Because something like this would happen to me

Woooooooow……I’m only hopping back on here because tweeting this story was getting tedious. But woooooow….I can’t believe that this is my life and quite frankly I need to take someone else on this wild ride with me in order to process what I just experienced. For this story to make sense, let’s take a quick trip back to July 2016.

Summer 2016, I made a pact with my cousin to give online dating a chance. We had to try it out for at least a few months and if we actually went on a date with someone, we had to try to give him 3 chances. If you’ve ever dated men, you know that it’s a challenge to tolerate them for 1 date, let alone 3. But your girl was determined to make the most of this and thought “this can’t be so terrible. I know people who’ve met significant others online. This is the wave of the future.”

bless her heart

I know…I know (Credit: RuPaul’s Drag Race)

I won’t bore you with the details of my dating adventures that summer. Most of them were duds. I did meet one, who at first didn’t seem so terrible (SIKE!). We met up for drinks, which turned into dinner, which turned into dancing. After a 6 or 7-hours long first date, I thought, “Wow, they really be out here. Girl, you found the one dude who is smart, funny and doesn’t have trash politics.” The man and I discussed the various waves of feminism over Red Stripe. Come on! If that wasn’t someone “fait sur mesure“, I don’t know what is. Again, as anyone who dates men knows, that shit went left real quick. Since I’m not trying to get sued, I won’t share details about this person but chile…..this man had 99 problems and then some. But did I listen to all of my internal cues and run as far away as possible?

send me a sign

And when it definitely did not work out romantically (because duh), I thought “you know what? We should be friends!”

why do I do this

So here I am, 2 years later, “friends” with this person. Now there are many more connections as we have a few mutual friends, shared experiences etc…And a naive part of me wanted to believe that him and I were friends. But as my twitter followers know, I had been grappling with whether or not I wanted to remain friends with this person. As I examined my friendships, I realized that this person took much more than they gave and even in the context of friendship, they were still TRASH. After some consideration, I decided to ghost this friendship, having made sure that I had nothing left to feel guilty about or say.

And now that you’re kind of caught up (honestly this story involves a different country, a bet because of Jesus (try figuring that one out) and so much more), let’s talk about Sunday, June 10th in the year of our Lord, 2018.

picture it sicily

(Credit: The Golden Girls)

My new friend had made plans to bring her new friend to my apartment for some leisure pool time. To avoid confusion, let’s call my new friend G. and her new friend C. We start by admiring and commenting on the omnipresence of Black people in Atlanta and end up talking about problematic Black men. As G and C are talking about how some men have terrible politics (in this context, men who buy into misogyny or homophobia, for example) , I acquiesce and say “Even when their politics aren’t trash, they’re emotionally unavailable.” C agrees and says something along the lines of “I was just talking about this to my Haitian friend. She knows this guy who is really smart and has good politics, but is emotionally unavailable.” Most people would have shaken their heads and said “I hear that.” But because my life is what it is, here’s what happened next:

I say, jokingly and nonchalantly: Sounds like me and your friend know the same guy, lol. 

C chuckles and says: Hahaha,right? No, this guy is in New York. 

Perplexed, I respond: Actually, so is the one I was thinking of. Or at least he was.

C starts looking a little worried and jokingly says: Harlem?

I gulp: Yep

C responds: Was he [insert occupation] at [insert location]?

At this point, I’ve realized the universe is fucking with me because the person I was thinking about was absolutely a [insert occupation] at [insert location].

C starts freaking out and also thinks it might be the same person. And then she tells me what her friend is studying and I know, right then and there, that this is indeed the same person. I give C the guy’s name and she texts her friend. No response.

89FPHlL

After what feels like an eternity, C’s friend responds with “Lol. why? What’s up?

sips-tea_2

Now I would just like to pause here and note that there are millions of people in New York and probably millions of emotionally unavailable men. Also, I did not meet this person in New York. All of this to say that it did not have to go down like that.

So we call C’s friend.

