I’ve had an interesting month to say the least, and it’s during this month that I realized most in my 24 years of living that some men want what they can’t have, even if they don’t know for sure that it’s out of their reach.
While walking from my boyfriend’s place earlier in the week, I looked my norm. With the exception of some mascara, my face was make-up free, I was wearing a loose sweater dress, some sandals, and my locs were all over my head as I rushed to the train. On my way, I was stopped by one guy after another who had something to say. A fella on the phone took a break from a conversation to tell me, nicely, that I looked beautiful, another flashed a toothy smile and tried to stop me, and it went on and on–even when I got on the train. Sitting down finally and minding my business, I just happened to sit next to a guy with hair like Al B Sure in the early years of stardom (but not the face), and he was feeling extra friendly.
“I just had to say, you have some very nice feet!”
Not only was this an awkward way to start a conversation, but homeboy said it so loud that other people on the train took notice and immediately looked at my toes. When I tucked them as far under my seat as possible thanks to all the attention, the guy tried to tell me that I should be proud of them and that he didn’t mean any harm. I quickly said thank you and tried to eye my train stop, hoping it would come up very soon. Five minutes later, he mustered up the courage to ask me out for lunch (loud as hell once again), and when I told him that I couldn’t because my boyfriend wouldn’t approve, he tried to say something about why it would be okay for us to hang out, and I ignored him, full of glee at the sight of my stop, which I proceeded to run off the train to.
And if that wasn’t enough, even today, I made my usual arduous monthly trek to the laundromat, this time looking a hoodie-wearing mess (hey, that’s all I had left that was clean). As I proceeded to lug my laundry cart into the establishment and ask for change, the attendant, gold tooth shining, Jamaican accent MAD strong, decided to finally say the following to me, after more than a year of me coming into the laundromat: “You’re married, right? Because if you aren’t I would get down on my knees and beg for you right now.” When I just smiled awkwardly and proceeded to get quarters with my change, he asked me once again if I was married, and in turn, I said no, but that I’m in a relationship. As a response, he let me know that I was too good to just be dating and that my boyfriend needed to marry me. You know, because he knows my life like that…NOT.
While sometimes flattering, other times frightening, these scenarios are a far cry from the time before I met my boyfriend. Though I had met a few guys every now and then who I didn’t wind up matching with, for the most part, my well of men was pretty dry, which was not what I expected after moving to New York and watching many episodes of “Sex and The City.” While you might be approached by the low-lifes or dudes standing on the sidewalk all day, the respectful men who tried to approach me were pretty hard to come by. But once I found someone I care deeply about and happen to be interested in doing right by, that’s when good guys, bad guys and randoms decided to put their bid in for me. A handsome police officer and friendly business owner tried to put their best foot forward to get my attention this month, and as I politely rebuffed their advances, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “Where were you at when I was on the prowl???”
As my mom would say, it’s when you’re taken that every chicken, raccoon and rooster comes out to play. When I told her of my encounters, she went on to say that maybe these men tried to talk to me because they could tell I was about business, was mature and independent, but still warm. However, I thought that it was more about the old saying that when you stop looking so hard for men and attention, that’s when opportunities come your way–even when you can’t take advantage of them. Before, I would go to museums and bars and clubs wearing the tightest of dresses, the highest of heels (wedge that is), and put on a face full of makeup to get attention and go home with a number. But the minute I decided to focus on myself, eased up on the make up, and wore what was comfortable (flats and a smile), that’s when guys started coming my way, including my current honey bunny. And hey, maybe it’s the happiness that my boyfriend brings to me that shows on my face that makes other men want to approach me. Who knows?
I’m not one to say I’m bothered by the compliments from men who I can’t say anything but “Hello, thank you, and have a good day” to. In fact, it’s nice to know that you’re still doing something right. But it sure would have been nice to be complimented and stepped to respectfully when was I open, ready and willing to fill my phone with numbers. Ah well.