Ever since Micah and I have been doing the “friend” thing, things are a lot easier between us. We check in, shoot each other the occasional meme, and make sure we push one another, when we have the time.
Lately, we’ve also been abiding by unspoken rules: no late night texts, no long phone calls, and no putting ourselves in situations that could land us back in love. He wasn’t ready for anything serious and I wasn’t willing to wait or settle.
I’m sure you could imagine my surprise when I woke up to three 2am texts, from him. Upon seeing his name on my phone, I jumped up thinking something was really wrong. I opened the texts:
I was nervous about responding. I knew he’d read the first few episodes, but I never had the time to ask if he’d finished all of them. Now, I knew. What did he mean by cognitive dissonance? I knew the theory, but how did it relate to our situation?
I jumped to the conclusion that he was upset with me about the intricacies of the post and immediately prepared my defense. I asked him what he meant and told him that if he wanted to argue he needed to call me, I refused to do it through text.
I didn’t expect that.
After the ‘situation’ dissipated, we fell back into our usual joking banter and wished each other immaculate days.
Things were easier with Micah. His name and touch didn’t feel quite the same. Every day the intensity of my feelings, for him, dimmed a little bit. It made our correspondence healthier. We no longer tiptoed around feelings and circumstance.
Clearly, I had longer to go than he, based on my assumptions concerning his late night texts.
I wondered if all relations, without expectation, were as easy as this. I’ve read a ton of dating advice: date with marriage in mind, let it flow, have a plan, take a risk, and so much more. I’ve dabbled with both ideals: sometimes wondering if I’m sitting in front of my future husband and other times knowing it is a fleeting fling or friendship.
I wondered what it’d be like to ‘let it flow’ all the time. I pondered dating without the prep, anxiety, or stat consideration.
Tons of women will say they’re the easygoing type, but I’ve interviewed enough women (for articles) to know that we all consider the evolution of a union before they’re solidified.
I decided, for the first time, that I was just going to have fun: No expectations, no envisioning of wedding bells, no listening to my mother go on about grandchildren. Just fun.
I think the universe was listening. I decided this on a Monday and by Tuesday I’d received three texts, concerning outings with guys that’d been in and out of my life.
I was eager to put my new theory into practice:
Sure I’d love to go!
Absolutely, sounds like fun.
Jazz! I love Jazz.
Over the weekend, I went on three dates:
1. I went to an elegant French bistro, for lunch, and spent the entire time debating comic books with a fellow artist/story nerd. It was only fitting that we hit the comic book shop afterwards and scoured the shelves for Age of Apocalypse.
2. I had a picnic, near the Brooklyn Bridge, as the sun went down. I brought the blanket; he brought the snacks. We were both educators and even though we agreed not to talk about work, we found ourselves trading our triumphs with students.
3. I took in Jazz, at a café in downtown Brooklyn, and held the hand of someone I hadn’t seen in a very long time. His fingers followed the tempo against my palm. It was so difficult to watch him take the uptown train, back to Harlem, as I went further into Brooklyn.
I even had time to attend Date and Game, an event in NYC where singles meet and play a variety of games, where I met up with my gal pals. We drank and giggled at the stumbling gals that participated in musical chairs. Eventually, a gentleman who’d been apart of the festivities we found humorous approached me.
He leaned over and looked into my open purse, “You can tell a lot about a woman, by what’s in her bag.”
I smiled and opened the purse’s zipper further, “Oh really? Please, tell me about myself.”
“Well, I spy The New Yorker, which means you’re well read. I see a hair scarf, which means you’re probably staying with a friend after this. Perhaps a lover? I see a huge brush too. Weave brush, maybe?”
I playfully hit him in the arm, “Oh, you’ve got jokes!”
He leaned in closer, “Only for you.”
He stood right next to my bar stool, way too close for my comfort, but I found myself intrigued and couldn’t seem to tell him to get lost. We talked for about twenty more minutes, while I waited for my usual gears to kick in: Potential? Career? Am I taller than him? Does he live nearby? Seem like the commitment type?
The gears never turned. I was enjoying his playfulness and he seemed to be enamored with me. He walked my friends and I to the train, took my number, and said goodnight.
I spent Monday thinking about how awesome the weekend was. I couldn’t wait to continue to bask in the feeling of “whatever” again.
We’re groomed from birth to attain perfection. Princes marry princesses and treat them like royalty. We wait for our crowns to be realized and spend eternities tied to the throne. But we’re young. Perhaps our princes are still maturing jesters. While they grow, so will we. We should be living, in the meantime.
Just finished writing the series, checked my phone, and I have a message from the “Date & Game” guy. He asks: “Available on Friday?”
Until next time…
Come back next Tuesday for the next installment of the series!