“Excuse me can I please talk to you for a minute?
Uh huh sure, you know you look kinda familiar
Yeah you do to, but I just wanted to know do you know somebody named?
You know his name
Oh yeah definitely I know his name” (
LyricsThe Boy is Mine)

220px-The_Boy_Is_Mine_(Brandy_single)_coverart

Ok, it didn’t quite go down like that but close. Her and I exchange notes and turns out this person is out here having the most formulaic interactions with Black women. Homie is out here finding women of the African diaspora (both sis and I are Haitian), highly educated (sis just finished up the first year of her PhD, I’m starting mine in the fall), and prone to wanting to fix people (self drag), to unpack his emotional scars. I had a theory that he didn’t actually value Black women as people. I think that he is a person who claims to see Black women’s personhood but actually uses them as tools to facilitate his healing and seek atonement for/from his past (whatever that might be). Sis was a little more blunt in her assessment (I want to write what she said but there’s a part of me that realizes that it doesn’t need to repeated on the internet. Darn you morals).

While I would like to say that “this is a prime example of why dating sucks”, that would be too easy. This is a prime example of “you played yourself.” As much as I don’t want to admit it, I’ve known this about this person. For years now. I’ve seen the red flags. I just wasn’t ready to let them go. I thought there were so many redeeming things about them and I wanted to believe that they really cared about me. Whether as a friend or more than a friend. Because I really cared about them. And maybe, because deep down, I still had feelings for them *Cringe*. I mean…a few months ago, I was fighting back tears on the A train because I realized that I could no longer ignore the truth of my relationship with this person.

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Anyways, after 30 minutes of dragging this person (and me), sis ends the conversation by telling C that she recently published an article and that she will send the link. C says that she will share it with me. Turns out I read the article some time last week (because again, this is how my life works now) and…

confuse

P.S.: I kind of missed this. Maybe I should consider coming back to this as a distraction, once I start school next year. Maybe…

P.P.S.: I’m fine. It’s fine. But also, woooooow…..the world is too darn small.

Did I miss the kindergarden class on African colors?

I know, I know. I’m that person who doesn’t text you for weeks and then out of the blue sends you a quick “Good morning beautiful!”. You should ignore them because they need to kick rocks with open-toe shoes (my friend says that all the time and I find it hilarious. Thanks Ali). But maybe, just maybe, you decide to respond. At first you may be incredibly upset: “Idiot (I suggest using a stronger word but I’m working on my cursing), where have you been?! You ghosted on me”(Which sidebar, why is ghosting a thing? We’re adults. USE YOUR WORDS. But I digress).  Their smooth talking slowly gets the best of you. You start remembering why you liked them in the first place and you’re once again enthralled. Happened to me last month Definitely not speaking from personal experience. That was my roundabout way of saying: “hey boos! I’ve missed y’all! I’ve missed this space and I’ve missed story telling. I really appreciate how y’all continue to rock with me!”

i-appreciate-you

The one and only DJ Khaled. Major key alert!

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way (although…y’all know to expect another long intro excusing my absence for the next 6 months. I’m not really sure why I play these games), let’s dive right back in. I debated long and hard about what to discuss following my re-emergence from hibernation. While a lot of you (the 4 that still rock with me) seem to like the dating stories, my dating life has been more sad than entertaining lately. I did learn a new term though, “softboy“. So I thought I’d bring you another installment of “When people say dumb sh%t and need to be called out”.

Picture this. You’re sitting at a bar with a group of friends, glasses clinking, beer spilling on the old wooden table. Someone is laughing loudly while you try to repeat your unique name to Ruth’s date for the 3rd time.  Beneath your worn out shoes, the floor feels sticky. The air smells of stale beer, rotting wood and discarded cigarette buds. This is the bar that everyone goes to because the beer is cheap and the fries are extra greasy. It’s not much but it feels like home. You’ve joked with friends, played darts and stayed out well past your bedtime in this bar. You know where the bathrooms are located; and that anyone who orders the salmon sandwich will also become well-acquainted with those too-small stalls with the broken doors. The point is, this is a safe place. You feel confident that you can be yourself in this place and that you’re in good company.

