I’m sure that when you think of the idea of “Thinking Like A Man,” you conjure up thoughts of a bald head black man cheesing on the cover of a book that tells you ways you can get the respect and commitment you deserve in a full-fledged relationship. But that’s actually the complete opposite of what I mean when I talk about women I know who “think like men.” They’re not looking for commitment necessarily, they’re looking to collect men for leisure to see if they can—just like many men do.
When I moved to New York City, I assumed that meeting men was going to be just like it was meeting young men when I moved away for college. I was going to be in a place where everybody was open and ready to meet, mix and mingle, and in the end, get in a meaningful relationship. I had watched enough hours of She’s Gotta Have It to think that there would be a wealth of men available. But of course, I was incredibly naive. I met guys, but some were clearly not looking for what I was looking for (and would carry on conversations that included stupid inquiries like, “Do you smoke weed and like to have fun?”), or they were nothing like the type of folks I could see myself in a committed relationship with and having my type of fun with (Watching old “Fresh Prince” reruns in the morning with crust in our eyes and our legs tangled under a blanket). They were instead, bossy, bland, creepy, lacked ambition, were corny, and could be indecisive at times. I was getting pretty frustrated.
By the coaxing of a bestie, I was told that I should hang out with a young woman who had been in the city about a year longer than I who could show me around and also show me a good time. I didn’t know her all that well, but after work, I did have time to spare (either hang with her, or I was going home to watch She’s Gotta Have It again). One evening, this young lady and I attended a mixer put on by a popular blog in Manhattan in order to multitask by grabbing drinks and grabbing men.
We separated in the hopes of meeting other people (guys) and while I calmly chatted with a guy at the bar who I started to imagine as the perfect partner for Sunday brunches in the future, she was hopping from guy to guy in the room, lightly slapping shoulders, seeming like the life of the party. Before I knew it, she was walking over to me and my new cute friend, turning on the charm. While we had started a conversation about our different cultural backgrounds, she found an in, and when she told him that her people were Haitian (his were from the Caribbean as well), I found my black a** to be the third wheel all of a sudden. They talked about Caribbean foods they liked and ki’ki’d it up. Before I knew it, she told him that they should try one of the places he talked about and dude was thirstier than someone stranded in the desert in his attempts to pull out his business card for her. When he said his goodbyes, she winked, threw the card in her purse, and kept it moving.
While I made conversation with other guys, including one I could see myself having my type of fun with (including those brunches again), I kept an eye out on her. By the end of the night, when it was time for me to head back to Brooklyn, she was turning on the charm for one of the event’s hosts, and safe to say, he was feeling her. The next morning when I told her about the guy I met, she would later let me know that she and the fine host hit it off big time and that he was all over her on the train home. Too bad she had no interest in anything serious with him, or any of the guys she met that night for that matter. Homegirl even lost the card of the guy she was scheduled to scarf down Haitian food with. The guy I met, I ended up being disappointed by when I realized that my age was a problem for him. So while I was a little sad, she shared kind words, and kept on the prowl, collecting men with no cares. She had guys she called for entertainment, and a guy in another state that she wanted to be serious about in the future. But in the meantime, she wasn’t looking to be cuffed, or to be committed to, something I low-key realized I was thinking about in the back of my mind after meeting guys. Maybe that’s why she didn’t care when she would get it in with the fine dude in her apartment complex that knew all the dope events to go to, but wouldn’t make the time to go those events with him when he threw the idea around. She didn’t want dates. She was a mack.
Me, I’m not trying to be a mack, but I realized from her love of leisurely engaging with guys and how receptive they were to her, that I was going into the dating game all wrong, and so were some of my friends. I know people (and have been one) who get dressed to the nines and go to every outing (birthday bar hopping, dinner, movies, etc.) in the hopes of meeting Mr. Right. I realized that the nice guy I meet at the lounge who’s cute should be taken for face value in the hours I get to know him and not thought of as a long-term boo because he’s nice. By looking for a Mr. Right every time I went out, I was going home more disappointed than I needed to because they weren’t all enthralled with me like I had hoped. Though I wasn’t trying to mack, I could learn a lot from her.
Weeks later I attended a party and was having a good time dancing with one of my old girlfriends. I wasn’t on my old “Mr. Right” mission and was just out this time to have a good time. When I decided to hydrate myself at the bar, I saw a guy looking good in a suit and thought I’d try my hand at turning on the charm like my new friend was so good at. While at the bar, I got my drink and before I walked back to my girlfriend, I tapped the guy and told him he looked nice in his suit. He smiled wide and said thanks, and as I smiled back, I could tell he was surprised when I told him to have a good night and walked away. In his mind, he thought I was going to jock him, but I wasn’t looking for Mr. Brunch Sundays anymore. As the night went on and my friend and I resurrected the wop, that same guy at the bar approached me later and tried to start a conversation. I quickly realized that he wasn’t my type, smiled at his compliments and let him know that I was going to get back to dancing with my friend. The ball was in my court, and he was just a squirrel trying to…well, you know. And while I wasn’t picking up stacks of cards and phone numbers for fun like my friend from the mixer, it was nice to see how much more men are into you when you play it cool and look to have a good time rather than going out looking for a knight in shining armor. But that’s not to say I’m done looking…