If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I tend to experience...ahem..."girl drama".
If you know me in real life, you would probably agree that I tend to date CRAZY women.
It's true. I don't deny this. I tend to have a weakness for icy, bitchy, beautiful women, who are mean and/or selfish. Or flaky, flighty women who have random mood swings and do irrational things that freak me out. Like print t-shirts with my name on them. Or plan spontaneous trips to visit me when they know I'm dating someone else.
Yeesh. It looks worse when I type it.
Anyway, I'm trying to actively change the type of woman I date. Some of the qualities that I'm looking for can't be changed; for example, it is impossible for me to date someone who hates theater. Or who isn't honest. Or has a flat butt. But I'm trying to put more of an emplasis on women who value some of the things I do: family, courtesy, tact.
Above all, I'm looking for someone who is nice. I used the phrase "big-hearted" recently - not sure that I've dated someone like that since high school.
I had an encounter a few weeks ago that showed me I'm making some progress.
I'm in Brooklyn on a Friday night, and I passed a beautiful woman with an Afro on her cell phone. I am intrigued. I get to my destination, and as I wait outside I see her again. Still on her phone. She smiles. I smile. She approaches me.
PRETTY WOMAN W/AFRO: Excuse me, can I ask you a question?
ME: Of course.
PRETTY WOMAN W/AFRO: Would you mind doing me a favor?
Uh-oh. Alarms bells going off.
PRETTY WOMAN W/AFRO: I'm trying not to run into my ex-boyfriend, and I think he may be inside this bar. Would you mind going inside and checking to see if he's there?
Now, obviously, I'm thinking BULLSHIT. Obviously, this woman is just looking for an excuse to talk to me. It's a lame one, but I'm kind of impressed that she came up with something so...so...dumb. And, you know, having a pretty girl make dumb excuses to talk to me is kind of awesome. It makes my ego feel good. So I decide to play along.
PRETTY WOMAN W/AFRO: He's got dreadlocks. He's really corny-looking.
"Corny-looking"? Really? What the hell does that mean?
PRETTY WOMAN W/AFRO: Oh, thank you. You are so nice!
I go into the bar. It is Buppie central. (Black Urban Professionals, for the uninitiated.) I walk the length of the bar. There is exactly one guy in the place with dreadlocks - and he's the DJ. And, if a girl's ex-boyfriend is a DJ, she's going to say, "Look for the DJ."
Armed with this information, I return to the front, where she is still standing (and still on her cell phone).
ME: The only guy in there with 'locks is the DJ.
PRETTY WOMAN W/AFRO: Was he real corny-looking?
ME: Uh, I don't know...sure.
PRETTY WOMAN W/AFRO: Yeah, that's him. You are so nice! Thank you!
We exchange names and chit-chat for a bit, and then she moves off to finish her phone call. My friends arrive (The Flying Squirrel and her friend). We walk through the club, decide that it's not our scene, and head across the street. I see my new friend walking away down the street. Too bad, I think. I had been planning on asking her to join us.
We go to the bar across the street. As we enter, I'm thinking, "She was cute, and she was obviously interested in you. And it's New York, so if you see someone you like, you need to go for it!" I excuse myself and head back out into the street.
No sign of her.
I walk in the direction where I last saw her.
I walk around the entire block.
Oh well, I think. I cross the street and prepare to head back to my friends...when I see her coming towards me on the street. Still on her phone. I approach her:
ME: Excuse me, Pretty Woman W/Afro?
PRETTY WOMAN W/AFRO: (to person on phone) Hold on a minute, Darnell. (to me) Yes?
ME: I just wanted to ask you if you wanted to get a drink or coffee sometime.
PRETTY WOMAN W/AFRO: Hmmm. Well, I don't know. You were acting kind of stuck up back there.
ME: I don't know what you mean. I was waiting for my friends to arrive, and when I turned around you were walking down the street. I was going to ask you to join us.
PRETTY WOMAN W/AFRO: Hmmm, I don't know. Well...how old are you?
I tell her my age.
PRETTY WOMAN W/AFRO: Okay, okay, I'm thirty, okay, that works. Well...what do you do?
It is at this point that I seriously consider walking away. These are pointed questions. I feel like I'm being interrogated. But, hey, I am a guy who follows through. In karate, as a kid, the tenth rule was ALWAYS FINISH WHAT YOU START. I must finish this. This is how I roll. So, against my better judgement, I answer:
ME: I'm an actor.
PRETTY WOMAN W/AFRO: Okay, okay, so that means you must be creative. You look like someone who can sing.
PRETTY WOMAN W/AFRO: Okay, okay, I could go out with you. Yeah.
ME: Well, how should we do this? Should I take your number, or do you want to give me yours, or can I give you my card...?
PRETTY WOMAN W/AFRO: A card? That's just so impersonal. (to person on phone) Darnell, I'm going to have to call you back.
Yes, that entire conversation took place WHILE SHE WAS ON THE FUCKING PHONE.
We exchange info, I go inside and hang with my friends.
I tell this story twice over the next two days: first, to a group of female friends, who are vehemently opposed to me going out with her. "If she's going to make you jump through all those hoops now and play these games," one friend says, "she's going to do that the whole time, You don't want to mess with that."
The second time was at our annual Mother's Day brunch: my brother, sister-in-law and I drove up to New England to have brunch with Voice & Sandwich, Grandma, my aunt, and my cousins. After the story, my mother looks distressed. "I just don't like this," she says.
ME: So you're saying you don't trust my taste in women?
We all laughed. It was kind of shocking, hearing that from my mother. And eye-opening.
So, of course, I call this woman on Thursday night, as I'm headed out for the evening.
At this point you're probably thinking, where are these changes? This seems like another pursuit of crazy.
But as the phone was ringing, I found myself hoping that she wouldn't pick up. When she called me back the next evening, I didn't pick up. And a couple of days later, I deleted her number from my phone, without calling her back.
If she treats a stranger like that, is she really the nice girl I'm looking for?
It took me a while to get there, but I consider this progress.