”
That set him OFF.
He cussed and rambled about how he should leave me right at this table with the bill and take the concert tickets and go home.
And once again, my mouth put me in another shocking position. Instead of profusely apologizing, I did apologize like twice. I said, “Well let me pay you for the tickets because I really want to go to the concert.”
I know he was like, “No the f*ck this bitch did not just ask to pay for the tickets.”
He didn’t say anything to me, but I could tell what he was thinking. So I asked him how much the tickets were and he said $450. I got up and went right to whatever ATM was in the restaurant, pulled out $500, and handed it to him.
Another look of shock came across his face. He couldn’t believe what I had just done, but it also did calm him down.
He took the cash, looked at it, and said, “You know I am going to give this back to you after I get a few drinks inside the arena. Come on, let’s go to the show.”
I thought to myself, how are we still continuing this date. But at that moment, I decided to drop any assumptions I had about Mike and just enjoy myself and have fun. He was a great person, a gentleman, and made me smile.
We had a blast at the concert. So much that we hung out again the next day, and the day after that and that.
Mike soon became my boyfriend. And you will never guess how our relationship ended.