Esther*, a pleasant blonde woman from the South (the Southern part is important, so pay attention folks), is discussing the latest college football game. Apparently, her favorite team beat some other team or something to that effect. That’s usually how these things work, right? Personally, I don’t care. Esther keeps yammering on about her team and mentions that they might beat the 1st place team in their division. People chuckle. Again, I do not care and am barely listening. Like I said (or in this case, am about to say) I’m just there so I won’t get fined. Esther, not one to be discouraged, continues: “We will rise again!”

say what now.gif

How has Nene Leeks expressed every sentiment I’ve ever had?

“I don’t get it. Why would that make you pause?” Good question my friend. On a regular day, I would have gone on with my merry Black self and ignored Esther and her enthusiasm for college football. But on that fateful day, I happened to walk by a car with a confederate flag and 2 Trump stickers. So your girl was feeling extra sensitive to anything that may have had even the slightest racist undertones.

pam-grier

Pam gets it. Let a mofo try me!

For those of you who may still be confused about why Esther saying “We will rise again” irked me, here’s a little free .99 U.S history lesson. In 1861, 7 states succeeded  from the Union and formed what became known as the Confederacy (They would grow their ranks to 11)… Actually, I don’t have time for this and I’m not the historian in the family. If you’re really interested, follow my cousin on Twitter (I gotta ask him if he’s cool with me putting his business out there first) or you can read about it. Google is free 25/7.

Essentially, what you need to know is that the Confederacy would have kept my behind in chains, picking cotton if they could and *some* Southerners have been going around for decades declaring that “The South will rise again” cuz you know…they racist AF. So you can see how hearing Esther, a blonde Southern woman, say those words may have made me feel some type of way.

Anyways (because this post is already getting too long)…while I’m a little shook, I get over it quickly. People keep laughing, drinking their beers. We’re all having a good time, Mary-Magdalene* is discussing her new business venture with a slightly buzzed Peter*. Emblazoned by alcohol, Peter declares “You should get some African colors for your logo”

 

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“Now what exactly are African colors, Peter?”

“You know…bright! Maybe with some African print.”

icant

Exactly Kid Fury!

Can someone please explain to me what exactly African colors are? If I wear a yellow shirt in Russia, is it called “Russian yellow” vs. if I wear that shirt in Ghana, y’all gon’ call it “Ghanaian yellow”? I’m confused. I know we stay poppin’ in all colors of the rainbow palette but I didn’t realize bright colors were only reserved to Africa. Also, the audacity to just throw a “African print” as if that makes it better. “African prints” as Peter referred to them, vary and can actually depend on country/region. Example: fabric prints from the Forest region in Guinea are quite distinctive. Y’all stay trying us and having this “Africa is a monolith” attitude, even when you should know better!

Fix it Jesus!

Nene has had enough

(via Real Housewives of Atlanta)

Y’all! It may seem as if I’m making a mountain out of a molehill but words matter and these thought patterns are pervasive. We have got to do better people. So next time you’re having drinks with a Peter, at your favorite bar with the sticky floors, and he says something slick, follow these steps:

  1. Ask the ancestors for fortitude
  2. Take a deep breath. If you’re drinking, take another sip of your drink
  3. Look him in the eye so he can see that he ’bout to be checked and you ain’t playing no games
  4. Go for the jugular and make sure he knows/does better next time because you care

Disclaimer: if Peter is your glucose guardian (think about it for a second. It’ll come to you eventually), your ride home or just being the good friend who’s got you covered cuz you forgot your wallet, keep yo’ mouth shut. I can’t cover your beers and mine therefore your “wokeness” might have to wait until after the bill has been paid.

Other option is to write a longer-than-needed blog post on the interwebs. But that’s just me though. Not trying to be accused of ruining anyone’s life or friendships.

*Names and scenario have been changed.