So I was dating this woman that I met while doing work for this non-profit theatre company in Raleigh. It was the time when I learned that not knowing what working in development for a non-profit meant makes it hard to be in charge of development for a non-profit. As I toiled away trying to figure out how to write grants, in walked a vision of loveliness. There was chemistry there from the start. We exchanged flirtatious conversations first, then exchanged phone numbers. We had great conversations. That led to scheduling some dates and we had a good time on each of the dates we had gone on. I was doing much better with this situation than I was with my job. That made me feel good. This woman was a beautifully chocolate with long hair (that she paid for) and a slim frame (this detail is for my friends who seem to think I have a contrary “type”). What was even better was that she was into theater, music, poetry, and fashion.
I was raised to be a gentleman. My mother, grandmother, and aunts taught me this so that I would carry myself as a respectable man. What I heard was that it would make me more attractive to women. Hey, I was young. We had mainly met for our dates (for her comfort) or once she was comfortable, I picked her up. When I am dating someone, I always try to be mindful of the radio in my car and try to appease what I know the rider listens to. I mean, you are still in the “got lots to find out” phase so you talk more than listen. The music is just a backdrop.
I guess that I made a good impression. One particular night she informed me she was taking me out. She had planned the night. I was like cool. I felt like VIP. She picked me up. We were both looking real fly and sexy (especially me).
Now, this is the part where I should state that I don’t mind crazy. I actually am attracted to it. Normal is wack. But see, insane I don’t do. So yes, I knew she was special already. I also knew she was very particular. I’ve dated Type A. Even still, I didn’t expect what came next.
By now, we had gotten to know each other a bit so I’m relaxing. It’s her car so she’s in control of the radio. It’s an R&B marathon. I’m with that so it had the mood just right. We are rolling along and talking. I’m being charming and playful, starting to introduce the smartass that I am. Then a Mary J song comes on. It’s my jam! You know what happens when at Mary J song comes on.
So I’m singing. I’m getting it. Passing her the imaginary mic… No response. I’m thinking we can hit the chorus (she go high and I go low)… No response. I’m killing the second verse (figuratively and literally cuz I can’t sing)… Nothing (not even a smile and dammit I’m cute!). Then she stops me. She says men shouldn’t sing women’s songs. It was inappropriate. Time stopped. My inner voice started talkin like Bernie Mac, “Uh uh no she didn’t…” I’m so confused. She was serious. She said she didn’t date men like that.
So I’m buggin. First I got investigative reporter. There is no way she really means that. She stands pat. Then it becomes that debate scene in Different World with Whitley and Kinu on opposite teams. I come to discover she truly believes this (and some other social foolishness). I responded with some very witty but respectful responses. I questioned some of her theories in a didactic manner. She didn’t like my sarcasm. I didn’t like the rules. The hottest songs out that year were by women and I wanted to sing them!
The relationship ended that night. I just couldn’t take having my singing shackled like that. Lord knows I thought long and hard about it. I weighed her intelligence, cultural sensibilities, and how spectacular she looked in a dress with the list of songs I would have to listen to in silence. Even humming them was off limits. I just couldn’t do it.
Thank God we hadn’t been shopping together yet. I dance to the Musak.